6/12: SYWEVERYWHERE Deal

For at least the last six months, SYWEVERYWHERE.com has run amazing weekly promotions. They generally run from Monday-Monday. 

While you’re reading this post, think about how it might apply to great Father’s Day purchases.

Key Information

  • Expiration Date: This deal ends on 6/18.
  • Spend Requirement: Receive 10% Bonus, Up to $25
    • You’ll earn 10% on up to $250. Multiple shopping trips should combine to a total $25 bonus payout limit.
  • Fine Print: “Member offer: Earn 10% back in Shop Your Way points (max award $25 in points) on qualifying purchases, valid June 12th, 2017 – June 18th, 2017. Points valid for 60 days. Limit one (1) offer per member. Points awarded after gift cards and discounts and before taxes and other fees are applied. Offer cannot be combined with other Shop Your Way offers and promotions. Void if purchase is cancelled or returned. Must initiate offer online through ShopYourWay.com, SYWEverywhere.com, or at participating in-store locations. Points may require up to 10 days to be awarded. Not valid for Sears, Kmart, Lands’ End, and the following partners: Energy Plus, LifeLock, Lingo, local restaurants, Sears licensed businesses, Sirva Home Benefits, Sirva Mortgage, Intercontinental Hotels, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, Expedia, Best Western and Hotels.com. Offer valid for original recipient only. We reserve the right to cancel or modify the offer at any time in the event of fraud, abuse, unintended virality, or if technical or other issues arise. By accepting Shop Your Way member benefits and offers, you agree to the Shop Your Way terms and conditions, available at www.shopyourway.com/terms.”

 

 

 

Final comments…

Take care at your shopping portal of choice to ensure the vendor doesn’t deny rewards with the payment of gift cards or external coupons. Many will claim this, few will actually impose it. Your choice, but I would continue without concern.

 

Last Day for SYWEverywhere Deal

This deal ends on 4/2. Combine promotions to save across the internet – note that the ebates 14% deal expires in just a few hours.

Step 1: Go to SYWEVERYWHERE.com and be sure you’re logged in (while you’re there, do me the favor of selecting me as your Personal Shopper – it helps keep the lights on here at Unveiled Savings and there are bonus coupons in it for you, too!) This makes you eligible for the following offer:

 

Step 2: Search for RAISE.com where you’ll buy a discounted gift card for the store of your choice. In this case, I’m going to stock up on dog food (although there is a super opportunity to make a profit with the steps I’m outlining here by reselling on eBay or Amazon or Craigslist.)

Step 3: Visit ebates.com (not a member? Please use my link – we’ll both get bonuses!) and find the 14% bonus at petco.com

Step 4: Check out using your e-gift card, purchased from Raise.com in an earlier step.

To tally up your savings, let’s assume $100 worth of gift cards were purchase in Step 2.

  • Step 2: Discounted gift card savings: 6%, or $6. Pay $94 for $100 gift card.
  • Step 1: Receive Shop Your Way credit – 15% bonus and 8% standard, or 23% of $94 – to the amount of $21.62.
  • Step 3: Receive 14% back in ebates cash credit on the $100 purchase, to the amount of $14.

Final result: for $100 worth of merchandise, you can earn a $14 ebates credit, save $6 on the purchase, and earn $21.62 in SYWR credit. That’s $100-14-6-21.62 = $58.38, roughly 40% off. Remember that SYWR credit can be used for household consumables at Kmart and Kmart.com.

This deal gets better with steeply discounted Raise cards. Sorted by highest discount, take a look here at how this promotion really adds up.

Final comments…

Take care at ebates to ensure the vendor doesn’t deny rewards with the payment of gift cards. Many will claim this, few will actually impose it. Your choice, but I would continue without concern.

Remember the SYW promotion is limited to a $50 bonus, so you’re good on up to ~$350 value gift cards at Raise.com before that tops out.

