Let’s say your kid (or spouse?) has been begging for a PlayStation 4. And now you’re ready to cave, but you really want to get the best possible price. You could wait and hope for a great deal to appear on Black Friday, but then you would have to beat the crowds to get in on what would likely be a very small supply of discounted game consoles. There’s no need to fight that battle.
By stacking three deals, you can get a 35% rebate off anything sold at the Sony Store.
Deal 1: Amex Sync offer
American Express has brought back the deal that offers $25 back when you spend $100 at the Sony store.
You can get in on this offer either through Amex Twitter promotions (Tweet “#AmexSony”) or, hopefully, through “Amex Offers for You” when you sign into your Amex account online
The trick is to know how to get this offer attached to all of your Amex cards, not just one. This includes primary cards, authorized user cards, Serve prepaid cards (but not Bluebird or REDbird), and Serve subaccount cards. For full details showing how to sync multiple cards to a single Amex offer, please see: Maximizing Amex Sync offers. Part 1: sync multiple cards.
Deal 2: 5% cash back portal offers
The Sony Store is available through multiple cash back portals which are currently offering 5% cash back. At the time of this writing, portals offering 5% cash back for Sony include UPromise, Shop At Home, Mr. Rebates, and Shop Discover. If you haven’t already signed up for these portals, you can find signup links here. If you are a new customer with either Shop At Home or Mr. Rebates, you’ll get an automatic $5 credit on your account (dependent upon meeting spend requirements).
Deal 3: Gift card double dip
I know from personal experience that you can earn portal cash back both by buying e-gift cards from Sony and by using e-gift cards from Sony. This means that it is possible to “double dip”. Go through the portal once to buy e-gift cards, and then go through the portal again and use the gift cards to buy merchandise. In this way, you can double your cash back.
Put it all together: 35% rebate
Here’s how to put together the deals shown above for an effective 35% rebate:
1. Figure out the total price of merchandise before rebates are considered
For example, the PlayStation 4 retails for $399.99 and Sony charges $5 for shipping, so the total cost for a basic system would be $404.99.
2. Sync multiple Amex cards to the Sony offer
For every $100 you intend to spend, make sure you have an Amex card setup with the Spend $100, get $25 back offer. So, with the PlayStation 4, make sure you have 4 Amex cards ready to go. Full details can be found here: Maximizing Amex Sync offers. Part 1: sync multiple cards.
3. Buy $100 e-gift cards through portal
For every $100 you intend to spend, go through the best cash back portal to Sony and buy yourself a $100 e-gift card. On the Sony store, you’ll find a link to gift cards at the very bottom left of the site under the heading “Find it Fast”. Make sure to pay with a different, synced, Amex credit card each time. This way you’ll get $25 back from Amex for each of these purchases, plus you should get $5 back from the portal for each purchase.
4. Buy the PlayStation (or whatever)
Once you have all of the e-gift cards in-hand (or, actually, in inbox), go through the portal one more time to the Sony store and buy whatever it is you want. Use the e-gift cards to pay. You should get 5% back from the portal for this purchase.
Add it up:
Assuming you use the above methods to buy a $400 PlayStation 4, the math should work out as follows:
- Buy 4 separate $100 Sony e-gift cards, get back $100 from Amex and $20 from the cash back portal. Total rebate for this step: $120.
- Buy the PlayStation 4, get back $20 from the cash back portal. Total rebate for this step: $20.
- Sum total of rebates: $140.
Portal rebates can take a while (often 2 to 3 months), but in the end your total cost after rebate for the PlayStation 4 should be only $260!
For details about how I performed the exact steps listed above to buy a computer last year, please see: Maximizing Amex Sync offers. Part 2: extreme savings.
What if you don’t have any Amex cards?
The above steps are contingent upon having Amex cards to work with. If you don’t currently have any Amex cards, here are a couple of options:
1) Get Serve
A simple option is to sign up for a Serve prepaid card (here). The card is free and does not require a credit check. Once your account is setup, you should be able to add subaccounts for free as well. Each primary account and each subaccount will get their own Serve Amex card and each one can be enrolled in Amex Sync Offers like the Sony offer described above.
Note 1: if you already have a Bluebird prepaid card or a Target Prepaid REDcard, you can’t open a Serve card.
Note 2: Amex does charge a $1 monthly fee for any month in which you do not load at least $500 onto the primary Serve cardholders account.
2) Sign up for new cards and earn bonuses
Another option, of course, is to sign up for an Amex credit card. When doing so, you might as well get free points or extra cash in the process. You can find the best sign up offers for Amex cards here. With most Amex cards you can add multiple authorized user cards for free. Each of those authorized user cards will be eligible for Amex offers like the Sony offer described above.
Caution 1: If you sign up for a new Amex card (or Serve card) today, there is no guarantee that this Twitter Sync offer will still be available by the time you get your card. That said, new offers come all the time so chances are good that you’ll be able to gain from the new card.
Caution 2: When you pay for items with gift cards, you do not qualify for the automatic extended warranty and/or price protection features that your credit card may offer.
You also can get 500 Sony Rewards points out of this. Not a huge amount, but sweetens the deal a bit more!
