A couple of weeks ago I learned along with many others that the Kohl’s website was allowing Kohl’s Cardholders to use a 30% off coupon code to purchase gift cards. This meant that a $100 gift card cost only $70. Additionally, through trial and error I noticed that the site was allowing me to use existing gift cards to purchase the new ones and as a bonus, the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal was also paying 10x points per dollar spent. (Look for a shopping portal primer coming soon!)
Since I don’t have a huge limit on my Kohl’s Card and because I only had a couple of $100 cards lying around, I ended up just buying $1100 retail worth of cards for $770. Within a couple of hours of learning about this trick from The Frequent Miler, someone posted it on Slickdeals and the entire thing blew up.
Pretty soon afterwards people reported receiving cancellation emails. While it took another day for mine to come, eventually I received emails saying that all three of my orders had indeed been cancelled. Since I have been in the “deal” game for quite awhile, having a mistake cancelled by the merchant is nothing new. I simply read the email and moved on. To be honest, I forgot about the whole thing until last week.
This past Thursday I opened the mailbox and saw an envelope from Kohl’s. Sometimes I order things and forget about them, so it didn’t immediately dawn on me what this was. When I opened it, much to my surprise, there were five cute penguin gift cards each with $100 written on them. Immediately I fired up my computer and checked my Kohl’s Card account. It said I had a $0 balance. I thought immediately that Kohl’s may have somehow cancelled my order, but still shipped the cards. After all, someone had taken the time to write the denominations on them.
The next logical step at this point was to check the balances of each card online. Perhaps you can see where this story is going. When I input each number in the Kohl’s website, the balance came back at $0. My best guess is that the cards had already been shipped out when they cancelled the order and Kohl’s simply went back and drained the balance on each of the cards. The next day I went to the mail and two more envelopes were there as well. Each contained three empty gift cards, this time instead of penguins, they were Santa and snowman themed!
My final thought after receiving the cards in the mail was to check the Ultimate Rewards Portal to see what happened to the 10x points for my purchases. For some reason, they are still showing there, but who knows. I am sure at some point Chase may claw them back from my account, but if they do stick around, 7700 Ultimate Rewards points isn’t a shabby consolation prize! The moral of the story here is that sometimes you get a deal and sometimes it vanishes, but playing the game is fun and it has allowed me to travel all over the world!