Feel confident using whatever coupons you have. Ebates will say that external coupons will invalidate the returns, but I’ve never seen it happen. There’s always a chance, but this promotion gets better when you stack other savings. Sears has a bunch of wild points back offers going on through this evening, so consider those!

 

Part II: Day Four – Complete Shop Your Way Platinum Requirements

This guide is part of the series, Max Performing: The $20,000 Kitchen Upgrade. Start here.

A significant part of this plan hinges on the ability to achieve Shop Your Way Platinum status. This is for one major reason, and one major reason only: 

Uh, yup! See it? “Birthday Month.” The stars have aligned and the kitchen-upgrader happens to have a birthday in May. I’ve called Shop Your Way VIP and confirmed that the appliances qualify for 15% back. Remember the part where those appliances cost $13,000 on sale? 15% of $13,000 = $1,950.

See where this is going?

The ‘cost’ of VIP Platinum is $2,000 over the course of 30 purchases. Well, if the kitchen appliances trigger $1,950 back in points and Platinum is a $2,000 investment…it sure seems to me that spending $2,000 to get Platinum means getting $1,950 back in points, and that looks like a free $1,950 to me.

The washer and dryer already amounted to around $1,800 worth in merchandise. Our kitchen-upgrader now needs to spend around $200 on whatever they want to reach the $2,000 threshold and must complete an additional 28 purchases. Here are a few options:

  • Buy something for roughly $200 that you want or need. To get the additional 27 purchases, go to Kmart and complete 27 purchases of a single pack of Kool-Aid mix ($0.29 each.) Alternatively, you can do this from the comfort of your own home by selecting the in store pick up option. They’ll probably think you’re crazy, but genius comes in many forms. 😉
  • Stick with the Kool-Aid plan, plus get items that will generate lots of points back – this essentially reduces your out of pocket cost going forward for those appliances or whatever else you might be buying. This link has a bunch of offers and you’ll follow the Day Two steps to complete those orders.
  • Buy something for roughly $200 that you don’t want or need. Sell it on eBay or Craigslist. Put cash in pocket.
  • Run one grocery shopping trip at Kmart (or complete the purchases online.) We’re talking one can of green beans per order, maybe some NutriGrain bars, your favorite deodorant…just hit the ~$200 threshold and complete 27 orders.

What would you do? Any other ideas for achieving VIP Platinum status? Share them in the comments!

Max Performing: The $20,000 Kitchen Upgrade

This “series” (as I don’t have the mental capacity to write it all in one post) is like the Olympics of couponing. What began seven years ago as a way to save a couple bucks on tires when I was (ironically) $20,000 in credit card debt now becomes an attempt to get about $4,000 worth of goodies for free after spending around $13,000 on the wanted luxury kitchen appliances, plus $3,500 worth of airfare just for fun. Don’t try this at home. Oh, and I apologize for the super short post but tomorrow is tax-filing day and I’m behind on the paperwork…

 

Part I – Introduction, Outline and Numbers

Introduction

A brave friend of mine has trusted me to figure this one out and I don’t take that lightly! I was provided with the new kitchen’s floorplan and set to figuring out what appliances would fit in each space. I was stunned with the 48″ slot for the range. A four foot stove? What could that be? I plugged in the allocated model number and it turns out it’s an $8,000 (on the low end!) professional range. Holy cow. At this point, I realized we had a big project to work out.

The Big Picture

My intent is to get as much as possible for free in addition to the $13,000 worth of kitchen appliances (that’s their sale price!) For fun, we’ll also accumulate $3,500 worth of airfare. My goal is to get a ‘free’ washer and dryer out of the gig. (What’s with the quotes? I’ll be shuffling around Sears Shop Your Way Rewards credits in doing my math, so please be patient and it’ll all come together.)

Three Part Process

This is a significant undertaking, so I have broken it into three parts:

Part I is the introduction, where I will also tally the numbers.

Part II is achieving loyalty status.

Part III is max performing loyalty status.

