Extreme savings at Kohl’s

For my wife’s last round of credit card sign-ups, I picked up a Kohl’s charge card in her name (see “My wife’s 305K churn“).  The reason for getting the card was simply to get access to the 30% off coupon codes that Kohl’s frequently offers only to charge card account holders.  And now, a 30% off code is available: Until Feb 20th, charge card holders can use the code CUPID30 for 30% off their entire order.  Here’s how to take maximum advantage of this discount…

Step 1: Buy Kohl’s gift cards

There are many ways to get extra points or cash back when buying Kohl’s gift cards.  Here are a few of the best options:

Credit Card Category Bonus

This is not the most lucrative of all options, but it’s probably the easiest.  Many stores, such as office supply stores, drug stores, grocery stores, etc. sell Kohl’s gift cards.  Use a card that offers extra points or cash back at such stores to buy Kohl’s gift cards (see “Best Category Bonuses“).  If you buy the gift cards at a grocery store, you may qualify for extra fuel points as well (see “What is a fuel point worth?“). 

A simple example is to use a Chase Ink card at Staples to buy the gift card.  Since the Chase Ink card offers 5 points per dollar at office supply stores, you will benefit immediately by buying Kohl’s gift cards there.

OfficeMax.com & Amex business cards

American Express business cards are automatically part of Amex’s OPEN Savings program.  One of the current offers in this program is that if you use your Amex business card online at OfficeMax.com you’ll automatically get 5% back for orders $250 and lower or 10% back for orders above $250.  OfficeMax.com now sells third party gift cards including Kohl’s gift cards, but with a 99 cent fee for each one.  The best deal here is to buy at least 3 $100 Kohl’s gift cards using an American Express business card.  That will cost you $302.97, but you’ll automatically get back $30.30.  So, your total cost will be $272.67 which is a 9.11% discount.

GiftCardGranny

GiftCardGranny.com is a site that aggregates data from a number of gift card resellers.  At the time of this writing, GiftCardGranny shows a number of resellers offering Kohl’s gift cards for 12% off.  Many of these are small denomination cards though.  It’s important to note that Kohl’s will only allow you to apply up to 4 gift cards to a single order.

You can sometimes bump up this discount a bit more by starting in a cash back portal.  For example, if GiftCardGranny identifies PlasticJungle as having the best price for Kohl’s gift cards, then you can go to TopCashBack and click through to PlasticJungle in order to get 2.5% back from the gift card purchase price which is, itself, sold at a discount.

Staples

Staples.com offers $50 and $100 Kohl’s gift cards via email with no extra fee.  I’ve had success buying these by going through TopCashBack to Staples for 5.5% cash back and then paying with my Chase Ink card to get 5 points per dollar.  Gift cards are usually delivered by email the next day after ordering.

Ultimate Rewards Mall

The Ultimate Rewards Mall usually offers 10 points per dollar for purchases made at Kohl’s.  The Terms and Conditions exclude gift card purchases, but some people have had luck getting points when buying gift cards anyway.  Different readers have had different results with this.  I’ve launched an experiment in which I bought a Kohl’s e-gift card and a Kohl’s physical gift card in separate transactions to see if either results in points from the Ultimate Rewards Mall.  I’ll report back once those results are in.

Bottom Line

If you you have a Chase Ink card, and you’re wiling to risk using TopCashBack (lots of people have reported frustration working with them), then I think 5.5% back plus 5X points is a great deal, especially since you can get the gift card by the next day via email.  Otherwise, look to GiftCardGranny for about 12% off the purchase price.

Step 2: Click through the Ultimate Rewards Mall

The Ultimate Rewards Mall currently offers 10 bonus points per dollar when shopping at Kohl’s.  You need a Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points to access this site (Chase Sapphire, Freedom, and Ink cards all qualify). 

  • Go to ultimaterewards.com/mall and log in with your Chase account.  If you have a Sapphire Preferred card, log into that account since points earned will qualify for the annual 7% dividend bonus.
  • Find Kohl’s and click through to shop.

The terms & conditions say “Not eligible on Kohl’s credit card sales made with coupon codes that are higher than 15%.”  However, many past experiments have shown that points are awarded even when using 20% and 30% off codes.  Of course, this could change at any time, so there’s always a risk of not earning points. 

Step 3: Buy stuff

Load up your cart with whatever you want to buy.  You can get free shipping by spending $75 or more, after discounts.  So, if you plan to use the 30% off coupon, you’ll have to load the cart with $107.15 or more worth of stuff in order to qualify for free shipping.

  • When you go to checkout, you need to first put in your Kohl’s charge card as the credit card for payment even though you don’t plan to use it.
  • Next, put in the coupon code (currently, CUPID30) for 30% off.
  • Then, enter up to four gift card codes and PINs to pay for the total.

