Forget Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Those stores might be retail behemoths, but one of America’s favorite places to shop is actually a Wisconsin-based department store chain. Kohl’s earned the top spot in Harris Poll’s 2017 EquiTrend rankings of department stores, above competitors, including Macy’s, JCPenney, and Dillard’s. It also came in third in the National Retail Federation’s ranking of America’s favorite online retailers.
What’s behind the Kohl’s love? The great deals you can score are one reason the chain is winning popularity contests. But getting the best prices at this store requires a little know-how. From the ins and outs of Kohl’s Cash to the best times of day to shop, we’ve rounded up 15 secrets to saving money at one of America’s favorite retailers. If you haven’t already joined the ranks of loyal Kohl’s shoppers, you might soon become one, especially once you realize how much money you stand to save at the store.
1. Learn to love Kohl’s Cash
Kohl’s Cash is the not-so-secret way to save big bucks at the store. For every $50 you spend (after discounts and coupons and before tax), you’ll get $10 in Kohl’s Cash to use on a future shopping trip. Kohl’s Cash is only offered on certain dates, so watch for ads in your newspaper or check online. Then, time your shopping trip accordingly. Once you have your “cash” in hand, you can use it to buy almost anything at a Kohl’s store or at Kohls.com, except for gift cards and certain charitable items, during the specified redemption period.
Next: Why you should save your Kohl’s receipts
2. Combine receipts to get your Kohl’s Cash
Hang on to your receipts whenever you shop during a Kohl’s Cash promotion period. Even if you didn’t spend $50 in your first transaction, you can still get your reward dollars if your total purchases during the period reach the spending threshold, the Penny Pinchin’ Mom explained.
In other words, if you spend $30 on one trip and return two days later and spend $20, you can combine those receipts to get your $10 in Kohl’s Cash, as long as you’re still shopping within the same promotional window. Just show your receipt to the clerk at the register, and you should be able to get your reward.
Next: More Kohl’s Cash tricks and tips
3. Get a little more from Kohl’s Cash
Officially, you need to spend at least $50 to earn Kohl’s Cash. In reality, you’ll get your $10 certificate as long as you spend at least $48 in a single transaction. That’s good news if your total at the register is just shy of the $50 limit.
Deal-hunters should also keep an eye out for variations on the standard Kohl’s Cash promotions. Occasionally, you might be able to earn $5 back for every $25 you spend. Around Black Friday, you’ll often see a $15 for every $50 spent deal.
Next: The easiest way to save 15% on your next Kohl’s shopping trip
4. Sign up for emails to save 15%
The easiest way to save 15% on your next Kohl’s purchase is to sign up for the store’s email list. This move will earn you a sweet discount on your next in-store or online purchase. Plus, you’ll get notices of future sales and additional coupon codes and special offers in your inbox.
Next: Earn cash back on your purchases with Yes2You rewards.
5. Get cash back with Yes2You rewards
Anyone who shops at Kohl’s with any frequency should sign up for the store’s Yes2You rewards programs. For every dollar you spend at Kohl’s, you’ll earn a point. Every 100 points nets you a $5 reward. That’s like getting 5% cash back every time you shop. You can earn rewards whether you pay with cash or use a debit or credit card. And there are opportunities to earn bonus points throughout the year, so you can save even more.
The Yes2You perks don’t stop there. You’ll also get at least eight special discount offers per year, plus a free birthday gift. Big spenders who drop at least $600 a year at the chain will get even more savings offers.
Next: Decoding the Kohl’s coupon policy
6. Stack coupon codes to maximize savings
Frugal shoppers know stacking coupons is the key to saving big bucks, and Kohl’s makes it easy to combine multiple discounts. Here’s how it works: You can use one store or sitewide percent-off coupon on every purchase, in addition to your Kohl’s Cash or Yes2You rewards dollars. Plus, you can use multiple department-specific coupons on each purchase, along with sitewide or storewide dollar-off discounts.
Sound a little confusing? This flowchart explains which coupons and discounts can be used and the order in which they’re applied.
Next: Why you need the Kohl’s app on your phone.
7. Get organized with the Kohl’s app
At this point, it might seem like keeping track of Kohl’s Cash, coupons, and other discounts is the equivalent of a part-time job. Fear not, bargain hunter. To simplify your shopping and maximize your savings, just download the Kohl’s app. This handy tool helps you track your Kohl’s Cash, Yes2You points, gift cards, and coupons in one place. You can even scan items in store and see how much you’ll pay once your offers have been applied — perfect for the math-challenged.