Each part will be broken into day by day steps to make this manageable for me, the author, and for you, the reader. Check back often for updates. Without further ado…

Part II – Achieving Loyalty Status

Day By Day Steps

Day One: Aquire Discounted Gift Cards for Washer + Dryer

Day Two: Purchase Dryer

Day Three: Purchase Washer

Day Four: Complete Shop Your Way Platinum Requirements

How I Made $69 in Less Time Than it Took to Write This Post

The world of e-commerce is vast. All you have to do is find an item here and there that is on sale. Hopefully, you can make that sale even better by earning (or redeeming) some form of store loyalty credit, adding a great portal bonus, and paying with a discounted gift card. Please the Rules of Engagement if you aren’t clear on that process. What does this have to do with your wedding? Not a whole lot, unless you, like everyone else on the planet, could use a couple extra bucks, have a father or other men in your life that will be gift recipients, or you opened credit cards to get a free honeymoon and need to meet the spend minimum.

Here is today’s example of making $69 in a matter of minutes (even if it took an hour, isn’t that pretty good?):

Sears is selling an impact wrench (I don’t even know what that is) for 50% off. I’ve added it to my Best Deals catalog. (Hint hint: you should really add me as your personal shopper so you don’t miss out on these offers…there are other great products in that catalog that you can make some money on, too!) Add in tax and my total was $132.80.

wrench

Turns out Amazon sells this product for just under the normal retail – $237.49. It is ranked around the 250,000 mark in Home Improvement, which is good enough for me. The fees look to be around 15%, but for the sake of argument…I’ll call it $40 if I sell the item for $200. I should be able to sell it for $225 and the fees will be less than that, but let’s stick with easy numbers and plenty of margin.

A quick scan through the Sears Deals Center shows a nice $10 back in Shop Your Way Rewards on $100 in tools. Free points!

Ebates is offering 6% cashback (and you should totally be using Ebates and referring people to it while they’re offering a $50 bonus! Yes, that last link helps sort out the details.) Fantastic. 6% on $125 is $7.50. Don’t calculate on tax.

Icing on the cake here…I have a small stash of Sears gift cards that I received in exchange for Discover cash back. $20 worth of Discover cash gets me $25 worth of Sears credit – so $80 worth of Discover cash gets me $100 worth of Sears credit. Not bad, right? On a $125 purchase, I am saving $20 + $5 = $25 (there’s some common core math for you…20% of $100 = $20. 20% of $25 = $5. $20 + $5 = $25.)

  • If you don’t maintain a stash of Sears gift cards…well, you can reload a gift card from the Sears site (which you navigate to by way of Ebates) – you’ll still get the 6% back. In this case, then, instead of a $25 savings, you’ll get a $7.50 savings. Be sure to call Sears right away to get them to process the reload transaction at 888-396-5299.)

Final Tally:

Purchase Price: – $132.80

Amazon Expected Sales Price: $200

Amazon Worst-Case Fees: – $40

Sears SYWR: $10 (hey, they’re also giving me $1 for accepting a one-day slower delivery…fine by me)

Ebates Cashback: $7.50

Gift Card Discount: $25

= -$132.80 + 200 – 40 + 10 + 7.50 + 25 = $69.70 (note that this will be $52.20 if you go through Ebates)

Heck, I think I’ll buy two…

What does this have to do with wedding planning?

As with many of my posts, here’s the list of reasons this is relevant:

  1. You opened a credit card and need to meet a spend threshold to earn a sign up bonus. Do not spend money for the sake of this bonus – spend what you need to spend…and make up the difference on creative “manufactured spend” like this.
  2. You need a couple bucks to cover this that and the next thing. Dear reader…wouldn’t an extra $69 cover at least an elaborate mani/pedi? YES! How about your rehearsal dinner dress? A gift for a member of your wedding party? This is money in your pocket to spend on whatever expenses aren’t yet covered. Else, use it to pay down your debt!
  3. You need gifts for the men in your life – your dad, brother, fiance, groomsmen, etc etc etc…
  4. You need gifts for a couple in your life – engagement party, wedding gift, etc etc etc…
  5. You happen to need this thing yourself.

