Home Improvement bonus points everywhere

This quarter, everyone wants us to shop at Home Improvement stores.  Below are the deals I’ve been offered.  Some are targeted to specific individuals, some are not.  If you qualify, don’t forget to register!

Chase Freedom

This quarter, Chase offers 5% cash back on up to $1500 in spend with the Freedom card at restaurants, movie theaters, and Lowe’s.

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If you have a premium Ultimate Rewards card in addition to the Freedom card (such as the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus) you can transfer points to one of those cards and then transfer points to select airline miles or hotel points.  This is a great way to get even more value out of your Freedom card rewards.

Discover

This quarter, Discover offers 5% back at Home Improvement stores for up to $1500 in purchases.

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Citi Forward

I received this targeted offer for my Citi Forward card.  Citi is offering me 5X for purchases in the following categories: Clothing, Home Improvement, Home Furnishing, and Department Stores.  I can earn up to 2500 “additional points”.  I interpret this to mean that I get 1X normally, so the additional 4X is counted as the “additional points”.  I think that means I can earn 5X for up to $625 in these categories (625 X 4 = 2500).

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Barclaycard US Airways

Barclaycard sent me this targeted offer for one of my two US Airways cards.  They’re offering 5 bonus miles for Restaurant, Gas Station, and Home Improvement store purchases.  Since they are offering 5 bonus miles per dollar, I will still earn the base 1 mile per dollar and get a total of 6 miles per dollar for these purchases.  I can earn up to 2,500 bonus miles, which means I will get 6X on up to $500 in spend in these categories.

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Strategy

My Barclaycard US Airways card offers the best miles per dollar offer at 6X, but for only $500 in spend.  This is also the only offer that includes gas station purchases, so I’ll use this card to buy gas and maybe buy gift cards at a gas station.

The Chase Freedom card is possibly the best offer overall because it offers extremely valuable Ultimate Rewards points.  Also, thanks to my Chase checking account, I qualify for a 10% annual bonus on all Freedom card points earned (see “The new king of the Ultimate Rewards Mall“).  So, I’ll earn a total of 5.5 points per dollar within the bonus categories.  This will be my go-to card for restaurants, movie theaters, and Lowe’s this quarter.

I’ll use my Citi Forward card for clothing, home furnishing, and department stores.  And, I’ll continue to use it for bookstores (such as Amazon.com) since it always earns 5X there.  I usually use this card at restaurants and movie theaters for 5X, but I’ll wait until I tap out the Freedom card 5X before I go back to the Forward card for those purchases.

My Discover It card will probably sit in a drawer unless I figure out a great way to manufacture Home Improvement spend.

Maximizing Home Improvement Spend

With so many cards offering bonuses for Home Improvement spend, many people have asked me for tips for maximizing spend in that category.  I’ll present some ideas tomorrow on this topic, but first I’d like to turn the question around.  Do you know of good ideas for maximizing spend at Lowes or other Home Improvement stores?

Here are some potentially helpful nuggets of info (that I believe to be true):

  • Credit card bonus points are stackable with shopping portal bonus points.  For example, if you use the Chase Freedom card this quarter and go through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Lowe’s, you’ll get 5X from the credit card and another 5X from the shopping portal.

Home Depot

  • The AAdvantage eShopping portal is offering 6X for Home Depot this week.
  • In past experiments, people did not receive points for buying Home Depot gift cards through online shopping portals.
  • In past experiments, people did receive points for using Home Depot gift cards through online shopping portals to buy Home Depot merchandise.
  • Home Depot does not sell gift cards to other merchants (neither online nor in store).

