A Kohl’s Deal Primer: Using Ninja Tricks to get roughly 50%+ off!

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Kohl's Promo Stacking Huge Discounts

Kohl’s Promo Stacking Huge Discounts

We have covered Kohl’s deals in the past, and are certainly not the first website to highlight the great “deals” potential at Kohl’s. Nor will we likely cover every potential trick in the book. But consider this a primer on using Miles to Memories’ “Ninja Tricks” to put together what can often be a GREAT deal on apparel and other household goods, including items such as appliances and even toys. In fact, if you ever find yourself shopping at Kohl’s (or Kohls.com) without using these Ninja Tricks, you’re missing out!

Step 1: Get a Kohl’s Charge Card

Kohl's Promo Stacking Huge Discounts

To be eligible for the best deals at Kohl’s, it really pays to be a Kohl’s charge card holder. As you will see, below, that doesn’t mean you actually need to pay for all (or even most) of your orders with the card. But getting the card unlocks the deals. (All usual disclaimers apply: only if it makes sense for you to take on this credit, and yes it will count against Chase 5/24!) So go on over to their website and apply if you wish. It’s tough to miss their “apply now” links.

Step 2: Use a 30% off coupon

Kohl's Promo Stacking Huge Discounts

Upon approval for the charge card, you get 30% off your first order. But, more importantly, it will lead to monthly invitations for 30% off coupons, with unlimited use during typically a 11-day (or so) period. Those 11-day periods usually run from around Wednesday through the following Sunday, and can occur at various times of the month. But they are usually spread out by roughly a month! The 30% off coupons are either mailed or emailed to you. I honestly don’t pay attention, as I usually just find the codes (during these periods) via an internet search for “30% Kohls coupon.” Note that there are restrictions on coupons for certain items and brands, and you will need to pay for at least part of your order with your Kohl’s charge card.

Step 3: Use a shopping portal

Kohl's Promo Stacking Huge Discounts

 

Of course this is a staple of the Ninja Tricks toolbox. As always, start at a website like Cashback Monitor to look for the best payout, or the one that best fits your points/miles desires. It is rare to do much better than 5% cashback (such as Upromise right now, as of this writing) or 4 points/dollar (such as the Chase Freedom portal right now). But on rare occasions, we have seen portal payouts as high as 15% or 8 points/dollar! A reminder that it’s a good idea to start with a fresh and/or private browser session, and make sure that your Kohl’s cart is empty before you go through the portal.

Step 4: Pay (mostly) with discounted gift cards

Kohl's Promo Stacking Huge Discounts

Another Ninja Tricks staple is the discounted gift card. While you must pay for at least a small portion (any amount) of the transaction with the Kohl’s Charge card to use the 30% off coupon, you can pay for the rest with gift cards. There is a limit of four gift cards per order, so be aware of this when purchasing smaller denomination gift cards. Gift Card Wiki is a good place to search for the best discount on gift cards.

But my personal favorite go-to spot for Kohl’s (and many other) gift cards is CardCash, as long as you are planning to use the gift card within their very short 45-day guarantee period.

Besides having typically good discounts on Kohl’s gift cards, CardCash has been known (at least as of this writing) to earn 5X on Chase Ink (Bold, Plus and Cash varieties) if you pay via PayPal.

Potential Step 5: Discover cardholder discounts and more

Kohl's Promo Stacking Huge Discounts

There are certainly other potential Ninja Tricks that can be added to the mix from time-to-time to sweeten the Kohl’s deals even more. For example, we have previously written about the occasional discounts (which can usually be combined with everything above) available to Discover cardholders. In fact, that discount is showing on both of my Discover cards right now.

Another probably obvious potential discount is simply seeking out “sale” or “clearance” items for sale at Kohl’s, which are eligible for the coupon discount (other than the coupon restrictions).

