The Ins and Outs of the Sears Double Dip

Since I began blogging over 4 months ago, I’ve frequently written about variations of “double dip” opportunities in which you can earn points or miles for buying merchant gift cards, and then earn more points or miles for using the gift cards.  This post will give you an overview of the current opportunities to double dip with Sears.  Sears is a particularly good option for this trick since they sell such a huge range of products. 

Aadvantage eShopping

The Aadvantage eShopping mall is currently offering 10 points per dollar for Sears’ purchases.  Theoretically you could go through this online mall to Sears to buy yourself gift cards (there is no tax or fee for the cards) and then go back through the mall to use those gift cards.  By doing this, you would get 1 mile per dollar when using a miles earning credit card, and 20 miles per dollar from the Aadvantage eShopping mall.  Aadvantage miles have a fair trading price of 1.56 cents each, so this would amount to a 32.76% rebate in the form of AA miles!

Unfortunately, the Aadvantage eShopping mall is notoriously bad about crediting purchases like these to your account.  When I’ve written about similar deals in the past, I found that the only way readers were able to get miles was by emailing, calling, complaining, and stamping their feet.  Even then, some haven’t yet received miles.  So, go this route only if you’re willing to take on the fight!

Ultimate Rewards Mall

Several times in 2011, the Ultimate Rewards mall offered 10 points per dollar for Sears purchases.  Unlike the Aadvantage eShopping mall, the Ultimate Rewards mall has been very good about crediting most purchases within a week or two.  If you hold the Chase Sapphire, Chase Freedom, or Chase Ink Bold card you should have access to this mall.  With the Chase Sapphire, points accrued through the mall are particularly valuable because the Sapphire will award you with a 7% annual bonus.  So, by doing the double-dip at 10 points per dollar, you will get 1 point per dollar from your credit card, 20 points from the double dip, and 1.47 points from the annual bonus for a total of 22.47 points.  At the fair trading price of 1.31 cents, this amounts to a 29.4% rebate in the form of points!

Unfortunately, the Ultimate Rewards mall is currently offering only 4 points per dollar if you log into your Sapphire or Ink Bold account, and 5 points per dollar if you log into your Freedom card account.  Personally, I plan to wait until they (hopefully) bump the offer back up to 10X before I go this route again.

EBates

Ebates.com currently offers 6% cash back for Sears’ purchases.  Theoretically, you could double dip and earn 12% cash back.  I haven’t tried this and, frankly, I haven’t had great luck with EBates cash back offers so I don’t especially recommend this route.

Mix and Match

While I know that the Aadvantage eShopping mall is stingy with crediting miles for gift card purchases through Sears, it is quite possible/likely that they will award miles for purchases using gift cards.  So, you can go through the Ultimate Rewards mall or EBates to buy gift cards and then go through the Aadvantage eShopping mall to use the gift cards.  In this way you will earn 5 or 6 Ultimate Rewards points (or 6% cash back) and 10 AA miles.  Based on fair trading prices, this amounts to approximately a 23% rebate

My Experiment:  I recently made a Sears purchase in the Aadvantage eShopping mall using gift cards I had bought earlier.  Hopefully I’ll receive 10 points per dollar for this new purchase!  I will report back later with results.

Extra Points

If you try any of the schemes listed above, make sure you are a member of Sears’ Shop Your Way Rewards program.  With this program you will earn 1% back from your purchases (not counting purchases of gift cards) that can be applied to future purchases.  If you make over $2500 of purchases you will become a Silver member and will be able to earn 5% back on certain days of the year.  Bigger spenders can achieve Gold or Platinum status and earn even more.


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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. Thanks for the update. Unfortunately buying other gift cards with sears gift card from Kmart has ended. Atleast in my region. That was a wonderful use. Now I am stuck with tons of sears gift cards for a very long time. I hope they do not go bankrupt before that.