Does this help?

Are you interested in becoming an Amazon Seller? Does this example motivate you to find great deals of your own? Please leave a comment or send a message if you need guidance!

How to Get $100 Worth of Free Wedding Stationary at Staples

When all is said and done, it’s amazing how many pieces of paper your wedding will consume! Here’s a list:

  • Save the Date Notestyping-vintage-technology-keyboard
  • Invitations
  • Menus
  • RSVPs
  • Seating Placeholders
  • Return labels
  • Ceremony Programs
  • Thank You Cards
  • Photo Prints

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get even one of those at a discount?

Staples Premier = 10% Back in Rewards!

If you reach Staples Plus status, you’ll get a $25 in-store copy and print voucher. Once you make it to Staples Premier status, you’ll get an additional $50.

Screenshot (174)

Certainly, $1,000 is a long way to go to get $75 for free! Keep in mind you’ll get $10 on your way to Plus (2% back on $500) and another $15 on your way to Premier (3% back on the next $500.) Ultimately, on $1,000, that would be $75 + 10 + 15 = $100, or a full 10% back.

How the heck do I spend $1,000 at Staples?

Run Errands for Other Organizations

Your expenses will add up quickly if you’re a small business owner, teacher, etc. The goal is to spend as little as possible out of pocket to maximize your rewards. Here’s an idea – maybe you are involved with a non profit or other volunteer organization that needs supplies. Think about church leaflets, fundraising flyers, and so on. They may let you take care of the purchase and refund you later; if you use your reward number, those expenses will count toward your total.

Purchase Other Stationary at Staples

There are so many great places to purchase wedding stationary, you’ll have to really do some price shopping to make sure this is the best deal. If it is, let’s assume you purchase 100 invitations for $2 each – you’ve already spent 20% ($200 of $1,000) of your total. Don’t forget the envelopes! Be sure to follow the steps below to maximize your savings.

Maximize Rebate Offers

Keep an eye on Staples Easy Rebates! They are easy! It seems like every week includes a free paper offer. Find this week’s offers here. If you can get one free $5 ream of paper each week (usually the offer say “limit 4”) that’s going to be $250 ($5 * 50) in one year. There are often great resale opportunities when Staples offers 20% back in Rewards or 15% off, for example. They even price match 110%. Look for Keurig machines, routers, and other low weight, high price items. I’ve spent $1,000 in a day at Staples just on resale purchases! My Amazon store was happy.

Maximize Your Savings at Staples With These Steps

1. Extend your $75 with Coupons

It’s common to find 15 and 20% off coupons. Use these with your Copy & Print vouchers – just have them type in the code at the bottom.

copyprint

2a. Use Chase Ink for an Additional 5%

This business card offers a 5% bonus on office supply stores. Don’t have one? Consider using my referral link; you’ll get 60,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months, which is redeemable for at least $600. $1,000 at Staples will earn you 5,000 points, worth at least $50.

2b. Pay with Discover Deals Gift Cards to Save Up to 30%

Redeem your Discover Cashback for $25 gift cards with a limit of 5 per order.

For every $100, you can get $20 off! That’s 20%! Now, your $1,000 in purchases only cost $800.

You’ll still get $100 back in rewards – $100 back on $800 is 12.5%.

When you consider your $200 savings ($20 * 10) plus $100 in rewards, this is like paying $700 for $1,000 worth of Staples merchandise, or a 30% discount without using any coupons! staplesdiscover

 

3. Don’t forget the portals!

While you’re on your way to $1,000, ensure you make your purchases through a portal!

My Experience

I was unable to apply my $50 to an online order for in store pickup, so plan on spending time at the store finalizing your design. My $50 (plus $4 out of pocket for taxes) was enough for a 24×36″ photo print, a wonderful custom return address stamp (if you aren’t having your envelopes printed, this will save you a lot of work!) and 500 business cards – which I can’t wait to pick up! You can have quite the variety of products printed at your store – stop in and chat with them or call to ask.


