A guide to saving 10% to 15% off the money you already spend on shopping, dining and entertainment without having to chase deals and coupons online or shop at discount stores.
How much did you and your family spend last year? If you could magically get 10%-15% of it back, what would you do with that money? You can't go back in time, but in just a few days you can start getting such discounts on your current and future spending. Keep reading to find out how. Spoiler alter: No magic involved and you don't have to change your spending behavior.
In addition to its American Express Purchase Protection, Chip-and-Pin security and price matching with Amazon, Wal-Mart and other retailers, Prepaid REDcard offers a variety of valuable features and benefits for consumers. One such standard benefit is 5% off anything you buy at Target or Target.com (along with free shipping). The 5% discount saves the average American family a lot of money in a few months, two to three times that is much better! You can leverage these 10% - 15% off savings beyond Target purchases, to other major stores, restaurants, travel, entertainment, etc.
10% using Prepaid REDcard + Target gift cards via Ink Plus
This involves buying Target gift cards while earning cash-back or other rewards in the process. Here’s one way to accomplish it incorporating a couple more mainstream and reputable platforms: Gyft, Ink Plus from Chase and PayPal. It you’re not familiar with any of this it might sound like a lot of work, but it isn’t. Once you set it up, you can do this from your couch in just a few minutes. There’s an army of savvy consumers who already employ these savings hacks regularly and so can you. Here’s how:
1. If you don’t have one already, get a Prepaid REDcard.
2. Register at Target.com and add your Prepaid REDcard as a payment method.
3. Sign up at Gyft.com and buy Target gift cards using PayPal as a method of payment, funding the PayPal transactions with your Ink Plus credit card. By just doing this you already earned at least 5% off (more if you use your UR rewards for travel).
4. Login to Target.com and buy anything you need for consumption, gifting or reselling. Complete your Target.com order using as method of payment your Prepaid REDcard and your Target gift cards. The gift cards need to have a cumulative available balance equal to or greater than the purchase amount. You now just earned an additional 5% off. Your purchased items will arrive at your door with no shipping fees.
How this works
If your payment methods for a Target.com order are Prepaid REDcard + Target gift cards, the gift cards get charged first, Prepaid REDcard only gets charged if the purchase amount exceeds the available balance of the gift cards (cumulatively). By listing your Prepaid REDcard as a payment method you get the 5% off even if your REDcard is not charged at all because the Target gift cards took care of the order. For the same reason you also get all the other Prepaid REDcard benefits for these transactions.
Update: As of February 2017 you can no longer stack the Target gift cards with Prepaid REDcard at Target.com for 5% x 2 savings. During the checkout you'll now only get 5% off for the portion paid with Prepaid REDcard, not the part of the order that was paid with a Target gift card, if any.
You don't have to use Ink Plus or another credit card to get 10%-15% off
As you will see below, there are several venues that do not involve any credit cards, but if you can do get the Ink Plus card because it offers convenience and benefits beyond these 10% to 15% saving strategies.
Ink Plus is the best Chase credit card to leverage towards everyday savings and discounts and one of the best US credit cards, period. In addition to its generous sign up bonus, it offers 5x earning of valuable UR (Chase Ultimate Rewards) points for office supply purchases as well as for paying your (personal or business) phone, internet and cable bills. It also offers 5X UR earning for buying gift cards at Gyft.com if you use PayPal for the Gyft transactions and fund these PayPal payments with your Ink Plus card. You can get the 5x UR rewards with Ink + for up to $50K worth of purchases each calendar year. The UR points can be redeemed for at least 5% cash back, they have a higher value if you use them to book travel with Chase. Ink Plus is a business credit card, but you don’t need to have a brick-and-mortar business to get it. You get sign up with your business tax ID or with your social security number as a sole proprietor.
Maximizing the 10% savings across merchants by buying third-party gift cards at Target.com
Target sells many third-party gift cards and you can them the same way as described above to get 10% off them. This means 10% off your spending at a variety of major US merchants! Further, most merchants will let you use their gift cards for both in-store and online purchases.
