We’ve seen it all once in a while as we shop online. The little coupon code box that pops up during checkout or as you shop. Sometimes, it might be labeled as gift code, offer code, promo code, coupon code or other variations.

Regardless of the name chosen to describe it, it always offers you a small window of opportunity for saving a few bucks. It’s actually on of the best ways to save money online, yet not so many shoppers opt to use them – maybe because of lack of information on how to use it and the importance of using it.

If you’ve been having trouble using the coupons online, don’t worry. The information below will arm you with all the knowledge you need so as to start using coupons like a pro. Newbies will find this article particularly useful though seasoned pros can also find some tips on how to maximize on their coupons.

Coupon Code 101: The Basics

To start off, you need to know what a coupon code is and how you can use it. Coupon codes cut off a small percentage of your purchase online. Most of these codes provide you with incentives such as free shipping or give you a certain amount of money back after making your purchase.

Some of the online websites such as eBay and Amazon will promote the coupon codes on their websites to encourage purchases, though these are more often not the best deals. The large majority of websites don’t display active coupon codes, meaning you’ll have to go off site to find a coupon code with the best deal.

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Reading your coupon code

Usually, the coupon code will be a mix of numbers and letters ranging from 5 to 10 characters. The letters are normally written in caps and appear random. For example, a Casumo coupon code will appear as FREE100 or in other instances the combination of words might appear randomly FYIO75.

In the first example, the Casumo coupon code might be giving you a hint on what you should be expecting. FREE100 could mean that you’ll receive a $100 bonus upon signing up at the platform, or it could mean you’ll receive a $100 cash back bonus on a certain product at the platform.

Intermediate Couponing

Now that you’ve mastered the basic elements on how to use coupons online, we are going to dig a little deeper into the process of using the coupon. While it’s a straight forward process – finding your coupon code, adding your preferred item to the card, applying your code and checking out – most of the websites have complicated checkout systems which can frustrate even the pro shoppers.

Entering the coupon code correctly

Ensure while using your coupon, you type or paste the coupon correctly. As already mentioned, most of them are usually written in CAPS and most platforms have made them case sensitive. This means if you enter it in lowercase, it might not work. Also, when copying and pasting the code, ensure there’s no blank spaces between the letters as this could prompt an error message. And if the code is email specific, you might have to log into your email address to access it.

Meet the minimums

Most coupons have a minimum purchase attached to it. This means to qualify for the specified amount, you have to spend a certain amount of money before you can qualify for the discount or bonus cash. In our earlier example, for example, you have to make a minimum deposit of $20 before your account can be credited with the 100% match deposit bonus.

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Troubleshooting a Coupon That’s Not Working

Sometimes, a coupon code might fail to work due to several reasons but mostly it could be because of restrictions and exclusions.

Restrictions

A good example where restrictions apply is on Uber’s coupon code. Once your friend has sent you the referral code, you have to enter it during or before the trip for it to be validated. But there are a few restrictions attached to the promo code; you can only use the value of this code to one trip. If there’s any leftover value, it will disappear and won’t be applicable on the next trip.

It’s therefore very important that you read the terms and conditions of the coupon code to identify any restrictions spelt in it.

Be Wary of Expiry Dates

If a code has expired, it will no longer be valid by the store. Some of the stores have a tendency of discontinuing their coupon codes even before the expiry date reaches, so it’s best to again cross check the terms and conditions section to see if it is still valid.

Apps

It’s also worth checking out apps such as Honey which can automatically search and apply the best coupon codes for you as you shop online making saving money easier than ever before.


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