Tomorrow only: meet minimum spend, get 22 points per dollar, elite status, and more

There are many ways to take advantage of Sears’ 10 extra points per dollar, but you need to act fast!  This deal is for December 9th only.

Tomorrow only, Sears will be offering 10 extra points per dollar for purchases made at the Ultimate Rewards Mall. To take advantage of this, you need a Chase credit card that gives access to the mall. The best option is the Chase SapphireSM Preferred Card because it will give you an annual 7% bonus on top of all rewards earned during the year. So tomorrow, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you will earn 1 point per dollar in base earnings plus 10 extra points per dollar for going through the mall plus .77 points per dollar for the annual bonus (11 * 7%). There are so many ways to take advantage of this, I hardly know where to begin! Here are a few great opportunities:

Earn 22.47 points per dollar at Sears!

Sears is one of the few online merchants that will give you points for both buying gift cards and for using them. So, do the following “double dip” to get 22.47 points per dollar!

  1. Go to Sears.com to figure out what you want to buy and how much in total you will spend (including taxes and shipping). Clear out your shopping cart and close your browser.
  2. Go to the Ultimate Rewards Mall and find Sears. Click through to Sears to shop online.
  3. Using your Chase SapphireSM Preferred Card, buy e-gift cards for yourself in the amount that you plan to spend.
  4. Wait about an hour (in my experience) to receive the gift card via email.
  5. Go back to the Ultimate Rewards Mall and through to Sears again.
  6. Buy everything you want, and then use your gift cards to pay for those items.

With the process above, you will get 1 point per dollar for base spend + 10 points per dollar for buying gift cards + 10 points per dollar for using gift cards + 1.47 points per dollar for the annual bonus (21 * 7%), for a total of 22.47 points per dollar!

Other credit cards will work as well, but the total rewards may differ. With the Chase Ink BoldSM, for example, you won’t get an annual bonus so you will earn a total of 21 points per dollar (which is still terrific). If you use the Chase Freedom® card it is worth noting that department store purchases are granted 5 points per dollar this quarter (up to $1500 in purchases). This means that you could earn 25 points per dollar with the Chase Freedom card!

Meet minimum spend and double your signup bonus!

If you signed up for a credit card in order to get a signup bonus, consider buying gift cards to meet your minimum spend requirements. To see how versatile Sears’ gift cards can be, read “An Infinite Number of Uses for Sears Gift Cards“. So, if you’re struggling to meet minimum spend requirements on some credit cards and you can afford to stow your money away for a while in the form of gift cards, this could be a great opportunity.

For example, suppose you recently signed up for the The Chase Ink BoldSM. The signup bonus for this card gives you 50,000 valuable Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5000 in three months. One way to meet that minimum spend is to buy $5000 in Sears gift cards all at once. This would give you another 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points!

The amazing thing is that you can do this with any credit card, not just a Chase card! You do need a Chase card to get access to the Ultimate Rewards mall, but you can use any credit card to make purchases! I used this trick a few months ago, for example, to help meet minimum spend on my Starwood American Express card.

Note one risk: if for some reason your points don’t post, the use a non-Chase credit card may be a problem since the Chase representatives will not be able to look up your transaction.

Get elite status and other bonuses!

Many credit cards offer bonus points or even airline or hotel elite status for reaching certain high-spend thresholds within a calendar year. If you’re struggling to reach one of those thresholds, this might be the opportunity you’re looking for! As long as you have access to the Ultimate Rewards mall, you can use any credit card to make your purchases. So, on December 9th one option for you is to go through the mall to Sears.com and buy up a bunch of gift cards. Later you can worry about what to do with those cards. I’ll write posts in the future with suggestions. For now, one option is to upgrade and then sell them. Read Buy miles for 1.2 cents or less for details about how to do this.


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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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Comments

  1. oh man i thought you were going to give the options now on how to use the cards. i cant buy 10k of cards unless i know i can sell them. thanks in general for all your help

    • steve: Sorry to disappoint you! I’m still hunting down the best ways to liquidate the cards and I’ll publish them as they’re discovered. One easy way is to sell them for 84 cents to the dollar (see http://www.giftcardgranny.com/sell-a-gift-card/). Depending on how much you value Ultimate Rewards points, this may be an OK way to go. With the Sapphire Preferred, you would be essentially buying UR points for 1.36 cents per point, which isn’t bad. If you can upgrade the cards, you can do much better, of course.

  2. also if i buy something with the gift card and return in theory i should be able to keep the pts bec its not like a credit card where they see you returned it back so they would claw back the pts

  3. Wait. Math help. Use Freedom buy $1000 gift cards get 5x thus net 25,000 points. Next go back, spend gift card, earn 11,000 more points right. Thus buy something for $1000 and net 36,000 points right? If you did pay yourself back you are netting a 36% discount off best sale price. Math right? – Rene

    • deltagoldflyer: You’re on the right track, but the math is off a bit. Use the Freedom to buy $1000 in gift cards and you get 5x points for the Freedom card and 10X points for the mall gives you 15000 points (not 25000). Then, go back and spend the gift cards and you get another 10,000 points (not 11,000). Total: 25,000. 25% rebate if you take cash back. Or, if you value UR points at 2 cents each, 50% rebate.

