Double Dip Ultimate Rewards for portal for more than 50 points/$

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by lovetofly, Dec 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. lovetofly

    lovetofly Silver Member

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    After reading a lot on the blog Frequent Miler, I decided to do my own experiment with double dipping the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal with the highest paying merchant magazines.com at 35 points/dollar.

    1. I went through the portal to magazines.com and bought a gift certificate for $28. (According to the terms and conditions, gift cards are allowed)

    2. I went through the portal a second time and placed an order for magazines for total of $27.49 and used the gift card to pay

    The following is what posted:
    Order #1: Transaction amount $28 - Points 980
    Order #2: Transaction amount $13.73 - Points 480

    I found it odd that the amount posted for the second order was 50% of the amount that i actually spent ($27.49)

    Regardless, 1460 Ultimate rewards points for spending $28 at magazines.com

    That's 52 points / dollar.... awesome!
     
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  2. Andyandy
    Original Member

    Andyandy Gold Member

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    That is odd. Nevertheless, bravo for advancing the science of miles earning with your experiment!
     
  3. PedroNY
    Original Member

    PedroNY Silver Member

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    Is there anything worthwhile to use magazines.com certifcates on? Once in a while FTD or 1-800-Flowers run promos that you can clear about 50 or 100 miles per $ spent, usually it is a bit pricy for these flowers, but it sounds like a similar idea
     
  4. mikesteg

    mikesteg Silver Member

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    Question: since UR rewards are worth 1.25 cents when booking travel through the site, doesn't that mean if you can net 80 points/dollar that the item is essentially free? I'm a cheap one who buys flowers at WM (but I do put them in a vase myself)... if I could get even 50 or 60 points back on flowers my wife would have a pretty good week. If I could get close to 100... well, she'd probably start to get irritated. :D
     
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  5. gwhit21

    gwhit21 Silver Member

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    Great find. I love learning new tricks like these.
    The flowers are probably out. My wife still hasn't recovered from the Grand Slam.
     
  6. penumpang
    Original Member

    penumpang Gold Member

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    To get UR points, do you have to use a Chase card associated with the UR account? Or, can you use giftcards as a method of payment and still get the UR points?
     
  7. arkleseizure
    Original Member

    arkleseizure Silver Member

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    Thanks for posting this...gave it a shot. I'm sure my wife will enjoy the magazines.
     
  8. lovetofly

    lovetofly Silver Member

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    The only way you can be sure to get your points is if you use a Chase UR earning card. If for some reason the points don't post, you have your statement as proof that you purchased that item. With gift cards, you really don't have much proof. According to Chase, you must use Chase ultimate rewards earning credit card for points to post. However, there have been reports of people using other cards and still getting the points. I would say don't risk it!
     
    penumpang likes this.
  9. Million Mile Secrets

    Million Mile Secrets Silver Member

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    I do the same thing, unless the US Air Grandslam is running. :)

    I've been able to get points through UR for using an AMEX card, but as was pointed out, I really am out of luck if the points don't post!
     
  10. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    More or less, and that 1.25 is the minimum value you should put on the points. If you can build up larger number of points, transfer to continental, BA, or hyatt, and redeem through their program for flights or hotels, you can get quite a bit more than that in "value" (with the caveat that you get the highest returns on paper from tickets or rooms you might not otherwise purchase).

    ~100k points can get you a business-class flight that would otherwise cost thousands. 22k points can get you a hotel room that could, in select hotels, price out at over 1k a night. These transfer redemptions are worth at least considering.
     
  11. arkleseizure
    Original Member

    arkleseizure Silver Member

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    Is this documented somewhere? It would make sense, but I do not recall having seen that caveat anywhere.
     
  12. penumpang
    Original Member

    penumpang Gold Member

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    In the Shop UR website, if you click "how it works," you'll see "Check out with your Chase card, and the extra Ultimate Rewards points you've earned will be credited to your account in 1-2 billing cycles."

