Maximize points per dollar at Amazon.com

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You are probably aware that you can earn 1 extra mile per dollar spent at Amazon.com by going through Hawaiian Airlines online shopping portal.  That’s not bad, but here are a few ways to do much better:

Chase Freedom:

In the first quarter of 2012, gas stations and Amazon.com are the 5X bonus categories for the Chase Freedom card.  As long as you register for the promotion, until the end of March anything you buy at Amazon.com will be rewarded with 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, up to $1500 for the quarter.  After the first quarter, not all is lost.  Take a look at the Freedom’s bonus category chart:

  • Q1 (January – March): Gas stations and Amazon.com
  • Q2 (April – June): Groceries and movie theaters
  • Q3 (July – September): Gas stations and restaurants
  • Q4 (October – December): Hotels, airlines, Best Buy and Kohl’s

Q1 is already covered.  In Q2, note that groceries are on the list.  According to this Amazon.com page a number of grocery stores carry Amazon.com gift cards.  So, from April to June, rather than buying from Amazon.com directly, go to your grocery store to buy Amazon.com gift cards.  After you apply them to your Amazon account, all future purchases will default to using the gift card credit (this will work for regular purchases, download movie rentals, subscribe & save purchases, etc.)

In Q3, I think you’re out of luck (unless you saved up on gift cards from earlier), but in Q4 you can go to BestBuy to buy more Amazon gift cards!

Chase Ink Bold:

The new Chase Ink Bold offers 5 points per dollar for purchases at office supply stores.  Both Staples and Office Max carry Amazon gift cards according to this Amazon.com page.  So, using your Chase Ink Bold, visit one of those stores and load up on Amazon.com gift cards.

American Express Business cards

Most, if not all (?) American Express business cards give you American Express OPEN Savings.  This means that, for purchases at certain merchants, you get money credited back to your account.  One example is OfficeMax in which you receive 5% back for purchases of $100 or more.  By buying Amazon.com gift cards at OfficeMax using your Amex business card, you can save 5% on all Amazon purchases!

Citi Forward

The Citi Forward card offer 5 points per dollar for restaurants, books, movies and music.  Probably because of the “books” category, Amazon.com purchases receive 5 points per dollar!

Other Cards

If you hold a credit card that offers bonus points in certain categories such as groceries, drug stores, office supplies, etc., then check out the list of stores that carry Amazon.com gift cards.  Find a store that qualifies and use your card to load up!

Icing on the Cake

Once you have loaded up on Amazon.com gift cards, don’t forget that you can still earn Hawaiian Airlines miles for your purchases!  Make sure to sign up for their HawaiianMiles frequent flyer program and then visit Amazon.com on their online portal before making any purchases.


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