Have you been hankering for an Amazon Kindle but can’t bear the thought of forking over several hundred dollars? A new deal from Amazon will give you a major discount on the wireless reading device — if you get the new Amazon.com credit card.
For those of you who are not technologically savvy, the Kindle is a gadget that allows you to read books electronically. It’s not a computer screen with a glare, though; there is no backlight. It utilizes electronic ink, which makes it appear as though you’re reading on paper. Rather than having to plug into your computer to download books as Sony’s electronic reader requires, the Kindle comes with a free wireless Internet connection.
The device is linked to your Amazon account, and thus, your credit card info. You can access regular Internet sites from the device, but you can also download books, magazines and newspapers from Amazon’s online store. Not to mention you can use the (infrequently needed) cord that comes with the Kindle to upload your own PDFs and documents.
I bought a Kindle earlier this year and I’m in love. It was my steady companion on my two-week Europe adventure
(see cheesy self-portrait of me reading it on an overnight train from
Hamburg to Paris). It remains in my purse and entertains me in doctor
office waiting rooms and while lingering at venues until friends show
up. Sure, the device itself is expensive, but the electronic books are
much cheaper than their paperback or hardback counterparts. Not to
mention all the public domain books available for free on sites like
ManyBooks.net, which you can download directly from the Kindle’s
Internet in just seconds.
The Kindle can also play audio and has an interesting feature called Now Now, in which you type out and submit questions and Amazon researchers reply with answers. A friend once used my device to ask who would win in a fight between a bear and a ninja. We received three detailed answers (both on the device and via e-mail). Seriously. Here’s part of one: “Although a ninja is trained to fight and learn to anticipate the moves
of the opponent, the bear has these instincts by nature. Man has to be
trained to use the instincts, and no amount of training can equal an
instinct that is already born into a human being. The bear, assuming a
full-grown bear, would have a definite size and weight advantage. The
only thing the ninja would hope to gain is an advantage in speed and
agility.” Another says, “If the ninja had no weapons, the bear would win. However, a ninja that
stays nimble and has his kitana and throwing stars would overcome the
nasty bear, bringing the filthy beast to its final rest.”
One thing about the Kindle that turns people off is the steep price tag: It was originally $399, and is now $359. If you apply and are approved for Chase’s Amazon.com Rewards Visa credit card, however, you will get $30 back on your credit card statement after you make your first purchase. Then, if you want the Kindle, go to Amazon.com and add the Kindle to your cart. Pay for the purchase with your Amazon.com rewards card and use the promotional code “VISACARD.” You will then get $70 off when you check out.
The catch is that Amazon.com is advertising this as getting $100 off a Kindle, but it’s coming to you in two separate parts. Only $70 of that happens when you purchase the Kindle; the other $30 will arrive as credit on your statement, and could easily be eaten up by another purchase. Also, you only get each offer once, so don’t think you can buy 50 discounted Kindles and make a killing on eBay.
You shouldn’t apply for the card if you never use Amazon.com but just want a Kindle; it’s just not as beneficial. You receive three points for purchases with Amazon; two points for purchases at gas stations, restaurants and drug stores and one point for all other purchases. For the first 90 days, you will receive double the points. Once you’ve racked up enough points, you can redeem them for cash, airline miles, plane tickets, Amazon.com gift cards or gift certificates for car rentals, hotels and gasoline. The card has no annual fee and also is available as a business card.
This offer expires at midnight on Sept. 8, so if you want a Kindle for a discount, get moving!