Extreme Stacking Amazon.com: Points and Huge Discounts

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Please find an updated version of this post here: Extreme Stacking Amazon.com [New]


It’s possible to earn up to 11X rewards with a 15% discount, or up to 4X rewards with a 32% discount at Amazon.com.  Here’s how…

I don’t know about you, but I shop with Amazon all the time.  It’s just so darn convenient.  Until recently, though, not much was happening with Amazon and online shopping portals.  Sure, many cash back portals advertise that you can get cash back by shopping through their portal to Amazon.com, but when you read the details you find that you’ll only earn cash back on very specific categories of purchases.  Worse, those categories change regularly.  Personally, every time I’ve checked for portal opportunities before making a purchase, I’ve found that what I intended to buy wouldn’t qualify.  As a result, I long ago stopped checking.

jetblue amazon 3X

Fortunately, JetBlue now makes it easy to earn bonus points for all Amazon purchases.  As long as you start your Amazon shopping from the JetBlue site, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar.

UPDATE 4/2/2017: JetBlue no longer awards points when buying Amazon.com gift cards.

And, amazingly, it seems that both buying and using Amazon gift cards triggers the bonus.

Minimum 7X on All Purchases

UPDATE 4/2/2017: Now that JetBlue no longer awards points when buying Amazon.com gift cards, this section is no longer accurate.

Given that both buying and using Amazon gift cards triggers the JetBlue 3X bonus, it should be possible to earn at least 7 points per dollar on all Amazon purchases.  The trick is simply to buy and then use Amazon gift cards as follows:

  1. Click through from JetBlue to Amazon and buy an Amazon e-gift card.  You should earn 3X from JetBlue and at least 1X rewards from your credit card.
  2. Load the e-gift card to your Amazon account
  3. Click through from JetBlue to Amazon again and use your gift card credit to buy whatever you need.

It’s even possible to buy 3rd party gift cards (Starbucks, Whole Foods, etc.) this way.  When checking out, look for the option on the final payment screen to change payment type.  Select Amazon credit.

9X to 11X on all purchases with certain credit cards

UPDATE 4/2/2017: Now that JetBlue no longer awards points when buying Amazon.com gift cards, this section is no longer accurate.

If you follow the steps listed above, but buy the Amazon gift cards with a credit card that earns more than 1 point per dollar, then you can do better than 7X.  A few examples are:

  1. Citi AT&T Access More card earns 3X ThankYou points for online retail purchases.  This card is no longer available for new signups, but you may be able to product change from another Citibank card to this one.
    NOTE: There are mixed reports as to whether or not this still works.  See Doctor of Credit’s Payment Workshop.
  2. Amazon.com Store Card earns 5% cash back for Prime members
  3. Chase Freedom often offers 5X at Amazon.com as one of their quarterly 5X categories.
  4. Discover It often offers 5% cash back at Amazon.com as one of their quarterly 5% categories.

If you start with a card that earns 3X at Amazon.com, and double dip through JetBlue, you should earn 3X from your credit card, plus 3X from JetBlue when buying a gift card, plus another 3X from JetBlue for buying merchandise.  This results in a total of 9 points per dollar.  Similarly, if your card earns 5X at Amazon.com, you’ll net 11 points per dollar.

8X Alternative

If you don’t have a card that directly earns bonus points at Amazon.com, it is often possible to earn 8 points per dollar instead.  The trick is to find a way to earn 5X when buying gift cards…

If you have a Chase Ink Plus or Ink Cash card, or the SimplyCash Plus Business card, you’ll earn 5X rewards at office supply stores.  Many office supply stores carry Amazon gift cards.  So, the trick is to buy these gift cards at office supply stores with one of these cards in order to earn 5X rewards.  After applying the gift card credit to your Amazon account, you can then start your shopping from the JetBlue site in order to earn another 3X points, for a total of 8 points per dollar.

Similar tricks can be done with cards that offer 5X rewards in rotating categories.  Examples of these include Chase Freedom and Discover It.  By buying Amazon.com gift cards in a store that fits the current 5X categories for either of these cards, you can earn 5X buying Amazon.com gift cards and another 3X when using them (via JetBlue).

20% off + 3X rewards

An even better option than those described above, when available, is to enroll your American Express cards in Amex Offers that can be triggered by purchasing Amazon.com gift cards in-store.  While the exact details of these offers vary, it is often possible to get 20% back for gift cards.  For example, when Amex has an offer to Spend $50, get $10 back at Lowes, it’s worth visiting Lowes to buy a $50 gift card.  $10 back on a $50 gift card is 20% back.

lowes-amex-offer

Even better, if you have multiple cards eligible for such an offer, you can enroll each card (see Complete Guide to Amex Offers for details) and show up at Lowes with a handful of cards.  Then, buy gift cards by charging $50 to each of your enrolled Amex cards.

Lowesgiftcards_thumb.jpg

This trick isn’t limited to Lowes stores, of course.  Anytime there’s a similar Amex offer for stores that carry Amazon gift cards, it should be possible to do the same.  This includes stores such as Home Depot, Staples, Office Depot, and more.

Of course, once you’ve bought your Amazon gift cards (and receive 20% back from Amex) you can then load the gift card credit to your Amazon account and then shop at Amazon via the JetBlue site to get 3X additional rewards.

Coupons Too

On top of the stacking options described above, it is sometimes possible to apply a coupon to reduce your costs.  One of the best we’ve seen is the possibility of getting a coupon for 10% to 15% off everything at Amazon (Hat Tip: Doctor of Credit).  To get the coupon, you need to register a change of address (if your move is temporary, you can specify dates for the change of address to begin and end).

  1. Start your change of address at My Move
  2. Click “Change of Address” on the top menu. This will redirect you to USPS.
  3. Complete the change of address at USPS.com
  4. You should then be invited to click to return to My Move to claim valuable deals.
  5. Look for an Amazon offer.  People have reported offers of 10% to 15% off capped usually at $1,000 in spend, or less.  Others did not receive an Amazon offer at all.  YMMV.
  6. You may find other valuable coupons at My Move for Lowes, Home Depot, etc.

Thanks go to Travel with Grant for reminding me about this great option via a personal conversation.

Ultimate Stacking

When all of the stars align, an ultimate stack may look like the following:

  1. Buy Amazon gift cards for 20% off, earn 1X Amex credit card rewards.  Apply gift cards to your account.
  2. Click through JetBlue for 3X rewards
  3. Use Movers coupon to save 15%.

In total, it is theoretically possible to earn 4X rewards and save 32% (the 20% and 15% discounts stack, but aren’t additive)

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