Buy books for 40X

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I’ve written quite a bit in the past about Magazines.com offering 40 points per dollar through the Ultimate Rewards Mall.  Most of these posts were reports of attempts to double dip by buying and then using Magazine.com gift cards.  Initially, a half double dip was possible: Magazines.com gave 40X for gift card purchases and then another 20X when using the gift cards, for a total of 60X overall.  Unfortunately, that loophole quickly closed and that was the end of the Magazines.com double dip. 

40X is still an awesome return for magazine purchases, but if you’re like me you already get too many magazines.  One can never have too many books though! 

Buying Books

In the Ultimate Rewards Mall, Magazines.com terms & conditions state explicitly that book purchases are not awarded bonus points:

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Luckily, this restriction is very easy to get around.  Simply buy yourself an e-gift card first and then use it to buy a book.  Gift card purchases are awarded 40X:

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So, if you’re shopping for books give this a try!  Note that while their prices are not competitive with Amazon.com, you might be able to get Magazines.com to price match.


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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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DealsSeeker
Guest

If you purchase some books with a Credit Card that offers the Price Protection benefit, you can probably get the difference refunded. Some of the Citi cards offer this benefit.

FrequentMiler
Guest

DealsSeeker: That’s a great tip, in general (thanks!). In this case, though, the 40X is dependent upon using a gift card to buy the books so it wouldn’t work.

Steve
Guest
Steve

I’m not going to try this (I would if I wanted a book right now), but I’m curious if there’s a chance for another dip?
http://www.couponcactus.com/coupons/Magazines.com
I find nothing at coupon cactus indicating that the 28% cashback doesn’t apply to books, and nothing about how gift card purchases are treated (i.e. ebates specifically says 26% cashabck for magazines, 2.5% cashback for books, and shopathome says “If a Gift Card or Gift Certificate is redeemed, Cash Back is only available on the balance of the purchase after redemption.” – no statements like those at the cactus)

If you can use gift cards for book purchases, that would be another 28% cashback. Might be worth a try in the lab? 40x UR points + 28% cashback sounds tempting.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Steve: It might be worth a shot, but I did try double dipping through several sites without any luck (see the Laboratory page), but none worked. You never know if a different portal might work though…

Ryan from MA: Yes, I should have written more about that. As you point out, when magazines.com charges more, that doesn’t mean its a bad deal. I would gladly pay extra to get 40X points! I would use this formula: (extra cost) / points earned = $ per point. As long as $ per point is about a penny or less, your doing great!

Ryan from MA
Guest
Ryan from MA

The prices aren’t horribly different from amazon. For example, “River of Doubt” is $12.75 but on amazon it’s $10.20. A difference of $2.55. $2.55 for 510 UR points, costing half a cent is pretty good to me, especially if you WANT the book. Right?

DealsSeeker
Guest

FYI, In addition, use the GC at Ebates for 2.5% cashback, Bigcrumbs possibly 24.5% cashback, Mr Rebates-books not eligible, ShopDiscover-not valid with using GC or purchasing books, AA-books not eligible

DealsSeeker
Guest

@FrequentMiler Duh!!! I wasn’t thinking clearly. But what if you purchase the GC with that CC, then maybe they would consider it? what do you think?

FrequentMiler
Guest

DealsSeeker: I don’t think it would work. Simply try calling Magazines.com to price match after ordering a book. I know someone who succeeded doing that with magazines and said it was very easy.

caveman
Guest
caveman

Thanks for all the tips. Unfortunately I am now into nook books and this will not work for me.

Vivek
Guest
Vivek

Thanks for the great tip…I have a question for you on ultimate rewards. I buy something following the mall and within a few days of my purchase get an email saying I have earned points. However, I dont see those points posting for months afterwards. Have you noticed that? Thanks.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Vivek: Yes, your points don’t post to your account until your statement closes each month

caveman: For the Nook you can buy B&N gift cards for 10X, credit them to your account and then buy Nook books with the credit.

TJ
Guest

Great idea – you are a gift card freak! 🙂

magazines.com does not price match books though they charge no sales tax and its free shipping so not a bad deal indeed. Now they just need to sell a wider range of books 🙂

Carol
Guest
Carol

How do you track your Ultimate Rewards points earned thru the mall? I did the Staples purchase on Sunday. When will I see some affirmation that I have points pending?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Carol: log into Ultimate Rewards, click “rewards activity..ultimate rewards mall & travel earnings”. There you’ll see the points that have been credited but are not yet in your account (they’ll go in your account when your statement closes monthly)

Rajesh: Yes, 40X Ultimate Rewards is the best rebate out there. The hope, though, was that you could get 40X for buying gift cards and then cash back (or points) for going through a portal to use the gift card. That would be the classic “double dip”. It hasn’t worked for me since early January with magazine.com.

Rajesh
Guest
Rajesh

Please correct me if I am wrong but if you use a website like ebates or gift crumbs, it would still be lesser than the 40% cashback on UR mall. And since each of them including the UR mall require you go through their link, you can’t stack them and hence wouldn’t the UR mall be the best in terms of cashback?

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fivegoats
Guest
fivegoats

Very nice blog, I like learning new tricks like this 🙂 One really lame question though, I still don’t understand how you can “double” dip? The gift card amount should be subtracted from the total amount right? So the second time the points returned are only the amount not covered by the gift card? Or am I totally wrong in this?