Who doesn’t buy things at Amazon? Probably just the people who do not have computers at this point! Unfortunately, for the point-earner, there are not many ways to squeeze out additional points for your purchases with Amazon. Online shopping portals do not even offer 1 additional point for Amazon because they do not need to. Amazon is the largest retailer and does not need to pay shopping portals to direct traffic there way (though they do have a little affiliate program that allows people like myself to earn some Amazon credit when people buy products by clicking through their link – like the Garmin Forerunner 910 on the right of the screen ;).
Earning Ultimate Reward Points with Amazon
So, how do you get points? If you have the Amazon Chase credit card, you get 3 points per dollar spent at Amazon for you to use down after your statement closes to reduce your order total. That is a good way to get cashback, but if you want more or you want the Ultimate Reward points with Amazon spend, here is what to do.
- Get the Chase Ink Bold or the Chase Ink Plus card (or both!)
- Go to OfficeMax and purchase Amazon gift cards
- Receive 5x points for your Amazon gift card purchase since it took place at an office supply store (which gives Ink users 5x points – for up to $50,000 in spending a calendar year)
Pretty easy, yes? I do this whenever I can, especially if friends mention they want to get something and they want it quickly (I have prime). I even have used this as a way to buy some things from WarehouseDeals (Amazon’s site for open-box items) and resell them on craigslist or ebay. How much shopping could you do on Amazon? The answer to that is – A LOT! You could cut down on most of your other shopping and do it all from the comfort of your own home.
Here are the specifics of the points above.
- The Chase Ink Bold or Chase Ink Plus cards are business versions of the Chase Sapphire Preferred (in that they feed into Ultimate Rewards). The Chase Ink Bold is a charge card (meaning you cannot carry any balance) and the Chase Ink Plus is a credit card (meaning that you could carry a balance – not something you should engage in for the health of your credit score, but can be useful at times, especially for start-up businesses). In addition to the office supply store purchases giving you 5x points per dollar, telecommunication bills also give you that same bonus (cellular, landline, internet, cable, etc). Also, you get 2x points on gas. So these are great cards! As for the business part of it, you do not have to have a legally formed business to apply – you can do it as a small at-home business (you would put your social security number down instead of the EIN). Most people think that precludes them from applying but you can think of something that you could make some money on as a little at-home business. A lot of people sell thinks on eBay now – that is actually a potential business. Tutoring, consulting, selling, writing – your mind is the limit for how you can make a little extra money (which would constitute a business).
Here are the applications:
Chase Ink Bold – 50,000 Ultimate Reward Points after $5,000 in 3 months – application link
Chase Ink Plus – (limited-time offer) 70,000 Ultimate Reward Points after $5,000 in 3 months – application link
- There are actually many, many gift cards available at Office Max. When I am going to go out to dinner, I will actually buy the gift card from there to receive 5x points for my meal! There are hardware store cards there (any home improvement projects coming up this spring?) and many other department store cards. It does not just have to be Amazon.
- The points will post automatically at the close of the statement. There is nothing special you need to do. Now, be aware that they may tell you something about a special form you have to fill out if you are buying Amazon in large quantity (I had a cashier call a manager when I was buying some and he came up and said it was ok. He said with large amounts – didn’t specify the amount – the buyer has to fill out some tax form). If you by chance hit that number, just buy some that day and more another day.
- Use the points! As discussed before, Chase Ultimate Reward points are some of the most valuable points around today. To highlight, they can be transferred to United Airlines (like we did for our trip to and from Greece last year) and Hyatt Hotels (which are tremendous value points) just to name two. In addition, they can be used at a 1:1 value for a check that they will mail to you (meaning that, if you went that route, your Amazon purchases just became automatic 5% cashback purchases) or as gift cards. There are many uses that I have covered before so this little method makes Amazon point earning a valuable proposition!
If you need help with meeting your spending requirements, check out this post about Bluebird from American Express or this post about ways to meet spend. Please be aware before applying about what your limits are for feeling comfortable with spending thresholds. Remember that buying gift cards does not mean that those were gifts to you – you still have to pay! 🙂 If you get in over your head, the penalties and fees from that will far outweigh any travel value you could get from these offers. It is easy to do this right, but make sure you stay organized!
I had been meaning to do this little write-up for a while but with my current giveaway (check it out!), I thought it would be good to throw a little light on Ultimate Reward point earning opportunities at Amazon.