      • deltagoldflyer: One other thing: in case you’re wondering how this compares to the SkyMall 25,000 miles for $500 purchase that you wrote about in your Delta Points blog — that deal could be thought of as earning 50 miles per dollar as long as each purchase came to very close to and just over $500. With this deal, as reported above, you can earn up to 25 miles per dollar (depending on your credit card). However, I don’t think the SkyMall deal was twice as good. In this case you get the much more valuable Ultimate Rewards points. Also, with this deal you can buy (and optionally resell) items of any price rather than trying to hit just over $500.

  4. I’ll pay 84 cents on the dollar for your gift cards if this other place doesn’t work for you. I can actually use those at K-mart in my area. My FT handle is gbryan84

  5. Don’t forget with the Freedom card (and a chase bank account) you will also earn 10 points per purchase and 10% bonus points based on the total for your cc statement. So it adds some more value there aswell.

  6. Has anybody know much or given much thought to the Shop Your Way ‘status’ tiers? For example, if you meet the highest annual spend threshold ($10,000), you apparently can get 15X points on purchases made during your birthday month, which would appear to potentially subsidize gift card purchases quite a bit.

    • LG: I’d be curious too to learn more about that. Note that you don’t get Shop Your Way points for purchases of gift cards (but you do get them for purchases using gift cards). Also, if I remember right, you usually get 10x points per dollar, but even at that rate, it is only equivalent to 1% rebate. So I think that 15X points would be a 1.5% rebate.

  7. Are we sure that Chase Freedom views buying at the Sears website the same as shopping at a Sears department store? (bricks & mortar store?) I guess the expanded quesiton is – does Chase Freedom look at any department store website (Nordstroms, etc) the same as shopping at a physical location?

    Thanks

  8. FrequentMiler: Two things:
    – I haven’t bought any gift cards yet, but I have put them in the cart and started the checkout process just to get an idea of details that pop up. The column to the right seems to suggest that you do indeed get 10 points for each dollar spent on gift cards. Have you found this to not be the case when you actually make your purchases of gift cards?
    -I think the status tiers may actually refer to a multiplier of the points you would otherwise get. There are three status tiers, with the lowest tier receiving 5x points, which I doubt would represent a penalty. More info here: http://www.shopyourwayrewards.com/sywr/VIPLevels

  9. So, if you buy an item online with a gift card, then pick it up in store. What happens if you return said item? Do they give you cash back? Or put refund back on gift cards?

    And the really point is… Can they track it back to the UR mall and reclaim those points?

  10. Interesting. I looked at the sears.com return policy and found this nugget:

    “Please Note: If you paid with cash, a debit card, gift card, eBillMe or have a gift receipt, your refund will be mailed to you in the form of a bank check.”

    So, if I’m reading this correctly, use UR to buy gift card, use gift card to buy anything from Sears.com. Pick it up in store, then return it. Since it was bought with GC, they’ll send you a check. Use the check to pay original CC. Am I missing something???

  11. its weird bec that is when starting the return process online. however, earlier on the page it says

    Where applicable, all refunds will be issued in the same form as the original method of payment.

  12. Anyone have any good valid coupon codes for Sears? I am looking to buy a Dyson vacuum and would appreciate a heads up on a discount off that would work with that. Thanks!

  13. I caution everyone only to buy Sears gift cards which you intend to redeem/sell in the near future. The company is widely known to have economic issues. You won’t be happy if in 2012 they pull a “Circuit City” on you.

    • Roger: Thanks for the caution
      Jennifer: Great question. There are usually some coupon codes listed right within the UR mall, but it would be nice to get something more like the Kohl’s 20% off everything!
      LG: Good point about the multiplier. If anyone figures this out, please let us know. A 15% rebate would be huge! Regarding not getting Shop Your Way rewards for gift card purchases: yes, I know that it looks like you’re going to get them, but in my experience you don’t.
      Biblioman: I don’t have proof, but yes I believe it to be the case that the Freedom will give those points for online purchases
      Steve, tgienger: Buying and returning items to get points probably would work, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. I think that if too many people do this, Sears will catch on and stop awarding points when buying or using gift cards. If they don’t catch on, then they’ll probably go out of business…

    • steve: It usually takes a week or less to show up as a transaction, but I’ve seen it take as much as 16 days. There is additional lag to actually get the points in your account. I think that may be tied to your billing cycle.

  14. yea i have gotten for a past sears gift card purchase in 4 days but the real kicker is when it hits the acct. have you gotten pts in general from shopping and was it really that long

    • jason: I’m not 100% sure about this, but I think that the actual points post right after your monthly statement close date. So, depending on when you make a purchase and when your statement close date is, it can take a few days to a month to actually get your points.

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