 

How will you spend your Staples Copy & Print Reward?

Which stationary item are you most excited to get for free with your reward?

 

Quick! 17% off Kohl’s Gift Cards at eBay!

Update:

This offer just got better! eBay is offering 8% back on $50 purchases, so you’ll receive a $4 eBay credit for each gift card you purchase; there is a limit of 3, but that’s an extra $12. You can apply the credit starting in July to anything on eBay!

Get an extra 8% back in eBay credit when you spend $50!
Get an extra 8% back in eBay credit when you spend $50!

I expect this to run out soon, so buy now if you’re interested!

Get a $10 Bonus at Kohl's!
Get a $10 Bonus at Kohl’s!

Don’t need any Kohl’s gift cards?

One option is to sell the $50 gift card to a gift card reseller and use the $10 bonus yourself. (My assumption is that the $10 card will not be a standard gift card, but let’s hope I’m wrong – sometimes they have a certain time frame in which they are valid, but I don’t see that in the fine print. Just be aware that it might happen and be prepared to shop in the next month!) I like to start at GiftCardGranny.com to figure out my options. It looks like you could approximately break even, making this worthwhile for credit card spend to earn bonuses or other points. If the $10 card is not able to be sold, you’ll also want to be sure to use the $10 effectively, since you’ll only get about $40-42 for your $50 gift card. Lastly, consider the cost of shipping, as these are physical gift cards that you don’t want to lose!

You can sell unwanted gift cards at a discount.
You can sell unwanted gift cards at a discount.

Don’t forget to start at a Shopping Portal!

Perhaps you haven’t read the Rules of Engagement! Based on CashBackMonitor.com, it looks like American offers 1 mile/dollar and iConsumer offers 1.3% back. I’ll shop at the American portal because of this fine print from iConsumerCashBack is typically NOT available on the purchase of Gift Cards. Please review the Gift Cards category for a list of merchants that offer this benefit and confirm with individual brands’ Known Exceptions for additional details. If you decide to chance it, please let me know how it goes – and if you’re new to iConsumer, please consider using my referral link!

What’s so great about Kohl’s gift cards?

If you’re a Kohl’s charge holder, you probably like those “30% off with Kohl’s Charge” offers…but hate to use your Kohl’s charge! You’re not going to get any bonuses or miles out of that. So, buying gift cards to cover the majority (90% or more!) of your purchase and just putting a few dollars on your Kohl’s charge effectively allows you to use your other credit card to take advantage of the Kohl’s charge promotions!

Need to do wedding shopping or gifting?

$50 gift cards are easy gifts – if you like my gift basket idea, it is even easier. On the shopping side, here’s a list of items you could find at Kohl’s (and definitely at kohls.com):

  • Jewelry
  • Shoes
  • Clutches
  • Centerpieces
  • Intimates
  • Linens
  • Formal dresses (moms and bridesmaids, flower girl)
  • Suits and tuxes (dads, groom, groomsmen, ring bearer)

Are you going to use this deal?

Will you spend the money yourself or sell it to one of the gift card resellers?

I know will be taking advantage of this because it gives me a great discount on gift cards that will help me buy from Kohl’s to sell on Amazon!

Sweepstakes: Drive Strong Truck Sweeps Code List – Enter Over 200 Times!

What’s the prize?

A 39-month lease on a new truck. Weird, huh? This comes from Sears Shop Your Way (which I’ve discussed here most recently.) If you aren’t a member, join! You can always save on your Sears purchase, whether through discounts or with loyalty rewards (Shop Your Way Rewards.) Rewards are redeemable just like cash on purchases at Sears and Kmart – not a bad program! More on that at the very end…

How do I enter?

There are many ways to enter this sweepstakes; you can answer a few poll questions daily for up to 93 entries, refer friends by grabbing and sharing your unique URL (yep, mine is all over the page,) or enter Sweeps Codes. Let’s be honest – the poll takes a while to load and you don’t need to clog up your feed asking friends to click here and join there. The most efficient way to get a ton of entries with very little work is to use the list of Sweeps Codes I’ve compiled below.