[…] See: Sony PlayStation 4 brand new for $260. Here’s how… […]
I ordered a GC on Nov 5 and a PS4 on Nov 10. Have not received an email from Discover about cashback yet. I know this worked last time around so maybe Discover has changed.
I hope not. Sometimes they do take a while to report the cash back
I hope not. Sometimes they do take a while to report the cash back
Once you order the virtual Sony GCs, about how long does it take them to show up in your inbox? I ordered my first as a test trial, and it’s been an hour now and still nothing. Just wondering if I should expect it in days or hours. My anxiety is to see the first one before ordering the other three.
And the answer to my own question was, “It took two hours to arrive.”
Thanks for the info! It has been too long since I did this to remember how long it took for the gcs to arrive.
this offer doesn’t expire until the Feb 2015, so unless people really want to buy these PS4s during the holiday season, they should hold off.
also, do you know if the sony store does black friday and other holiday promotions? TIA
Well, the main point of the timing of this post was to show people a way to buy these at a discount before the holidays since these are likely to be presents.
I don’t know if the Sony store does black friday or other holiday promos. Of course, if they do, this deal can get even better
FWIW, Discover portal explicitly excludes getting the cashback on Playstation hardware.
That’s a bit disconcerting. That’s a good reason to opt for one of the other portals that offer 5% cash back. Currently: uPromise, Shop At Home, and Mr. Rebates. None of those list the Playstation exclusion.
You can also use this same approach to buy a discounted GoPro at CitySports 🙂
I don’t see e- gift cards at City Sports, so you’d need to order 4 physical cards, wait for them to deliver, then use them to double dip.
Correct. I ordered 4 and they arrived within 3 business days. Not bad if you can wait for them.
This should also qualify for the 5% bonus cashback on online purchases at shopdiscover. Make sure to add it to your account before buying. That’s another 5%.
How would you get 5% cashback or any extra cashback at Discover using your Amex? I’ve had very limited success(1 out of 5 orders) in getting cashback thru Shop Discover when not using a Discover card to pay.
I’ve gotten cashback from Discover even when I don’t use a Discover card. Of course you will have less grounds for appeal if you don’t get it if for no other reason than there won’t be any record of a transaction at Discover. They don’t have a click history thus the only record is your purchase history. Overall, Discover has been fairly reliable for me with or without using my Discover card but I do have to submit missing claims requests about half the time. For some reason they have a large percentage of non reported transactions. Nothing is guranteed at any of these sites. There’s always a risk.
One thing I like about Discover is they tend to give cashback based on the entire purchase amount. Not just how much you paid. For example, when I bought something for $100 at Sears and applied $80 of SYW points thus only paying $20 out of pocket. They still gave me cashback based on that full $100 transaction.
I’d also add that if you use 4 Serve cards (1 primary + 3 subaccounts) you can earn an extra cashback if you load your Serve with a CC. For example with an Arrival + you get 2.2% back that on $400 equals $8.8. Not at a lot of money, but it adds up to other discounts.
I would not buy any electronics with giftcards instead of using an Amex directly, because of their excellent extended warranty. Has saved my bacon a couple times now and is no-hassle consumer friendly coverage.
this is in the faqs of mrrebates “Are purchases of gift cards or payment via gift cards eligible for cash back rebates?
Some stores do offer cash back for gift card purchases as listed in the Gift Cards category. However, any store not listed in that “Gift Cards” category do not offer cash back for gift card purchases.
Purchases made with gift card redemption or gift certificate redemption as the full or partial payment method are not eligible for cash back rebates.”
sony is not listed on the gift cards section, do you have any experience with it? will your process work?
According to FM: “I know from personal experience that you can earn portal cash back both by buying e-gift cards from Sony and by using e-gift cards from Sony. This means that it is possible to “double dip”.”
Greg, which portal(s) did you test? What was the last test date?
I did it yesterday via MrRebates and today got the confirmation email saying I got the $5 back. It works even though Sony is not listed as a merchant that awards cash back on GC purchases. Enjoy!
Any problem using 4 e-gift cards in one order on sony website?
I’ve never bought from them before.
No problem. I used 10 last year to buy a computer.
How do you know when an offer like this occurs? Looking at the Amex offers page, there is no mention of the #Amexsony promotion.
The best option is to sign up for Wandering Aramean’s Sync Assist tool. It will automatically sign you up for all Twitter offers as they appear: http://wandr.me/Account/LogOn?ReturnUrl=%2fSyncAssist%2f
Thanks. If my wife has bluebird, can she get a serve subaccount from my primary account? I would use the same name when registering her, but different phone numbers and emails.
One tiny word of warning on the last point…. It usually takes a little while (one statement cycle maybe?) to start getting “offers for you” on your amex card. I’m not sure how soon you can start syncing with twitter or Facebook. So, if you want to get in on deals like these (before Christmas!) yes, get an Amex or two. But know that you *may* have missed this exact deal.
I was getting deals offered to me immediately on a new delta amex. I added it to existing amex CC account. I linked to Twitter day after receiving, and able to tweet to add an offer as well.
dean- That’s cool that you got the offers right away. Mine have always taken a while. Good to know that twitter is available immediately in any case. thx.
That’s a good point. Sometimes the Offers for You are not immediately available. Twitter offers are immediately available but this deal might not exist once a new card arrives. I’ve updated the post with a caution.