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.