Sears sells other retailer gift cards, after all.
Well, well, look at that. Sears does sell gift cards (other than their own) after all. I’ve written a couple of posts recently about how to buy miles cheaply by buying Sears gift cards through the Ultimate Rewards Mall, and then upgrading the cards at Kmart, and then selling the upgraded cards. See, for example, Buy Miles for 1.2 Cents or Less and A Two Player PPM. The trickiest part of the whole process is the “upgrade” where you need to go to the physical store and buy a more valuable gift card with your Sears gift card. The reason this is tricky is that if you ask a manager at Kmart, they’ll tell you that buying gift cards with gift cards is not allowed. However, if you simply bring the gift card to a register and if the clerk is willing to try swiping your gift card for payment, it seems to always work. Another issue is that not everyone has a Kmart near them. So, today after lunch I wandered around my local Sears with my eyes open for gift card racks. Just as I was ready to give up, I found what I was looking for deep in the bowls of Sears, near the hardware department. Unfortunately, there were no gas cards to be found (these are quite valuable), but I did find some EBay cards. So, as an experiment, I brought a $50 EBay card up to the nearest register and blatantly held out my Sears gift card to make my intentions clear. The clerk noticed and said “you have a coupon? Oh, I see it’s a gift card.” And, without further comment, he rang up the EBay card, asked me to swipe my gift card, and soon enough I was on my way out of there.
So, what can I do now with an EBay card? Well, I could practice the art of Gift Card Harvesting, but that is way more effort than I’m willing to spend. Instead, I’ll probably use it to buy another gift card, but one that can be sold easily (via PlasticJungle, for example) for more than a Sears card can. Please note the risks: readers have reported being swindled by EBay gift card sellers (and buyers). Also at least one reader has reported being swindled by PlasticJungle. So far, my experiences in both areas have been without issue, but I can only hope that it will stay that way!
In case you can’t read the blurry photo above, here are the merchant gift cards I found: Applebees, Maccaroni Grill, Outback, Amex, Chili’s, IHop, TGI Fridays, Subway, Ruby Tuesday, Barnes & Noble, Bass Pro Shop, Cracker Barrel, Pizza Hut, EBay, and one more that I can’t identify (with a picture of ice cream on it).