Tricks for Using Store Rewards on Christmas Shopping at 6 Major Retailers

Earns Kohls, Concord, USA - 28 Aug 2018
Chuck Burton / AP /

When it comes to holiday gifting, the real trick is to shop smarter (not harder) to get really good deals, especially with prices rising this year as an effect of inflation. Per CNBC, the price of electronics and toys is up 11%, and jewelry is 31% more in 2022, which means savings are a must to not go over your gifting budget.

As GOBankingRates previously reported, there are several best shopping strategies for your wallet such as paying attention to ads, signing up for loyalty programs and skipping on shipping. Yet, while Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, there’s still plenty of bargains to be had, especially if you know the savvy ways to shop using store rewards programs. Many major brands offer some kind of store perks, whether it’s Kohl’s Cash or My Best Buy Rewards.

This means that, basically, for every dollar you spend, you’ll earn points toward a reward certificate to use on a future shopping trip. Apply that to Christmas shopping and that means one big trip for gifts will pay towards another trip to finalize your list. Here’s how it works at six of the biggest retailers:

1. Kohl’s Cash

The popular chain gives out Kohl’s Cash for every dollar spent during a qualifying period. You can earn $10 to use again at the store for every $50 you spend, which can really add up. The current period to shop and accumulate Kohl’s Cash runs through Dec. 7, and then you can redeem the reward dollars from Dec. 8-18 — just in time for last-minute holiday shopping. So, if you buy $200 in gifts now, you’ll get $40 Kohl’s cash to use in a couple weeks for another gift for someone on your list.

Make Your Money Work for You

Also check out: Target Circle Rewards is offering 1% back on qualifying purchases.

2. Ulta Ultamate Rewards

Who wouldn’t love a nice bottle of perfume or a high-tech hair tool for a holiday gift? Ulta has a number of options for the beauty- or spa-loving person in your life. But they can get pricey, with many of those items costing over $100. If you enroll in Ultamate Rewards, however, you can earn points for every dollar you spend. Once you get to 100 points, you’ll get $3 off; 2,000 points will be $125 off — all of which you can apply to another gift purchase. Plus, there are tricks to earn points faster such as signing up for app notifications and opting into e-mails — and if December happens to be your birthday month, you’ll automatically get a $10 off reward.

Also check out: Sephora Rewards offers points for purchases that add up to VIB status to get percentages off future purchases.

3. Dick’s ScoreCard Rewards

For the sports fan on your gift list, Dick’s has everything from jerseys and apparel of all their favorite teams to gear to get on the field (or ice) themselves. If you have a long list of people to buy sports-themed items for, you can enroll in Dick’s Sporting Goods ScoreCard Rewards programs to start accumulating points to use toward future purchases. You’ll receive one point for every dollar spent. Or, if you’re a ScoreRewards credit card holder, you’ll get 2x the points for every dollar spent. Once you rack up 300 points, you’ll get a $10 reward towards your next gifting trip.

Make Your Money Work for You

4. Nordstrom Notes

Join Nordstrom’s Nordy Club in December and you can start adding up point towards Nordstrom Notes certificates to use on future purchases. You can earn one point for every dollar spent or 2x the points if you open a Nordstrom credit card (if you open an account in December, you’ll automatically get a $40 Nordstrom Note). Once you get to 1,000 points, there will be a $10 reward waiting for you. So buy all your gifts now (like luggage, winter jackets, dresses and accessories) and let the points add up for your next holiday gifting trip.

Also check out: Macy’s Star Rewards is providing $10 certificates for every 1,000 points earned.

5. My Best Buy Rewards

Break up your tech-related gifting purchases into multiple transactions and you’ll be able to work this rewards program in your favor. Every dollar here nabs a point. Once you get to 250, you’ll earn a $5 rewards certificate. So if you want to buy someone an Apple Watch, and are feeling super generous with purchasing one of the top-of-the-line Series 8 models with GPS, it’ll cost $499. However, that’ll net you $10 in rewards that you can then use to apply to some accessories you can gift as stocking stuffers.

Also check out: OfficeDepot Rewards give 2% of purchases back in rewards, which are paid out monthly with a minimum of $3 to redeem.

6. My Bath & Body Works Rewards

Gift someone on your list with a Bath & Body Works candle and they’ll never stop gushing about how much they love it. With the store’s rewards program, it’s easy to earn points to get free candles (or body care products) for everyone on your list while saving money doing so. Every dollar spent on purchases adds up to points — once you reach 75, you’ll receive a reward for an item of up to $16.50 in value.

Make Your Money Work for You

Also check out: Bed Bath & Beyond’s Beyond+ Rewards Program offers 20% off every purchase — though it costs $29/year to be part.

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