Extra Bonus Round: Kohl’s Cash (and Yes2You Rewards)

Kohl's Promo Stacking Huge Discounts

A huge extra bonus, beyond all the other savings above, is that these 30% off monthly coupon period usually coincide with Kohl’s giving $10 in “Kohl’s Cash” for every $50 in purchases. Or effectively 20% back in Kohl’s Cash, which is a store credit that typically has to be used in the next week after the end of the 30% coupon period. While this is a nice kicker, it should probably not be valued at “face value” – since you will not be able to use a coupon with the Kohl’s cash. And be sure to use it before it expires!

Note that Kohl’s strangely has a second rewards program called Yes2You Rewards, which is earned at a 5% rate on all your purchases and works similar to Kohl’s Cash. But, in my experience, you do not earn Yes2You Rewards for the portion of your purchase made with gift cards.

Wrapping it all up: a math example

Let’s say for example you purchase $150 worth of clothes, household goods or other eligible items. You would get free shipping, would earn Kohl’s cash and some other goodies.

Here is how the math looks:

  • Retail Price: $150
  • Minus 30%: – $45
  • Total Paid: $105

Now if you are able to purchase a $100 gift card at 10% off and use a portal you will reduce your cost even further.

  • Total Paid: $105
  • Gift Card Discount: -$10 (10% off a $100 card)
  • 5% Portal Cashback: -$5.25 (5% of the $105 total)

Now things are looking a bit better. We also have rewards to factor in. In this example let’s say we bought the $100 gift card at CardCash with a Chase Ink as outlined above. I value Ultimate Rewards points at about 1.5 cents each to be conservative.

  • Ultimate Rewards Earned: $7.50 (500 points)

Now on to the Kohl’s Cash. I personally value Kohl’s Cash at about 65% of face value because it cannot be combined with coupon codes on future purchases and will not earn portal cashback. 

  • Kohl’s Cash Value: $13 ($20 in Kohl’s Cash @ 65% of face value)

Now let’s add it all up!

  • Retail Price: $150
  • Minus 30%: – $45
  • Total Paid: $105
  • Gift Card Discount: -$10
  • 5% Portal Cashback: -$5.25
  • Ultimate Rewards Earned: -$7.50
  • Kohl’s Cash Value: -$13

FINAL COST: $69.25

DISCOUNT OFF RETAIL PRICE: 53.8%!

Now of course sometimes Kohl’s inflates their retail prices and you always want to compare to make sure you are getting the best deal, but I assure you that often using these methods will result in a significantly bigger discount than can be found elsewhere.

Conclusion

Every time I drive by a full Kohl’s parking lot outside of the 30% off coupon cycle, I get a little bit sad. Or hopefully assume the customers are there spending their Kohl’s Cash! In all seriousness, hopefully the Ninja Tricks toolbox is helpful for you to score some good deals at Kohl’s, whether for personal use or reselling. One warning on that front: Kohl’s is known to be pretty quick to shut down accounts used for reselling purposes, so it’s a good idea to keep quantities low or save this one for personal use!

Let us know in the comments if you’ve used these tricks or other methods to save big at Kohl’s.


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13 COMMENTS

  1. I value Kohl’s Cash at 80% of face value because the highest coupon codes out there once 30% is over is 15% or 20%. BTW, you can use an $X off $XX coupon with KC (eg $10 off $30), as well as department or brand specific ones, e.g. 20% off Hasbro toys.

  2. Also, several times a year Kohl’s offers rebates on small kitchen appliances that are on sale. Using the above tricks and adding in the rebates, I have actually scored items that they pay me to buy. My latest rebate resulted in getting 8 small appliances for -$6. Then, I can resell for all profit, give as gifts or donate. I have also done similar with JCP. The key is buying discounted gift cards at 5x points and using as many of the above tricks as possible.

  3. You can buy Kohls gift cards from Kroger to potentially get a return of 25% or more.

    1. Use a 5X card to get about 8-12% return depending on how much you value miles and the periodic opportunities to take advantage of transfer bonuses.

    2. Take advantage of Kroger 4X fuel points promo and fill up 35 gallons of gas (use gas containers or bring 2 vehicles) to get 14% return, e.g. buy $250 gift card, get $35 discount or free gas.

    Plus you get much better protection on gift card purchase at Kroger.

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