A little while ago, I wrote about an Amex Offer for City Sports. After diving in a little more into the deals available, I found some pretty great deals on these Garmin GPS watches.
Last week when I asked about how to share tips and deals (this is not one of the ones I was referring to), a wise reader suggested that I do not share them but show how to find some. I still want to share some of them because it is a little hard to explain how to look without telling anyway, but I do like the idea of showing how to find certain deals.
Get A Great Deal On These Garmin GPS Watches – A Deal Case Study
Step 1 – The Deal Kicker
The first step for me in locating and building a deal involves some type of a kicker – something to get me started. There are a lot of deals around but we may not think to check at a particular store unless there is some kicker to get our interest picqued for a store. In this case, the deal kicker was the Amex Offer for $15 back on $75 or more at City Sports. That got me interested and diving in a little to search for how to sweeten the deal.
Step 2 – Search For Coupons
There are many coupon sites that can help give you coupons and discounts for a host of retailers. Some of the popular ones include RetailMeNot and Coupon Cabin. If you are not sure where to find coupons for your particular store, just search Google for “[store name] discount code[or coupon].” It will kick back a lot of places where you can find coupons. Some of them may be expired but you just might be able to find something that works. Note: many of these sites have referral links for the various retailers. It is how they make money to stay in business, which is fine. But, if you click their link, you will not be able to use a shopping portal to maximize. If there is not a portal link, then I always use their links to support them.
In this case, I found the coupon MAYSALE at the RetailMeNot website. That was for 20% off sale and clearance items through May 31,2015.
Step 3 – Search For Portal Payouts
A great place to start to search for portal payouts (websites that will pay you in miles/points/cashback for shopping through them) is Cashbackmonitor. Simply punch in the name of your store and you will find a host of partners and what kind of payout they will give for using them to shop at your final destination through.
In this case, Cashbackmonitor shows us a few sites that are giving 3% cash back – BeFrugal and Panda Cashback – as well as other amounts. If you want a few extra dollars in cash back, make sure you start your shopping by going through one of these links.
Step 4 – Check Gift Cards
This is sometimes a little iffy. Some portals will not issue payouts on the purchase or use of gift cards so make sure you pay attention to the details on the portal terms. But, if that is not a problem, you could do a double dip scenario – go through the portal to buy a gift card and then go through the portal again to buy whatever you want. This gives you double the points through the portal.
Separate from the portals, buying gift cards can still be a good plan if the Deal Kicker was an Amex Offer. If you can buy gift cards in the amount of the Amex Offer necessary to trigger the cash back, you can combine those gift cards at checkout to maximize the amount of cash back you are getting from Amex on a single item.
In this case, if you buy 2 gift cards at $75 each, you will have $150 of City Sports credit and receive a total of $30 back in a statement credit. Since gift cards at City Sports can be combined at checkout, this is a perfect way to maximize earnings on a single, high-priced item.
Step 5 – The Extras
This could be anything and could include any number of the following possiblities:
- Rewards program from the vendor (in the case of City Sports, you will get 5% back on every purchase for future purchases)
- Combination of items – this might be putting a couple/few items together in your cart to get a special promotion
- Manufacturer rebate
In this case, Garmin has a $25 rebate on the Garmin Forerunner 220 and a $50 rebate on the Garmin Forerunner 620 watches. Once you receive the GPS watch, you can send in the rebate form and pertinent items from the watch and get another amount off.
Step 6 – Putting It Together
In this particular case, the watch I am looking at is the Garmin Forerunner 220. It normally retailed for $249 but it is on sale with all vendors because the replacement watch, the 225, was just announced. The new model takes your heart rate through sensors on your wrist but is largely like the 220.
The 220 sale price is $199. By going through the BeFrugal portal and getting 3% back while buying gift cards in two bundles equaling a total of $75 per bundle. That means you will earn $2.25 cashback per gift card bundle purchase. That is a total of $4.50 on the purchase of the gift cards.
We now head back to the City Sports through the BeFrugal portal and get another 3% back. I added the Garmin Forerunner 220 to the card. Using the code on the watch by itself did not work, it needed some other item added as well. By throwing something in like a $1.86 sale item, I was able to trigger the MAYSALE discount code to get the 20% off both the watch and the cheap item. My total was $161. If you have the gift cards, you can combine them at checkout. That would have been another $30 back on Amex (by purchasing $75 in gift cards twice).
After you receive the watch, you send the $25 rebate back in to round up your earnings. Here are the totals:
- $9.30 from BeFrugal
- $30 from Amex Offers
- 20% off the $199 price
- $8 from the 5% Insider rebate towards future purchases
- $25 rebate from Garmin
- Total cost of the $249 Garmin Forerunner 220 after all savings – $87.70 a savings of $161.30 from the regular price!
Couple of notes – in this particular instance, the gift card route may not work as the rebate ends May 31 and the gift cards are shipped through the mail. Still, it gives the potential earning benefits on such an item.
While it is always nice to just get the deals in a simple way, some of the best deals require a little bit of extra work. Hopefully this little case study gave you some help in building your own deals. If you want the higher-end model, the Forerunner 620, you can build a similar deal with that.