In-Depth Guide to Saving Money at Nordstrom

How to Save Money at Nordstrom - A guide to price matching, the rewards program, sakes and more

Nordstrom is much more upscale than a lot of other department stores. They don’t offer as many discounts, don’t have great sale sections, and they have higher base prices since they carry more designer products. Don’t be discouraged, though! While it’s harder to find a great deal at Nordstrom than, say, JCPenney, you still can get a relatively good deal by being a smart and patient shopper.

Nordstrom has a really good rewards program, but you do have to sign up for their credit or debit card to enroll in it. When you get the card, you’re automatically enrolled and can start taking advantage of the perks of the card. The main perks are reward points, discounts on alterations and invitations to special shopping events. There are four levels to the card, and they depend on how much you spend every year — and you do have to meet the minimum each year to maintain your level. Level one is for people who spend up to $2,000 a year at Nordstrom. Level two is for people who spend between $2,000 and $4,999 per year, level three is for people who spend between $5,000 and $9,999 per year, and level four is $10,000 and up.

At first glance, the rewards program doesn’t seem very impressive, and that’s because the base amount of rewards you earn with a purchase really isn’t that great. You get a $20 coupon, called a Nordstrom Note, for every 2,000 points you earn. Generally, you earn two points per dollar, meaning a $20 coupon for spending $1,000. Not that great, right? But one of the major ways you earn points is during double and triple points days. There are about four special points events per year for every cardholder, but then there are also choose-your-own triple points days. The amount of days you get depends on your level.

When you’re shopping on a triple points day, you get $20 for every $333 or so dollars you spend, which is much better. You also get a bonus $20 note if you spend $100 the day you sign up for the card. The alteration discounts are actually that you get the entire cost of the alteration
“refunded” to you in Nordstrom Notes. There are limits on these alteration refunds, and they depend on your level, but level four cardholders get alterations free in the first place.

Nordstrom has a lot of good sales throughout the year. They’ll have special counters set up at various times with products from particular lines offered at a lower price. You can also visit the sale counter at the website and they usually offer similar sales, if not the same. Nordstrom has a sample shoe size sale twice a year in the shoe department. It can get pretty hectic, so be prepared for that if you choose to go, and be sure to get there before doors open.

Hands down, the best sale of the year is the July Anniversary Sale. Nordstrom rolls out fall merchandise early so it can be included. A great way to take advantage of the Anniversary Sale and make sure you get the items you want is by shopping the presale. The store will use your debit or credit card number to hold the items you pick out, then if your items are part of the sale, your card is charged when it begins and you pick up your purchase at your convenience.

In addition to the huge July sale, there are a couple of other sales throughout the year. During these, there can be coupons worth 40 to 60 percent off for specific things, like bags or boots, for instance. Of course, there are always exclusions, so be sure to read up before heading in.

Surprisingly enough, Nordstrom does offer a price match policy. They’ll match the price on things that are exactly the same size and color, excluding auction prices and outlet stores. They also won’t match sale prices or shipping or gift card offers. Check out the full policy on their website. Nordstrom also offers price adjustments. Adjustments can be made within 14 days of purchase, and they’re only available once per item. The main things excluded from the price adjustment policy are designer items that were already on sale when you bought them.

Nordstrom isn’t all that active on social media, but liking them on Facebook makes you eligible for occasional special giveaways they host. They’ll also announce what, if anything, is being given away for Sample Saturday on their social media pages. Check the events tab of the Facebook page to find out more about the special events and giveaways. A tip: If you need to reach customer service for any reason, Nordstrom’s Facebook page is a great place to get a quick response.

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