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.
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:
- 50 Southwest points per dollar!
- Gifting your way to a Southwest companion pass. Experiments in progress
- How to feed the hungry and fly for free
- A contest gone awry
- 30 points per dollar, but I’m still waiting for more
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.
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:
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:
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:
This is equivalent to a 25% discount if you spend exactly $39.99. Unfortunately, this is a one-time use deal.
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!
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!
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).
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…