I Know a Secret About Kohls….


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Our son needed new dress clothes for his confirmation last weekend, so it was timely that we received a 30% off coupon in the mail from Kohls.  I usually don’t get excited about their coupons because they show up in my mailbox fairly often.  So frequently, in fact,  that I would never buy anything at Kohls unless I had a 30% off coupon in my hand. It should be fairly obvious that the regular price of their merchandise is simply over priced.

With mailing in hand, we headed to Kohls to see what they had. On the shopping list for our teenager were dress pants, a shirt with a collar (gasp), and new dress shoes. We were pleasantly surprised to find that each item was on sale as well, thus the 30% would be applied to the sale price resulting in deeper savings.


Here’s how our purchase broke down:

Dress Pants:

  • Regular price : $35.00
  • Sale Price : $21.99
  • After 30% off : $15.40


  • Regular price : $26.00
  • Sale Price : $12.99
  • After 30% off : $ 9.10

Dress Shoes:

  • Regular price : $75.00
  • Sale price : $37.99
  • After 30% off : $26.60

Total price for the outfit: $51.10

There was just one problem. In order to get the 30% off, customers are required to use a Kohls store credit card. We do have an account with them, however given our history of abusing credit cards we don’t care to use credit of any kind. Too many times we have charged something with every intent of paying it off immediately, but then letting the balance linger, and paying only the minimum payment requirement. Vonnie happened to mention this fact to the cashier as she extracted the card from her purse. The cashier then slipped us a nugget of information worth it’s weight in gold.

You only have to charge $1 to your account. You can pay the rest however you’d like.

The intent behind the required use of the card is clear. They hope people will be lured into the store with the sale coupons, then fall into the trap of using their line of credit to buy more than they originally intended.  It’s all too easy to do so because it’s no money out of their pocket at that moment. Then, when the bill comes they pay the minimum amount plus interest.  However, with this newly acquired information we can take advantage of the “double sale” opportunity while only using our line of credit for a very minimal amount that is easily paid off.

Were you aware that this was possible at Kohls?  Do you know of any other similar circumstances that would help out other readers?

About Travis

90 Responses to “I Know a Secret About Kohls….”

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  1. Another option is to pay with the credit card and then turn right around and pay your bill there in the store.

    • Bryan Logan says:

      I agree with the Frugal Girl. If you’re late paying bills, not paying $1 or $50 is still going to ding your credit score. You can also go home and pay the bill online usually. This helps you constantly to be checking the balance to make sure there’s no unknown charges and gets you into the habit of doing it right now.

      • Travis says:

        Well, I’m not really talking about paying the bill late, Bryan – what I mean is, a person could save money by using the coupon – but put an amount on their card – let’s say $200.

        Instead of just paying the $200 when the bill comes, they pay the minimum $20, for the next N months – but also interest. With some amounts, you may actually end up paying MORE for the items than if you would have purchased them regular price.

        Not much of a sale then! Thanks for reading and commenting!

        • yodog says:

          That’s advertised by the company as well. The card isn’t really meant to be used as a credit card but more like a savings card. The biggest reasons Kohl’s has a credit card is to build a customer base.

          • Travis says:

            Really? The company advertises that customers may end up paying more then the regular price if they pay using their credit cards and accrue interest? Yeah, please point to something in which they admit that.

    • this is exactly what I was going to suggest. I use my mom’s card as an authorized user because I can not be trusted with credit cards, EVER! AGAIN! And then pay it right back with my own cash. This way I can take advantage of the sales.

      Also, if you don’t have a coupon but have their card, just ask at the register. They almost always have a coupon that you can use and will at least give you 15% off without blinking an eye.

      • Travis says:

        You’re right, they do usually have scratch offs at the register…..but 15% (in my opinion) is still overpaying at Kohls. Sometimes we tell the cashier that we had a 30% at home but forgot it…..and they give it to us! Nice to hear from you Jessica, hope you’re doing well!

    • Travis says:

      That certainly is an option, and I do believe they do accept payments at the store. However, that opens a window (ever so tiny) that someone may decide to just walk out the door instead of paying it right away. All kinds of reasons (excuses) may pop up immediately after leaving the cash register – “I don’t have time right now,” or “I’ll do it online when I get home” etc. For a person who has been irresponsible with credit, the slightest of windows is all that is needed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Frugal Girl!

  2. OH my goodness – I had no idea!!!!! We’ll definitely be using this in the future – thanks, Travis!!!

    • Travis says:

      Awesome, Laurie – glad I could be helpful. Hope you guys didn’t see too much severe weather in your part of MN last night. We got a bunch of wind and rain but nothing serious. 🙂

  3. I did not know about this, though it does not really surprise me. I am surprised though that they told you about this as I am sure people using their store card and letting balances linger is a fairly good money maker for them. We’re the same way though, if we get the 15% or 20%we just toss it. It’s funny though, if we got the same coupon at many other places we’d be tempted to shop there.

