Potential Mega Deal

Is Kohls the next best double dip opportunity?

Some strange things are afoot in the Ultimate Rewards Mall – specifically with regards to Kohls:

Strange Thing #1: Extra 10 Points per $ on Nov 21

As reported by Mommy Points, several stores in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Mall will be offering increased bonus points on specific dates. These include Groupon, the Apple Store, Best Buy, Target, Overstock.com, and Kohls.


The strange thing is that Kohls reports that you can earn 10 points per $ on November 21st. That’s weird because Kohls has offered that same deal since August, when I first started shopping in the Ultimate Rewards Mall. It makes me wonder: Is this a mistake? Did someone at Kohls say to the Ultimate Rewards people something like “yes we’ll go along with the promotion and give an extra 10 points per dollar”? Maybe they meant they would bump up the rewards to 20 points? I’d recommend checking the mall on November 21 to see what’s up.

Strange Thing #2: Gift card purchases are allowed… or not?

If you log into the Ultimate Rewards mall and click on “Buy Gift Cards”, then sort by “Highest Earn Rate”, you will find Kohls near the top:


That’s great right? But then click on Kohls, and click to view the terms and conditions, and you will see that supposedly, purchases of physical or eGift cards are not eligible! So who’s right here?


Potential Deal

I bought a $50 Kohls gift card last week to test whether or not gift card purchases will work. The points haven’t posted yet, but If/when they do, I’ll update this blog. So, here’s the potential deal: if gift card purchases do work out, then it seems likely that Kohls will be a great “double dip” opportunity the way Sears was when it offered 10 points per $. The trick would be to go through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to buy gift cards for the amount you want to spend at Kohls, and then go through the mall again to make your purchases using the gift cards you bought. With this approach, you will get 20 points per dollar from the Ultimate Rewards Mall and 1 more point per dollar from your credit card.

Potential Mega Deal

What if on Nov 21st they offer not just 10 points per dollar, but 20? And what-if the gift card double-dip idea works out? Wow, that would mean you could get 41 points per dollar! Ultimate Rewards points can be converted directly to cash, so this would be, at minimum, 41% off everything they sell including discounted and clearance items. Many people value Ultimate Rewards points much higher than 1 cent each though. You could easily make the argument that each Ultimate Rewards point is worth 2 cents. If so, you would be looking at more than 80% rebate off everything.

Personally, I’m going to see what happens with the gift card purchase experiment and then I’ll wait until November 21 to see what happens in the Ultimate Rewards mall. I don’t think it’s terribly likely, but if the points per $ does go up to 20 I’m going to fill my e-shopping cart to the limit! If this happens, you can bet that Warm the Children and other charities that accept new clothing will be getting huge donations from me!

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. I actually contacted UR and asked about the discrepancy. They said they would make a notation on my account and wait to see if the points posted. My friend wanted to get some cards, so we’ll see. I missed out on the Sears one and really kicking myself as I also have EE discount through the wife…smh. I’ll let you know if I get the post as well.

  2. FM, does warm the children give you retail price (price tag) for your donations? That is pretty awesome if they do…we normally go to SA or some location place that we have to attach a price to the value.

    • Ray, I don’t know about your retail price question. My assumption is that as long as you have a receipt from any valid charitable organization and you have the store receipt for new, unused stuff then you should be able to claim the full amount on your taxes. That’s cool that you contacted UR about this. I’m looking forward to hearing how it turns out!

      Peter: What makes you think they closed the loophole? I’m hoping the loophole is still there!

      Jason: Thanks for the tip about the Freedom card! I wish I had one, but I’ve maxed out my Chase apps. My understanding is that you can get 10 points per $ for up to $1500 in purchases for the quarter. Is that right?

      asdfasd: Not a fan of Kohls? 🙂

  3. It seems that Kohl’s T&Cs have changed. I bought a gift card in October and the T&Cs said that points would be awarded upon redemption of the gift card, not purchase. The points were awarded before I used the gift card. So now it seems like they have closed that loophole.

  4. If you use a Chase Freedom card, they are offering 10 points per dollar on Kohl’s purchases as standard earning for the remainder of the year, so that gift card purchase may include this as well. Potential 30 points/dollar there! If not, just buy the gift card with the Freedom card, and you get the 20 points without worrying about the Chase mall for the gift card.

