Buy.com 20X!

image_thumb9

Sweet!  One of my September lab experiments has paid off handsomely.  I now have evidence that its possible to double dip at Buy.com for 20X!  Before I tell you how, lets take a quick look at what has gone before…

  • In the post “Ultimate Rewards Mall September Edition,” I mentioned that Chase Ink cardholders can get 10X at Buy.com in the month of September through the Ultimate Rewards Mall.  I also mentioned that early in the year a reader had reported receiving points for purchasing merchant gift cards at Buy.com.  I promised to repeat that experiment this month.
  • In the post “September experiments in progress,” I described how I launched an experiment testing whether a merchant gift card purchase (a Marriott gift card) made through Buy.com would result in 10X points.

Experiment 1 Success

In the post “Buy.com experiment success,” I showed that the purchase of merchant gift cards (Home Depot, Marriott, OfficeMax, etc.) did indeed result in points!  This was despite Buy.com’s T&C in the Ultimate Rewards Mall (bolding is mine):

Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents. Purchases paid by check, or method other than a credit card, are not eligible. Wireless Plan, purchases made through Buy.com Canada, music downloads, and purchases made from other stores operated by third parties that may be accessible from Partner’s site are not eligible.

I also mentioned that I would start a new experiment: “I plan one more Buy.com experiment.  I will buy a Buy.com gift card to see if I get points, then I’ll use that gift card to buy a merchant gift card (e.g. Home Depot, Marriott, or OfficeMax) to see if I get points again.

Experiment 2 Failure

For the second experiment, I went through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Buy.com and bought a Buy.com gift certificate for myself (sent via email).  Shortly after I made the purchase, a reader named Bob wrote the following comment:

Not sure if you already started your experiment with purchasing Buy.com GCs to then buy merchant GCs, but it won’t work. I tried doing the same thing and Buy.com will NOT let you purchase a gift card with a buy.com gift card. However, if you were going to purchase something else from Buy.com, a double-dip may work. I did receive Super Points for the buy.com gift card purchase.

Sure enough, as Bob said, when I tried to use my Buy.com gift card to buy a merchant gift card, the system wouldn’t allow it.  And, unlike Bob, I didn’t receive any Buy.com Super Points for the gift card purchase.  So, I decided to do a new experiment as Bob suggested.  I would use my gift card to buy merchandise to see if a double-dip would work.

Experiment 3 Success

Once again, I went through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Buy.com.  This time I used my Buy.com gift card to buy merchandise.  Six days later, I checked my Ultimate Rewards Mall earnings (here’s how) and found that I had received 10X points for both the purchase of the gift card and the use of the gift card!  That means that I earned 20X for my purchase!  Buy.com also gives 1% back in the form of “Super Points”.  I received Super Points for my merchandise purchase, but not for my gift card purchase.

So, to summarize, I bought a Buy.com gift certificate and earned 10X points through the Ultimate Rewards Mall.  Then, I went through the mall a second time to use the gift certificate (to buy merchandise) and I earned 10X points again.

Finding Buy.com Gift Cards

It wasn’t easy to find where to buy Buy.com gift cards.  When I used Buy.com’s search feature to look for “gift cards” it only pulled up other merchant gift cards.  Finally, I found a way to find Buy.com gift cards:

1. Hover over the “Wine, Gourmet, Gifts” menu, then select “Gift Cards”:

image

2. On the Gift Cards page, look for the menu on the left as shown below and click “Buy.com Gift Cards”:

image

3. You should now be on the page labeled “Purchasing a gift certificate”:

image

Caution

When buying through shopping portals, there is always a risk that points won’t get tracked correctly.  In this case, if that happens, it may be impossible to get help from Chase since the Terms & Conditions seem to exclude gift cards. Consider this risk before jumping in.  Also see “How to ensure your portal points” for advice on how to better your odds.


Follow me on Twitter / Like me on Facebook / Find me on Google+


If you are new to collecting miles, click here for the free newsletter
If you are new to Frequent Miler, start here

Pingbacks

Comments

    • MidTierStatus: Thanks!

      fauxblogger: I used my Chase Ink to buy the gift card, but since the second purchase was made 100% with a gift card and still received points, I don’t think a Chase card is needed for either part. So, yes, you could pump this up to 25% with the “One card to rule them all” trick.