  4. Mackenzie says:

    Oh wow, I didn’t know that! We always get those coupons in the mail, and even when there is something we need, we don’t buy it because we don’t want to charge anything on that card.

    Good info, Travis. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Oh Kohls. I didn’t know about this little tidbit, but I don’t have one of their cards. I will say that I think everything on Kohls is on sale. They have an electronic screen on everything to make you think you are getting a sale. I have tracked many products in their stores to see what they are doing, but the retail price is always there, though you rarely ever pay it. Just a good marketing gimmick!

    • Travis says:

      It’s really a great example of the opposite logic that JCPenny tried, Grayson. JCPennys tried having NO sales – just lower prices – and it failed miserably. They found that people like to THINK they are getting a good deal via a sale, even if they aren’t in reality. For example, take a look at the shoes we bought – regular price was over $70, but after the “double sale” price it was $26. I could have gone to Walmart instead and got a pair of dark dress shoes for $20 to $30 for him regular price. But then I couldn’t have said “Look at the good deal I got!”

      Although it’s not quite apples to apples as I believe the quality of the product at Kohls is better…..but who know’s maybe that’s just perception as well.

  6. This is news to me! I don’t often shop at Kohl’s but my husband buys shorts and pants there every few years (oh, to have his restraint!). I do know Kohl’s is one of the few retailers that lets you have two coupon codes per online order, so you can often get free shipping and an additional discount. Thanks for the insider tip!

    • Travis says:

      That’s a great point, Kendal – they DO allow you to use a coupon code and a free shipping code. I’m still interested to know if you can split the bill across two different method of payments though…..I know I can do it for paying my utility bill online, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it for a retailer like Kohls. Thanks for sharing your tip!

      • Sarah Reed says:

        I know I usually always pay off my card before I leave the store. The other day I spent $51 and paid $31 cash and the other $20 was left on my card. Cause the cashier said you can pay some cash and some on the card.

    • Tammy Wallis says:

      No they let you use 2 on a mobile and 4 on a pc…. 🙂

    • Quellyourfears says:

      If you’re looking for insider tips…
      Sounds like you don’t shop at Kohl’s often. After two years of inactivity, their cards get shut down. This sounds bad, but that just means you get to open up a new card and get a really good discount on your purchase! It takes five minutes, maximum.
      That means you’re guaranteed to get at least that 30% and, at a good portion of stores, even more (the three in my area do 35%). This is all year round, even when they’re not doing scratchers/mailing out mystery sales. Plus, you get another coupon in the welcome packet (20% normally) for next time you come and can use that whenever as well.
      By signing up for a credit card you get to help out your cashier as well. Our value as employees is weighed by how many credit cards we can sign people up for and how many online surveys we get(If you take those, always mention people by name)
      But yeah, honestly signing up for the credit card is such a great deal that it’s also great to let them expire 😛

  7. Amy says:

    I was able to use the 30% coupon, a $10 off bonus coupon, and a giftcard to pay for my Kohl’s purchases yesterday. Some stores do not allow you to use a giftcard when using the coupons but they were fine with it.

    • Travis says:

      That always baffles me, Amy, that some retailers do not allow gift card use at the same time you use coupons. I can almost understand limiting the use of things like reward points, but even then I think they should allow it. Glad to hear you were able to pile on discount after discount to get the best deal you can. Thanks for sharing your experience, Amy!

    • Katie says:

      No stores allow for payment with a giftcard, unless the card is a kck giftcard sent out by corporate. Unfortunately, our registers have no filter and let us put payments through with normal giftcards. However it does flag our store and it can cause problems for both parties in the long run. Ive worked with kohls for 5 years, with 3 years in management.

      • Travis says:

        I don’t think Amy was talking about making a payment on her account….I think she was saying she got 30% off with the coupon, used a $10 off bonus coupon she got from somewhere, and then she paid for the balance of her purchase with a giftcard she got as a gift. That was my interpretation anyway.

        • Quellyourfears says:

          Hi! Former Kohl’s associate here!
          The reason behind the gift card is that a lot of the coupons you guys are talking about require that you use your Kohl’s Charge. If nothing goes on the card(even if the card has been swiped and “linked” to the purchase), that means the associate can get in trouble because they let the coupon be used incorrectly. When you work minimum wage for a big company, you can never be too cautious about trying to keep your job.
          But that’s just assuming the gift card has enough on it to cover the entire purchase. If not, no need to worry. If you don’t know, be sure to ask them to look it up *before* anything gets rung up. Happy shopping, guys!

