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New windows were on the home renovation agenda.
Typically you either work directly with the manufacturer, a contractor, or through an authorized retailer. We took several bids and it ended up that Home Depot provided the most competitive price. It also prompted an idea about how some stacking could result in earning loads of Ultimate Rewards.
- As an aside: If you can save considerable money by paying cash then I wouldn’t advise earning points just to earn points
- Unless you have a target in mind – like a biz class ticket worth 1000s – and if there is premium to earning points then the redemption value surpasses the extra cost.
During the bid process I brought up payment of the new windows and intimated that we were interested in using Home Depot gift cards to pay the entire balance. Our sales consultant, Ken, checked with the general manager of the store and confirmed that this was no problem at all. That means that a waterfall of points were headed our way! BYAH BYAH BYAH
How using gift cards earned us 7x Ultimate Rewards on New Windows.
Broken down: I bought the Home Depot gift cards at Staples through the Ultimate Rewards mall with an Chase Ink Plus card. Confused? Let me walk you though the process.
The process was this simple:
- I know that an Chase Ink Plus card gives me 5x at all office supply stores…like Staples, Office Max, etc
- The Chase Ultimate Rewards mall will give me 2x at Staples when linked through their portal
- Staples sells gift cards for a plethora of stores: including….DRUM ROLL please: Home Depot
- By stacking
- 2x just for shopping through the mall
- 5x with the Ink Plus
- I ended up earning 7x points on my order.
- Much better than just paying with my Sapphire card and ultimately took about 30 mins of extra time
Step 1: Log in to The Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall
It’s amazing to me the number of people I talk to that have a Sapphire Card and are unfamiliar with the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall. It’s the single easiest way to earn loads and loads of points
- The Chase Ultimate Rewards mall is an online mall that rewards buyers with multiple points per dollar spent at the retailer when linked through the portal
Step 2: Click on Earn : Shop through Chase
- You are now entering the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall.
- You’ll have the option to shop through a bevvy of retailers by clicking on their link.
- Once you do: the retailers own website will populate and
- Your order will be coded with the Ultimate Rewards bonus tag
* A must do – don’t let Chase log you out of your account before executing your order. If you do… You will not receive bonus points as the tether between the retailer and UR mall has been severed.
Step 3: Search for Staples
- Shoppers, don’t be fooled by purchasing direct from Home Depot…Although you would earn 2x points
- You want to select Staples instead
Click on through
Step 4: Search on Staples.com for Home Depot Gift Cards
Step 5: Buy with your Chase Ink Plus to earn 5x points
Even though you have been linked to Staples from Chase Ultimate Rewards portal – the purchase is still coded from an office supply store. This is where the 5x points come into play. You will then earn an additional 2x points per order via the Ultimate Rewards mall! Amazing.
*Some of you may be wondering how I am putting this on a business card. Well, I’m not going to pay the charges for windows from my business bank account and instead will pay those charges from my personal. At the end of the year I’ll merely note to my accountant that those expenses were not associated with the business and should be exempt from any business related paperwork. I’m not a tax advisor and you should always check with your professional, but this has never created a problem in the past – so long as I make explicit note that the charges have been segregated and paid separately.
What are some of your stacking stories?
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.