Kohls gift card updates

Did you buy gift cards when Kohls.com accidentally allowed discount codes to be applied?  Are you thinking of buying Kohl’s gift cards (maybe to take advantage of the Amex Sync offer: spend $50, get $10 back)?  In either case, here are some things you need to know…

$100 limit

I’ve written before that beginning in mid-August, Kohls.com seemed to be flakey.  The net result is that, I believe you can still earn portal points or cash back when buying physical gift cards (but not e-gift cards), but you need to know this:

  • Physical gift card orders over $100 do not credit to portals correctly.  Some have reported getting around this by putting multiple gift cards of different types in their cart, but I don’t have any proof that this works.  My recommendation is to always limit your gift card orders to $100 or less.  If you plan to make multiple purchases, make sure to go through the portal each time.
  • If you do not get portal points or cash back, there’s nothing much you can do.  When portal terms say “not valid on gift cards” (as most do with Kohls), you may still earn portal points, but if things go wrong you’re very unlikely to get help from customer support.  Most portals are mostly reliable, but shopping through portals is always a gamble.  Many things can go wrong, both on your end and on theirs.  With orders that meet the terms & conditions you can often get help by contacting the portal’s support team.  With something like this, though, you’re stuck.
  • The ability to earn points / cash back from portals for gift card purchases can change at any time.  One reader recently reported via the Frequent Miler Laboratory that he didn’t get points when buying Kohl’s gift cards.  Has the deal died already?  Most likely this was just a glitch, but it is something to keep in mind when gambling on buying gift cards.

Kohl’s 30% off gift cards glitch: don’t use/gift those cards!

In early November, through my Quick Deals page, I posted “A gift card price mistake!”  At Kohls.com, it was possible that weekend to apply 15% to 30% off discount codes to holiday gift cards (normally, no discounts apply to gift card orders).  On Monday morning, Kohl’s promptly cancelled all of those orders.  Afterwards, though, most people received the gift cards in the mail anyway.  If this happened to you, there are a few things you need to know:

  • Gift cards from cancelled orders have zero balance.  Sure, the note with the card may say that it’s worth $100, but it is most likely actually empty.  Go to Kohls.com to verify the balance of these cards. Don’t send these as gifts!
  • If you used Kohl’s gift cards to buy these gift cards, call to get your credit back.  If you used a credit card to pay, the charge most likely never went through all the way.  If you used a Kohl’s gift card to pay (something that’s not usually possible, but was possible that weekend), that gift card probably was not re-credited.  Find the order number and call Kohl’s to get your credit back.
  • If you went through an online portal to place these orders…  Congratulations.  Enough said.

30% off for Kohl’s cardholders: December 10-24

Every few weeks, Kohl’s runs a new promotion.  The latest one starts today.  If you’re a Kohl’s charge cardholder, use discount code XMAS30 for 30% off.  No, I don’t think it will work for buying gift cards Smile.

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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17 Comments on "Kohls gift card updates"

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I was going to buy a $1K GC from Kohls until I saw your post a while ago. I ended up buying them in $100 increments (I did not go in for the discounted mistake). You really saved me a lot grief, FM.


When the “discount on gift cards you can buy with gift cards” thing hit, I was at a museum with my family. So, I bought one from my phone. Couldn’t get the portal to work on my phone, so I just went straight to the retailer, figuring a $100 for $70 was enough of a good deal. Of course, my order was cancelled, I had to call to get my gift card credited back from the cancelled purchase, and I didn’t go through a portal so, got no points. Win some, lose some. 🙂


ugh-I am still fighting this one. For some reason they decided to zero out ALL of the gift cards I had purchased online in the past month (not just the 1 order i placed with the 30% off). It has now been 2 weeks since I had first called them on the issue and they still have yet to put the money back on my gift cards that I have already paid for even though they keep saying that it will be done any day now.


I bought $300 in physical gift cards on 11/04/2013 going through the UR portal and the points posted fine. They were 3x$100 of the same gift card.


“No, I don’t think it will work for buying gift cards.”

/Jim Carrey
…so you’re saying there’s a chance!?!


I bought $1100 in gift cards during that fiasco and of course they all came in the mail empty. Like you said though the portal points are still there! A nice little bonus!


Datapoint: bought $100 physical gc on 12/2 and ur points hit successfully on 12/5. Still waiting on the actual gc tho.


Still hurting after the month where points did not post properly. 🙁


On 11/12 went through UR portal and bought a $100 physical gift card. Used 15% discount code. Order went through but canceled two days later. Received the card in mail with 0 balance. On 11/15 went a second time through UR portal for $100 physical card without discount code. Received card. Neither transaction posted UR points.


An unrelated question: did you receive the 2000 easy AAdvantage miles (https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2013/09/11/2000-easy-aadvantage-miles-for-everyone/) ?
I only got 1000 miles, and a customer service associate responded to my inquiry: Please be advised that the 2000 miles offer was only valid for new registered members and lapsed member who didn’t had activities in the last 6 months before the day of the promotion, unfortunately, existing members prior the date of the promotional e-mail only will receive 1000 miles, when spending a minimum of $35 during this promotion.


Kohls is sooo overpriced and the clothing they sell is not that appealing to begin with.

Do you sell those gift cards on eBay?


Have anyone successfully placed an order the last couple of days? I always get ‘there is an error to commit the order’. I used 30% off and kohl GCs.


Greg, do you think theres some way to keep Chase from clawing back UR points (i.e. if they notice this)? I was thinking transfering to a partner would make it more difficult, though if you did cash back do you think they can legally simply “charge” your account for the amount they paid you out?