February 29, 2024

How to Stack Credit Card and Portal Offers to Save on Online Purchases – Forbes Advisor

“Never pay full price” is a bit of advice all of us would love to…

How to Stack Credit Card and Portal Offers to Save on Online Purchases – Forbes Advisor

“Never pay full price” is a bit of advice all of us would love to follow. While that’s not always possible when shopping in-store, there are several ways that you can avoid paying full price when shopping online. Even better, you can usually stack these offers to be able to save even more.

Let’s walk through these money-saving tips together. As we do so, I’ll show you how I stacked offers to buy a $570 laptop for under $93 out-of-pocket.

Take Advantage of Card Benefits

The first step in stacking is to determine what benefits your credit cards offer for shopping with a particular merchant.

American Express leads the way in this category. After enrolling in the benefit, The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders can get up to a $50 statement credit semi-annually for Saks Fifth Avenue purchases, up to $100 per year. This is in addition to other shopping benefits like ShopRunner free shipping service. You can read our full The Platinum Card® from American Express review here.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers a $100 semi-annual statement credit for Dell purchases. That’s up to $200 in statement credits each year. You’ll need to enroll in this benefit before you can use it. You can read our full The Business Platinum Card® from American Express review here.

To compensate for the lack of travel due to COVID-19, American Express has added dozens of temporary benefits. One of these benefits is a doubling of the Dell statement credit from May through December 2020. Amex Business Platinum cardholders can get up to $200 in statement credits for Dell purchases made from July to December 2020.

Capitalize on Card Issuer Promotions

Three credit card issuers offer a discount program— Amex Offers, Chase Offers and the new Capital One Offers. By enrolling in an offer and making an eligible purchase, you can earn cash back or bonus points on that purchase.

Amex Offers

American Express’ Amex Offers program is perhaps the most well-known program. While the number of offers will fluctuate, many cards offer up to 100 Amex Offers at a given time. Offers can range from earning a small amount of cash back to earning thousands of bonus Membership Rewards points.

For my laptop purchase example, I was targeted for an Amex Offer for 10{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cashback on Dell purchases. This very generous offer gives targeted cardholders the ability to get up to $1,500 in statement credits.

Simultaneously, I was targeted for an Amex Offer for one additional Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on Dell purchases.

For those looking to make a Dell purchase now, check to see if you’re targeted for an even-better Amex Offer for 4 extra Membership Rewards per dollar spent on Dell purchases.

Chase Offers

Seemingly in response to Amex Offers, Chase launched Chase Offers in late 2018. As with Amex Offers, the offers you have will vary from card-to-card. While I’ve found dozens of offers on a card in the past, the number of offers has been slim recently.

Capital One Offers

Not to be left behind, Capital One launched Capital One Offers starting in April 2020. However, the program is still in beta testing and not all cardmembers have access to it at this time.

Check for Card Processor Offers

In addition to the savings that you can get directly from the banks, Visa and Mastercard each offer a savings program for making purchases with partner merchants. Both of these programs are targeted for business cards at this time.

Visa SavingsEdge

Visa’s business savings program is called Visa SavingsEdge. The program offers cash back on a few dozen merchants— previously viewed offers include 2{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back on Chevron purchases, 5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back on OfficeFurniture.com and up to 5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back on a variety of hotel merchants.

Mastercard Easy Savings

Mastercard’s business savings program is called Easy Savings. By enrolling in the program, you’ll automatically earn cash back when making purchases through Mastercard Easy Savings merchants. Currently, Easy Savings has a limited number of partner merchants with a heavy skew toward travel and car maintenance.

Bonus Points or Cash Back Through Shopping Portals

Even if you strike out on finding offers from your credit card, there’s one last step that you should take before making all online purchases: clicking through an online shopping portal.

Generally, you should never go directly to a merchant’s website when making a purchase. Instead, just by taking an extra step to click through a shopping portal link, you can earn cash back or extra points in addition to what you earn through your credit card.

There are dozens of online shopping portals, and each can offer a different rate at a given time. Plus, rates can change from day-to-day. That’s why we recommend checking CashbackMonitor for the latest payout rates. For example, here’s an example of a CashbackMonitor result for Dell purchases.

