Archives for August 2016

YMMV: 5% Cashback with AT&T Universal Card on Computers/Electronics, Toys, Department Stores, Clothing

If you have the AT&T Universal credit card, check your emails or messages on the website. A new offer was pushed out to members, but I have no way of knowing whether this is available to all or a subset of their card holders…

The offer is this: you can 5% cashback until 11/30/16 on purchases in four different store categories: computers and electronics stores (NICE!), Clothing stores, Department Stores, and Toy stores. Exclusions apply (as usual). This sounds nice but it is capped at a $25 bonus cashback. When you do the month, this means your $625 spending in these categories will get you 5%. Anything about that, will get you the standard 1%.

Screenshot of the offer below, highlighting the important parts:


You MUST MANUALLY ACTIVATE the offer by pressing the One-Click button in your email or message.

Surprise Double Stars Day for Starbucks Rewards on 8/31/16 [YMMV]

I have no way of knowing if this is available to all Starbucks Rewards members or only a subset, so check your emails to make sure you are eligible. With that out of the way…

There’s a surprise double stars day for Wednesday August 31st in 2016 for Starbucks Rewards members. A late night email on Tuesday announced this promotion. You don’t have to activate it or use a coupon, it happens automatically if you are eligible.


Strategically double-star days are great to stock up on “capital equipment” (coffee machines, coffee beans, ground coffee, coffee cups, etc) or splurge on the more expensive drinks and food items. With summer on the way out, some stores may have began the summer clearance sale, so look for that too as a way to get some good deals.

With double stars, you earn a reward for every $31.25 you spend (125 stars needed to earn a rewards divided by four).

8oz total 4-Tea Teavana Loose Leaf Sampler for $8.74

You can put your Prime membership to good use with this offer, you can get this Rise and Shine Collection Sampler by Teavana through Amazon for just $8.74. This sampler contains four 2-oz loose leaf teas, two oolongs (one flavored, one unflavored”), an Earl Gray and a Mate (caffeinated non-tea tea).

This is a pretty good deal, this sampler sold for a lot more while on sale at the Teavana website. Paying close to $1 per ounce of brand-name tea is pretty good!

Limit up to 30 per customer. It is fulfilled by Amazon, so if you are a Prime member, you can get one sampler and still get free 2-day shipping. If you are not a Prime member, you need a $49+ order to get free shipping. Or an order with $25+ in books, which includes tea books. A good way to make a themed purchase.

NOTE: I haven’t tried any of those teas, so I can’t tell you how good/bad they are, but you can google for reviews. Keep in mind when reading the reviews that many of the people reviewing paid a lot more for these.

B&M: 12pk Green Mountain K-Cups for $5

If you have a CVS store near you, and you drink K-Cup coffee, you may want to drop in by Saturday 9/3/16 night, they have a sale on 12-packs of Green Mountain Coffee K-Cups for $5 each. Variety is typically limited at brick and mortar stores (partially depending on how big a store is), so you will probably find the most popular flavors there. It’s a pretty good price for a one-off B&M purchase. Obviously if you need big quantities, you can get better per cup prices by buying online.

Funko Pop Jon Snow for $9.55 [limit 2]

Jon Snow fans! It’s Funko time, the Pop version of Jon Snow is currently on sale for a limited time for $9.55 each, in new condition, with a limit of TWO Jon Snows per customer at Amazon by Amazon actual. Free shipping for Prime members or with a $49+ order. Jon Snow averages 4.5 out of 5 based on 300+ customer reviews but he’s very emo about those 6% 1-star reviews 🙂

T-Mobile Tuesday offers for 8/30/16 revealed: Three returning champions and sad Shell gas coupon

The T-Mobile Tuesdays offers for Tuesday August 30 in 2016 are teased in their app and website and it’s a mixed bag. The headline is definitely MEH, it’s really a sad coupon, not a freebie. You get 25c off per gallon when you refill at Shell stations, and that sad coupon is capped at 20 gallons. This may be fine if you fill up at Shell, otherwise, it may be more expensive than your regular gas station.


