It’s great to see Chase finally competing with Amex with their own “spend this… get that” Chase Offers. We previously reported this here: Chase’s foray into offers: Whole Foods, Lowe’s, eBags, and more. I finally got around to taking advantage of a few of these offers, so I figured it would be helpful for me to describe what I did and why…
First, a little background… Currently, to sign up for Chase Offers, you need either a Chase Marriott card or a Chase Slate card. Then, it’s necessary to sign up for one or more Visa Offers accounts (these are not the same as your Chase accounts). When signing up, you must link an eligible card to your Visa Offers account.
My wife and I each have personal and business Marriott cards, so we have four cards that we can use for these offers. I didn’t even realize that business cards were eligible until I read Rapid Travel Chai’s post on the topic. In that post he revealed the results of an experiment: by linking each card to a different Visa Offers account, he was able to earn rebates with each Marriott credit card account. His father, though, linked two Marriott credit cards to the same Visa Offers account and only earned one rebate. Stefan’s post arrived just in time for me. I setup four Visa Offers accounts, two for my wife and two for me, in order to sign up for offers for all four Marriott cards. Actually, I also setup a fifth one just to see what happened: I created a Visa Offers account for an authorized user card. Even though the AU card has the same card number as the primary card, I thought there was a slim chance that it would work. It didn’t. Offers that I had activated on the primary account were no longer available to the AU account.
So far, I activated the Lowe’s, Whole Foods, and Staples offers. I’ve used the Lowe’s and Whole Foods offers, and intend to use the Staples offer soon. Here’s what I did with each offer (and plan to do with the Staples offer):
Whole Foods: Spend $25, Get $10
For the Whole Foods offer, I brought four $25 Amazon gift cards to the Whole Foods customer service desk, and asked them to ring up each one separately. I rotated through my Marriott cards in order to spend $25 with each one. Twenty minutes later I received four emails telling me that my transaction “is currently being processed and you will be credited within 3 to 10 business days as long as your purchase fulfilled the terms of the offer.” I’m confident that each will receive credit.
Result: $100 worth of Amazon gift cards for $60 after rebates. 40% off!
Lowe’s: Spend $50, Get $10
Lowe’s has a huge selection of gift cards, but I can always use more Amazon gift cards so I bought more of those. This time I took four $50 Kindle gift cards (they work exactly the same as Amazon gift cards) to the checkout lane and asked to pay for each separately. Again, I rotated though my Marriott cards in order to spend $50 with each one. This time the “thanks for using Chase Offers” emails appeared in about 15 minutes.
Result: $200 worth of Amazon gift cards for $160 after rebates. 20% off.
Staple’s: 10% back (up to $20) on your next purchase
The Whole Foods and Lowe’s offers only work in-store. That’s fine since you can’t buy 3rd party gift cards, like Amazon gift cards, from either merchant online. The Staples offer, though, works in-store or online. And Staples.com does offer many 3rd party gift cards. Gift card purchases aren’t supposed to work through portals at Staples.com, but via our Frequent Miler Laboratory we know that some gift cards do earn portal rewards. So, my default approach is to click through a portal to Staples to buy $200 worth of gift cards of a type known to earn portal rewards. That way I’ll earn both the portal rewards and the 10% back via Chase Offers. Ironically (given that I bought Amazon gift cards at Whole Foods), I may buy Whole Foods e-gift cards from Staples.com.
The only reason I haven’t pulled the trigger on this yet is that Staples often has gift card deals either online or in-store. I still have a couple of weeks to see if an attractive deal surfaces.
Likely Result (if no new deal surfaces in time): $200 worth of Whole Foods gift cards for $180 after rebates (10% off), plus extra points or cash back from a portal.
It should be possible to earn even more rewards than shown above by linking your Marriott credit cards to various card-linking rewards programs. Here are the options that I can think of that may offer rewards for Whole Foods, Lowe’s, or Staples:
- Drop: Drop is an app that offers automatic rewards when you spend with a number of popular merchants. You must link your credit card account (which involves giving them your sign-on info, so beware!), and select the merchants you like. When you spend with a linked credit card at your selected merchants, you’ll earn Drop Points (each point is worth 1/10 of a penny towards gift card rewards) up to $5 per week. Plus, they often have special offers that let you earn more. I currently have Whole Foods as a selected merchant so I should get a few extra cents from my purchases. If you’re interested in trying Drop, click here for my referral link. Update: I can confirm that this does stack with Chase Offers.
- Uber Visa Local Offers: Within your Uber app, once you’ve linked a Visa credit card, you may see Visa Local Offers at the bottom of the Uber app’s home screen. Tap to see the details, and you should see something like the image below. Notice the Whole Foods offer? Hopefully this will combine with the Chase offer. You do not have to pay for Uber rides with these cards in order to earn Uber Visa Local Offers. If you haven’t yet signed up for Uber, you can use my referral code, uberFrequentMiler (or this referral link), in order to get $5 off each of your first 4 rides (e.g. $20 total). Extra credit: Earn ShopYourWay Rewards points when riding Uber simply by linking your Sears/Kmart ShopYourWay account to Uber. Update: I can confirm that this does stack with Chase Offers.
- In-store portal offers: A number of portals offer rewards for in-store purchases by linking your credit card. These include eBates, United Mileage Plus Shopping, Alaska MileagePlan Shopping, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles Marketplace, ShopYourWay Rewards, and more. I’m not aware of any that currently offer rewards for Whole Foods, Lowe’s, or Staples, but the Whole Foods and Lowe’s have been available in the past so it’s worth keeping an eye on these.
- And more: Doctor of Credit has a great post detailing options for earning rewards via linked credit cards.