Lowe’s

  • The Ultimate Rewards Mall currently offers 5X for Lowe’s
  • In past experiments, people did receive points for buying Lowe’s physical gift cards through online shopping portals.  I do not expect this to work for e-gift cards since they are not sold directly by Lowes.com (Lowes.com sends you out to another URL when you select e-gift cards).
  • In past experiments, people did receive points for using Lowe’s gift cards through online shopping portals to buy Lowe’s merchandise.
  • Lowe’s sells a large selection of merchant gift cards in-store.  Dan’s Deals lists the following: AMC Theaters, AT&T GoPhone, Aeropastle, Amazon, Applebees, Barnes & Noble, Bass Pro Shop, Bath & Body Works, Bed Bath & Beyond/Buy Buy Baby, Boost Mobile, Build, A, Bear, Cabela’s, Cheesecake Factory, Chili’s, Claire’s, Coldstone Creamery, Cracker Barrel, Darden Restaurants, Fandango, Finish Line, Foot Locker, Game Stop, Gap Inc (Gap, Banana, Old Navy, Athleta, Piperlime), Golfsmith, Ihop, iTunes, JCPenney, Jiffy Lube, Jo, Ann Fabric, Justice, Kohl’s, Lane Bryant, Lowe’s, MLB.com, Macy’s, Marriott, Marshalls, Michael’s, Nascar Superstore, Nike, Nordstrom, OfficeMax, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, PFChang’s, Panera, Petco, Petsmart, Pizza Hut, Red Lobster, Red Robin, Regal Cinemas, Ruby Tuesday, Sephora, Shell, Southwest, SpaFinder, Sports Authority, Staples, Starbucks, Subway, TGIFriday, TJMaxx, T, Mobile Prepaid, Tracfone, Verizon Prepaid, Virgin Mobile, Xbox
  • I’ve seen additional gas gift cards at Lowe’s besides Shell, so the particular gift cards available at any one Lowe’s store may vary.
  • Lowe’s does not allow you to buy gift cards with Lowe’s gift cards.

Last updated on November 13th, 2015

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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Sil
Guest
Sil

I received an offer for Virgin Atlantic B of A. Spend $500 for home improvement and receive 2500 points. Problem is to allow 10-12 weeks for points to post. I plan to cancel the card before renewal date. When I applied for the card last year, my annual fee was on my August 11th statement. Will this be the same date this year? If so, may still take a shot at it.

Dan
Guest
Dan

1. Last year UR mall offered 10x points to HD in March I believe. UR Mall offerings have become very lackluster lately with little change from month to month. Makes me wonder what is going on over there.

2. I thought you used to be able to get bonus points from HD by buying PART of the order with gift cards and part with CC and you would get points for whole order. Was this never the case or did they change how that works?

Wedding Spend
Guest

How does one get targeted for all these special promos? I’m guessing it could be a mixture of spending habits and subscription to mail/email offers. I personally can’t stand mail/email offers so I make sure to always unsubscribe. So I’m wondering is there anyone out there who unsubscribes from all offers like I do but still end up getting all the bonus promos?

rob
Guest
rob

This time the offer is horrible becos all the home improvement stores don’t sell visa gift cards

Lynn
Guest

Wedding Spend: I think you have to subscribe to stuff like this. I was like you, and never got anything. Then I set up a special email account just for stuff like this, I opt into everything, and suddenly I get all kinds of offers.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Sil: Yes, I would expect it to be at the same time as last year
Dan: that’s true. Early reports seemed to indicate that at Home Depot you have to pay for part of the total with a credit card for the points to post. Since then there have been a couple of reports of people getting points after paying entirely with gift cards. It might be safer to pay a bit with a credit card anyway — just in case

Tim
Guest
Tim

I’ve found the home improvement gift cards to be a real pain to use online. Anyone else have that experience?

stevento
Guest
stevento

FM: I need to buy some stuff at HomeDepot. Would the following strategy work?
1. AA Shopping Portal to buy HD E-Gift Cards at Staples.com with Ink Bold – 2 AA miles + 5 UR points
2. AA Shopping Portal to buy merchandise at homedepot.com with HD E-Gift Cards – 6 AA miles.

Does this make sense?

