Everyone who isn’t a millionaire will always appreciate saving a dollar or two on a shopping trip. Shopping in a department store can be a big financial burden on a family with a small budget, but it doesn’t have to be. Some families have never shopped at a department store in fear of unfeasible high prices. I hope to put an end to such nonsense.
In addition to utilizing the basics of shopping savvy, there are numerous ways to maximize your savings at any big box store. In this article, I’ll teach you how to maximize your budget at Kohl’s, no matter how big or small it might be.
Take Advantage of Kohl’s Cash
At least once a month, Kohl’s offers a promotion in which you earn a $10 coupon (Kohl’s Cash) for every $50 you spend. It doesn’t matter how you pay for your purchase to earn Kohl’s Cash; you can pay with a Kohl’s gift card, cash, or credit card, and still receive a $10 Kohl’s Cash voucher for every $50 spent. However, your total MUST be at least $50 BEFORE taxes. So, if you have a $48.62 subtotal with $3.40 in taxes, equaling a grand total of $52.02, you can’t earn Kohl’s Cash on that order.
There is no limit to how much Kohl’s Cash you can earn, it increases in $50 intervals. So, if you have a $762.83 order, you’ll earn $150 in Kohl’s Cash.
You don’t have to be a Kohl’s Charge holder or a Yes2You Rewards member to earn or use Kohl’s Cash, and you can maximize your savings by combining coupons. However, if you redeem Kohl’s Cash with a coupon, know that the register will apply the Kohl’s Cash discount FIRST, and your coupon will be applied SECOND.
For example, if you redeem $20 Kohl’s Cash with a 30% off coupon on a $98.50 order, the register will apply the $20 Kohl’s Cash first, dropping the price down to $78.50. Then, the register will apply 30% off the new total of $78.50, bringing the final price to $54.95. That’s a savings of $43.55, or 44.2% off your entire order. It doesn’t matter which order you give the coupons to the cashier, the register will still calculate in this order.
Take note of the dates on the Kohl’s Cash you receive. Most Kohl’s Cash must be redeemed within the following week or it will expire. Once upon a time, Kohl’s would accept expired Kohl’s Cash, but they’ve recently stopped honoring that policy as of mid-2015. So, use it or lose it!
Once a year, during the week of Thanksgiving, you can earn $15 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 purchase. This is a great way to maximize your Kohl’s Cash, but be mindful of discounts as usually only 15% off coupons are available around this time. If anyone manages to score a 20% or 30% off coupon during this time, please let me know.
If you’re ever in the situation where you get to checkout, and you’re only a few dollars short of the $50 subtotal, look for the Kohl’s Cares stuffed toys, candy bars, or miscellaneous register goodies to meet the minimum. Unfortunately, you cannot buy a gift card to meet the $50 minimum for Kohl’s Cash.
Sign up for Yes2You Rewards
This is a newer program that Kohl’s has enacted within the last few years. Yes2You Rewards is a rewards program that allows members to earn 1 point for every dollar spent on all purchases, including the in-store purchase of a merchant gift card like Applebee’s or Subway (but NOT on the purchase of a Kohl’s gift card).
For every 100 points (or $100 dollars), you’ll earn a $5 reward that can be redeemed in the following month. So, if you spend $310 in the month of December, expect to earn $15 in rewards cash for the month of January. The extra 10 points you have hanging around will be combined with the purchase points of February, or the next purchase you make at Kohl’s. However, if you don’t earn a rewards voucher for points within a year, they will expire.
You can combine Yes2You Rewards vouchers with Kohl’s Cash and other Kohl’s coupons to maximize your savings! You can even earn points on a purchase that you are redeeming a rewards voucher on!
Once again, be mindful of expiration dates. Yes2You Rewards vouchers expire within 30 days of being issue, and are usually dated for use between the 1st and last day of a month (i.e. January 1 – 31).
Open a Kohl’s Charge account
If you shop at Kohl’s at least a few times a year, opening a Kohl’s Charge account makes perfect sense. Kohl’s offers special coupons throughout the year that allow you to save 15%, 20%, and even 30% off an entire purchase. Usually, you’ll receive these special coupons in the mail, attached to the front of a Kohl’s flyer/magazine, hidden under a “reveal” sticker. You must have this flyer with you to redeem your coupon in-store. If not, the cashier will give you a bare-minimum 15% off coupon.
It is not possible for you to use a Kohl’s Charge coupon without your Kohl’s Charge. You can, however, use a gift card for most of the balance, and put a small balance on your Kohl’s Charge. Then, you can turn around and pay off your Kohl’s Charge balance in the store.
To maximize this savings method, you should pay off your entire balance before the end of each billing cycle. Like most store cards, Kohl’s Charge has a ridiculous interest rate. Kohl’s Charge is financed by Capital One, with a variable Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 21.90%. If you miss a payment, expect to pay a $25 fee. Using coupons to save some money – only to pay money to fees and interest later – is silly, and non-effective.
Shopping at Kohls.com
You can redeem up to 4 promo codes on Kohls.com. So, put those Kohl’s Cash vouchers, Kohl’s Charge coupons, and Yes2You Rewards to work!
You don’t have to receive a 20% or 30% off coupon offer in the mail to take advantage of the Kohl’s Charge cardholder savings. You can redeem any 20% or 30% offer using a promo code at Kohls.com, but you must use your Kohl’s Charge at checkout online. You can usually find these promo codes on RetailMeNot or DealsPlus. You cannot expect to be able to redeem these promo codes in-store, however, I have personally written a promo code down on a piece of paper, shown it to a cashier in-store, and the cashier applied the percentage off to my order. This may not work for you, but you may get lucky, depending on the cashier.
You can earn Free Standard Shipping on any order with a minimum subtotal of $75. The order total MUST be meet the $75.00 minimum BEFORE taxes in order to qualify for free shipping. You don’t need a promo code to take advantage of Free Standard Shipping.
You can combine dollar-off coupons with percentage off coupons. For example, if you have a $10 off a $50 Big & Tall purchase, you can combine that discount with a 30% off coupon, and Kohl’s Cash, and Yes2You Rewards. You cannot combine multiple percentage off coupons unless it’s on a specific department. Remember, you can only use up to 4 promo codes online, so be thrifty with your coupon selection. If you have 5 coupon codes, calculate the best possible savings
For the best savings, always start your shopping adventure with Ebates.com, where you can usually earn about 6% cash back on your total order (up to 12% on Cyber Monday). So, in addition to all the coupons and discounts you’ve just learned about, you can score an additional percent off your purchase total.
If you don’t have an Ebates account, but shop online several times a year, I’m here to save your piggy bank: signup for free here.
You can (and should) combine your Ebates savings with the Honey browser add-on. Honey can save you time and money by finding coupons and working out the best deal in your online checkout. In addition to Ebates cash-back, you could earn HoneyGold, which is typically equivalent to 1 Gold for every $1 spent. HoneyGold is only available for specific retailers, so don’t be surprised if you can’t earn any on a Kohl’s purchase.