I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago in a Friday roundup. In case you missed it, here’s how to get a free Chromecast* thanks to American Express, Lowes, and Staples.
* Chromecast makes it really easy to stream videos online to your TV.
If you have an American Express card, log in to your online account. Click on the Offers For You tab.
Chances are you will see these offers among others (not everyone sees the same offers):
Save these two offers to your card. There are also offers for $5 off gas at BP and Exxon or Mobil stations and $25 off $250 at Best Buy. Save those too while you are at it. It doesn’t hurt anything if you end up not using them. The one for BP gas can be used multiple times. It’s like 30 cents off per gallon on every fillup until the end of the year.
Now head over to Lowes and Staples stores. The Lowes offer in my account expires on Nov. 15. Act fast if that’s the case for you too. Both Lowes and Staples sell Amazon gift cards. Buy a $50 Amazon gift card from Lowes, and a $75 Amazon gift card from Staples with your American Express card.
As soon as you make the purchase, you will receive an email from American Express confirming that they saw the eligible purchase. A few days later, you will see two credits posted to your American Express card, one for $10, another for $25.
I bought a Chromecast with $35 from my Amazon gift cards. Net net, $90 was charged to my American Express card; I have $90 left on Amazon gift cards plus a free Chromecast.
Thank you American Express, Lowes, and Staples for the free Chromecast.
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I did avail the Lowe’s offer. Time to avail Staples offer. I am going to use my $35 for shopping I was going to do any ways. Harry, in terms of mental accounting gymnastics would you consider this as off setting $75 annual fee on the Blue Cash Preferred? Usually through offers like this, I make up the $75 annual fee or at least close to it.
Mental accounting, that’s exactly right, and very powerful. Use the credits on whatever bugs you the most. If you have a hard time justifying a small luxury, buy a small luxury. In my case, hooking up a laptop with a cable to the TV worked just fine. The Chromecast is a small luxury. If you loathe having to pay an annual fee even though the 6% cash back on groceries more than pays for it, match up the credits mentally with the annual fee.
Chromecast is a very compelling device for the features it offers. Alas, I don’t need it “now.”
It is bewildering to me that even after trying hard to be rational, mental accounting creeps in so reflexively.
In my case, the 6-yr old laptop hooked on to TV & used with a wireless keyboard works too well – knock on wood – for me to tinker with: Basically my laptop has become a PC tower essentially and I get to use a giant monitor. And it keeps the laptop out of the bed. Plus the TV has all the apps on it that I use.
I am not seeing the Staples offer.
Is anyone else having this problem?
They decide who gets which offers, either with some logic or just randomly as test and control groups. People say there’s also a $20 walmart.com offer but I don’t have it in my account.
Right.. but you spent $125 to get the $35 Chromecast for free. $90 left. Now you have to spend $90 in Amazon. “Not bad” if you have $90 in Amazon purchases coming up.
I don’t see Staples offer on my card. However, Where did you purchase amazon gift card on Lowe’s? I dont see it on their website.
Inside a physical store.
This must be an offer only for “real” American Express cards. My Fidelity AMEX card serviced by FIA Card Services (aka “Bank of America”) doesn’t have this offer.
Our main limitation is that we don’t have enough HDMI ports on our TV — and that’s with our Wii plugged in via component cables. It’s funny, it seems like we went from hardly ever using the HDMI ports to not having enough of them almost overnight. I know there are HDMI switches and splitters out there, so perhaps that’s our solution. If not for Chromecast, I’m sure we’ll need it for something.
FWIW, most Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 systems have Windows Media Center built in. Add that to a cable card tuner from the likes of Silicon Dust or Ceton, along with a remote control, and you have yourself a great DVR replacement. I stopped renting a DVR years ago and my recordings are portable whenever I move. Here are some great resources on this: