July 24, 2014
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:
- Go through portal offering 10X at Kohl’s, and buy Kohl’s gift cards.
- Go through portal again to use gift cards.
- Stack 30% off coupon code, free shipping code, and Kohl’s Cash earnings.
- 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.
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.
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.