If you are collecting a certain type of miles toward a redemption or promotion, you can still click through that airline’s portal. However, it’s worth checking to see the other offers.

Also, don’t forget about the power of bank and other rewards points. If you have an Amex Membership Rewards-earning credit card, Rakuten Cash Back Visa® Credit Card* (formerly Ebates) now lets you earn Membership Rewards points instead of cash back. Even better, if you have and use the Rakuten Visa you earn extra points for purchases made through the Rakuten portal.

Membership Rewards points transfer to 19 different airlines and 3 hotel programs. So by Earning Membership Rewards points you’ll have access to additional flexibility.

Say for instance that Delta’s shopping portal is offering 2 SkyMiles per dollar spent and Rakuten is offering 6 points per dollar spent. In this case, you’ll want to click through Rakuten’s portal as Membership Rewards can be transferred to SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio.

Before making a purchase, check to see if the shopping portal is offering a bonus for making purchases. For example, American Airlines’ AAdvantage eShopping portal recently offered a bonus of up to 2,020 bonus miles for making four purchases of $50 or more. However, you needed to enroll in the offer before your purchase would qualify.

Putting It All Together

With all of those tricks and tips in mind, let’s go through how I purchased a $570 Dell laptop for $93 out-of-pocket.

My mom’s laptop was past its prime. So, my wife and I figured we’d use our Dell credits to get her a new Dell Inspiron 5000 laptop for Mother’s Day. The specific version we selected cost $570 before discounts.

Each of us has a Business Platinum from American Express. That means we were each able to get $200 in statement credits for Dell purchases by June 30, 2020. Thankfully, we could trigger both of our statement credits in one purchase as Dell allows purchases to be split between up to three forms of payment.

After $35.89 in discounts and $37.39 in tax, we charged $571.49 to our credit cards.

Before we made the purchase, we each enrolled in Amex Offers offering 10{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back and 1 extra Membership Rewards point per dollar spent. Thankfully both offers were applied on the combined purchase price of $571.49 and not the $171.49 after statement credits. We earned a combined $57.15 in cash back and 571 bonus Membership Rewards points from these offers.

Although we made the purchase on May 1, it took until May 12 before the transaction posted to our American Express accounts. Make sure to keep this potential delay in mind if you’re looking to take advantage of the $200 Dell statement credits before June 30, 2020.

The best shopping portal payout at the time we made the purchase was 4{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back through TopCashback. The 4{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back rate is applied to the pre-tax purchase amount of $534. While it will still be a couple of weeks before the earnings will finalize, I should end up with $21.36 in cash back from this purchase.

In total, we charged $571.49 to our credit cards. After $400 in statement credits from Dell purchases, $57.15 in statement credits from Amex Offers and $21.36 in TopCashback earnings, we will end up only paying $92.98 out-of-pocket for this purchase. Plus, we earned a total 1,142 Membership Rewards points. At a valuation of 1.5 cents per point, that’s approximately $17 worth of points.

Most aren’t going to have access to the Dell statement credits for two Business Platinum cards. However, you can see the power of being able to stack offers to save on a purchase.

Get Your Own Dell Statement Credits

If you don’t already have a Business Platinum Card from American Express it is currently offering the ability to Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Although the card’s extensive travel benefits aren’t going to be immediately useful, you can take advantage of up to $200 in statement credits for Dell purchases by making purchases of at least $200 before December 31, 2020.

Plus, American Express is offering up to $20 in statement credits per month on purchases made in the U.S. for courier, postal and freight shipping services and another $20 in statement credit per month towards their cell phone bills, valid only on purchases for monthly wireless telephone service charges. This benefit is only available through December 31, 2020.

Between the Dell credits and these additional monthly credits, you can get up to $280 in statement credits between November 1 and December 31, 2020.

Bottom Line

Before you make a purchase online, check to see if you can use any offers to earn some additional rewards or statement credits. By utilizing portal bonuses, credit card offers and statement credits you may be surprised at how little you ultimately pay for a product or service.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this page.