 

Kohl’s Cash

Kohl’s is currently offering $10 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent.  This is a nice bonus, but you shouldn’t think of it as being worth $10.  Kohl’s cash is only valid for about two weeks.  Plus, it is always applied before discounts.  So, you cannot get 30% off the portion of your purchase paid for with Kohl’s cash.  Further, using Kohl’s cash can reduce the total to below the free shipping mark which would further reduce your savings.  People have also reported various issues with dealing with returns of items purchased with Kohl’s cash.  Overall, I think its best to think of Kohl’s cash as a nice bonus, but don’t factor it in to your overall savings.

Add it Up

Let’s assume that you successfully buy Kohl’s gift cards for 12% off, and that you successfully earn 10 points per dollar through the Ultimate Rewards Mall, and that you get 30% off your entire order.  The gift card discount comes after the 30% off discount so they combine to equal 38.4% off.  The 10X points from the Ultimate Rewards Mall are also based on the amount paid after the 30% discount, so if we treat Ultimate Rewards points as being worth just a penny each, this is like a 7% rebate.  So, in all, you can get 45.4% off everything at Kohl’s!  Personally, I value Ultimate Rewards points much higher than 1 cent each, though, so this deal is even better!

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. Another great analysis, FM! I’ve obtained more URs from Kohl’s than any other source, aside from signup bonuses. From coffee to clothes, the coupon codes make this store an easy and plentiful source of points!

  2. Still not worth it to me. Kohls is overpriced and offers coupons and sales to bring prices down to normal levels. While I enjoy the stores I seldom buy anything there because they are overpriced. Also the consumer store card hit on your fico isn’t worth it. Just open up an HFC or American general acct as well while your at it.

    I know some kohls fans will hate my comment but do some honest price comparisons and add your time dealing with kohls cash expirations before you hate me too much.

  3. Great Post, when I saw your post of “My wife’s 305K churn” planed to apply for khols card too, so yesterday I did my app o rama,
    -amex plat buz 100K approved
    -amex HH Surplus 60K approved
    -barclays NFL $400 cash back approved (applied this to pay for amex ($450 annual fee, cant afford $450 now)
    -Citi Hilton reserve approved
    -Citi Hilton reserve denied
    -barclays US air (review) i saw the active link of 10K bonus yesterday morning buy non when i was doing my app link dead 🙁
    -Khols charge card

  4. @DaninSTL, FM advised earlier that Khols prices are higher then others, so using the coupons bring it down to lower or normal price. So why not get 10X UR for something u need to buy.

  5. @ Adnan

    What card is this that you applied and where did you apply from?

    “amex plat buz 100K approved”

    Also the $400 credit from Barclays only applies to transactions on your statement, so be aware, as it is not the same as cash back.

  6. Great read, I enjoy reading your blog every day. I’ve got the rss feed, igoogle, and email so I don’t miss one.
    Your math is a little off though, here is an example.
    Original Purchase Price $1000
    30% off Sale Price $700
    Gift Card Original Price $700
    12% Discount Price $616
    You paid $616 for a $1000 item, so 1-616/1000 = 38.4% discount not 42%
    KT

  7. @Matt,
    Amex Buz 100K, targeted offer, on physical mail,
    $400 you dont really have to get cash back, you apply the credit to the statement for Purchase of VR Cards or PayPal Cash card, then use that fund to pay for $450 Amex fee.

  8. I am not getting my twitter post of your blog. They seemed to stop last week. Are others having similar issue? Kohl’s prices for the quality are fine with discounts. They have the largest line of boys clothing of the stores I go to–and so go regularly to buy my son’s clothes. The extra points make it even the better.

  9. kohl’s sucks. enjoy your 45% off shitty clothes and socks.
    and you have to wait in a dumbass line to return stuff.

    they should pay me to shop there.

  10. Good post, FM !
    Just some of my own experience, I have tried to used the ultimate reward link to make purchase from kohls.com for more than 10 times, but only there is only one time it has been counted into the reward. So, don’t count on that you can get any reward from UR, especially if you are using a 30% off coupon.

  11. New results just in: I mentioned in this post that I tried buying both a physical and an electronic Kohls gift card through the Ultimate Rewards Mall at Kohls.com to see if I’d get 10X points for either. As of today, 10X points have shown up for the physical gift card purchase, but not the e-gift card purchase. Its too soon to write off the e-gift card altogether, but it seems likely to be the case that physical gift cards result in points whereas e-gift cards at Kohls do not. This is, coincidentally, the same thing I’ve found recently at Sears.com.

  12. The UR page on Kohls states ” Not eligible on Kohl’s credit card sales made with coupon codes that are higher than 15%”

    FM, did you buy the physical gift cards using the Kohls card with 30% off?

