Discount on bills only with debit? There may be a workaround
Today I want to share a story from TPG reader Skip, whose creative workaround helped him score a discount on his phone bill while still earning travel rewards:
When I switched my family’s mobile phone service from AT&T to Verizon Wireless, I was slightly annoyed that getting a discount for paperless billing also requires use of a debit card rather than a credit card for automatic payments. I realized that I can purchase Verizon Wireless gift cards on their website using my credit card with no extra fees and free delivery. I can then use those gift cards to pay my monthly bill. Voilà! This trick may work for other services that require debit payment to get the best rate.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
There’s a lot I like about this story, from Skip’s creative workaround to the fact that he didn’t just automatically use his travel rewards card and instead focused on getting the overall best deal, which might have meant saving money instead of earning points. Any time you encounter a merchant that charges an additional fee for paying with a credit card or offers some sort of discount for paying with debit instead, you should always see if you can buy a gift card as a workaround.
While Skip went straight to the Verizon website to buy the gift card, he might have been able to stack another layer of cash back or mileage earning on top of this deal. For example, gift card app Fluz is currently offering 1% cash back on the purchase of Verizon gift cards, in addition to the points you earn from spending on your rewards credit card.
That said, you may want to consider using a credit card directly (even without a discount) because a number of cards offer cell phone protection when you use the card to pay your bill.
For example, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card comes with insurance against theft or damage for up to $600 per claim for you and your employees. There’s a limit of three claims in a 12-month period, with a $100 deductible per claim. The Citi Prestige® Card covers damage and theft up to $1,000 per claim and up to $1,500 per year, with a $50 deductible per claim.
The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
I love this story and I want to hear more like it! Please email your own award travel success stories to firstname.lastname@example.org; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. Feel free to also submit your most woeful travel mistakes; due to the volume of submissions, we can’t respond to each story individually.
Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you!
Featured photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.