Step One

I’ve compiled the list of Sweeps Codes, posted just below. Simply head on over to the sweepstakes page and click the “Get Started Now” button – do the poll once to activate your entry.

Step Two

Go to the Drive Strong page and start submitting all of the codes listed below; enter right where it says “Sweeps code” and hit GO. You’ll see the codes partitioned by section that says “Updated On” so you don’t try to reuse codes. The website is a little slow; plan on around 15 seconds per entry. You can submit up to 204! That would take around an hour, so I’ll finish mine up over the weekend while we’re cheering on the St. Louis Blues. The entry period runs through June 1st; I’ll post weekly (until I hit ~215 codes) and that should be more efficient for everyone than a daily update!

truck

Updated on 4/28/2016

From 4/25

28T3SAM4
3TGFWGUE
4VJMN64D
FTELFCRB

From 4/18

UKYTPX3H
M4GK28ZD
2C5WSWRW
6K9BESHB

From 4/11

HWHHFX3L
4Z4ZEU4M
7QW3QV6W
DWJJTAAP

From 4/4

TV8G4P8D
BSK6CZ5Q
56HW4GF5
LDGFKS2U

10 Random Codes

8M6XZYYT
236LD9WK
95B4JVQR
5BRFM7TY
TS5Q2XNR
T9T8MYPM
46GWNUCE
TZ8MTKLC
95W6MBL9
KLL6AMJQ

40 Random Codes

HSET7X8X
WDXUNG79
25UVG5ZJ
TG4W8QNY
TZL24SWD
254ZGW5H
3TR72ESQ
XJRXMLB5
6AV2L4XJ
AFSP3B7L
65MKB4KK
D2HLEFRY
6BN3RY5K
CTV62W3X
WBAVXT48
4YGJ2KYE
BZDVFZ7S
DJCF537Z
SZBGK2CT
X2LSR8JA
8CG7UW5U
LUXBFU3T
JD9XB8JC
T92NZMCC
M7RH68XP
A3GGJSTW
RD2ZZRHG
N6GAMEY3
DWX2VFQR
GTU5HZ79
ES3FJGB8
ZJNE4AF9
YSNUYNTA
LVDFNMPX
WFMMQJWY
34GRXNJL
RWRN7W2P
JNR53NZ9
CWX2Y37Z
XL26VRDK
DDXNJ3QK

From 3/28

B9HV3VBQ
88TAGND4
XJBPTVKW
6MWL6LWM

15 Random Codes

3Z568YTY
FZ4PLFBX
W5F29TYP
ZK6X49DC
L62VD6NG
EEVSUB9U
KXPTQAYC
TJBSKTVM
2HZ4BCHB
NZPQX88U
4GUJYET6
S6F7YBK2
2E4UW6K2
KSXEH5VK
DTKUTR74

From 3/22

FT957K9W
5K9VJPND
828KRGSC
QCJX9AER

 From 3/21

FT957K9W
5K9VJPND
828KRGSC
QCJX9AER

From 3/15

GZL99CY9
8NM2J2DZ
HP7PCULS
HJB3R8ZV

From 3/7

WUW6HLA2
ZXGUGNAE
EV6T4EVY
3M8AS5CR

From 3/1

CJEM9Q4L
AQHF9H3P
VE94PJLX
U7KJ3EW7

Are you going to play?

Is it worth the time? I estimate these codes to take roughly one Family Guy episode to enter!

 

Get my BEST finds while you support Unveiled Savings 

I have a Catalog of great sale items from Sears/Kmart – my secret list of resale opportunities. Please let me be your Personal Shopper. You won’t get any emails from me – they’re all on the Shop Your Way site, so you have as much or little exposure to the program as you want. I point you to ideas for bridesmaid gifts, accessories, etc plus sales to help with manufactured spend and credit card minimums while you help me earn a small 2% commission and support the Unveiled Savings website. It costs you nothing and will be completely transparent after you follow this link. (Yes, you can be a Personal Shopper, too!)