    • Gabriel: No, you can’t get a discount when buying gift cards so I didn’t apply the coupon code. I paid with my Ink bold for the gift card.
      hustlehard: I bought the gift card on Monday and the points now show as pending under Ultimate Rewards … Rewards Activity… Ultimate Rewards Mall & Travel Earnings
      TW: I mentioned Kohls Cash in the post. I see it as a bonus but not a % off

  13. How long did it take to see the points post? I did two separate purchases on saturday, one with gift cards and one with my csp and haven’t seen either. Both were using a 20% code.

    • Dee Tee: You have to put in the Kohl’s charge card as your method of payment, but once you then also add enough gift card credit to pay for the whole thing, your charge card won’t be charged.
      ————————-
      Kevin F: I don’t know if you would get the physical gift cards in time for this particular promotion. I ordered my gift card on Monday and it has not arrived yet.

    • Johnycomeslately: Yes, you do have to pay sales tax (unless you have the stuff shipped to New Hampshire, Delaware, etc.)
      Lively: Yes to the first 10X, I’m waiting to see about the second 10X. I bought some things yesterday with the 30% off code and paid with gift cards. We’ll see whether I get portal points.

  14. I bought $270 worth of stuff through UR mall using CSP card on 2/6 with a 15% discount and did not receive the points.
    I bought $75 worth of stuff a few days later without using a chase card through the UR mall and did receive points. I had no discount code with this order, but I did use $50 in kohls cash.

  15. Ahhh how nice it is to live off Exit 1 in Washington (basically Oregon) and not have to pay sales tax.. is there a purchasing limit for the 30% off coupon?

  16. Actually, according to SM with chase, I would have earned UR points for $270 even with the 15% code. It’s just that apparently I didn’t go through the UR Mall. I don’t know if it’s a cookies thing or what, because I’m pretty positive I clicked through the UR mall.

  17. @grubor – You do not have to use your Kohl’s credit card for the purchase. You only need to have a Kohl’s credit card in your account selected as the payment type. Then when you check out, you use gift cards, and you still keep the 30% off coupon code savings. I’ve been doing it for years.

  18. I have received points for physical gift cards but not for electronic gift cards.

    Any time I receive Kohls cash, I purchase items in store and then just return them. You receive the refund on a merchandise credit. Then you can use it when you want and you will receive points for using it through the portal.

    Kohls return policy is also awesome. I was able to return a pair of shorts I never wore 14 months later.

    • @Corridor, I don’t know when you last did this at Kohl’s, but the policy has been changed and that no longer works. If you return something that was paid for with Kohl’s cash, the amount returned to you will only be your out of pocket cost. You will not receive the Kohl’s cash as a merchandise credit as you once did. The Kohl’s cash portion will be lost.

  19. Received a sm from chase and said no dice on points purchased with a greater than 15% coupon code. I returned 700 bucks worth of kohls merchandise 6 weeks ago purchased with kohls cash and received merchandise credit. Looks like the move is to buy physical gift cards for the points and hope they post.

  20. I’ve never used the American Express Open savings before and I was hoping you could help. If I buy $300 of gift cards from OfficeMax with my AE Business Platnium, do I have to go through the officeMax link on AMEX Open to get the 10% off or can I go through any portal (like ebates)?

    • Paul: the OPEN Savings are posted automatically as long as you meet the requirements (i.e. use an OPEN savings card to pay for a purchase at officemax.com). It’s OK to go through other portals to get there, but so far I haven’t had any luck getting OfficeMax to post cash back or points when buying gift cards.

  21. I just SM’ed Chase regarding 10200 missing UR points from the mall. I got an SM right back saying that they would show up in one to two billing cycles. No idea why it should take so long when typically it’s a matter of hours.

  22. On 2/9 I took advantage of the 20% off coupon + 20% back in rewards. I went through the UR mall and then used an Amex for the entire purchase price. The 10x points for the first of the three purchases just showed up this morning…keeping my fingers crossed for the other two purchases – both of those were 3x the size of the first purchase.

  23. I can say that I don’t remember the last time I did that. I know it was sometime late last year. I am glad you notified me of this change before I did this again.

    Thanks!

  24. Update: I just received notification that I earned 10X points for a purchase I made on Kohls.com through the UR Mall on Feb 14th. I paid 100% with gift cards and I used a 30% off coupon. Success! The only part of the order that did not earn points was the sales tax (as expected).

  25. @Andrew–how were you able to use your Amex with the 20% off? I see how you could have used a giftcard, but it seems like using an Amex would have made the coupon invalid.

  26. @Lori- the coupon code I used was a store-wide code that I’m assuming was emailed to all people on their email list. I am not a Kohl’s card holder.

    My 2nd and 3rd (final) batches of points showed up this morning.

  27. Do you get the CSP 7% bonus on UR mall points as well? So if I spend $100 at Kohls and got 10 UR points, will I get the 7% bonus on those points?

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