When it comes to brick-and-mortar department stores, few legacy retailers have kept up with the online competition as well as Kohl’s and JCPenney. In my quest to find you the best tips for frugal living, I’ve gathered more than 10 different ways to save money at JCPenney and Kohl’s. From tried-and-true advice to lesser-known shopping hacks, you’re bound to learn something new!
Some things get better with age
Kohl’s has a discount for shoppers 60 and older! To get the discount, shop on Wednesdays. Note that you can’t combine this with any other percent-off discounts, so save those for the other six days of the week.
Check for rebates
Kohl’s offers mail-in rebates for select products. The offers change regularly, so make sure you check the website often. Rebates are often generous so they a great way to save – companies bank on the fact that many shoppers just won’t follow through with the offer.
Get Kohl’s Cash
Several times a year, Kohl’s has “earn periods” for its Kohl’s Cash program. For every $50 you spend during these periods, you get $10 in Kohl’s Cash. This comes in the form of a coupon if you shop in-store or as an email if you shop online. You can redeem it on any purchase (no exclusions), but you have to use it during a specific redemption period. Also, Kohl’s Cash doesn’t stop at the first $10 — it just keeps stacking for every $50 you spend. So, if you make a $250 purchase during an earn period, you get $50 in Kohl’s Cash. If you have a Kohl’s.com shopping account, your Kohl’s Cash will be automatically stored in your online Kohl’s Wallet and applied to your purchases so you never forget.
Pro tip: Kohl’s will actually round up if you’re within $2 of the minimum threshold, so $48 will still get you $10 in Kohl’s Cash!
Don’t be afraid to price check
JCPenney has a great price-matching program. If you can find an item for a lower price, JCPenney will not only match the price but beat it by an additional 5%! That goes for online retailers, too. JCPenney will even match Amazon’s prices, but only on items that are sold directly by Amazon and not a third party. Some items aren’t eligible for a price match, but it’s definitely worth checking. What’s more, you can still apply a coupon after a price is lowered.
Kohl’s also price matches! As long as you find the item for a lower price at a retailer with a brick-and-mortar location, Kohl’s will match the price. You can apply any coupons or Kohl’s cash on top of the price match to save even more! One thing to note: Their policy excludes price-matching during the week of Thanksgiving.
You can save with a credit card
Like many large retail chains, JCPenney and Kohl’s offer their own branded credit cards. When you open a JCPenney card, you can save 15% off your initial purchase of apparel, jewelry, salon products and more, including certain big-ticket electronics! Thinking of buying a new TV? It might be worth opening a card just to purchase the TV and then pay it off immediately. JCPenney cardholders also get financing offers and extra savings on certain sales days.
Kohl’s gives you 35% off on your first purchase when you open a Kohl’s Card, plus another 15% when it comes in the mail. You can even combine these offers with any earned Kohl’s cash. But be careful with credit cards: Only buy what you can pay down immediately or you’ll rack up interest and wind up paying more in the long run.
Check for markdowns
JCPenney marks their items down up to 80%. Rumor has it that you can tell which items are at the 80% final clearance level if their price tags end in a 0, 7 or 9. Another hint? The color of the price tag: Pink means final clearance, so keep your eyes peeled.
Fridays are already great, but a good deal can make a good day even better. The Krazy Koupon Lady notes that JCPenney often debuts new markdowns on the first and third Fridays of the month.
The app makes it easier
JCPenney’s app doesn’t lead to savings in itself, per se, but it does make managing discounts easier. The free app holds coupons, rewards and other offers all in one place, and it also has a real-time price scanner that can help you price match while you’re in the store. The same goes for the Kohl’s app. Your coupons and rewards are stored on the app, and, as a bonus, the app will remind you to use your Kohl’s Cash before it expires.
Check the weekly ad
Both Kohl’s and JCPenney have weekly ads that you can check online. JCPenney’s ad circular now includes a coupon finder feature that highlights the clippable coupons at a glance and helps you create a shopping list based on the weekly special deals. Be sure to search their sites for coupons that you can use online or print and take with you to the store! Kohl’s even has location-based weekly ads on their site, so be sure to check your local store’s listings.
Rack up those rewards
If you have a JCPenney credit card, you’ll get one reward point for every dollar spent in-store or online on qualifying items. Even without a JCPenney credit card, you can still earn one point for every $2 spent, as long as you’ve signed up for this free program. Once you’ve earned 200 points, you’ll get a $10 Rewards certificate — and there’s no limit on how many certificates you can earn. You’ll also receive access to bonus sales events, extra earning opportunities, and a special birthday gift, so be sure to register here.
Kohl’s rewards program is called “Yes2You Rewards” and offers rewards on a similar points system as JCPenney. The difference is that every dollar spent earns you one point, regardless of whether or not you have a Kohl’s credit card. On the first of each month, Yes2You Rewards sends you a $5 reward for every 100 points earned, and you have a full 30 days to redeem it on anything – no exclusions! Plus, as with many rewards programs, you can expect to receive a birthday gift and Rewards member special event invites.
Stack your coupons
As for JCPenney, you can combine nearly every coupon with JCPenney Rewards or the new account credit card discount. There’s a formula to coupon stacking at JCPenney, according to The Krazy Coupon Lady. Each customer is allowed to stack up to 10 coupons per transaction, but some stores will enforce this differently. To play it safe (and get the maximum discount possible), here’s how to stack discount coupons, $10 Rewards, and free shipping offers:
- Discount + $10 Rewards (up to 9)
- (10) $10 Rewards
- (9) $10 Rewards + Free shipping offer
No matter how you slice it, the total number of coupons can total up to 10. For a list of current JCPenney coupons, click here.
Sign up for emails
Signing up for Kohl’s emails is an easy way to save money. New subscribers get an instant coupon for 15% off their next in-store or online purchase. If you remain subscribed, you can anticipate free shipping offers, promo codes, and exclusive savings in your inbox periodically.
JCPenney offers an introductory 25% off coupon (one of the best I’ve seen) for simply signing up for emails and/or text messages.