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  • Yesterday, a belated Christmas present to myself arrived in the mail – a Bose Sounddeck II! I LOVE that I can plug in my iPod Touch into it and blast my music throughout the house while I’m cleaning. But what makes this stereo more than just any other stereo is that I MADE $4.49 by purchasing it. Seriously, I actually came out ahead by purchasing this uber stereo.

    Bose Sounddock

    The Bose Sounddock II has been sitting in my Amazon Wish List for over a month now. It used to be $269.99 and I was struggling to purchase it then. It just seemed like a lot of money to spend on a stereo – which it is, but I do think when it comes to Bose, you get what you pay for. When I went back to my wish list on Tuesday, I was shocked to see that the price had gone up to $299.99. Eek! If I was struggling with $269.99 you can imagine how I felt to discover my hesitation would cost me $30 more! Determined to find some way, some how to get the stereo cheaper – at least back to the $269.99 price it used to be, I started a furious search on the internet.

    After about 20 minutes of searching Bing, shopping.com, and Google, I finally found the solution that not only allowed me to get the stereo for cheaper, but also netted me cold hard cash back! Let me break it down for you. First off, if you do not have a cash-back credit card, this is a testimony for why you should get one (assuming you’re responsible with your credit. I am a strong supporter of only having and using a credit card if you can pay off the ENTIRE balance every month. I abhor the idea of having to pay money to borrow money – essentially paying $1.10 when I only borrowed $1 – BLECH! I know there are instances where it’s practically impossible to avoid and I’ve found ways to deal with those times. But ultimately, don’t borrow more money than you can pay back. That’s the end of my credit card “rant”…back to the savings.)

    I have a Discover Card that earns me 1-5% back on certain purchases. I went to town this past holiday season by shopping through the Discover Card store when they were offering up to 20% cash back on purchases. All of the cash back I’ve earned over the past few years has gone into my rewards account. Part of the Discover Card rewards program is that you can exchange your earned rewards for discounted e-certificates, gift cards, or merchandise. If you shop at the stores they offer rewards for, it can be quite lucrative – as good as getting a $40 gift certificate to Mrs. Fields for just $20.

    I am also a member of ebates.com, an incredibly awesome website that rewards you cash back simply by shopping your favorite stores through one of their links. You may recall my analysis of Discover Card Shopping vs. Ebates.com, where I used ebates to maximize my cash back on a Gap.com purchase. If you aren’t signed up for ebates.com, sign up now! It’s well worth the few seconds to get an account and shop through their links. (I’ll also get a little something something back as well if you sign up through this referral link. :))

    Now that you have the background on the two sources I’ve used, have you figured out what I did?

    Step 1: Use Discover Card Rewards and exchange $240 in rewards (I’ve been saving them up for awhile) for $300 in e-certificates to crutchfield.com.
    Step 2: Use the ebates.com link to crutchfield.com to earn 1.5% cash back on my purchase.
    Step 3: Buy my new spiffy stereo using the e-certificates.
    Step 4: Two days later, receive a $4.49 cash back rewards through ebates!

    Voila! Something that cost me $0 out of pocket (since I didn’t have to pay for the rewards – they were earned through normal purchases I make anyways – I consider it free money) actually made me $4.49 cash!

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