July 18, 2012
JC Penney gift cards are readily available through gift card resellers for 25% off (or more). This is a nice, easy way to get an automatic 25% savings on all JCP purchases. If you’re willing to order online, though, you can do even better. Currently, the Chase Freedom card offers an extra 10 points per dollar for JCP purchases when you start your shopping within the Ultimate Rewards Mall (just until then end of July). Similarly, ShopAtHome currently offers 10% cash back when you start your JCP shopping within their portal.
With some merchants, points or cashback are not awarded when you pay with gift cards. However, I’ve recently received confirmation that both of the portals I mentioned do work with JCP purchases made with gift cards! Through the Ultimate Rewards Mall, HikerT made 100% of his purchase using gift cards and he used a free shipping coupon code, and he received all of the expected points. Through ShopAtHome, a reader named Steve made most of his purchase with gift cards and small percentage with a credit card. He received the full 10% cash back.
Step by Step
If you’re in the market for JCP stuff, do the following:
- Estimate the total price of all items you plan to buy (including taxes)
- Go to GiftCardGranny.com to find a gift card reseller with cards who’s value add up to the amount you plan to spend. I’ve had good luck buying from both Cardpool and PlasticJungle. I haven’t tried any of the others.
- If buying from Cardpool or PlasticJungle, start at TopCashBack and click through to the appropriate reseller. This will give you 2% to 4% in extra savings!
- Buy the gift cards you need to cover your purchase. If you plan to order online, you may find it easier (and faster) to order e-gift cards. I don’t know whether e-gift cards from JCP can be used in-store.
- When you are ready to make a purchase, log on to either the Ultimate Rewards Mall or ShopAtHome, then click through to JCP.
- Within JCP’s website, pick out what you need and then pay with your gift card(s).
Add it up
With the gift cards, you save 25% off of the total purchase (including taxes!). With the portals, you get back 10% of the pre-tax total. As an example, in a state with 6% sales tax, your tax-included savings would come to 34.4% (or more if you value Ultimate Rewards points higher than 1 cent each). You could save even more if you buy your gift cards after clicking through from TopCashBack.
If you’re in the market for clothes, furniture, housewares, etc. this can be a great way to stack discounts for big savings especially if you find items in which JCP already has a competitive price!