  8. Mm says:

    Thanks. Didn’t know about this.

  9. Ha, I get those coupons from Kohls all of the time and just chunk them because of the credit card requirement. We might now actually apply for one of those puppies and slap $1.00 worth of charges on it and the rest in cash when we go to buy the kids some new clothing.

    • Travis says:

      I’m not a fan of credit cards at all, zimmy – but it would make me happy to hear of people working the system to get a discount on their purchases, while not giving them the profits of raking us over the coals with interest charges – hope it works out for you!

  10. Good call. Toying with credit seems to be the new trend with major department stores. Will keep an eye out for similar ploys in the future–thanks!

    • Travis says:

      Forcing people to use credit to get special sale offers is downright shady if you ask me Mike….it’ll be interesting to see how many other follow suit with this.

  11. J$ says:

    Wowww really?? That is awesome! Had never even thought of that 🙂 I bet it works at most other stores too – we should all try it, haha…

    • Travis says:

      I’m not sure if I know of any other stores that require use of their store credit card to be able to use their sale coupons that come in the mail – but maybe this is just the beginning. Booooo!

  12. Michele says:

    I use my charge at Kohl’s to reap the benefit of the coupons. As soon as I pay with my credit card, I turn right back around and pay the full amount of the transaction right there at the register. I leave the store with a balance of zero.

    • Travis says:

      That’s great that you have the self-discipline to do that, Michelle. Sometimes that one extra step is just enough for someone with just a little less discipline to walk out the door instead. Kudos to you, and thanks for stopping by!

      • Wilma says:

        Isn’t putting $1 on the Kohl’s card and paying the rest some other way just as much of a hassle? Seriously. Just put it all on the card, pay it off right there and everyone is happy.

        • Travis says:

          Great idea…..unless the customer service line is 10 people deep and you don’t have the time to stand in line……

          • DJ says:

            I do this all the time. charge my amount to the card then stay right there in line. they let you pay the balance at the cash register. you don’t need to go to customer service.

  13. That’s a good deal. Good for you for taking advantage of double savings. There are a lot of stores who do that. Just take the initiative to ask around.

    • Travis says:

      Thanks KC….it just blows that they try to lure customers into the credit trap. Loopholes are awesome though…especially when given out by their own employees. 🙂

  14. Renee S says:

    I have found that most stores will do this if you ask. I do it at Limited often. I don’t like to use those cards because I am scared that I will forget that I have a balance on them!

    • Travis says:

      Thanks for sharing, Renee, I didn’t know other stores required you to use their store credit card to get sales, but it doesn’t surprise me that there are more. I don’t ever forget about having a balance – you have to pay attention to those statements, right? But, I do worry about paying unneeded interest by just paying the minimum monthly payment. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  15. Gabo says:

    You can actually pay your full purchase amount with your kohls card, and without even walking away from the register pay off the balance with cash or check. Why would you do this? a few reasons, #1 credit history #2 when you spend $600 at kohls you become a MVC (most valued customer) and get extra coupons and discounts. I pay my card cash in the spot so I don’t get tempted to spend more than what I actually budgeted for that particular shop.

    • Travis says:

      Great advice….I knew you could make payments at the customer service desk, but didn’t know you could do it right at the register. Thanks for sharing, Gabo!

  16. Katie says:

    I work at kohls, as management. You are NOT allowed to do this. As an associate this can get you fired. Our company policy is HALF of your purchase has to go onto a kohls charge. However associates often get tired of arguing with customers and just give in.

    • Travis says:

      Good information, Katie…although I’m surprised that the system doesn’t somehow enforce this. Just to be clear, we didn’t ask for it, it was offered to us. I would assume it’s still OK to charge your purchase, and just walk over to the service counter and pay it right away (or do it when you get home)? Thanks for stopping by!

      • Katie says:

        Our systems are almost 100% completely open for us to do whatever. Whenever an associate says “our system wont let us” they probably just want an excuse to say no, or have been instructed by a manager to say so. Most people who have worked in retail will tell you this. And if it was offered, it was probably because 1.) The associate was a poorly trained new hire or 2.) The associate didn’t want to argue with you or felt sympathetic to your complaints or 3.) The associate flat out doesn’t care. And yes you actually don’t even have to go to customer service, you can make a payment at any register. However, the initial payment must be done at least half by a kohls charge. I mean of course other associates are welcome to do as they please. I just feel as though it can cause problems for both parties if the proper policies are not implemented correctly.

        • Valerie says:

          Yes I agree with Katie, I also work at Kohl’s up front at the register and u have to pay at least half of your purchase. And also those coupons clearly say u must use your kohls charge. I get tons of customers that try and argue as well but u can’t argue with what’s clearly written on it. But its easy to pay half of your purchase than ask to make a payment.

          • Travis says:

            You’re right, it does say you have to use your Kohl’s charge account, but it does not say how much of it you have to put on the account. I happen to be looking at one right now. 🙂 Thanks for your comment, Valerie!

  17. holly says:

    i just recently read the fine print on my Kohl’s bill. They always give you an amount to pay that will assure that you will not be charged interest on your balance. I always take advantage of this now. Love this concept. No interest charges and the bill is paid off faster. Love Kohl’s!

  18. Unknown says:

    Yes this is possible but you can’t just charge $1 for something that is over $50. The rule of the Charge Card at kohls is that the costumer must pay at least half of the amount on the kohls credit card and the rest can be paid how ever you like e.g. ( gift card, merchandise credit, check, cash or other major credit card. ATM/Debit) if a associate charges less than half of the total amount due at the register this can lead to loosing their job. Kohls already offer plenty of discount that are stacklabke and I believe costumer do tend to look for a slip between the gap to get away from paying with the card. It’s costumer services obviously the costumer can get away with anything at this store because of the reflection on there stores review.

  19. Y says:

    This “loop hole” was resolved by reminding all cashiers and revising company policy that the entire purchase must me charged to a kohls credit card.
    All POS (registers) were updated June 2015 to prevent unapproved markdowns and split payment of charge cards, etc.
    But you can always make a payment to the charge card before or/and after the purchase.
    -friend of a current employee

    • Travis says:

      I’ll be interested to try to do this on my next visit (charge only $1 to my Kohl’s charge account) and see if they let me do it. 🙂 but as you mentioned, one can just simply make the payment immediately. Thanks for the update!

  20. 000 says:

    I was reading earlier about how it seems “Shady” that companies would make you use their store credit card to receive discounts. It’s not shady at all, did you know that with every credit card transaction that a customer makes from their personal card , costs businesses money? American express, visa, etc have a fee that all business must pay, a certain percentage at every transaction, which can add up. That’s why almost all business have in store cards they push aka grocery stores, retail, etc. By signing up for the corporations cards yes it takes 5 min out of your day, but it Benifits both parties. Also yes there was a change in company policy, rules are stricter so there are no loop holes and no more accepting late coupons or the ones you “left at home”. However if you are a card member and there is coupons that came out and you do not have them with you, Khols can still give you a discount via direct percentage coupon or scratch off. And one last thing, there was a comment made by Travis ” that’s the price they pay for having high school students run their registers” all I can say is shame on you. For trying to “cheat the system” and taking pride in being dishonest about your coupons “30% being left at home”. Everyone was a teenager once and khols only hires 18+ adults. Don’t you ever feel guilty about being dishonest? And don’t take the stance that big corporations are bad because every month Khols gives to charities and sends their associates out to volunteer for the community. The only reason you were able to receive discounts and cheat the system is because you were dishonest and took advantage of Khols associates. I’m 18 years old and am more honest and have more inside business knowledge than you!?? hopefully you remember that next time you check out or cheat in your next obstacle in life regarding money.

    • Travis says:

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, 000. Since you took the time to share them, I’d like to address the questions that you posed to me.

      I guess we’ll disagree as to whether companies requiring customers to use a store credit card to get a sale is shady. Quite frankly, I think it’s borderline discrimination. People with good credit get better prices than people that do not qualify for credit? Tempting people to spend more money than they currently have in their pocket by forcing them to use credit? Then charging an obscene amount of interest on those purchases if they don’t pay them off immediately? Yeah, that’s shady in my opinion. Not that Kohl’s is the only entity that does this – it’s widespread. But it doesn’t make it right. Consumer beware.

      Am I aware that there’s a fee that businesses have to pay to offer amex, visa, mastercard, etc as a method of payment? Um…yeah, I actually wrote a blog post about it:


      I’m not surprised that there was a change in company policy (by the way, you’re not the first to report that in the comments section here since this post has been read). After all, the company certainly doesn’t want customers working the system to their benefit.

      I do want to apologize for the comment regarding teenagers running the registers. There are teens that are extremely hard workers that do their very best. I should not have made that statement.

      Do I feel bad about being “dishonest” if I tell them I left my 30% coupon at home? You mean those coupons that flood my mailbox with the not-so-random percentage? Maybe you’re aware that there’s an algorithm by which Kohl’s decides what kind of percentage coupon you get. Maybe you’re not.

      You might want to be a little more careful before making a statement as brash as “being 18 and have more inside business knowledge” than me.

      To me, it’s no different than walking into any store and saying, “Hey, I’m about to buy a lot of stuff. Would you consider giving me a discount?” Which I’ve done at different retailers when I’m about to drop a lot of cash on merchandise. Sometimes they say Yes, sometimes they don’t. They always have the option to say No….just as the Kohl’s teammembers have the ability to say “Sorry, you need to bring it with you.” That’s not taking advantage of anyone.