FrequentMiler
Guest

stevento: Yes, that should work. Great suggestion!
Joshua: Thanks. Where can you get the 10 off 50 coupon that can be used online?
Frugalguy: Yes, true

Papa Smurf
Guest
Papa Smurf

My offer for the US Airways card included home improvement stores, gas, and restaurants including fast food. Unfortunately As mentioned above, limited to $500.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

There is a possibility to get even more savings from lowes. There is a 10% off coupon as well as a 10 off 50 coupon that can be used and I actually got the points on the FULL purchase.

To get the coupon to work you have to change the zip code for store pickup then change it back to your store.

Frugalguy
Guest
Frugalguy

Probably mentioned in your post indirectly, but worth reiterate that lowe’s does NOT sell any third party gift card online! They are in store ONLY. Also, lowes gc cant buy other gc. Stop thinking shopping portal+GC. No way.

harvson3
Guest
harvson3

Wait a minute! Lowe’s sells gift cards for Build and A and Bear! Those are my three favorite stores!

jamie
Guest
jamie

@harvson3 – lol!

Carl
Guest
Carl

Am a bit surprised you don’t buy Amazon gift cards at Office Depot/Office Max with your INK and get 5x UR rather than 5x TY with the Forward Card.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Carl: Actually I do buy Amazon gift cards at office supply stores with my Ink cards. But, when I want a credit cards’ extended warranty or other protections I switch to the Forward card.
bf: Wow, that’s a neat trick. Have you done that more than once?

bf
Guest
bf

FYI I have been able to buy gift cards at Lowes using Lowes gift cards. It requires going to the customer service desk and getting a supervisor to override the register but it works. Can’t do it at regular registers.

Chimmy
Guest
Chimmy

Almost all the gift cards Lowe’s sells can be purchased online at giftcard resellers for much cheaper. Not sure why you would buy them at Lowe’s for only 5X points.

bf
Guest
bf

FM, Twice!

chris
Guest
chris

Has anyone been able to buy Lowe’s GC with the HI GC through UR?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Chris: Yes, I did but Lowes had a technical issue that caused some of the purchases not to process correctly. Luckily I did get points for all purchases

Marathon man
Guest
Marathon man

I was able to use my discover cars to buy two big gas grills and a table saw from a hd and while it was heavy lifting, an employee helped load my van and then i drove to home depot in another town and returned it saying the event I was gonna have got cancelled.
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I asked them to put it all on a merch card (gc) and had the receipt. At first cs clerk thought the max was $1k and they could mail me a check! But then the mgr said ok to a $1600+ gc and I got that and was happy with it. I know Ill use it and every purchase on the UR mall with this hd gc will earn 3 UR/$1. Lowes would be better UR but I did HD based out of convenience

skdelta
Guest
skdelta

Does Sears qualify as a Home Improvement or Hardware store? If so, they might be useful for other Gift Card purchases (not sure which ones they carry).

chris
Guest
chris

skdelta, they do, but their usefulness varies.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

@miler–10% code:
470010300023944

10off50 code:
470076066626473

Remember to change zip code to something like 92101 then back to your own.

Marathon man
Guest
Marathon man

Just a lowes note…

Ive had trouble using coupon codes (10%) online when also going thru the ur mall. Its like it knows or something. If you call cs to correct it that wont help as theyll try to place the order for you thus not giving you ur.
.
Some codes may work so i hope this is one but if not, try going to the store and showing it to the cs desk who may be able to apply it and give you a merch credit (gc) for the difference!
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Also if buying and then going to the store to return items and asking for a merch credit, be sure youve applied the purchase to your my lowes acct (their website tells about that) and that way you wont be returning without a receipt, which they dont like a lot of

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

@Marathon Man—getting points via UR portal is always going to YMMV when using a coupon code. In my case I have always gotten points when using a 10% off code. On X off X codes it’s definitely been hit or miss.

rick
Guest
rick

FYI…..cash or debit only for lowes gift cards now in Houston……