How to Shop Macy’s — 12 Ways to Save

Exterior of Macy's on 34th Street

Hundreds of millions of people shop at Macy’s. The department store chain uses its 750 retail locations plus Macys.com to deliver a wide range of fashion, beauty and accessory items to fashionistas and fashionistos around the world.

What Macy’s gives us huge selection and big sales — but the sales come so fast and furious that it’s a tad overwhelming. For that reason, I’m sharing this ultimate guide on how to shop Macy’s.

To get huge value out of your Macy’s shopping sprees, follow these rules.

#1 Join Star Rewards

Macy’s Star Rewards used to be available to Macy’s credit card holders only, but times have changed. The big retailer has added a bronze level to their rewards program, open to non-cardholders.

As a bronze member, you don’t earn cash back on your Macy’s purchases, but you do get a few other perks. You get the opportunity to earn rewards on Star Money Days, plus you might get some extra discounts at checkout. Every bit counts, right?

#2 Shop a Season Behind

Macy’s carries a ton of inventory, and that means big after-season sales. I once purchased a versatile and warm Calvin Klein winter coat in February for $50. The coat has served me well, too — it’s been my go-to outerwear between December and March for two years running.

#3 Go to the Clearance Racks First

Before you head to the regularly priced goods, hit the clearance racks. And, if you’re really ambitious, head to a Macy’s that’s a little outside the beaten path. The clearance rack selections are often better at the Macy’s locations outside the city.

The trick to clearance-rack shopping is patience. Make sure you’re not in a hurry and keep looking. Assume that something in your size was put in the wrong place and do a spot check of other sizes. This attention to detail is almost always rewarded with a gem of a deal.

#4 Use the Price Scanner

Any store with a lot of inventory is going to have pieces put away in the wrong places. You don’t want to fall in love with a dress that you think is on sale, only to be met with a surprise at the register. Always (always!) check the price of everything before you try it on. If the price is outside your budget, return it to the rack before you walk into the dressing room.

#5 Skip the Shoes

Macy’s is my go-to store for deals on clothes, but I haven’t done very well in the shoe department. I usually spend too much time looking for a deal and then leave with nothing. (If you’ve had a different experience, share in the comments.) Skip the shoe section entirely and spend your time working the sale racks.

#6 Check Prices Online

Macy's web-only sale banner

After you’ve picked out your favorite pieces in the store, check the prices of those items on Macys.com. If there’s a lower price online, ask at the register if they’ll honor the web price. Clearance items will be difficult to find online, but you might uncover some good savings on regularly stocked items this way.

#7 Connect to In-store Wi-Fi

I learned this trick while waiting for my hubby to try on clothes. Log in to Macy’s Wi-Fi and you may (cross your fingers) be offered a coupon on the spot. It only takes a few seconds — well worth it if you’re rewarded with a 10% off coupon.

#8 Ask for Coupons at Checkout

No one knows what’s on sale better than the hard-working folks at the register. Ask them what’s on sale and if they have any coupons they can apply to your purchase. You’ll be surprised how often you get a positive response.

#9 Use Ebates

For your Macy’s online purchases, make sure you have your Ebates extension enabled! Macy’s is fairly aggressive with its Ebates promotions — as of this writing, the rebate is up to 6%. That’s just free money in my opinion.

#10 Get the Macy’s App

Use the Macy’s to get 25% off your first purchase, and then take advantage of app-only sales thereafter. The app also lets you manage your Star Rewards.

#11 Shop the Sale Page

At any point in time, you can check in on deals at the Macy’s sale page. The page cleanly summarizes all the deals running storewide, and they’re even sorted by category.

#12 Sign up for Alerts if You Dare

You can get a 25% off coupon by signing up for emails or text alerts. Just be prepared for a lot of sale messaging after you sign up. I like to filter these emails into a separate folder, so they don’t clutter up my inbox.

Fashionistas, do you have any other tips to share about shopping at Macy’s?

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Catherine Brock

Style Editor at The Budget Fashionista
Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on DrLaura.com, Wellness.com and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.
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