Middle Age Miles

How About a 9x Transferable Points Play for Amazon Purchases?

9x transferable points ultimate rewards ur membership rewards mr amazon purchases amazon kindle gift cards chase freedom rakuten in-store offer jcpenney jc penney


We love concocting and performing various points-earning experiments – sometimes for real and sometimes just for thought. Here’s a stacking strategy that we actually executed earlier this afternoon, and we wanted to do a quick post as we head into the weekend since it may help some Middle Age Miles readers:

If you have the right ingredients in your pantry, you might be able to make a points play to earn 9x valuable transferable points for gift cards you can use for future purchases on Amazon!

Ingredients for the Amazon 9x Transferable Points Play

Here’s what you’ll need to make the Amazon 9x transferable points play:

  • A Chase Freedom card enrolled in this quarter’s 5x bonus categories
  • A Rakuten (formerly Ebates) Membership Rewards (MR)-earning account
  • A nearby JCPenney store, like ours in the north Dallas area (Frisco/Stonebriar Mall), that sells Amazon Kindle gift cards (or any other kind of Amazon GC, for that matter)

What You’ll Need to Do

The first step toward 9x Amazon is to make sure your Chase Freedom card is linked to your MR-earning Rakuten account. In addition, you’ll need to activate the Rakuten In-Store Cash Back offer at JCPenney. The normal Rakuten in-store earning rate at JCPenney is 2%/2x MR points per dollar – but this weekend, there’s a promotion to earn 4%/4x MR (and this promotion seems to be available semi-regularly, especially on weekends during the holiday season).

In addition, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve activated the 5x bonus categories for this quarter (4th quarter 2019 / Oct-Dec) on your Chase Freedom card. For this quarter, the 5x categories are Department Stores and purchases made using PayPal or Chase Pay.

JCPenney is specifically listed by Chase as a Department Store, so you know you’ll be getting 5x:

I had noticed on an earlier visit that our local JCPenney store sold Amazon Kindle gift cards. Importantly, Amazon Kindle gift cards can be loaded to your Amazon account and used for any Amazon purchases (not just Kindle purchases). The Amazon Help website confirms this:

The only denomination of Amazon Kindle gift card at our local JCPenney is $25. But no matter; we can purchase multiple cards and just load them one at a time onto our Amazon account. The card itself also re-confirms that it can be used for “millions of other items on Amazon.com” in addition to Kindle books and accessories:

So, we purchased 6 $25 Amazon Kindle gift cards, along with a few other items, for a total of $172.39 including $150 for the gift cards. Within a couple of hours, 690 MR points (4x $172.39) had posted to our Rakuten account:

Accounting and Recap

For our purchase of Amazon Kindle gift cards at JCPenney, we earned a total of 9x transferable points – 5x Ultimate Rewards (UR) points by putting the spend on our Chase Freedom card, and 4x MR points from the Rakuten in-store offer for JCPenney. That’s a pretty sweet deal!

Our baseline value for UR points and MR points is 1.5 cents each, resulting in an effective points rebate of 9 x 1.5 = 13.5% on our spend. We’ll take a 13.5% return on our Amazon spend any day, and it’s not too much trouble to load the gift cards onto our account and use them on things we’d buy in the ordinary course.

We know there are a number of ways to get discounts and points for Amazon spend, but we liked this one a lot and wanted to share it. Good luck with all of your own points-and-miles earning for your holiday shopping!

What do you think about the 9x Amazon play? Do you have other tips or suggestions that would do better? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments! Thanks!

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