Reader John asked the following on the “Ask Lucky” page of the blog:
Ben- The new Ipad is coming out Friday. What is the best online shopping site or retail store to rack up the most points? Also, what is the best credit card to use?
While I can’t keep up with the rate at which Apple is introducing new products, I do try to keep up with the best ways to maximize miles and points on the purchase of them, whatever the product may be.
Maximizing points for Apple in-store purchases
The only credit card that offers bonus points for Apple store purchases is the The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card, which offers two Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at the Apple store. This is a new bonus category as of September 16, 2013, which applies at select computer hardware and software retailers.
Maximizing points for Apple online purchases
If you want to order directly from the Apple Store, I would generally recommend shopping through the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall for an additional 1.0 point/$1 of spend. Anyone with a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold has access to this shopping portal, so that’s an easy way to pick up extra points.
If you’re not concerned about purchasing directly from the Apple Store, then MacMall offers the same prices as Apple, though doesn’t charge sales tax. They are also listed in the Ultimate Rewards Mall, and this month you can earn an additional 2.0 points/$1 of spend, so this is likely the better deal for most people.
For those looking for instant gratification, you can still use a shopping portal to earn extra points! The Apple Store offers a “Pick Up In Store” service, whereby you can place your order online (thus earning bonus points), and then pick the item up at your nearest location.
If you’d prefer to earn airline miles directly, Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, Southwest, United, and US Airways all offer an additional 1.0 point/$1 of spend at both the Apple Store and MacMall as well.
Maximizing points through purchases at other retailers
While they don’t have the iPad Air in stock yet, Staples sells iPads and Apple products as well. I’m told they should carry it soon. Once that happens, this will be a great opportunity to earn 5x points on your purchase by using the Ink Plus, Ink Bold, or Ink Cash, for your purchase (again, make sure you go through a shopping portal first to pick up those bonus points).
Those are the best bonuses I know of – anyone else have suggestions as to the best way to earn points on iPad purchases?
(In the interest of full disclosure, I earn a referral bonus for anyone approved through the above links. All are for the best available offers. Thanks for your support!)