Thanks in advance!

Sears Shop Your Way: Earning VIP Status

Why does this matters to engaged couples or newlyweds?

Choose your registry shops wisely! If you’re in the market for products carried at multiple vendors (Sears, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Macy’s…) do you research and see if there are extra benefits at a given store. There is no harm in asking for gift cards and priority-shopping based on what you receive. Plus, this allows you to accumulate the benefits – your family and friends will probably get a kick out of your creativity!

If you’re buying appliances or outfitting a new home, read on to learn how our household earned VIP Status at Sears – you can, too. It’s a benefit that comes along for free, so use it or lose it!

Shop Your Way VIP Status

Since we aren’t homeowners, we don’t run into a lot of large expenses at Sears/Kmart (or other home improvement stores, for that matter.) It’s a good thing! But, it makes it really hard to reach the VIP tiers in their Shop Your Way Program. From the Shop Your Way site:

“To reach each level, there is a minimum annual spend.

  • VIP Silver: $2,500.00 annual spend
  • VIP Gold: $5,000.00 annual spend
  • VIP Platinum: $10,000.00 annual spend

(Just so you know we define “annual spend” as Total Qualified Spending between January and December of a calendar year. Basically, it’s everything you spend on qualified purchases for the whole year).”

Reaching a $2,500 spend threshold seemed unattainable, given the scarcity of resale opportunities; Sears offers “Surprise Points” and discount coupons in their Deal Center, but the rules are convoluted and I usually give up my search. The folks over at SlickDeals have discussed the program at length in this thread, if you’d like more information.

However, our newest residence was lacking a washer and dryer. I ended up buying a more expensive set than I ever anticipated without a lot of sale shopping (gasp!) – but I anticipate getting around 20% back via the Discover Deals portal (purchased gift cards and received 5% back, which will double in a few months per last year’s awesome promotion…then redeemed gift cards again for 5% back which, too, will double. Should.) I’m starting to see the 5% earnings roll in, but I’m not going to hold my breath. We needed the darn things and we needed them right away.

After that, in mid-March, I started to think about accumulating another $1,000 in spend to reach the VIP Silver Status. Much like the Southwest Companion Pass, the status is valid for the remainder of the year plus the entire following year. Also from their site:

“You will be in your VIP level until December 31 of the following year, unless you advance to a higher level. VIP levels get reviewed every week, so in case you qualify for an upgrade, we’ll be checking. Also keep in mind, once you achieve VIP status, at the beginning of each subsequent calendar year your Total Qualified Spend will reset to zero and you will need to achieve the minimum spend requirements to re-qualify for VIP status the following year.”

So, even though I missed out on Quarter 1, I’d still be eligible for 7 of the 8 possible quarters. I’ll pretty much chase after any challenge that’s in front of me. As luck would have it, Sears is wrapping up their April Black Friday promotion (what?) tomorrow – I happened to find an item that I could sell on Amazon for a small profit, plus earned a handful of points to apply toward more household items we actually need (outfitting three bathrooms instead of one, for example, means more shelving and organizers.) While I won’t tell you exactly what I purchased, the Black Friday list isn’t too long! Even better, I put $1,000 on my shiny new American Express business card (it even says “Unveiled Savings” on it!) I’ll be 35,000 SPG points richer in no time!

sears

Tonight, my balance says I’ve spent $2,612 of the required $2,500 to reach Silver VIP Status. I hope – expect – it will update tomorrow:silver

How do you check your VIP Status?

Click this link or the VIP tab as shown below (start at shopyourway.com, click Rewards, and the box for VIP.)

vip

What are the benefits?

