Types of Online Coupon Codes
Most often, you’ll see online coupon codes cover the following types of discounts:
- X% off: Codes for these discounts take a certain percentage off and can apply to your whole order, or only select items.
- $X off: These will take a fixed dollar amount off your order. Alternatively, they could apply to one single item.
- Shipping: These coupons tend to offer free or discounted shipping on your order, and will often look like “FREESHIP” or something similar.
Bonus item: These codes will usually add a free gift (with certain purchases) to your order. They tend to reflect whatever the gift is, so a code like “FREETOTE75” could be for a free tote with a $75 purchase.
While any of these code types could be applied to no-minimum purchases, that doesn’t always happen. Online coupons commonly require a minimum order amount in order to be redeemed. In other words, you have to spend a certain amount on eligible items before you can receive the discount.
Also know that codes can apply to most items a store sells, or only to specific items or categories. Additionally, you can get some discounts automatically at checkout without a code, while other times you must click through a certain link.
Be sure to stay safe and watch out for coupon scams, too. If an online coupon seems too good to be true, it probably can’t be trusted.
How to Use Online Coupon Codes
Once you locate a code to use, you can usually type it or copy and paste it into the coupon code box, and then click the button to apply it. This box can show up at various stages of checkout, depending on the store you’re ordering from.
Some stores let you apply the code in the shopping cart before proceeding to checkout, while others may not let you apply it until you’ve reached a certain point in the checkout process. This may be after you enter your shipping and billing address, or even after you put in your credit card information. Just be careful not to accidentally place the order before you’ve entered the code.
Some stores will list a code right on their website, which is very convenient, but it may not be the best discount available for your particular order. There are also many cases where coupon codes for a store exist but aren’t listed on the store’s website at all. This is where a little coupon research comes in handy.
Coupons are easiest to find when you’ve already decided which retailer you want to purchase from. If you visit the Coupons & Promo Codes page here at DealNews, you can use the “Find a Store” search box at the top of the page to type in the store name. This will take you to the store page, where you can find both coupons and deals for that particular store.
You can also do a general internet search. Usually, you’ll just have to enter the store name and the term “coupons” in Google or your preferred search engine (e.g., “Best Buy coupons“). This should bring up a wide variety of sources for finding coupons for that store.
Coupon codes are easiest to find when you’ve already decided which store you want to purchase from.
Perhaps you don’t know what store you want to purchase from, but you know the item you want to buy. If you’re set on a particular model of TV, for instance, you can search the model number on DealNews to see if any deals are listed for it. Using the model number is a quick way to pinpoint the exact item you’re looking for.
If you don’t see a current deal, you may have to go a step further and find out which stores are selling the item you want. Use a search engine to type in the model number, or a combination of brand and model number, to find stores that sell the item. Determine which of the stores you’d feel comfortable purchasing from, and from there, you can use the search by store technique to find out if any coupons are available.
Certain stores will send you a coupon right away if you sign up for their emails. Some of the coupons sent to email subscribers may be one-time-use codes, which means the codes are generated to be unique to that subscriber and can only be used once. At other times, clicking through a link in the store’s email is the only way to get the discount. As such, you generally won’t see these offers listed on coupon and deal sites.
You can also check all of the store’s social media pages. Like or follow a store on social media outlets like Facebook or Twitter, and you may get notified of a coupon. Even if you don’t have an account on one of these sites, you may still be able to view the store’s page to see a coupon listed exclusively there.