The other three offers are returning champions, the Wendy’s Small Frosty, the Lyft ride (up to $15) and the very utilitarian $5.50 Vudu store credit (make sure you use it before Monday of the next week, they seen to expire before Monday 11:59pm).

The reason I’m grumbling about the Shell coupon is that there’s a danger in these type of offers becoming just a thinly veiled advertisement in the form of small coupon, instead of the free #GetThanked promotions that were promised and are partially getting T-Mobile more and more new subscribers.

Buy $10+ Starbucks eGift Card with VISA Checkout, Get $5 Bonus

A new VISA Checkout promotion is running at the Starbucks website. If you purchase a $10+ Starbucks electronic gift card AND pay for it with VISA Checkout, you will receive a $5 bonus on the gift card. The promotional period runs between August 4-29 in 2016, so if you haven’t done this already, it’s a great deal!

If you previously did this offer (before August 2016), you can do it again. I just did it and it worked fine. You MUST pay with VISA Checkout, not using the default credit card on your account.

The $5 bonus won’t show up when you pay, but when you receive the order confirmation email (it arrives within seconds), you will see that $5 has been added to the total. You can then proceed to load up this balance on your Starbucks account or immediately transfer it to one of your existing (eg default) Starbucks gift cards. Screenshot from the email below:


If you do the minimum, eg you buy a $10 egift card, that’s a 50% bonus! You can email it to yourself, you don’t have to send it to other people/email addresses and jump through hoops. VISA Checkout is funding many promotions like this across the internets as they are trying to generate brand recognition and fend off competition from mobile competitors like Apple Pay and Android Pay and Samsung Pay and PayPal and such.

The AMEX Gift Card Offer returns at Staples stores on August 28

If you are a fan of doing the Staples Easy Rebate Gift Card Easy Rebate promotions, set your alarm clock to wake you up on Sunday August 28 in 2016 because the weekly promotion is back for American Express Gift Cards.


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Benefit Reduction Alert for Amazon Shop With Points using Chase Ultimate Rewards starting 9/1/16

The benefit reduction trend continues with credit card reward redemptions. It is now Chase’s term to do this, for Ultimate Rewards credit cards. I do not know if this applies to ALL or SOME Freedom credit cards. Starting September 1st, if you want to use your accumulated Chase Rewards to pay directly for Amazon purchases, you will no longer enjoy the favorable 1:1 (1 point = 1 penny) exchange rate.


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11oz Old Dutch Cast Iron Tokyo Teapot for $12

If you like to brew tea in iron, and you want a small single-serve type of a iron teapot (not tea kettle) the black Old Dutch Cast Iron Tokyo Teapot is currently on sale for around $12 at There are two options, the fulfilled by Amazon (sold by other seller) is $12~, while Amazon’s own price is $13.

If you are not familiar with iron tea-related gear, this is not a tea kettle, in other words, this should not be used on the stove to boil water. This is used to brew tea. You put tea leaves in the included strainer and brew it. It is enameled inside to prevent rusting. You must boil the water elsewhere, with other appliances.

Also note this is 11 ounces, it LOOKS bigger in the pictures than it actually is. 11 oz is less than 1.5 standard cups. A can of Coke holds slightly more (12oz).

Another thing to note, iron is HEAVY. It will weigh a lot more than a similarly sized ceramic or glass teapot.

PS: if you are not familiar with the terms, Tea-Pot is something you use to brew tea. Tea-Kettle is something used to boil/heat water.

20% off Digital Movie Purchase at Google Play

Google Play is running a new promotion, you can get 20% off the purchase of one digital movie. The offer can be found through their emails, with a big hint in the email title, “Introducing Family Library with 20% off any movie purchase”. Or you may find it while browsing around the different sections of the semi-organized Google Play store 🙂

Screenshot of the popup below:


Once you manually activate the coupon on your account (you just have to press the button), it will be applied automatically to your next purchase. IF not used, it expires 8/31/16.

