I saved money five ways by stacking discounts at Best Buy. Here’s how I did it …
OK, I’ve been in the market for a video camera for a while. Some projects I’ve been meaning to tackle and the video camera is an enabler for these projects.
Stacking discounts and rebates
Stacking rebates and discounts is simply this: Scoring discounts from more than one source on the same transaction.
A lot of grocery coupons expressly forbid this practice with six little words: “Not valid with any other offer.” Or: “One coupon per item per customer.” And this makes reasonable sense, because if this weren’t a restriction, I could six fifty-cent coupons on a $3 item and get it for free.
There are legitimate ways to stack discounts on a wide range of purchases:
- Discounted gift cards or discounted store credit. Buying a discounted gift card gives you money back right off the top. (You have $50 in purchasing power that you got for, say, $42.50.) Assuming the store accepts the card as payment (which they should if you’ve bought it safely) is little different than paying with cash or credit card.
- Items already on sale. Unless otherwise stated in some fine print somewhere, sale items are great candidates for stacking.
- Rewards credit card bonuses. Assuming that you don’t carry a balance on your rewards credit card — and you shouldn’t, because that takes all the fun out of the rewards — using a rewards credit card is a no-brainer way to spend less on nearly everything.
- Store loyalty cards. These can be hit or miss but as long as points don’t expire too quickly they can be yet another bonus on top the other bonuses. A bonuser bonus, if you will. 🙂
Stacking discounts high and letting them fly
Here’s how my stacking discounts went down for my video equipment.
- A good start with a $100 Best Buy gift card. The catalyst for getting the video camera was some unused rewards on my Citi AT&T Business rewards card. I had enough saved up to get a $100 gift card at a number of stores. Best Buy was one of businesses they offered rewards for.them. So I got the code in hand there.
- A few thousand points from MyPoints. As a member of MyPoints I regularly get emails, some of which I get points just for reading them. Recently I’ve been getting extra point offers for in-store Best Buy purchases. I printed out a personalized offer with a QR code, and showed it to the cashier at checkout. He scanned it, which put an identifying code on the receipt, which I scanned and sent to MyPoints for credit. For the purchases I made, I netted 2000 points, which is about $14 toward another gift card. (MyPoints credited the points very quickly after getting the receipt, so the responsiveness was nice.)
- Accessory discounts. I needed a few accessories like a tripod, memory cards, and case. Best Buy offered a 25% discount on accessories if I got three or more. So that was another $12.50 on equipment I would have needed anyway.
- Credit card rebate. Pretty much everything we buy with our Chase Sapphire card qualifies for at least 1% cash back. So about $3 back from this.
- Best Buy reward points. Almost forgot about these! Icing on the cake is about $3 in reward points. Yay!
In between saved-up rewards and other discounts triggered by the purchase, I spent about $132.50 less than I would have without the stacked discounts. I’ll call that a win. 🙂
How have you won with stacked rebates? Let me know in the comments!