Buying the iPhone 5 for Points and Profit! 1200 Ultimate Rewards Points + $10 Cashback!

Like many others, I will be picking up the iPhone 5 when it becomes available on September 14th for preorder.  I always try to plan any purchases of $100 or more (well, really almost any purchase) around what will give me the most points or miles and this is what I came up with for the iPhone 5 purchase.  I am assuming a $199+tax upgrade price.  If you aren’t eligible for the subsidized upgrade or are spending more than that then it will be even more miles.

I have split the strategy into beginner and advanced sections.

Beginner Strategy – Go through Upromise to get 5% cash back.  First log into Upromise (or sign up for a upromise account if you don’t have one yet) then under the Earn toolbar, click on Online Shopping.

Then click on the Apple banner that should be on the next page, or look for Apple in the store list.  It should be giving 5% cash back.

The web site will then open a new tab in your browser and redirect you to the Apple site where you will get 5% cash back on your iPhone purchase.  Yes, it is only $10, but that is better than what you had before you read this article!  Make sure to use whatever card gives you the most miles or a card you are trying to meet a spending requirement on.

Advanced Strategy – Use your Chase Ink Bold card to purchase a Vanilla Reload to fund your Amex Prepaid card as I discussed in this article.  This will get you 5X Ultimate Rewards Points on your purchase price (including tax) which should be at least 1070 UR Points.  Then use the prepaid Amex to go thorough UPromise as mentioned above to get the additional $10 back.  So if all goes well, you should get 1000+ UR points + 199 UR points + $10 cashback using the advanced strategy.  Not bad for something you were going to buy anyways! Make sure to remember if you use this strategy you won’t be eligible for the extended warranty protection that your credit card may provide.  I personally tend to upgrade my iPhone once a year when the new model comes out so this isn’t as much of a concern for me.

Alternative Advanced Strategies – If you have the Chase Freedom card, you can wait until October 1 when they activate 5% UR points at Best Buy.  Or if you have an Ink Bold or Ink Plus that gives 5X UR points on telecommunications, you can probably put the upgraded handset onto your monthly bill and get 5% on it.

1850 Ultimate Rewards Points and $15 for buying FAR Staples software.

Until August 18 Staples has a free after rebate software package that you can buy 10 copies of and the whole cost will get sent back to you in the form of a rebate check. You don’t even have to pay tax since it is downloadable software by choosing in store pickup in a state with no sales tax such as NH. To maximize this offer, you need to use your Ink Bold Card, but you also use a different card for less points.

Step by Step

Start a new incognito window in chrome (to help with tracking) and log onto your Chase Ink Bold account and go to the Ultimate Rewards Mall.  Click through to the Staples link which should show 5X.

Search for item 368662 and it should come up with Trend Micro Maximum Security 2012 (1-User).  Change the quantity to 10 and then hit add to cart.

On the next screen click on the Add/Edit coupons link and add coupon 99618 to the order which should give you $15 off a $150 order.

After the order is completed, there will be a section on the page for Easy Rebates.  Click on the link given and it should autofill the rebate section with your order number and ship to zip code.  Put the rebate offer number of 12-14521 into the appropriate box and then hit next and then next again on the following screen.  They automatically get the quantity from the order number so you don’t have to enter 10 copies of the rebate. On the next screen, fill in the contact information where you want them to mail the rebate check and hit next.  Now the important part on the next screen, changing the rebate form from a visa gift card to a check. Click on the link that says “I would like to see other options for my reward [Rebate Check, Staples Gift Card]”

Change your desired selection to Check and hit next

The final screen will confirm all of your settings so hit Submit Rebate if it all looks right. All done!

So the way this breaks down is

  • 5X$185=925 points for going through the Ultimate Rewards Shopping Portal
  • 5X$185=925 points for using your Ink Bold card in an office supply store.
  • $200 back in a rebate check in 4-6 weeks

Since you only paid $185, this means you will have $15 profit plus 1850 points for free!  Can’t beat it! If you don’t have an Ink Bold, then get one! You can also use your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom but will only get 4X and no office supply bonus. Or use a card that you are trying to reach a spend requirement on since this is spending without actually spending since you get all of the money back!  Enjoy!

Chase Ink Bold increases spend requirements for sign up bonus

I am guessing Chase has been pleased with the sign up rate of their New Ink Bold card because they have increased the spend requirements from $5,000 within 3 months to 25,000 points after the first purchase and 25,000 after $10,000 within 3 months.  I was able to apply and get approved right under the wire for the change.

The Chase New Ink Bold has a number of attractive features that have made it such a popular card.  The first is that it used the ultra flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards Points (for more details on these great points check out my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Review).  A unique way to accrue these points with this card is a 5 points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent at Office Supply stores, phone, internet, and cable TV charges which we all almost all have!  It also has the 2X points for hotel and gas expenses and 1X for every other purchases. It also has no foreign transaction fees making it a great card for international travel which is what this whole blog is about! It does have an annual fee of $95, but it is waived for the first year. This card also gives you Priority Pass access to over 350 VIP Airport lounges around the world which is a great benefit when you are flying coach instead of business class or your airline doesn’t have lounge access.

Please note that this is a charge card rather than a credit card which means it must be paid off at the end of each month and a balance cannot be carried from month to month.  This feature might keep some people from getting themselves into trouble as well. 🙂  If this card and an extra 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points sounds good to you then sign up now for the Chase Ink Bold.  Remember that using our links to sign up helps support this site and helps us to continue to bring you the best travel tips and tricks.