T-Mobile Tuesday freebies for August 23 (2016) revealed [updated]

UPDATE 8/23/16: Indeed, the Harper Collins e-book offer is one e-book per line, and the service delivering them is BookShout, the same e-book service T-Mobile used for their previous free e-cookbook. If you have more than one line on your T-Mobile account, you can get more than one free ebook per Bookshout account.

This post contains SPOILERS about the August 23 (2016) freebies that are part of the T-Mobile Tuesdays for their paying customers. Okay, this is not a TV show, so the spoilers are a joke, but the offers are not…


The scheduled offers feature the return of the Vudu $5.50 store credit, which is added to your account, and must be spent before Monday night of the next week, otherwise it evaporate in this air. You don’t have to use it for a movie rental, you can use it toward the purchase of a movie, or a TV episode or a TV season. It’s a store credit. The limit is one credit per Vudu account, so even if you have multiple T-Mobile lines, you can only add one $5.50 credit per week (when it is offered).

The new offer of the lot is Harper Collins books (presumably e-books since they are a lot cheaper to deliver). Per the teaser, we get one free book from a choice of ten. The previous time they did an ebook offer it was through Book Shout but I don’t know if Harper Collins will offer them through that or otherwise. I’m assuming you can pick a different ebook per line if you have multiple lines.

The other two offers are returnees as well, the $15 Lyft ride, and the small Wendy’s frosty. I haven’t done the Frosty in a while, all but one of the previous times I tried to redeem this, the cashier was utterly confused on what to do, and I felt bad for them, so I stopped trying to redeem it 🙁

PS: unless they were instructed by management to play dumb to discourage redemptions 🙂

YMMV eBay Sellers: Get 50% back in Sales (up to $50)

eBay is running a new targeted (I think) promotion to reactivate eBay users who haven’t listed items in recent months/years. This promotion is sent to qualifying customers to their emails and/or eBay Messages (depending on how your communication preferences are setup), and to join in, you have to manually click on the blue “Claim Offer” button in the email, and after you do that, you have to click on the green “Activate Offer” button. Once you do all that, you will get a confirmation message that the offer is active on your account.


The terms are simple as you can see from the screenshot above, with the important things underlined.

Starbucks Rewards Sugar Rush Combo for 50 Bonus Stars (August 19-21)

This is a YMMV promotion as it is sent by email to Starbucks Rewards members and I have no way of knowing whether it is sent to a subset by region or by other criteria. If you are eligible for this offer, you will see an email about it. But you also have to take action, you must click on the “Activate This Offer” link in the email to activate it. Without activation, you don’t get any bonus Stars from this offer.


The offer is running for three days only, August 19-21 in 2016, it’s a Sugar Rush combo. You have to buy both a frappuccino AND a bakery item (“baked good”) TOGETHER in the same transaction/receipt. This will get you 50 Bonus Stars, in addition to the regular stars you earn from the purchase. 50 Stars are 40% towards a reward. If you assume that you’ll spend your Reward on a $7 item (eg the boxed Veggie salad which is pretty good as a freebie reward), the 50 bonus stars have a $2.80 value).

The good news if you are fan of both fraps and bakery combos is that you can use this offer as many times as you like during this promotion. The bonus stars will appear in your account (with)in 24 hours after purchase.

Lucky Rewards: Buy $50+ iTunes Gift Card, Get $10 off Future Purchase and 200 Rewards Points

The weekly freebies parade is currently over for Lucky Rewards members, but they have a new tentpole promotion for week running August 17-23 in 2016 (the usual Wednesday AM through Tuesday PM grocery weekly-ad cycle).


If you buy $50 or more in iTunes Gift Cards, their cash register will spit out a coupon that gets you $10 off your NEXT purchase at Lucky’s. As long as you can find $10 or more to buy there in the future, then it’s like you are getting a 20% off on the iTunes gift card. On top of that, you earn 200 Lucky Rewards points, which can be used to redeem “Dollars Off” coupons ($2 purchasing power) or towards actual rewards items.

I don’t need any iTunes gift cards at the moment, so I am not going to do this offer, so I can’t tell you any more than what the email says. This appears to be an automatic offer, you don’t need to add it to your account manually.