      If Kohl’s and other retailers can play games, then it’s certainly within my rights as a consumer to play games as well.

      When you get a little older, and have a family to support, you may become a little more selfish with your money, and not feel bad for making it more difficult for retailers to pry it from my hands. Think about that the first time you sit down to do your monthly budget and wish you had a few extra numbers in your checking account. See if you’re still boasting that smug little smile you included in your response.

  21. Candace says:

    Hi and thanks for the great info about splitting charges when shopping at Kohl’s store but is there a way to split the credit charges when shopping online at Kohl’s? If there is, please share. Thanks.

    • Travis says:

      I know I’ve seen the “checkout” routine of some websites allow you to select to split the payment. I didn’t see that to be the case on the Kohl’s website, unfortunately…..good question, Candace!

  22. Shelley says:

    Hi… I’m an employee at Kohls and as that used to be the case… Splitting the payment, that is no longer an option. It must all go on your Kohls credit card now. Sorry to anyone who this affects. 🙂

    • Travis says:

      Someone else mentioned this as well, Shelley….makes me want to go try it and see if they really enforce it or not. 🙂

      • Isaac Minstry says:

        Hi Travis,
        I’ll give you some quick background on me so you’ll know where I’m coming from. I’m 21 and have worked at kohls for the past two years now while simultaneously getting a college degree, in nursing and English. I started out on the registers like most part-time associates, moved to customer service, and am now handling the stores cash office. I’ve worked every department in the store at one point or other and have an extensive knowledge of all its inner workings. I’m practically a manager, I just don’t get to tell anybody to do anything, or have a nice pay raise… So if you have any questions, I’d be willing to, and quite capable of, answering any questions you might have.

        But more specifically, If you do go and try to put only a dollar on your card and pay the rest however you’d like, it will work. Basically, Capital One holds all of the Kohls Card accounts (I think it used to be Chase at one point). So earlier in 2015, they sent Kohls a policy change requesting (while heavily implying requirement to us) that any charge to the Kohls Card for the sake of a discount would require the full amount to be placed on the card. Like most Credit Companies, they want money flowing through their channels not only to boost their immediate fiscal values, but also the ensnarement of habitual credit card debt from buyers (especially heavy impulse buyers). Anyway, it was a drastic policy change from Capital One that Kohls Corporate passed on to the Kohls Department Stores. And as was said earlier in one of the comments, kohls registers have an open ended system that allows for practically any modification. I would know, I’ve done some pretty wacky ones for some really crazy situations. Anyway, it was a rather unpopular policy to require the full amount on the kohls card, especially since it had been done the other way for so long. So, in effect, the policy (although still maitained by Kohls Corporate, some managers and a few associates) mostly fell by the wayside for the bulk of the associates when actually practiced at the register. Personally, as i see it, if someone wants to buy merchandise from us, the customer gets there item, and kohls gets its money. It doesn’t matter to me personally what medium that money is received in. I find a little common sense in retail goes a long way. So the long short of it is, if you go to kohls, I’m willing to bet that you’ll find plenty of associates that maintain the previous policy and will let you put the dollar on your card. Most times its also just because they don’t want to fight it out (essentially, its not their fight, they have their own family and lives to go back to. Kohls is just a company they work for, like most companies, there’s really no way to create loyalty to them on minimum pay, especially when they have their own families and community to return to at the end of the day). However, that might not be true for long…

        ~Actually while I got the chance I’d just like to say, take it easy on us please, we’re your neighbors, your friends, the ones that cheer at your kid’s game, or the one that held that door open a little longer. When we step behind that counter, we care more about your welfare than our companies welfare. Because we are you. Anyway that’s my personal opinion.

        Sorry for the sidetrack; anyway, so Travis, the system that kohls uses right now for their registers is a blend of an older version of Windows XP and DOS. Kohls made the the decision that by the first of the year 2016, they would be switching out the old system for an updated windows 8 hybrid. The old system allowed for a versatile form of modification; however, I can’t say the same for the new system. I’ve had a little face time with the new system, and it seems a lot more rigid. This seems to not only be due to the closed source in windows 8 systems, but also stricter coding in part from kohls corporate. I haven’t tried to split the purchase in the new system yet, but i’m willing to bet it will be more similar to shopping online where one has to fulfill certain requirements during an online checkout so as to complete the order. I think kohls will still allow for a certain amount of flexibility, but since we are coming up on a new year, I believe Kohls has made it their New Years Resolution to revise their entire system (one reason why I might not be there come New Years Eve). As for now, were pretty much pushovers. That’s what happens when we start looking at Walmart as one of our competitors. (Kinda Sad).
        Otherwise, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask 🙂

