Kohl’s savings and cash back

Kohl’s used to be an awesome option for earning points and miles.  In March, 2013, when I challenged myself to earn a million points and miles in a month, I earned hundreds of thousands of points from Kohl’s.  The trick was as follows:

  1. Go through portal offering 10X at Kohl’s, and buy Kohl’s gift cards.
  2. Go through portal again to use gift cards.
  3. Stack 30% off coupon code, free shipping code, and Kohl’s Cash earnings.
  4. Resell purchased items using the Fulfillment by Amazon service.

Through the portal double dip I earned at least 21 points per dollar (1 point or more from my credit card and 2 X 10 points from the portal).  And, through the discounts and Kohl’s Cash, I was able to buy items cheaply enough that I actually earned a profit even after accounting for Amazon seller fees.  It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t problem-free, but it was lucrative. 

Since that time, a lot has changed.  Kohl’s is no longer consistently available through portals for 10 points per dollar earnings.  And, from my most recent tests, it appears that Kohl’s no longer pays out portal points or cash back for purchases of gift cards.  On the plus side, Kohl’s has recently increased the number of promo codes that can be used in each order from 2 to 4.

Given the above changes, buying from Kohl’s can still be profitable, but now mostly through savings and cash earnings rather than through earning huge numbers of points.  Here’s how:

Buy Kohl’s gift cards

Even though it’s seemingly no longer possible to earn portal points from buying Kohl’s gift cards, it still makes sense to buy them when you can get them at a discount or to earn rewards.  Here are a few options:

  • Buy from a reseller at a discount.  Search Raise.com and GiftCardGranny.com for Kohl’s gift cards.  You should be able to find cards at a discount of more than 6% off the card’s face value. 
  • Buy from a grocery store that offers extra fuel points for gift card purchases.  Also, pay with a credit card that offers a good category bonus at grocery stores.
  • Buy from an Office Supply store and pay with a credit card that earns extra points at Office Supply stores (e.g. Chase Ink or Amex SimplyCash). 

Keep in mind that Kohl’s limits you to four gift cards per order, so it may not make sense to buy small value cards.

Get a Kohl’s charge card

The advantage of the Kohl’s charge card is that it gives you access to the best coupon codes.  For example, 30% off codes are generally available every few weeks, but they only work for Kohl’s charge card holders.

Find the best portal

Use the best online portal you can find and click through to buy merchandise.  Often Kohl’s is available for as much as 10% cash back.  I recommend using CashBackMonitor to find the best option.

Stack savings

Now that Kohl’s allows 4 coupon codes per order, its possible to stack 30% off codes, free shipping codes, $15 off $50 codes (or $10 off $30), and department specific codes (such as $10 off $50 in the home department).  In most cases, these codes apply even to sale and clearance items, so it’s possible to get huge savings.  Stackable codes available at the time of this writing include:

  • LUCKYU (through 8/2): $15 off $50 or more; or URSPECIAL (through 8/2): $10 off $30 or more.
  • POOLSIDE (through 7/28): 25% off everything with Kohl’s charge card;
  • SUMMERFUN20 (through 7/26): 20% off select Women’s and Juniors Summer tops, bottoms, dresses and swimwear
  • KIDS15 (through 8/2): 15% off Kids back to school Essentials.
  • HOMESALE10 (through 8/2): $10 off $50 in the home department.
  • LUGGAGE50 (through 8/2): $50 off $200 for select luggage items.

For more details about these codes, please see this SlickDeals page.

Checking out with gift cards

Some codes can only be applied if you pay with your Kohl’s charge card.  That said, you don’t really have to pay with the card if you have gift cards.  The trick is to select your Kohl’s charge card as your form of payment, but then apply enough gift cards to cover the entire order.

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. In the past I was able to pay with Kohls Gift Cards and still get 30% off the order as long as I had a Kohls credit card.

    On my last purchase a few days ago I needed to have at least a portion of the purchase on my Kohls credit card to get the discount. The website would give me an error when trying to pay for the whole purchase with Kohls GC’s and still trying to get 30% off.

    The best way to circumvent this is to have low value Kohls GC denominations thus keeping as little on the Kohls credit card as possible.

    • I was able to pay 100% of the total today with a cardholder only 25% off code (and a few others) without a problem. So, if what you encountered is a new rule, it might be hard coded only to specific coupon codes.

  2. Kohls is a ripoff so I’m glad you found a way to benefit from them.

    If you go through a shopping portal do you have trouble when stacking the codes also? In my experience with the shopping portals they will void the miles or points many times when also using coupon codes.

  3. From my experience, I would highly recommend to NOT do this. I spent way more time working with Customer Service than it was worth.

    I had orders cancel and it’s really, really, really time consuming to try to get GC credit back from them. Most cancelled orders took multiple calls AND emails to customer service, and I still have outstanding GCs from months ago!

    Buyers Beware!

  4. Since Staples no longer paying out for online orders through portals, do we still get the 5% from ink if we order egift cards from staples?

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