Increasing rewards beyond 50X

Last month 1800Flowers ran a promotion that made it possible to earn 50 Southwest Rapid Rewards points per dollar with each order.  This was exciting for a number of reasons including the fact that these points count towards a Southwest Companion Pass (which requires earning 110,000 points in one calendar year).  In fact, the promotion was so good that I argued that it could make sense for people to order from 1800Flowers even if they didn’t care about the actual flowers.  And I published a process by which people could donate fruit and nuts to a food charity so as to do some good in the process.  Unfortunately, the 50X deal expired prematurely so now we’re left with 30X at best (really 33X) or we will have to wait for the next 50X deal to appear.

FruitBasket

Its important to note that 1800Flowers is better for mileage collectors than other flower merchants since 1800Flowers has its Passport program.  For $29.99 a year, you get unlimited free shipping.  This alone can make the difference between a mile-earning deal being worth doing or not.

While 50 points per dollar was awesome, I wanted more.  Towards that end, I started a number of experiments to see if it was possible to increase rewards further.  I’m predicting that we’ll see the 50X offer (1500 points for any order of $29.99 or more) return by Valentine’s Day 2015.  So, it’s worth investigating ways to take advantage of it if or when it comes back…

Current promo code offers

I’m aware of the following current worthwhile promo code offers for 1800Flowers:

  • RR22: Earn 1000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points per order
  • RR59: Earn 30 Southwest Rapid Rewards points per dollar
  • RR60: Earn 30 Southwest Rapid Rewards points per dollar
  • AKA3: Earn 30 Alaska Mileage Plan miles per dollar

What has gone before

In case you’ve missed any of the posts in the continuing 1800Flowers saga, or you simply want a reminder, here are my recent posts on this topic:

Increasing rewards

There are a number of ways to increase points per dollar earned from a promotion like this.  Most options involve reducing out of pocket costs.  Here’s a simple example: pay for your order with an Amex business card that gives you an automatic 5% rebate at 1800Flowers (thanks to the Amex OPEN Savings program). By doing this, a $29.99 order (which was the minimum order amount for the now expired 1500 point promo) would cost you a bit less: $28.49.  At this price, the 1500 bonus points earned equate to 52.65 points per dollar.  Without the 5% rebate you would have earned 50 points per dollar.  So, by simply paying with a card that offers a 5% rebate, we can increase rewards by almost 3 points per dollar.

Portals

In the past, when I’ve gone through an online portal to 1800Flowers and then also used a promo code to get points, I earned the points from the promo code, but not from the portal.  More specifically, the portal bonus initially posted, but was later reversed out.  Since portals are a potentially lucrative option for reducing costs, I re-ran this experiment with a couple of portals.  So far, this time around, the portal rewards have stuck:

AAdvantage eShopping:

1800Flowers_AAPortal_Confirmed

FatWallet:

1800Flowers_FatWallet_CashBack

I still think there’s a good chance that these rewards will be clawed back.  If not, this will be a great way to increase rewards.  Here’s a glimpse of the best portal rewards for 1800Flowers as of yesterday:

1800FlowersPortals

By going through the AAdvantage eShopping portal, we can increase our rewards by 8 miles per dollar.  Or, by getting 20% cash back, with the 1500 points per order offer (if it ever comes back) we can increase our rewards by 12.53 points per dollar:

  • Original cost: $29.99
  • After 20% rebate: $23.99
  • With 1500 points promo, points per dollar = 1500 / $23.99 = 62.53 points per dollar

With the current 30 points per dollar offer (RR59 or RR60), we can increase our rewards by 7.5 points per dollar:

  • Original cost: $100 (for example)
  • After 20% rebate: $80
  • Points per dollar = 3000 / $80 = 37.5 points per dollar

Credit card rebates

Another great way to reduce costs is to use credit cards that offer automatic rebates at 1800Flowers.  Discover, Amex, and even Chime Card offer periodic or regular rebates of this sort.  While I’ve only tested the Amex options so far, there’s no reason that they wouldn’t all work.

5% OPEN Savings: Earn a 5% rebate via the Amex OPEN Savings program by paying with an Amex business card.

Amex Offers: Amex periodically has “Offers for You” in which they’ll give you $15 back for $50 cumulative spend with 1800Flowers.  This amounts to a healthy 30% discount if you spend exactly $50.  While this is a one-time use deal, it could be scalable if the deal appears on multiple Amex cards.

Discover: Via my Discover It card, I see the following deal by going to Discover Deals:

image

This is equivalent to a 25% discount if you spend exactly $39.99.  Unfortunately, this is a one-time use deal.

Gift cards

It’s often possible to buy 1800Flowers gift cards at a substantial discount.  If nothing else, I’ve found many times that clicking through from a portal to 1800Flowers and buying physical gift cards does result in portal rewards.  Here’s the catch: when I try to use a gift card and a promo code on the same order, the system doesn’t allow it.  Here is what I reported before:

In a test purchase, I first tried entering the promo code, and it was accepted (and clearly showed 1500 bonus points), but when I added a gift card the promo code stuff went away. I then tried re-adding the promo code, but it wouldn’t let me until I removed the gift card.

The weird thing is that I have used a combination of gift cards and promo codes in the past.  So, now I’m left wondering if the restriction is specific to certain types of gift cards (mine was ordered online directly from 1800Flowers and received by mail) and/or certain promo codes.

I think it is worth exploring these combinations to see what works.  If readers have any recent experience with this, please chime in!

Fresh Rewards

By joining the 1800Flowers Fresh Rewards program, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar for each order and you’ll get a $20 Savings Pass for every 200 points earned.  This amounts to a 10% rebate towards future purchases if you spend in exactly $200 increments.