        Also, one last thing. Travis, I think it was rather discourteous to put down “000” the way you did earlier in July of 2015. I understand that “000” may have been brash with some of their arguments; however, it didn’t necessitate the last response delivered.
        “When you get a little older, and have a family to support, you may become a little more selfish with your money, and not feel bad for making it more difficult for retailers to pry it from my hands. Think about that the first time you sit down to do your monthly budget and wish you had a few extra numbers in your checking account. See if you’re still boasting that smug little smile you included in your response.”
        When “000” does get older, I would also hope that they never have to face that situation. It is a tough one to be in, and the stress can be unbearable. Especially around the holidays when you have a family to care for. However, beating the teen up verbally probably doesn’t help. Especially when it comes to modeling as an adult. We need to set a better precedent for the younger generation; that way in a couple years when their sitting in their car on Christmas Eve almost out of gas, looking at a 2 figure paycheck with a stack of overdue bills and eviction notices in the seat next to them, and a family at home that knows you have nothing to give them, they won’t give up because they are an adult with responsibilities, and they were taught better than to quit when things seemed impossible. Yeah, my generation might be the ugliest one to roll out since the dawn of time, but there’s always hope. Especially if we get taught how to keep our nose clean by adults like you. So thank you, and please try harder to mentor the next generation.
        But anyway, if you want to know anything about kohls, I’d be happy to help. And sorry about the length of this comment, I couldn’t really find a good stopping point…

        • Travis says:

          Isaac, I appreciate your very detailed description of the system and how it’s changing. As far as my response to “000,” I was actually very restrained in my response. I did let it fly a little at the end, but I stand behind the spirit of what I was trying to say. If I have to choose between living within how the system was intended to work, or making a cashier comfortable vs. working loopholes in the system and having more money for my family, I’ll choose choice B every time. Every. single. time.

  23. Kirk says:

    Kohls issues Kohls cash during periods of great sales for use during bogo sales. You earn it for spending during these sales and return to spend it during periods of higher prices. Brilliant marketing,costing Corp minimal $ .

    The idea behind this and special discounts for credit card holders is to get you into the store. …..period. They are driven by customer service and have far less interest in your credit expenditures than you would think , certainly they want your $$$ but I think the idea driving credit is to gain your loyalty through the use of your card.

    WIth this in mind
    Pay the portion of you purchase total with cash first then apply remainder to card regardless of amount, I feel certain you will achieve goal of obtaining discount and they will allow you to charge less than half. If in doubt just mention that you would be a highly satisfied customer and will fill out survey to reflect this.

    • Travis says:

      Absolutely it’s to get people in the door…..I like the idea of paying cash first…AND offering to take a survey. Will it work? Try it out and let us know!

  24. Echo says:

    You are saying that, sometimes you tell the cashier that you have a 30% off coupon at home. I’m assuming that you are saying that you did not really have a 30% off at home. This is dishonest and a form of stealing. karma WILL come back to bite you in the ass.

    • Travis says:

      Is marking prices up so high that 30% off brings them down to a realistic level dishonest and a form of stealing?

      Is having an algorithm by which Kohls gives out 15% vs 20% vs 30% coupons (30% coupons go mostly to those who used them in the past…ie, people they know they can get in the door) dishonest?

      I have no problem telling a cashier I had a 30% at home. Besides….I could potentially scratch off a 30% at the register. The cashier could easily say “Sorry, you have to have it with you.”

      It’s really no different than asking for a manager and telling them I’m about to buy a whole bunch of stuff, and asking for a discount. Which I’ve done….and has worked.

  25. Candace says:

    I have a couple of questions I’d like to ask those of you who have recently been a cashier , or worked ‘returns’, at Kohls…
    1. The last two times I shopped at Kohls (City of Industry, CA) were back in Nov-Dec 2015. Both times, while watching the monitor (not the one the cashier uses) I noticed something on the screen about the option to have my receipt emailed to me. Both times, I asked the cashier about this option, and both times the response was similar to “I don’t know anything about that option” (not verbatim). Are the cashiers trained to know what shows up on each monitor? I’m asking honestly, not sarcastically.
    2. When returning or exchanging an item, which was part of a purchase that earned me $30 in Kohls Cash, why does the system automatically deduct some, or all, of the earned Kohls Cash from the amount of my refund? FYI, the item I purchased was more than the the item I returned.
    3. One last thing. I was using the Kohls charge card website to make all my payments, usually paying the balance in full. About a year ago I received a letter from a company that had audited Kohls financial system. It seems that Kohls’ website was not uploading in a timely manner and one of my previous payments was deemed late, therefore charging me a late fee. This letter also stated that my Kohls account would be credited with, I believe $40.

