My cell phone is Boost Mobile. It is a prepaid phone. You can pay a monthly fee by credit or debit cards online or buying Reboost card (prepaid card) and then adding money to your account online. Paying a monthly fee or purchasing a Reboost card are subject to sale tax. To save money, I was paying a monthly fee in the following methods:
- Paying with Chase Ink Cash credit card directly at boostmobile.com – 5% cash back from credit card
- Purchasing the total $200 or more Reboost with Chase Ink Cash at Staples – 5% cash back + 1% statement credit from VisaSavingEdge
- Purchasing Reboost with REDcard at Target – 5% discount
- Purchasing Reboost with Target Gift Cards at Target – No discount when purchase. But I got Target GCs with discount (6-7%)
All these transactions incur a sale tax. Sale tax where I live (Queens, NY) is 8.875%, and some part of North Bergen, NJ is only 3.5%. So, every time I visit there, I buy several Reboost cards at Staples or Target. In store only, there is no listing at Staples.com. As for Target.com, there have been a listing, but never been available to purchase (see details here.)
And now I found that Reboost card (email delivery) was available online. I’d like to conduct an experiment for which I have longed.
Experiment: Get 5% REDcard discount WITHOUT using REDcard
Target offers 5% REDcard discount almost all items including gift cards. Except for Visa or Target GCs, you can get 5% discount on the purchase of GCs. Online, create your account and enter your REDcard info and you will see 5% discount automatically applied when you add items to the cart. In billing section, when you choose other credit cards, 5% discount disappears. However, when you choose Target Giftcard or PayPal, 5% discount stays.
Let’s continue with PayPal. 5% discount ($1 in this experiment) is described as “Promotion on Boost Mobile Prepa…” in PayPal website. But the discount disappeared when I returned to Target.com.
Next, I tried to choose Target GCs. But, first I needed to clear up PayPal payment information by logging out and in again. After adding an item to the cart, I also needed to choose REDcard and click “save&continue” to make 5% discount reappear. Then I chose Target GCs, and 5% discount stayed until the final page. I checked out and received Boost Mobile redemption code within an hour.
Everything was fine. The amount deducted from Target GC had 5% discount. I successfully entered the code and added money to my Boost Mobile account. Target GC I used for this purchase, I bought it with about 7% discount. So, this transaction is about 12% off deals!
12%!?…. Wait a minute. It is not only 12%. It’s more because there was no tax. When I buy Reboost cards in stores, stores charge a sale tax. When I pay online directly with credit card, Boost Mobile charges a sale tax. So, there is extra 8.875% discount in this transaction.
I tried to do the same thing on purchase of Target MasterCard GC, but it didn’t go through. Target doesn’t allow to use GCs for the purchase of MasterCard GCs and Visa GCs. I could check out but received an email of cancelation minutes later.
Since Target MasterCard GCs appeared online, Target still offers 5% REDcard discount on the purchase of Target MasterCard GCs. Purchase fee of $100 GC is $6, and the discount is $5.30. If there is a way to compensate the loss ($0.70), it will be a way of manufactured spending to consider.
So far, I haven’t found a cash back portal that pays on the purchase of gift cards at Target.com.