While seemingly off topic from the usual travel related posts, this is a great way to get $95 or roughly 48% off a brand new 16GB IPhone 5S using some practical skills learned from travel hacking. One of the most useful tools in the travel hacking game is what many call "double dipping". Essentially, this is getting miles or points from two different sources for the same purchase. In this example, we will be using the Chase Ink card and the Topcashback shopping portal to demonstrate the way to save almost half off of your IPhone purchase.
The Chase Ink is one of the best cards on the market right now. One of its brightest attributes is that you receive five Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar you spend on certain business expenses such as office supply stores, cable TV bills and phone related costs. These Chase points can then be redeemed for a number of travel partners at a 1:1 ratio, such as United, Hyatt, Korean Air and Amtrak. To get the 5x points for your phone purchase, make sure you buy your new IPhone 5s at an office supply store or established phone provider like Verizon, or AT&T. This can be done either online or in a brick and mortar store.
Disregarding sales taxes – which can be very significant because stores actually charge the tax on the full $500+ price of the phone – $199 x 5 UR points is 995 points. In the travel hacking community, it seems the generally accepted value of these points is $0.02 each. So with that metric, you'd be getting an instant rebate of $19.90 off of your IPhone purchase. Fuzzy math? Stay with me.
To complete our "double dip", we need to get further value out of this purchase by using an online shopping portal. Like the name suggests, these portals funnel business to merchants using their landing pages. Whatever referral commissions they get, they share with the consumer in the form of a rebate. As I'm a T-mobile subscriber, I went on the topcashback.com portal and saw that there was a $75 rebate for new two year subscriptions. Given that the $199 cost is predicated on the fact that you set up a two year subscription, it'd be easy to go through the shopping portal and get an easy $75 back.
– $199 x 5 UR points = $19.90 in value
– T-mobile new contract sign up through topcashback.com = $75.00 Rebate
– Total: $94.90
*If you sign up for topcashback.com through my referral link, I will receive a small referral payment*