Here are some of the third-party gift cards you can buy at Target:
Southwest Airlines (10% off the already cheap Southwest air tickets!), Disney, iTunes, eBay, Starbucks, Spotify, Google Play, Play Station, Xbox, Roblox, Nintendo, Spa Wellness, prepaid Boost & T-Mobile & Sprint & AT&T & Verizon, Netflix, Facebook, Skype, Windows, Regal Cinema, AMC Theaters, Fandango, Subway, Panera, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, Domino's, Papa John's, Olive Garden, TGI Fridays, Ihop, The Cheesecake Factory and many other stores and restaurants (click here to see the full up-to-date list)
Other ways to get the same 10% off savings
To match or exceed the savings mentioned above you need a venue to get 5% (or more) discounts or rewards for buying Target gift cards. It doesn’t have to involve Ink Plus or Gyft; in fact further down there are alternative strategies. I suggested Ink Plus & Gyft for their wide reach and extra benefits.
I recommend Ink Plus for the reasons mentioned above. Ink Cash from Chase also earns 5X UR points on the same shopping categories, but overall Ink Cash is about half as good as Ink Plus: Cash earns half of the sign up bonus and has half of the annual limit for 5X categories compared to Plus.
I recommend Gyft because it is a reputable direct merchant gift card seller, so it’s a lot safer buying Target gift cards at Gyft as opposed to a gift card marketplace where you are purchasing the gift cards on the internet from other people. Gyft also has a nice mobile app via which you can add the gift cards (using each gift cards number and pin), it updates their balances as you use them and you can archive them when there's no balance left. You can also use those gift cards for in-store purchases at Target and elsewhere, by having your virtual gift card scanned from your Gyft app on your phone. You can alternatively print the gift card and take it to the store.
Staples (both in-store and online) is an alternative to Gyft as far as getting Target gift cards with the Ink Plus card and earning 5X UR points (5% cash discount). Gift cards from PayPal Digital will also earn 5X UR points with Ink Plus.
10% off without Ink Plus: Prepaid REDcard + Pharmacy 5% off coupon
If you have a prescription, transfer it at Target and after every five refills you will receive a coupon for 5% off any one Target purchase, whether in-store or online at Target.com. It’s best to use this for a huge purchase at Target.com and stack it with other venues to get 10-20% off (see below for the 20% stacking).
A couple of awesome 15-20% saving opportunities
While you can get the 10% off regularly using the methods explained above, it is also possible to hit the 15%-20% jackpot.
Max out the once-a-year 10% off to get a total of 15-20% off your year's spending
One day a year Target offers Target gift cards at a 10% discount, up to $300 per store visit and online account (one order per account). This is usually during the holidays, around Thanksgiving or Christmas. On that day you can go too many Target stores (as many as you want) to get multiples of $300 Target gift cards. This is per person, so you if you bring family and friends along, each of you can get a $300 Target gift card at a Target store. You can also get one online. Use these at Target.com throughout the year to get third-party merchant gift cards and effectively get 15-20% your annual budgets, without having to use Ink Plus or another credit card.
For instance, that day you can go to six Target stores with your significant other and get $3,600 worth of Target gift cards, plus one online for a total of $3,900 Target gift cards at a 10% discount. Using them at Target.com with just REDcard gets you 15% off, or a $585 saving. Stacking the 5% off prescription coupon makes this a 20% discount, that is $780 worth of savings for getting the things you will purchase next year regardless!
Here's a list of the Prepaid REDcard stacking venues described above. Each option ads other discounts to the standard 5% off with Prepaid REDcard at Target:
- 10% off => + 5% Ink Plus (via Gyft & PayPal or Staples)
- 10% off => + 5% prescription coupon after 5 refills
- 15% off => + 10% once-a-year Target gift cards
- 15% off => + 5% Ink Plus + 5% prescription coupon
- 20% off => + 10% once-a-year TGC + 5% prescription coupon
If I read some post like this a few years ago, I would have thought it was too good to be true or too tricky. To the current me this is a basic no-risk practical savings strategy that merely maximizes the Prepaid REDcard benefits by combining discount venues. I'm a bit disappointed that the past me was paying full price for so many things, unaware of savings like this that do not require much time and incur no fees or credit card debt.