Here’s the surprising thing: yesterday I was able to apply a $20 Fresh Reward certificate along with promo code RR22 (1000 Southwest points per order) for a $30 purchase.

Assuming this works, let’s do some math…

  • For each $30 order, the code RR22 offers 1000 points.  That’s equivalent to 33.33 points per dollar.
  • Suppose we place 20 orders of $30 each.  Total cost would be $600 and we would earn 20,000 points and $60 in Fresh Rewards.
  • Next, lets place two more $30 orders and use the Fresh Rewards for payment.  We should earn 2,000 more points with no extra cost.
  • Total points earned: 22,000.  Total cost: $600.
  • Points per dollar: 36.67

So, in this example, the Fresh Rewards rebate adds 3.34 points per dollar to our total.  That’s not huge, but we’ll take it!

Shop Your Way Rewards

Sears / Kmart has a rewards program called Shop Your Way Rewards (SYWR).  One of the odd things about the program is that they have partners with which you can earn extra Shop Your Way Rewards points simply by shopping with a linked credit card.  Currently they’re offering 40% back in SYWR points when shopping at 1800Flowers!

image

The only downside is that you can only link Visa or MasterCard credit cards. So, you can’t stack this deal with Amex or Discover deals.

I’m currently running a few experiments to see what combinations of deals can be stacked with this offer (e.g. can you stack promo codes and/or portal rewards?)

Points earned in this way can’t really be thought of as a discount off your costs, but they should be thought of as additional rewards earned.  SYWR points can be used to buy almost anything at Sears or Kmart (but not gift cards).

Taxes

Another way to lower your cost when buying from 1800Flowers is to donate the stuff you buy to a charitable organization.  In that way, if you get a gift receipt, you can claim the deduction on your taxes.  Ideally you would be sending items that the charity actually wants.  For details, please see “How to feed the hungry and fly for free”.

Put it all together

We’re still putting together the pieces to see which of the above deals stack with the others.  I don’t think it would be unrealistic to cut costs in half with the above techniques.  If so, that would turn a 30X deal into a 60X deal.  And, when we see 1500 points per order again, we could be looking at up to 100 points per dollar by stacking opportunities.

More to come…

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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  1. Another savings to add is sometimes PayPal sends emails that if you pay for 1-800-Flowers with PayPal, you receive an additional $15 off with no minimum purchase. Not truly scalable but between my wife’s account and mine, that’s 2 orders I take $15 off and still pay via credit card through PayPal (albeit without the 5% Open savings for example since the vendor will be appear as PayPal)

  2. I’m not sure what you mean by “spend in exactly $200 increments” regarding fresh rewards, which are now listed as “celebration rewards” for me. On 11/29 I placed 13 orders. They were tripling the points that day, however, though my activity shows 13 entries of 90 points, there is also 13 entries of 0 and my total is 107 points as of today.

    • With normal rewards earnings (not 3X), at $200 spend you should get a $20 certificate. If your spend doesn’t finish up in $200 increments, you’ll have Fresh Rewards points left over. They’re not worth anything until you get to the next $200 threshold

      • I just enter that code RR29 and it accepted just didn’t say how many points I would earn?
        Should I just place order and hope for 1750 points to post or Is there a way to know beforehand how many will post?

  3. fYI – I did not receive Rapid Reward points for purchases made with the Fresh Rewards certificates, even though I entered a Southwest promo code at time of purchase. I made two or three of these orders – no points. But can’t be too disappointed. 1,750 points per $30 order + free shipping + Fresh Rewards certificates for free stuff.

  4. @frequentmiler
    -interesting, but isnt it likely that one (or more) of the entities (800flowers, portal) involved will not pay the bonuses when you scale this approach?

  5. Sorry if I missed this in one of your many awesome posts on this topic (!!!) … but do we know for sure if purchases (and deliveries) made between now & year-end will show up as counting towards the Companion Pass for 2014 or 2015 (given that it takes some time – 6-8 weeks?) for the points to show up? Thanks in advance for replies!

  6. Thanks for all this research…

    I sent a few gifts to family and friends via 1800Flowers the other day. The Southwest 1000 pt code worked for flowers and a Godiva gift basket. It did NOT work for Harry & David fruit. That was a bummer as I was sending 7 $29.99 boxes of pears to extended family around the country. Still, free shipping and 20% cash back on all of it is pretty nice!

    I used my Amex Business Platinum. I’ll see if I get the Open rebate.

    • cool.
      -so how many points did you earn & how much $ did you spend after the 20% cash back?
      -800 flowers is clearly overpriced.. how much would it have cost if you used the lowest-priced competitor?
      thanks

    • When you say that the code did not work for Harry & David fruit, do you mean that it didn’t allow you to apply the code at checkout or that it did appear to apply the code but you never got the miles?

  7. How will the promo codes work. I am looking to MS Alaska miles. If I am using the AKA3 code, should I start from the Mileage Plan portal and then go to 1800flowers, use the code at the time of ordering?
    I do quite a bit of MS, but never did the 1800Flowers way.
    If anyone can explain that helps. TIA!!!

    • Go through any portal to 1800Flowers, pick out flowers (or whatever), then when checking out enter the AKA3 promo code. It might say that the promo code can’t be applied in which case you’ll have to select a different item. If you’re lucky you’ll get to a screen where they give you a link to click to see items that are qualified for promo codes.

  8. My problem with 1800flowers is that the flowers they’ve sent are generally inferior. A couple years ago, I started using FTD.com through the AA portal, and have consistently gotten better merchandise. Miles aren’t everything, esp. if this is supposed to be a romantic gift…..

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