  5. Provided I am instantly approved, how long does it usually take for a Chase card to be shipped to you in your hand ready to use? If I applied tomorrow could I have one by Nov. 21?

    • Everett: Yes, I would expect that if you are approved for the card you would get it in a week or so. There is a $300 cash back offer for the Chase Freedom card right now. If you don’t already have that offer, google for “Chase Freedom $300” and you should be able to find a link to it.

  6. I was planning to do something like this on a smaller scale with BestBuy… does anyone know if multiple gift cards can be used on the a single online order?

  7. @Everett

    If you apply for a Chase card online, you can then call them up to see if you are approved. If you are, you can request an expedited delivery for the card (let them know you have a purchase planned when you receive it) and they will next business day mail it to you… For free. It’s a nice touch, and it did work for me with the Sapphire.

  8. I believe you replied to my post on flyertalk about if one could purchase Best Buy gift cards, and then use the gift card through the shopping portal again.

    I think it would be important for you to actually try your suggested methods instead of posting ‘potential’. My thought is that beyond Sears, the shopping portal will be much like other miles based shopping portals and will not let you double dip through the use of gift cards. Though… One thing to think about is purchasing gift cards, and then searching on other shopping portals that reward points for gift card use.

    I would be interested as well to find out about the 10 points extra… if it means 20 points or 10. Maybe a simple secure message to Chase would clear it up?

    • Brent: Best Buy doesn’t show up in the list of stores for buying gift cards, and their terms and conditions on the Ultimate Rewards mall says “Not eligible for purchases of gift certificates or gift cards”. If you can find another portal where purchases of gift cards are allowed to earn points, then yes it might be possible to buy the gift cards there and then use them in the Ultimate Rewards portal. As you pointed out, though, just because Sears does it, there is no guarantee that Best Buy will credit UR points for purchases that use gift cards.

      Regarding posting a ‘potential’ opportunity: a lot of these deals disappear very quickly, and my experiment was taking longer than I had hoped, so in this case I felt that it was better for my readers to let them know of the possibility earlier rather than later. I’ll post updates, of course, as we learn more. Good idea to check with Chase about the extra 10 points. I’ll see what they say.

  9. Will the Chase Freedom by itself allow me to access the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal? Or do I still need to have a Saphire Preferred or Ink Bold combined with it?

  10. @Steelsnow- Thanks for the advice on expediting the delivery, I did it just as you suggested and it worked like a charm! Chase Saphire Preferred delivered in no time flat.

    @Frequent Miler- What is your take on buying gift cards from Drugstore.com? They are listed under the “Buy Gift Cards” tab, but when selecting Drugstore.com and looking at the individual T&C it says you can not. Do you think it will be eligible? They have Safeway gift cards, and at 8 points per $1 this would be a great way to earn 8 points for all my gas and grocery purchases.

    • Everett: Good question about drugstore.com. My guess is that the points won’t post, but if you use your Sapphire card and keep careful records (including a screenshot of the “Buy Gift Cards” section showing drugstore.com) you should be able to force Chase to cough up the points. I’d be very interested to hear what other people’s experiences are with this. One thing you need to know (thanks to a reader named Sam for pointing this out): Drugstore.com charges a $4.95 “shipping surcharge” for each gift card. This really cuts into the ability to use this as an effective Perpetual Point Machine. That being said, if you buy gift cards worth $100, you still come out ahead with 8 UR points per dollar since they are worth at least 1 cent each. Does anyone else have experience getting UR points from drugstore.com gift cards?

  11. @FrequentMiler- So I am going to give the Drugstore.com gift card purchase a try tonight. I will keep you posted as soon as I get some sort of confirmation as this could be another great deal for everyone. In your experience, how long does it take for Chase to post these bonus UR points to my account? After how many days should I consider it a fail?

    • Everett: Good luck! I see that Drugstore.com is 10 points per dollar today so today’s the day to try it. In the past, I received UR credit within a week, but lately it seems to be taking longer. For example, a purchase I made two weeks ago on Travelocity just today was posted to my account. So, I don’t know!

  12. UPDATE: My Nov 1st purchase of a $50 Kohls gift card, posted to my Ultimate Rewards account yesterday! I am 500 UR points richer! Next test: what happens when I use the gift card through the UR mall?

    Note: Kohls is no longer listed under “Gift Cards” in the UR mall so I can’t promise that future purchases of gift cards will be credited as mine was.

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