Buy.com experiment success

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Through the Ultimate Rewards Mall, Chase Ink cardholders can earn 10 points per dollar at Buy.com this month (see “Ultimate Rewards Mall September Edition”).  On September 2nd, I launched an experiment: Could I buy gift cards at Buy.com and receive 10 points per dollar?

After logging into the Ultimate Rewards Mall with my Ink Bold account, I clicked through to Buy.com.

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There, I searched for gift cards and found a few good ones such as Home Depot, Marriott, and OfficeMax.

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Sadly, there were no high value cards such as gas cards, Target, or Walmart but each of the ones listed above are pretty good.  With Home Depot, you can double-dip (go through the mall a second time to buy items at Home Depot using your gift card) as long as part of the purchase is made with a credit card.  Marriott double-dipping should work too, but so far I’ve had little success doing so through the Ultimate Rewards Mall.  You might be better off booking your stay through a portal like FatWallet when planning to pay by gift card.  If you’re lucky enough to have a friendly OfficeMax nearby, there are lots of great opportunities to upgrade your gift card.  See “10% off everything and 7% off everything else.”

Buy.com adds a $2.99 shipping & handling charge for the first card you put in your basket, and 99 cents for each additional card.  So, if you plan to buy multiple cards, I’d recommend buying them all at once so as to minimize shipping and handling charges.

For this experiment, I bought a single $100 Marriott card which arrived in the mail about 5 days later.  It took 8 days for the transaction to show up as pending in the Ultimate Rewards Mall:

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Note that the transaction above makes it look like the points posted on September 8, but in reality, they didn’t show up on my account until September 10.

No Super Points

Buy.com has its own loyalty program where you can earn “Super Points” for each qualifying purchase.  My account shows 0 super points earned from the gift card purchase.  I guess this means that gift cards are not qualifying purchases.

Other items of note

  • As you can see from my screenshot above, Staples still gives points for software purchases despite the Terms & Conditions that say otherwise.
  • In addition to this experiment, I launched a Bloomingdale’s double dip experiment the same day, but have yet to see any points.  I’ll wait another week before giving up on that one.
  • I plan one more Buy.com experiment.  I will buy a Buy.com gift card to see if I get points, then I’ll use that gift card to buy a merchant gift card (e.g. Home Depot, Marriott, or OfficeMax) to see if I get points again.
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