Use AAdvantage for 40% off at Bloomingdales (12 AA points per dollar spent!)

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I know, I know, this is not travel related, and for those that would never shop at Bloomingdales, I thoroughly apologize. However, this does link to earning to a good amount of American Airline points, so bear with me here. And for those shoppers, this is a great way to get a deal at Bloomingdales! To get this savings you must: 1) use the Friends & Family code, 2) shop online and go through the American Airlines AAdvantage shopping portal, 3) use a points earning credit card, and 4) purchase a discounted gift card through a cash back site.

Step 1: Purchase a discounted gift card at www.cardpool.com. The amounts vary, but all of them give 5% off the gift card value. To really maximize on the deal, you must purchase an electronic gift card where you can use online instead of an in-store only gift card.You can also get 2% cash back from this merchant by first going through either the BeFrugal.com or TopCashBack.com shopping portal.

Note: I personally have never purchased a gift card from cardpool.com, but it seems reputable. Cardpool.com does state in their purchase protection guarantee: “If you purchase any gift card from Cardpool, we guarantee it will be valid at the merchant and to the dollar amount specified on your order. We make such guarantees for up to 100 days from the date of your purchase, up to a maximum of $1000 per customer.”

Step 2: Go through the AAdvantage Shopping portal. You will earn 12 points per dollar spent. Now, you can go through a different shopping portal, but you’ll earn less points. Going through the shopping portal will literally take one extra minute and ultimately put you directly on the Bloomingdales website.

Step 3: Add the items to your shopping card. At checkout include promotion code “FRIENDS“. This is available to anyone and everyone and will give you 20% off your entire purchase (keep in mind though that some brands and find jewelry are excluded – typically your really really expensive high end stuff. Also, Bloomingdales has waived the shipping fees, so free shipping for all!

Step 4: Use a points/miles earning credit to earn even more points for your shopping! Remember that starting today the Chase Freedom credit card gives 5x points on all department store purchases, including Bloomingdales (up to $1,500).

So how does this calculate to 40% off? Let me first preface this with it is not a perfect science and I’ll point out some of the caveat’s along the way! Let’s say you want to purchase a $100 item, here are your savings:

  • The Friends & Family discount of 20% will bring this order down to $80.
  • Gift card purchase will save you 5%, bringing the cost down to $76.
  • You received 2% cash back on the gift card purchased, bringing the cost down to $74.40

Now, the points you earn on the purchase is the following:

  • You will earn 12 American Airlines AAdvantage points per dollar spent by going through the shopping portal, so 960 bonus points.
  • You will earn 1 point per dollar spent by purchasing the gift card, so let’s say 80 points.

If you value your AAdvantage points at 2 cents per point, this is giving you $19.20 worth of points, and then $1.60 worth of points with whatever program you purchased the gift card with. So you can then really think of your item as costing you $53.60, thus a 46.4% discount!

As I mentioned before this is not a perfect science. If you go through another shopping portal you will not earn as many points, and you might value your points differently. For most people 2 cent per AAdvantage mile might be on the higher end, although those that redeem for business/first class travel will get a much greater value out of their points. Also, this is assuming a perfect opportunity to purchase an $80 gift card from cardpool.com. You might end up with a balance on your gift card depending on the cards available. There is also the risk that the gift cards will sell out. And lastly, many people are anti the AAdvantage Shopping portal as there has been issues at times getting the points to credit.

Needless to say, this can be a great discount for many! The Bloomingdales Friends & Family promotion goes until October 6, 2013. Enjoy!

Disclosure: BeFrugal.com and TopCashBack.com links are my referral links. Feel free to include your referral links in the comments section for readers to use!

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