Frugal Hack #35: Amazon Rewards Visa Trick to Get More Points

June 24, 2016 by Kyle
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Amazon Rewards Visa

If you have the Amazon Rewards Visa Card from Chase you’re already aware that you get 3% back on Amazon purchases, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases. But when it comes time to redeem your Amazon reward points, did you know that there’s a REALLY clever way to get even more points added to your account? A way that Amazon is hoping you never consider.

Essentially, you’re given several options when it comes to redeeming your points. Many shoppers, if not most, will simply opt to use their points on an Amazon purchase which will reduce the price of the item they’re buying. We can probably chalk it up to instant gratification.

See Also: 6 Brilliantly Slick Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Well, I’m here to tell you…DO NOT ever do this again. Instead, use the cash back option (or statement credit) every time, and earn more points in the process. Here’s a quick breakdown of why.

If you use your points towards an Amazon purchase, be aware that you won’t be getting all of the reward points possible. For example, if your points bring a $300 item down to $220, you’ll score 660 reward points on the purchase ($220 x 3).

See Also: 8 Awesome Ways to Score Free Amazon Gift Cards

But if you cash out your points, or request a statement credit, then use your card to make the same $300 purchase, you’ll end up with 900 points instead of 660. ($300 x 3). Remember, you’ll get the same dollar amount whether you cash out or redeem points directly on an Amazon purchase, making this trick a total no-brainer.

So that ends up being 240 more reward points by simply changing how you redeem your points. If you’re a loyal Amazon shopper, the extra points by doing this little trick will add up quickly and can definitely be significant over the course of a few months.

Happy savings.


By Kyle James

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Kate
Kate

This same trick works at Costco when you get your annual rebate check. They encourage you to use it to make purchases, but then you don’t get the credit towards next years bonus. However, they let you just cash the check, buy your items and voila – even more points!

A Costco employee actually told me about this several years ago.

BILLFL
BILLFL

How do. You get the cash back option ?

Jaymoon
Jaymoon

When you’re logged in, there is a “Go To Reward Details” link. Click that, and you can “Redeem Now” your points, in which Cash Back is an option. Chase can transfer it to an external account, or just add it to your card balance.

Peg
Peg

Just a note – this is an option on the card issuer’s site, not on Amazon itself.

David
David

This is a great trick. To clarify, it seems that this approach gets you the full 3% of value back on your Amazon purchases… is it right that using the points on Amazon purchases will essentially result in 2.91% cash back instead?

Park
Park

I’m not sure if your calculation is correct. To use points to save from $300 to $220, we need 8,000 points. Assume that after either option redeem all remaining points as cash.

Start off with 8,000 points
If we don’t use them on Amazon, we spend 300 and earn 900 points.
-> 8,900 points in the end
-> $300-$89 = $211 spent

If we use points on Amazon, we spend 220 and earn 660 points.
-> $220-$6.60 = $114.40 spent

So we end up spending less money using points on Amazon.

For a more general case, let p be the price, x be the points we have currently.

If redeem as cash: (p – x/100) – 3*(p – x/100)/100
p – x/100 – 3p/100 + 3x/10000
= 97p/100 + (3-100)x/10000
= 97p/100 – 97x/10000
= 97*(100p – x)/10000

If not redeem: p – (3*p + x)/100
= (p – 3p/100) – x/100
= 97p/100 – x/100
= (97p-x)/100

Redeem as cash will be better when
(97p-x)/100 > 97*(100p-x)/10000
100*(97p-x) > 9700p – 97x
9700p – 100x > 9700p – 97x
-100x > -97x (never true)
=> Use points on Amazon is always better no matter how many points we have.

Goran
Goran

You have an error in calculation: $220-$6.60 = $214.40, so by redeeming the points for cash before purchase, you saved $3.40. I didn’t check your general example, but I am sure it has an error, since it IS better to use the points to add to the card and use the card “more”, than using the points towards reduction of price.

Park
Park

Thanks for catching that. Okay, so from that example, we conclude that getting statement credit, we end up spending less.

Actually, my calculation for the general case is correct, but I drew an incorrect conclusion. “Redeeming as cash” actual means “using the points on Amazon” (thus, earning only 3*(p – x/100)/100 points). Also, “not redeem” means waiting to do statement credit later. Thus, from the last inequality, we conclude that “using the points on Amazon” is never better than “getting statement credits”. 🙂

 
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