Here at Milenomics we don’t stop discussing a deal just because it has ended. In fact we can learn more about the deal after it ends than while it is going on usually. People are less likely to mention their tips and tricks publicly during a deal for fear of ruining it. After the deal is over we can share openly and not worry about reprisal. The Safeway gift Card Deal ended last night, and so today we’ll debrief.
As we’ve discussed here twice the Safeway MMR deal allowed you to come out ahead, with negative cost for the miles earned. This allows you to drive down your average cost per mile and pad accounts you need more miles in. There are some good general tips in both of the previous two discussions on this deal, be sure to read them if you get a chance.
Experiences and Issues
I was successful in almost all my purchases of these Gift Cards. The reason for this, I believe, is that my cashiers are starting to really get to know me better. Three successive rounds of these deals over the summer have them knowing me as the Gift Card Guy. One joked with me “how much on this one, 462.77?” to which I replied, smiling, “Close, $474.84! ha!”
I had two incidents where I was shot down for buying, interestingly enough both were for $100 cards. One was at the store closest to my work–I happened to be there for something else and wanted to pull a coupon to use it. Cashier snapped “How are you paying for this?” I said Credit, and she snapped Back “These are Cash or Debit only.” Remembering “a Tale of Two Purchases” I said Debit was fine, and paid with debit. The second one was early in the morning at my regular store, but with a cashier who I know has sold me them for credit before. I’m not sure why that sale was cash or debit only.
When I’m testing out a new store or new cashier I like to buy $100 cards. The reasons are twofold: First, if I get shut down and told Cash or debit only they’re low enough in value that using my debit card doesn’t mean much to me. Secondly I feel that they’re less work for the cashier, they just scan them, don’t have to ask how much you want on them or anything, leading them to allow the credit card purchase to slip by.
When a cashier has told me cash or debit I always complete the sale. Walking away just seems far too sketchy to me. Cashiers talk amongst themselves, and I don’t want a reputation as a possible scammer. The good part about this Safeway promo is that it allowed you to test out cashiers and stores with little real risk–if I bought a $100 card to try and was not allowed to purchase on credit, I still made the purchase fee back, plus a couple dollars from the coupon.
Speaking of those coupons, I found no resistance in breaking my orders up and using them multiple times per shopping trip. I did have trouble finding items to buy that weren’t 2x the price of other stores. Fortunately the Just4U app from Safeway had some decent deals available to help.
These promos are like prospecting sessions. Because your coupon covers the purchase fee and then some you can use these purchases to dig around and find the right stores, and cashiers who will become your friends for the rest of the year.
Visa or Mastercard?
I stuck entirely with Visa cards for this promotion. Which did you go with? I find Visa’s to be much easier to liquidate at WM. I can’t see a benefit to buying the Mastercards, but if you did find a benefit to them, please share.
How did you do with this Safeway deal? Any troubles/tips for fellow readers? These debriefing sessions are a time for us to let it all out, not to brag, but to help each other.[rule]
– Written by Sam Simon. All ideas are my own, but I encourage you to see my point of view and I promise I’ll try to do the same. Connect with me on Twitter @Milenomics.