It sounds like an episode of extreme couponing. Customer goes into a store. Cash register rings up a charge of $819.24. Customer opens wallet and pays $9.24.
Well, we’re not extreme couponers, but this is exactly what happened when Matt went to buy the new TV for our basement.
So how did he do it? It’s all about the points.
For years, Matt has had a Sears Mastercard. He liked it because he could redeem his points for gas or restaurant gift cards. But then everything changed. A couple of years ago, Sears decided that points could only be spent at Sears. We don’t shop at Sears a lot (at all), so Matt’s been building up his point balance for a long time.
Knowing that we wanted a second TV for the basement, Matt decided that this purchase was the chance to finally use his points. He did his research to figure out what TV he wanted. He cashed in his points for a couple of gift cards. He watched for sales. And then it happened.
A 50-inch LED LG TV came on sale. The total price after tax (including Ontario’s special e-tax) came to $819.24. He plunked down $810 in gift cards and charged the rest to his Sears Mastercard.
Depending on how you look at it, the TV cost either $9 or $81,000–the amount of money Matt had to spend to earn all of his points. Buying on points is definitely not a quick process.
I should also say that while Matt and I use our credit cards often, we pay off the balance in full every month, so there are no interest charges and we didn’t go into debt to buy our $9 TV.
Have you ever bought anything on points? Are there any extreme couponers out there? What’s your favourite rewards program for collecting points? What’s the best deal you’ve ever found?