  1. Miler, as always, great work. Nice to see you finding another excellent deal. For some reason, I think I may be buying some Marriott gift cards for my 3 Marriott stays in 3 nights coming up in Seattle in November….(not to mention I platinum challenged thanks to you….) So, on that trip, I will complete 4 stays, giving me 2 free nights, and I will 10X the whole thing. (Well, actually more since I will use my secret card maxing Hilton Honors points at 6X) Excellent!

  2. Hi Miler, thanks for your work. So does the merchandise you bought from buy.com with its gift certificate to get 10x points has to be sold by buy.com? The merchandise sold by the third party or store which is not buy.com would not qualify for the 10x points, right?

  3. To my experience, buy.com is the most famous evil to reject CB, I think FrequentMiler’s experiment works on small amount purchase, but need to confirm that on big amount purchase, I know buy.com always checks big cb manully and turns to be an evil.

  4. Thanks for the experiment! Can you clarify if you used the entire gift card for the merchandise purchase or did you end up using your chase card the second time too? for example, if I want to buy a merchandise for $110. I go and buy $100 worth of buy.com GC. Then when I do use the GC to buy my $110 merchandise, will ultimate rewards only give me 10x $10 for the amount that I actually swiped the Chase card for?

    Thanks!

  5. James: I don’t think so

    Kevlar: the item I bought was listed as “Ships from/sold by DealYard”

    pointsmachine: thanks for the warning about large purchases. My purchases were in the $100 range FYI

  6. So judging from the comments, it would seem this probably isn’t a safe option for large purchases, even if you purchase a gift card amount that can cover the purchase in full?

    • Austin and leftpinky: I think that the safest route (until we know whether large purchases are OK) would be to buy a bunch of smaller gift certificates (say $100 or $200 each). They work like Amazon gift certificates in that you can apply them to your account independently from buying anything. Then, once you have enough credit built up, use the credit to make your large purchase. Hopefully you’ll get a combined 20X. Do note Fred Fnord’s caution though: you don’t get an extended warranty or price protection that you would get when buying with a good credit card.

      Fred Fnord: Thanks for the reminder. I usually do caution about that, but I forgot for this double dip!

  7. Crap!! I just made a 200+ purchase last night and I forgot to use the double dip technique!!! I need to be more discipline and more focus.

  8. You might want to point out to your readers that there’s another potential problem with double dipping in this manner: when you buy something with a gift card, you no longer have the consumer protections that you have when buying with a credit card. This is not USUALLY a problem, but it’s something to think about. (You also don’t get, for example, the extended warrantee that most credit cards give you, etc.)

  9. FM–according to the T&Cs, it seems buying a Macbook from a third party seller will no get the 20x points? I would imagine it would still get the 10x to buy the gift card, but can you use the gift card to buy the comp?

    Thanks and keep up the great work.

  10. FM –
    How long does it take for the GC to be e-mailed? Made a e-GC purchase yesterday afternoon and still have not received via e-mail.

  11. I followed some of the links on buy.com to see if the merchants would honor the gift card, one I contacted )nitro-pak.com)
    did not even know about buy.com affiliation

  12. Hey Miler, what do you buy at buy.com wl gift certificate? I’m thinking about that something can be easily sold at Amazon or eBay. Any hints/ideas? Thank you.

  13. JW: it took about a day. I was contacted by phone to confirm the order before they would send it

    Mikey: you need to buy items that can be purchased on the buy.com website (even though the site often says the item is shipped and sold by someone else)

    Andy F: I’m sure there are great opportunities to buy/sell but I haven’t had a chance to try to find good deals yet

  14. In your experience, is the Buy.com double dip cost-dependent like with Sears? That is, small purchases with Sears GC double dipping seem to go through without problems, but larger ones (>$1K) seem to be reviewed or otherwise delay the posting of UR points. Is this the same with Buy.com?

  15. FM, I bought $200 Home Depot GC @ buy.com thru UR shopping portal on 9/16 and paid using my Ink Bold. I used IE and Windows 7. I was very careful in doing the click to make sure that I received my points. I even saved the screenshots. Until now, 9/20, the points for $200 HD GC haven’t posted yet. However, on the same day, 9/16, I purchased some stuff (about $25) from KOHLS thru UR shopping portal and the points were already posted eventhough I used my KOHL’S card not Chase Freedom. I used other computer (Firefox) for KOHLS’ purchase. Should I worry about my Home Depot GC $200 and contact Chase? Is it better thru SM or calling them? Thanks!

