Thursday, September 13, 2012

STOP! Before you preorder your iphone…


The new iPhone 5 was just announced and as you all know, you can pre order the sexy beast starting September 14th, at 12:01am Pacific time.  I'm writing this post while I wait until 12:01am to arrive.

Before you jump and place an order on Apple.com with your credit card, STOP, and make sure you are visiting apple.com through the shopping portal that offers you the biggest reward. 

Remember, shopping portals are the easiest way to double dip rewards.
The Frequent Miler (one of my favorite bloggers) reports on his experience determining the best cash back shopping portal finders. 

I quickly did a search and found comparable results on evrewardcashbackholicand nerdwallet.

Here is a screen capture of my search on evreward:
Here is a screen capture of my search on cashbackholic:
There are many ways to double dip earn extra points, miles, or cash back on top of the credit card rewards you would earn by purchasing your new iPhone directly through apple.com

Shopping through a cash back portal is one of the easiest ways to multiply your rewards earning potential.

After careful consideration, I have decided to shop through the Citi ThankYou shopping portal to earn an extra 2 ThankYou points per dollar spent.  I am currently on a special promotion with my Citi ThankYou card, which earns me 5 points per dollar spent.  By shopping through the Citi ThankYou mall, I will earn 7 points per dollar spent at Apple.com

Since I’m looking to purchase the 32GB iPhone for $299, I will be making at least $300 x 7 = 2,100 Citi ThankYou points with this purchase.  That converts to $21 cashback, not counting any extra points earned from taxes.

If possible, ALWAYS pay with your credit card to make purchases of big-ticket items. 

I just checked the benefits of my Citi ThankYou credit card that I intend to make my purchase with.  The big benefits that are most useful to me include:

Buyers security program 
My iPhone is protected for the first 90 days against theft, fire, and even accidental breakage.  If I accidentally drop my iPhone 5 into a puddle of water and it catches on fire 89 days after I purchase it, Citibank will repair, replace, or reimburse me the value of a new phone.

Price Protection
If within 60 days after my purchase I see a printed advertisement for the same item at a lower price, I will receive a refund of the price difference, up to $250 per item.

Extended Warranty
My credit card will automatically double the original manufacturer warranty up to 12 months. 

These extra hidden credit card benefits are available with most major credit cards.  Never, ever, ever purchase something expensive (like an iPhone 5) with your debit card.  Your debit card will offer you no protection whatsoever on your purchase.

How does this post have anything to do with relentless financial improvement?  Like I've said before, I believe that you should spend extravagantly on things that make you happy, and cut costs relentlessly elsewhere.  If you're consistently saving up money, have no debt, and are investing in your retirement properly, go ahead and splurge every now and then.  No one can judge you on that. 

Just make sure you maximize the rewards earned on your purchase.

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