Each quarter, VIPs get a “choice benefit” (among other benefits you can find here, such as two $4.99 oil changes w/tire rotations per year.) Some are “free,” such as the watches you see in the photo below. Others are 100% back in points – so the $200 set of pots and pans will earn 200,000 Shop Your Way Rewards points.

choice

I’ll probably select the NutriBullet or the Keurig. I’ve sold these on Amazon in the past and know they move quickly. I might only get a fraction of the cash I spend, but it’s worth it. Here’s an easy example:

In doing so, I’ll put $125 on my credit card (inching toward that SPG bonus!) I’ll come out at least $25 ahead. I’ll also get $125 toward my Gold Status (only $2,375 to go…) I’ll probably buy via Discover or another portal, earning me at least 5% back (another $6.25.)

If you’ve got gift cards that really were gifts, this is a great way to turn them into more cash than you started with!

Are you in the market for any of the items shown? Do you have VIP status?

I would be happy to sell you any of the items listed for the same amount I’d get from Amazon.

Leave a comment or email me!

$150 worth of Free Stuff (after rewards) for you, $100 For Me

 

It would be pretty cool if you took advantage of this offer.

First, I’ll tell you what’s in it for you:

Sears (via Shop Your Way Rewards, or SYWR) is offering up to 100% back “in points” on a handful of items. Here are the item numbers I found at the moment – you can also get 50% back on one electronic item (I’m buying an Amazon tablet) but that’s another conversation…get one for you or as a gift:

Portable Battery Chargers for Smartphones/Tablets:

  • Item #05738687000
  • Item #05739378000
  • Item #05739377000
  • Item #05749743000

Wireless Mouse

  • Item #00351048000

DSLR Shoulder Bag

  •  Item #00349767000

Prices range from $14-$36 per item.

If you join Ebates via my referral code, you’ll get 3% back on your Sears purchase plus a $5 credit or $10 gift card (you’ll see the details when you click through to sign up.)

This means you can get about $150 worth of stuff, 3% + $5 back via Ebates, and the entire $150 back in the form of Shop Your Way Rewards for use on a future purchase. If there is a Kmart nearby, you can use your rewards there for household items – food, toiletries, etc.

When you’re checking out, just be careful to note the number of points it says you will be receiving. 1,000 points = $1, so if you’re buying the $28 DSLR bag, make sure it adds up to 28,000 or so points! Ensure that you don’t accidentally apply any points in your account, or you won’t earn any more.

Below is the screen shot of my total. I’ll be paying $333.43 and receiving the equivalent of $250 back in points. I intend on selling one of the items for $100 (it’s worth well over that, but I don’t really care) and I’m also getting a $40 bonus via the eAwards promo I’ll mention in a moment. On top of that, I’ll trigger a United bonus worth 1200 miles. I haven’t decided what to do with the other items I’m getting for “nothing.” Told you it was good!

Screenshot (99)

Then, what’s in it for me:

Beyond the stacked deals, I owe a full disclosure as to the Ebates references! Ebates is running a promotion where three referrals that result in $25+ purchases = an $85 bonus. Quite nice! So, pick one (or more) of the $25+ items (I like the camera bag!) and they’ll reward me handsomely! Thanks!

If you just want loyalty miles:

If you’re frantically collecting mileage points, United Mileage Plus is offering a bonus of 300 points when you spend $100, and 1200 on $300, so you could trigger that by stocking up on these “freebies.”

Which card should you use?

Pay with either the card you’re trying to meet a spend minimum on OR your Discover  card, which is offering 5% back at department stores…doubled to 10% for those of us in the Discover.com/Double promotion. That could be quite lucrative!

Earn more with the eAward Promotion

Use your credit card to take advantage of the “buy $50, get a $10 eAward card” promotion. I purchased two $100 e-gift cards, received a $40 bonus, and spent around $300 on merchandise I plan to get “for free.” There does not appear to be a particular link for this; just start at Sears.com (via a portal!) and find the link down on the bottom left. Yes, you will generally earn points for BUYING a gift card and also for REDEEMING a gift card, therefore doubling your rewards!

So, which gift are you getting yourself?