    • Former employee says:

      2. If your return brings you past the $50 mark it will automatically deactivate some or all of the kohls cash. The customer service associate will ALWAYS tell you this before the return is completed and sometimes you’re given the ability to keep the kohls cash and just receive less for the item. If you do an even exchange your kohls cash will not be effected.
      3. If you call the credit center (the number is on the back of your card) and explain the situation they can waive the late fee for you.

  26. Former employee says:

    This is actually incorrect. at least half of your purchase has to go on your kohls card for the peel off coupons sent to your home. It’s actually against policy to only have you pay $1 and stores and associates can get in trouble for is.

    • Travis says:

      As mentioned, it may be against policy…but many cashiers (at least at the time this article was written) would let customers do it….

  27. Jennifer says:

    This is actually not true. I work customer service at kohls and have been there for a long time. When you use those coupons for using your kohls charge, you are actually supposed to put all of the total purchase on the card. Unless the card maxes out and cannot hold the entire total. Only then can you pay with another tender. Many cashiers do not understand this because, well, it’s difficult to get everyone on the same page, especially when the company is continuously hiring new people.

    • Travis says:

      Yes, you’re supposed to put it all on the card……but (at least at the time this was written) cashiers AND the system would let you do otherwise.

  28. 3 years at Kohls says:

    I am an associate who works at multiple locations, and honestly, some of those policies very by store/district. One of my locations says they simply have to put a “substantial amount” on the card, meaning not one or two dollars, but if your spending $300 you dont have to do a full $150 either (aka half). The other location I work at originally said it had to be the full amount, but soon changed it so you can pay with gift cards/merchandise credits to get your discount as long as you charge some to your card. In reguards to honoring the 30%, if you dont have it, its completely up to the associate. If someone approaches me and says “you have 30% right now dont you” I will probally have them scratch, but if someone says “I have 30% at home, can I bring my reciept back” then I will probally just take care of the coupon so they dont have to come back. In the same token, if I have a long line, I will probally make you take a scratch off because if I dont, my entire line will demand 30% even if they have a 15% or 20% mailer with them.

  29. yodog says:

    This guy seems to be really cheap and expect businesses to bend over backwards for him. I can’t be the only one who’s unimpressed right?

    • Travis says:

      If by “cheap” you mean trying to get as much as I can out of my hard earned money, then yes, I’m cheap. And if by “bend over backwards” you mean have good customer service, then again, yes. But hey, if you want to just throw away your money………well, that’s what I would call unimpressive.

  30. Jen says:

    I think this is totally stupid for several reasons (except in the case of the girl who is using her parents card bc she has a legit reason to not put a balance on the card) ONE you have to turn around and pay online or go out of your way to pay in the store whether its $1 or $50. TWO its the same amount of money no matter how you slice it up. THREE It’s a pointless multi tender transaction, its not saving you time or money to do this. FOUR if you pay off a balance there is no interest anyway. So it makes no sense to think your getting one over on Kohl’s by doing this. I mean you would have to have absolutely zero self control to NEED to do all this.

    • Travis says:

      Let’s say that you pay for a $200 bill with the Kohls card (after saving 30% with the coupon). One of two bad scenarios could come out of this:

      1.) You get the bill for $200 3 weeks later, at which time you see the minimum payment of $10 (or whatever) and think…huh, I could use some extra cash right now…I’ll just pay the minimum. Next month the same thing happens. And the month after that. And the month after that. Soon you’ve paid enough interest to completely offset the savings.

      2.) You never had the money to buy $200 anyway and just charged it.

      If a person had enough internal fortitude to pony up the cash at the register – pay $1 on the card and the rest in cash, when that bill for $1 comes in the mail, it’s pretty easy at that point to pay it.

      You can call it stupid. You can say a person would have to have zero self control to end up in a bind. But as someone that ended up with over 100K in credit card debt I can tell you that both of the above scenarios are REAL….and more people than you think fall into those holes. That’s how credit card companies make their money…….

  31. Sm says:

    The registers are NOT run by high school students. You have to be 18 years old or older to work at Kohls. Most employees are either college students or highly educated stay-at-home moms trying to earn extra money and discounts on their kids clothes. There are also employees in between jobs… I just spoke to a gentleman that was laid off from Lockheed Martin and he took on a position at Kohls until he can find another position. Sorry to busy your bubble ( not really), but Kohls associates are NOT unintelligible and most do have families and understand what it’s like to have s budget. Not only that, some of these college students are paying for their education out of their own pocket and surviving of cheap food like Ramen noodles, so even if they don’t have children… they have bills to pay.

    Associates are also fired if they are dishonest in any way… too bad they can’t fire the dishonest customers.

