Rewards and Savings Galore with Pottery Barn

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There are a few stores I have loved for a long time – much before I could even come close to affording any of their merchandise.  One of those stores is Pottery Barn.  Their catalogs and overall style just kind of call out to me.  I’m weird, I know.  Anyway, over time a few PB items have crept into our home – usually during sales, by picking up heavily discounted floor models, or after saving and debating over the purchase for quite a long time.  One of the items I have wanted since college is their leather Manhattan Recliner.  It’s delicious.  However, it cost a stupid amount of money compared to what I have previously spent on furniture, so I have never pulled the trigger…until now.  For Christmas, our family decided to upgrade the old (ugly) blue living room chair from my college days and get this leather beauty.

I’ve been annoyed that Pottery Barn has been stuck at 3x in the Ultimate Rewards portal for a few months, but the deals were good enough today that it didn’t matter.  I care about miles and points the most, but there are other types of rewards out there that are also pretty awesome.  I don’t want others to get so focused on mileage earning cards and programs that they ignore other deals that can sometimes be better.  There are tons of ways to maximize Pottery Barn purchases outside of miles and points.  Some of those include going through cash-back portals, buying discounted Pottery Barn gift cards, etc.  Here is what I did to get the most from this purchase today.

1.  Shop through Ultimate Rewards to earn 3x Ultimate Reward points.  I have seen PB at a better rate before (and in fact the Kids and Teen versions are currently at 5x), but 3x is better than nothing.

2.  Wait until a sale or discount code is available.  Today when I was on a screen popped up with a 12 digit code “just for me” to save 15%.  It was valid until 12/5.  I have seen these a few times before, but this time I jumped on it since it didn’t exclude furniture.

3.  Got a $50 delivery discount from a site-wide promotion for that chair.

4.  Waited for a double rewards day like today.  I have the Pottery Barn credit card that normally gives a $25 reward for every $250 spent (basically 10% back in rewards).  However there are double rewards through 12/3, so I got a $50 reward for every $250 spent – 20% back in rewards.  Sadly, the chair is quite expensive, so that is a bunch of rewards toward a future purchase.

5.  Used a previous $25 reward I earned from the credit card plus another $25 off coupon that came in the mail.

Here is the final haul.  I saved $300 with the 15% off discount I waited for.  I earned about $400 worth of rewards to use on a future Pottery Barn purchase by using my Pottery Barn credit card.  This is twice the normal amount since I purchased during “double rewards”.  I earned 6,000 Ultimate Reward points I will ultimately transfer 1:1 to either United or Hyatt by going through the UR portal and earning 3x.  Plus, I saved another $50 by using some coupons and PB rewards that had come in the mail.  And, to top it off, I get to get rid of the ugly blue chair that was picked up for about $100 at a furniture shop that was going out of business over a decade ago.

I know some folks won’t care at all about this transaction, but I don’t want to always fail to mention other cards that offer even better rewards for specific purchases than a miles and points credit card could.  Plus, I know lots of families do shop at PB and PB Kids.  Most of us in the miles and points world love a good deal and maximizing purchases, even when they aren’t directly related to miles and points.  Now I just have to be patient and wait for the new chair to arrive!

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  1. Wow, a middle-class family spends over $1000 on ONE recliner chair!

    This somehow doesn’t go together with your “penny-pinching” approach in the other deals you get in on.

    And also, how are you getting 6000 UR points through the portal when your sub-total after coupons is less than the original price of $2000? Portals always go by the sub-total price after coupons and discount and before taxes and shipping fees.

  2. Thank you soooo much for sharing. The chair is beautiful. It’s great to see how much can be saved by stacking and putting some thought into a large purchase.

  3. I too have coveted the manhattan chair for many many years. It is divine to sit in. We almost bought it several years ago but went with a great alternative from La-z-boy instead. Happy Sitting!

  4. Middle class is not necessarily equal to scraping by. Spending a thousand dollars for a investment chair is a good use of money.

  5. Love that chair too! About 10 years ago I wanted that exact chair, ended up getting from Storehouse Furniture at the time as the chair is/was made by Mitchell Gold and they had it w/out quite the same Pottery Barn mark-up. You won’t be disappointed – 10 years later it looks and feels just as it did when I bought it. My wife tried making me move it from our living room for a pretty floral chair – she wins 90% of battles, but not that one.

  6. Ted, PB discounts from their mailed coupons and rewards certificates actually work differently as they are applied to your credit card statement – not to the bill. However, the 15% doesn’t count. The chair is right at $2000 before tax and a monster shipping charge, so got back to $2,000ish (not including the discounts that will be applied to the credit card bill).
    As far as the rest is concerned, I have had a cheapo chair since college. It worked fine, but now that we are in our 30’s and (almost) 40 we are working on improving the furniture in our house slowly. I like to save on things, but that doesn’t mean I don’t spend money on things, too. Balanced approach…at least mostly.
    Lauren, thanks!
    Jean, you are welcome. The goal was to help others who may make a similar purchase in the future.
    Emily, there are so many out there that are similar for sure!! Glad you love your chair. 😉
    Ms M, agree. Middle class for us means that we have to save and think about things (seemingly forever), but we do slowly but surely try and get what is one our “wish list”. I agree it is a piece that we will have for a very, very long time.
    Matt, ha ha. Sounds like you did great and I’m glad you won that battle!!
    Kathy, will do. 😉

  7. Aspirational goals come in all shapes and sizes. Some are at the front of the airplane on a overseas trip. Others are clad in leather and sit by the fireplace. Way to go. 🙂

  8. Interesting. They have/had some velvet drapes I’d like to buy but keep choking on the $1300 price.

    I didn’t know about their store card and other promos. Worth considering if we go for it.

    I also considered buying up gift cards from gift card sites (Plastic Jungle, Cardpool), stacked with a topcash portal discount. May get me to the same 10% discount without burning an inquiry for a store card or being trapped into a future purchase to redeem rewards.

    • Dave, yeah store card isn’t worth it for a one-off purchase. Luckily I have had mine for many many moons, so the inquiry wasn’t an issue. I also plan future purchases, so the rewards are almost like cash to me. 2013 will be the year of a non-college era couch. 😉

  9. Gotcha on the PB discounts, I was wondering if I’ve been missing out there.

    For sure, for sure. Gotta spend what one’s gotta spend. Personal preference on what/where to “splurge”/spend extra on I suppose. Some choose memories and experiences, some choose cars, some choose technology gadgets, some choose financial provision for their future generations. Our family with a toddler would probably have used the extra money elsewhere.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to be rude. Just have a disagreement, that’s all. 🙂

    • Ted, no worries. Most of our money doesn’t go toward that sort of thing…hence the “college era” furniture we still have, but it was time to get something a bit nicer. 😉 Every family does prioritize differently for sure!

  10. Wow, all those credit card affiliate referral links sure are treating you well. 😉 When you first started blogging I remember you were worried financially if you’d be able to quit your job to be a stay at home mom. And like a year later you are now buying $2k Pottery Barn chairs. Well done. Now I know why you bloggers all pump CCs so hard………. 😉 I bet Mr Fancy Pants gleff is at the Ferrari dealership buying himself a new ride as I post this. And FTG is probably off buying an Aston Martin with custom built in mosquito repellant.

    • @gregorygrady, that’s right. Us bloggers are driving around in Ferraris, blowing through fancy furniture, eating caviar for snacks, and have nannies on call to wipe their childrens’ bottoms. Oh wait, no we don’t. Though if I could afford someone to at least pick up all the dog poop outside, that would be outstanding.

  11. I ordered a really nice buffet from Pottery Barn two years ago…and a Williams Sonoma delivery truck pulled up in front of my house and unloaded the buffet,lol. Didn’t know those two stores were related.

  12. I think it’s a great buy. You save for what you need..sometimes want and deserve. And she just posted that she has student loans to pay (like myself), so a) buy a chair that will last and b) my opinion only, but my (future) kids will take loans out if they don’t get scholarships. If I’m still paying mine they’re own their own for tuition minus what I can afford to help out with. If mine are paid off, I’ll do everything I can.

  13. I think you probably could have saved an addition 10%, if you had created a registry for whatever, with the date of today, then tommorow you would get 10% off for a registry completion discount. Try it if your couch upgrade is going to be PB also. Another thing you could have done is ask your local PB if the chair is on there ship to store list, if so then they would deliver to store for free, and you could pick it up there and avoid there rediculous delivery charges.

  14. Which UR Portal did you go through? I have Chase Sapphire and thought you (for the most part) had to use your Chase Sapphire CC to get the bonus points through the portal.

    • G, any card will work via the portals most of the time. However, in cases where the bonus points don’t post automatically you don’t have much recourse if you didn’t use a Chase card.

  15. I too have done similar things at Pottery Barn…Pottery Barn always offers double rewards ($50 for every $250) in early Nov. I buy gift cards at this time, then for Black Friday weekend they offer 20% back to everyone (not just Pottery Barn Credit card holders) I bought $1000.00 of gift cards in November used them for the Black Friday sale…Ultimately getting tons of rewards…The only down fall the rewards for the November purchase were not sent to me in time to use for the Black Friday purchase (but you may be able to call and get the reward number over the phone if you wanted to)…( I also used the $25 coupon they send in the mail..and…I ordered something online that had free shipping that only cost $30.00 and they sent me a $10.00 coupon…so even more rewards.)

  16. Question for you: I’m ready to purchase two lamps from PB which are currently on sale (about 11% off) and scheduled to increase to full price on 11/13. Unfortunately I do not have any current coupons and no double or triple points offers are currently running. One of the lamps is on back order and if I order today, ti will not arrive until 1/7. I am not in a rush for it to arrive. My concern is that they may sell out over the holidays. I do have the PB card. I looked back through catalogues from early in the year to see what kind of after holiday incentives they offer but didn’t find much. Do you recommend I purchase now with the 11% discount or wait for a compounding opportunity?

    • I get emails to save 15% from them regularly. Could wait for that or buy now and go through united shopping portal to earn 3x miles. PB also will match lower price within 30 days.

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