Next: The secret to getting free Kohl’s shipping
8. Score free shipping
Paying for shipping is a drag. Fortunately, Kohl’s offers a few different ways for shoppers to get their online purchases home for free. Usually, you can find a coupon for free shipping off purchases of $75 or more when you’re shopping at Kohls.com. You can also buy many items online and pick them up in store for free.
If you need to have a smaller purchase delivered to another address, then it might pay to head to a brick-and-mortar Kohl’s store. You can either use the in-store kiosk or the Kohl’s app in-store to make a purchase and get it shipped, gratis. That’s pretty handy when you need to send a wedding gift or want to buy something online that’s not available in the physical store.
Next: How price-matching can save you big bucks
9. Take advantage of price-matching
So, Target has a great deal on the new juicer you’ve had your eye on, but you have $30 in Kohl’s Cash burning a hole in your wallet. The solution? Price-matching. Take the weekly Target ad to your local Kohl’s, and they will match the in-store price for any identical product they stock. Then, use your Kohl’s Cash when buying the price-matched TV to maximize your savings. You’ll also earn Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You rewards points on your purchase.
Keep in mind Kohl’s only matches prices on items sold in store at competitors. It won’t match online prices, such as those at Amazon. It also won’t match prices from Kohls.com for items sold it its own stores.
Next: The best time of day to shop at Kohl’s
10. Be a night owl or an early bird
Fancy a little shopping after work on Friday? Or maybe you want to start your weekend off with some Saturday morning savings? Whether you prefer to stay up late or rise at dawn, Kohl’s has savings for you during its Night Owl and Early Bird sales. A few times a month, the chain offers extra discounts between 3 p.m. Fridays and 1 p.m. Saturdays, the Krazy Coupon Lady explained. Deals are available in store and online; check your local Kohl’s ad or online to find out the next sale dates.
Savvy shoppers should also keep an eye out for Gold Star Clearance events at Kohl’s, when you might be able to save as much as 80% off regular prices.
Next: Get coupon savings, even after you’ve made a purchase.
11. Get discounts after you buy
Forgetful Kohl’s shoppers who left their coupons at home aren’t out of luck. If you made a purchase in-store and later realized you should have applied a coupon, just pay a visit to the customer service desk. They’ll probably be able to issue you a refund for the amount you would have saved, according to Rather Be Shopping. If you bought online, email customer service with your order number and the coupon code, and they’ll credit your original form of payment.
Kohl’s will also do price adjustments for items you buy that later go on sale. You have two weeks from the date of the original purchase to request a price adjustment, and you can’t get adjustments on clearance items.
Next: What you should do with your expired Kohl’s Cash
12. Don’t trash your expired Kohl’s Cash
Kohl’s Cash doesn’t last forever. You must redeem your rewards within a certain period, or it will expire. However, if you space out and miss the deadline, you might have a grace period. Although shoppers report the chain has recently gotten a lot stricter about enforcing expiration dates on Kohl’s Cash, your local store might still let you use the rewards within a week or so of their expiration. Your best bet is definitely to use your Kohl’s Cash promptly, but if you do have some recently expired rewards you can call or visit your local store and ask whether they’ll still let you use it.
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13. Shop on Wednesdays if you’re over 60
Kohl’s shoppers over 60 should plan to visit the store on Wednesdays. On that day, the chain offers a gives a 15% “senior discount” on most items. Just show your ID to the sales clerk to score your savings. You can stack dollar-off discounts, Kohl’s Cash, and Yes2You rewards on top of your senior discount. However, you can’t combine the senior savings with any other percent-off discounts.
Next: Take advantage of rebates to save even more money.
14. Don’t overlook rebate offers
Cash-back rebate offers are the secret weapon in the arsenal of any Kohl’s shopper. When applied strategically, you might be able to score items for just pennies. Back in February 2017, the Krazy Coupon Lady managed to buy seven small appliances, including a toaster and a slow cooker, for less than a 25 cents each by combing discounts, Kohl’s Cash, and rebates. Other deal-hunters have been able to buy blenders and hand mixers for less than $3 with rebates. You can find details about current rebate offers here.
Next: Did you know Kohl’s has an outlet store?
15. Shop the Kohl’s outlet store
If you love shopping at off-price retailers, such as T.J.Maxx, we have good news for you. Kohl’s is getting in on the discounting game with its Off/Aisle offshoot. These bare-bones stores sell returned items and other merchandise from Kohl’s at a steep discount. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, items range in price from $4 to $70, with most on the lower end. The catch? You can’t use your Kohl’s Cash, gift cards, or other coupons at these stores. Locations are limited, too. Currently, there are three stores in the Milwaukee area and one in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.