  32. Danielle says:

    I take an enormous offense to what is being said about Kohl’s. I have ALWAYS loved shopping at Kohl’s and now I LOVE working for them. They try to do everything that they can to make our customers happy and as for “making money on the interest”. . . That is simply not true. We don’t make a dime off the customers. That is through a 3rd party credit company.

    • Travis says:

      Hi Danielle, I’m going to take a deep breath here, as looking back at some of my own comments, I definitely regret and was out of line with some of them. I want to say that I am a fan of Kohl’s myself. Their return policy is very good, and they DO have very good customer support. However, they are a business, and a business is in existence to make money. Admittedly, I am not an expert on store credit cards and do not know whether all the interest paid on a store account goes to the owning financial institution (if a company does not provide the service on their own), or if the store gets some amount of the money. As good of customer support that Kohl’s has, the logic behind offering store accounts – and giving special discounts to those who use those accounts – is clear: They want to try to get customers to spend as much as they can at their store. There’s nothing wrong with that…..again, stores are in business to make money. But, on the customer side of the fence, customers need to be careful that this sort of environment does not cause them to overspend – and for some people having a store credit card incentivized through special discounts – it will. While I did get off course in the comments, the point of the initial post is that there is a way to get those discounts with minimal use of the credit account. it’s the best of both worlds – discounts, without having the temptation of falling into the cycle of revolving debt. Although, it appears by some of the comments that this practice should not be allowed, and more stringent controls may now be in place to prevent it. I’m simply trying to help people get the most for their hard earned cash, and prevent overspending. My most sincere apologies for offending you and others who I directed terse, rude, and offensive comments. I’m happy to hear you like working at Kohl’s, and with the attitude and loyalty that you have, you are an asset to them, and to the customers that shop there.

  33. Cashback CC User says:

    And there are those of us who get 2-3% cashback (or miles or points) on purchases charged to a rewards-type CC so that’s additional cents that definitely add up over time. Of course the CC bill needs to be paid off each month or you more than lose the savings and pay a very high interest rate as these cards usually carry a higher interest rate. I may have shopped at Kohl’s more a few years back if I knew I could do this.

    Have a question on $20 kohls cash earned – was doing a search on splitting kohls cash which brought me to this site 🙂

    I recently made a large purchase and asked a friend if she had any 20% or 30% off coupons. She didn’t, but gave me her $10 kohls cash bc it was expiring that day & she couldn’t get to the store. I used it and then earned $20 Kohls cash. Will I get one $20 kohls cash code or will I get two $10 codes? If it’s one $20 kohls cash, can I request a split or can I use $10 of it at the register & give the balance back to my friend?

  34. Jacob says:

    Is it wrong that I am actively exploiting Kohls policies to generate unlimited Kohls Cash? At the moment, I have generated $500, with $150 comimg next week.

  35. Amanda says:

    You can make a payment on your kohls card right there at the register! So whether you charge $1 or $200 you can ask to pay it off right away at the same register as soon as the sale is done.

  36. JP410 says:

    I use the exact same process with my Kohls, Macys, Nordstoms, and Lord n Taylor cards. At Kohls it’s so I can use the 20-30% off u only get by charging. But I’ll never forget my grandfather sitting me down when I was 18 and got my 1st credit card which was from Macy’s and telling me he would smack the shit out of me if I was stupid enough to go around paying 5 times the real cost of an item due to being gouged with interest! He said intrest is how the rich get richer and make the poor even more poor. He said no real man is foolish enough to make a payment to someone where 5% or less of the payment actually goes toward paying off the item you bought while the other 95% buys rich douchebags and (((bankers))) their cocaine and hookers every night, their mansions and puts their kids through private school. Since I was 18 I always demanded myself to build up enough credit so that I could purchase a home by 23 and have it paid off by 38, so I knew I needed to go to work on my credit score so I went and got charge cards from all my favorite stores and ever week I would go to one, make a purchase with the charge card and then go to another register in the same store and make a payment on my charge card bill for whatever amount I just charged minus $5. That $5 perpetual balance actually helps raise your score faster compared to paying off the entire purchase the same day. By doing just that, I bought my first house at 24 completely on my own and no cosigner! Til this day I shop the exact same way and my credit scores between Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are all between 790-830 and I only make 70k a year and am very middle class.

  37. Marry Walker says:

    I really like Kohls but have had a couple of bad experiences. Years ago when I first started shopping at Kohls I bought a pair of jeans for my grandson using a 20% coupon. They didn’t fit so when I returned them, I said I just wanted to exchange them for the correct size. They said they would have to refund my money first, then I could go get them and rebuy them. Well, when I bought them again they cost 20% more! I complained and said it wasn’t right since I was only exchanging them, but got nowhere.

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