    But, based on some posts here, it seems that they don't always enforce it.
     
  13. arkleseizure
    Original Member

    arkleseizure Silver Member

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    Yeah, I saw that. But that certainly seems more along the lines of marketing language than legalese (T&C) language. And it still doesn't mention using a card that earns UR points, just any Chase card. It would be very sloppy of them to use that one mention as a basis for blocking points earning.

    Still, I suppose the risk averse thing to do is just to use a UR earning card to avoid potential hassle. An issue like that would probably fall under the "you can't fight city hall" arena.
     
  14. zshanlon

    zshanlon Silver Member

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    Just last week I got credit for shopping through UR at officemax.com and using my corporate amex. If the shop out bonus is 1 point/$ you only get half the points you would normally get because you are only earning points through the portal purchase and not the card points + the portal bonus. Make sense?
     
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  15. slotownmomma
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    slotownmomma Silver Member

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    Thanks. This is a great reminder and idea for a good Christmas gift. I just am in love with the Ultimate Rewards Mall. I've been doing almost all my shopping through it and AMEX Membership Rewards Mall.
     
  16. FrequentMiler

    FrequentMiler Gold Member

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    Lovetofly: this is great stuff! Do you mind if I post this info? Also, don't forget that you get an annual 7 pct bump on those points!
    Others: yes I've gotten credit many times thru the UR mall using non-chase credit cards.
     
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  17. FrequentMiler

    FrequentMiler Gold Member

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    My guess as to why the OP didn't get the same number of points for the magazine purchase as the gift card purchase is that shipping, handling, and taxes don't get points. That's why when buying flowers you'll get far fewer points than you would expect.
     
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  18. lovetofly

    lovetofly Silver Member

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    Frequentmiler: I politely disagree with that theory because there are no shipping fees and taxes on magazines.com. I would be curious to hear how other peoples orders post. Anyone get a full double dip of 70 points/$... that would be even more awesome.
     
  19. FrequentMiler

    FrequentMiler Gold Member

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    That is very strange then. I can't imagine why you would get an odd amount credited...
     
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  20. FrequentMiler

    FrequentMiler Gold Member

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    OK, let me try theory number 2: was this for a two year subscription? Maybe they only credit points for the first year or something wacky like that.
     
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  21. dagaetch

    dagaetch Active Member

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    Or maybe the second order was for two different magazines, and they only counted one? Still very odd.
     
  22. infamousdx

    infamousdx Silver Member

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    I do this sometimes at Sears; I did it often when they were doing 10x bonus points. This was 'better' for me than Magazines.com since I just purchased a new home and it needed plenty of furnishing. 52 points per $ is a great redemption but it's still 1.92cpm. If I had magazines to buy, I would go for it but I wouldn't just order random mags for 1.92cpm, IMO.

    I actually mentioned this strategy in the 3rd paragraph of my post - http://infam.us/vSY99Q
     
  23. mikesteg

    mikesteg Silver Member

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    Thanks. Yeah, my intent was to use most of the points on a cruise booking and save some for Hyatt. Now I see that SWA will be a partner at 1-to-1, so that's 1.6x per point and probably a good deal for us. We are a family of four, but we tend to cruise or stay with relatives :confused: so hotel points aren't of great benefit to us right now.

    I do see the error of my ways however :D and I know there is no rush to xfer points since UR tranfers are usually instant. I will keep reading and do my best to use them judiciously as actual needs arise.
     
  24. modernhaus

    modernhaus Active Member

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    re: the magazines.com double dip, I was really close to doing this myself, until I noticed that UR site said you would NOT receive any bonus points when ordering magazine subscriptions that automatically renew (which is most, if not all subscriptions on magazines.com)
     
  25. FrequentMiler

    FrequentMiler Gold Member

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    I just did this: I bought an e-gift card through the UR mall, and then went back through to buy $40 worth of books with free shipping using the gift card. My prediction is that I'll get the full 70 points per dollar. We'll see!
     
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