  2. Caveman, I bought BP card with Sears cards at kmart one day, and got shot down the next due to a different manager (in the end she limited me to $100 that day after a little arguement). id say try again at yours. i plan to just go back and hope for the best

  3. FWIW, I wasn’t able to double dip on my last Sears purchase with GCs. I plan to return the item so no biggie, but it makes me wonder if UR is no longer giving points on purchases with GCs.

  4. About three weeks ago I successfully purchased a sears gift card through UR. I then purchased a machine through UR using the Sears gift card. Both purchases showed up for UR points. It was 6 points/dollar at the time.

    • HikerT: As recently as 12/21 I used a Sears gift card through the UR mall and received credit. More recently (Jan 2), I received half credit for magazines.com purchases using a gift card. I don’t know why I’ve been so lucky, but I’ve never missed getting credit for any Sears’ purchases.

      Caveman: Do you have a Sears store near you? I’ve been able to buy EBay cards at Sears and then use those cards to buy gift cards that I really want. Also, at Kmart I’ve started loading up lots of miscellaneous other stuff (tissue boxes, cereal boxes, etc.) and buying just a few gift cards at a time so that they get lost in the shuffle. Seems to work.

  5. I tried the 10x aa points via their portal for sears gift card purchases before chirstmas. 1000 in sears gift cards and no points later. AA Customer Support tells me that gift cards aren’t eligible for points.

  6. I bought 2, $500 sears GC’s ($1000 total) for an appliance purchase thru the UR portal last week & I just got an email saying that my 4000 pts have posted to my UR account. This was my 1st Sears gc purchase & I did NOT get a call from their fraud dept. I received the gc in the mail 2 days ago.
    HTH!

  7. @Frequentmiler. I tried to look for gift card section at sears but did not find anything. Maybe I will try to look for it one more time and do a very thorough search. In the meantime I am adjusting to buying more groceries from Kmart. It is a matter of getting used to because the nearest kmart is slightly out of the way but no gain without pain

  8. Thanks to your site, I purchased a substantial amount of Sears gift cards during the one day promo in December netting 10 UR points for using the Chase UR mall and 5 UR points for using multiple Chase Freedom cards which qualified for the Q4 2011 department store spend. I never got a chance to liquidate the gift cards, but the 10 AA miles/dollar look like a great option to increase my bonus to 15 UR + 10 AA points per dollar. I value these points at 2 cents each so in my mind it is like a 50% discount at Sears 🙂

    Note for those trying to double dip at the AA mall. The Sears page has a tab just for gift cards that says “Earn AAdvantage® miles with every gift card purchase made through the AAdvantage eShopping mall. A reward for giving, what a great idea!” but the rate is only 3 points per dollar, so the double tip might only net you 13 points per dollar:

    https://www.aadvantageeshopping.com/RetailerDetails.aspx?merchbrandid=727005850

  9. Don’t know why I don’t read your blog before posting on Milepoint 🙂

    But I’m interested in the answer to @Elizabeth’s question, too!

  10. caveman: it sure wasn’t easy to find the gift cards in my local Sears. It was only visible from one angle near a door. If you didn’t come in through that door, you would never see it.

    Elizabeth: that’s great! I love the “multiple Freedom cards” part of the story. I just wish Aadvantage was faster about posting points. I don’t know when I’ll be able to report success on the Aadvantage mall purchase I did.

    Others: It’s great to hear both success and failure stories so that we can learn from them. Thanks for sharing! With Aadvantage eShopping it’s amazing how different people’s experiences have been. I’m not a fan. But 10X is hard to pass up if it can be achieved…

  11. I can verify that using Sears GC to buy things at Sears through the AAdvantage mall does give you the 10 miles per dollar, but buying Sears GCs through AAdvantage mall doesnt. So I would recommend the strategy of buying Sears GCs through ultimate rewards mall (especially when they run a promo), then double dip through the AAdvantage mall.

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