  16. Sorry, I just checked my KOHLS’ purchase. Actually I used the same computer (Windows 7 & IE) for KOHLS’ purchase as for Home Depot GC purchase. I mistakenly thought of other orders that I used my other computer (Firefox).

  17. There’s a “Shop Owner’s Day” where you get 10% in their points for today only.

    Was thinking of getting my wife a Rolex. $3880 less 20% from Ink Double Dip 5% from Amex Prepaid and 10% in Buy.com points comes to $2522 for a $4850 watch. Shipped out of Jomashop.com.

    Unfortunately dont see any confirmation of large ticket purchases on here. Also, can confirm the 10% buy.com points would work in this case. Would I get the 10% from the GC purchase? Or from the Watch purchase with all GC and no CC?

    Too much risk.

    • sam: i think that if you can add it to your cart on the buy.com website you should be able to pay with a gift card (unless you’re buying a gift card). Try it out first: add the item to your cart and try to checkout and see if there is an option to apply a gift card to the order.

  18. Thanks so much for your dedication and experimentation for the rest of us!

    I’m in the process of doing this now. Step 1 done, gc bought!

  19. Just showed my wife the watch. She likes it :(
    unfortunately that Shop Owner deal was yesterday only and I’m just too nervous to buy almost 4K in GCs and attempting for a double dip with Chase using Amex Prepaid followed by a 10% Shop Owner, though 35% off would have been amazing!

  20. I bought buy.com e-GC on 9/20, until today (9/22), 2 days later, I haven’t received it yet. I contacted them to call me right now but never did. I finally emailed them and waiting for the response. What’s going on with buying buy.com e-GC. Why does it take so long?

  21. Strange set up at buy.com

    I bought a $1k cert to get the points, got the cert and proper codes by email.

    when I went to buy some items ( near $1k) I get this message


    Your gift certificate was not located in our system. Please verify that you entered the correct certificate number and claim code. If you need further assistance, please contact Customer Support.”

    I hope I did not waste my $1k just for a few points

  22. Hi frequent flier,
    I’ve done some independent, amateur travel hacking for awhile, but I just discovered your website yesterday, and I was impressed with the information you provide. Thanks very much!
    Yesterday, I also signed up for the Ink Bold card (via your link), but I’m a little worried about making the 10,000 within 3 months. I found your terrific post about making minimum spending, but I had 2 questions:

    1. Could I buy a staples, office max, or buy.com card and use it to make payments through Amazon Payments? I work abroad, so–until my Christmas holiday–I’m unable to buy physical cards a Office Max. In the meantime, I hope I can buy some cards online, although it seems that some of these deals may have closed?? And luckily there’s no 3% fee, so I’ll be able to use the Ink Bold in Singapore.

    2. Is there a chance that Amazon would shut down my account if I made four monthly payments of $1000 each? I would have the receiving party write me a check, instead of transferring the money back to me via Amazon Payments.

    • Amy: If you buy Visa, MC, or Amex gift cards online then yes you can use Amazon Payments to spend them. Be careful in that Amazon Payments will hold $1 first so to cash out a $100 card, you would need to send someone $99 for the payment to go through. At least, that’s been my experience. Staples is the only online merchant I know of where you can still buy gift cards and get both Ultimate Rewards portal points and Ink Bold 5X points. They do charge extra fees though so make sure to factor those in. Regarding $1K per month via Amazon payments. Based on my experience, you should be fine with that.

  23. @pas, how long did it take you to receive your e-GC from buy.com? I ordered the e-GC buy.com last Thursday and until now, I haven’t received the e-GC yet. I have called them and emailed them twice.

  24. I just want to update on my purchase of a big amount giftcard. I went through Ultimate Reward portal for Ink card and bought 1000 giftcard for buy.com. Today 10/07/12 I got an email from Chase saying I have earned 10,000 UR points. Score. Oh, and I use my Amex starwood to pay for the giftcard, so this confirms you dont have to pay with your Chase card. Love this deal. Thanks Frequent Miler.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>