Ultimate Rewards Mall Update

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As of this morning (Feb 1), there are a number of changes to the payouts from Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Mall for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold (note that when logging into the mall for other Chase cards, you will have different offers).

Let’s look at some key bonus rates for the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold:

  • Avis: 5X
  • Barnes & Noble: 10X (up from 7X)
  • Drugstore.com: 5X (down from 10X!)
  • Groupon: 0 (has been missing from the UR Mall since January)
  • Hotels.com: 4X
  • HP: 3X (down from 5X)
  • Kohl’s: 10X
  • Magazines.com: 40X
  • Office Depot: 5X
  • Sears: 4X (Same as before. Boo!  I was hoping Sears would go up!)
  • Staples: 4X (down from 5X)
  • Target: 3X (down from 5X)

Comparing to predictions

Last night, I made the following predictions:

  • Staples.com will stay at 5X
  • Target.com will decrease from 5X to 3X
  • HP will stay at 5X
  • Drugstore.com will decrease to 8X
  • Sears will increase to 6X or 7X

How did I do?  I got Target exactly right.  I also correctly predicted that Drugstore.com would go down, but it actually went all the way down to 5X instead of my predicted 8X.  Against my predictions, Staples and HP both went down, and Sears stayed the same.  So, I batted 1 (or maybe 1.5) out of 5.  Not very impressive!

Analysis of Changes

Ick.  Most of the changes are not so good.  Sears staying at 4X is a big disappointment.  Staples dropping from 5X to 4X slightly lowers to value of the Ink Bold double dip I’ve been writing a lot about lately (in fact, I need to re-write a new post that I had ready to go).  Office Depot at 5X doesn’t help too much as their terms and conditions explicitly say that gift cards are excluded (but it’s a great deal if you actually want to buy something from Office Depot).  Also Groupon is still missing from the site altogether.  On the plus side, it’s great to see Barnes & Noble back up to 10X.  I’m really pleasantly surprised, as well, to see Magazines.com staying at 40X and Kohl’s staying at 10X!  Also with Avis at 5X and Hotels.com at 4X there could be some great opportunities to save on travel and double-dip with other promotions.

What’s Next?

Virtually every shopping portal, including the Ultimate Rewards Mall, is heavily promoting Valentine’s Day related merchants right now.  So, my next bold prediction is that rates will change again on Feb 15th.  Let’s hope for some good news then!

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Comments

  1. Batting the Mendoza line! Pretty hard to predict them all spot on. Bummer on Sears, glad I got in for a nice chunk in Dec. Next up: likely some flower bonuses to go with the Blue Nile bump for V-Day, and maybe someone who carries a lot of chocolates? Maybe restaurants.com?

    • Jason: Thanks for the reminder. I did write about Groupon being missing when I noticed it sometime in January, but I’ll update the post to remind others.

      Steelsnow: If I remember right, United has a nice flowers related offer that might be better than anything here. I’ll have to dig up that Mommy Points post…

      Andrew L: Yep, Kohl’s staying 10X is good news! I’ll add that in.

  2. Please stop re UR Staples GC double dip or you will kill it faster than you can say boo hoo! All the other off. supply online GC dbl dips have been killed precisely like this and very swiftly

  3. The 3x for Avis is probably an error on the Chase site. The main page advertises 5x (note screen print above). I’m guessing one or the other will be fixed in a few days. 5x makes more sense as the Freedom site has the 3x standard offer.

  4. Hi, great site first of all. I was looking through your site and saw that you recommend the chase sapphire and chase ink cards for the double dipping since they give you access to the ultimate rewards mall. Now my question is, the chase freedom also gives you access to the ultimate rewards mall and the card has no yearly fee so why recommend the chase freedom instead? I know about the 50k sign up bonus and 7% yearly points reward for the sapphire, but is there something else I’m missing? It seems you can do the same thing with the freedom card and you won’t have to pay a yearly fee.

    • Starter: The Chase credit card lineup and Ultimate Rewards programs are very confusing. I’ll soon write up some posts trying to explain it all. For now, though, you’re right that you can get to the Ultimate Rewards Mall with other credit cards such as the Freedom. So, yes, you can double dip with these cards. The extra points offered for each merchant can be different, though, depending on which card you have. So, when I report that you can get 5 points per dollar from a merchant, that might not be true for the Freedom. The other difference is that only with the Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Bold can you transfer points to airline or hotel programs. The reason this is very important is that you can often get much better than 1 cent per point value from those programs. With the Freedom card and the Sapphire (not preferred), the value of the points is fixed at 1 cent each.

  5. Groupon is back finally on the UR website (yaay). It has only an additional 7 points/$ though. I miss the 15 points a dollar groupon days.

  6. I logged in with the Sapphire, it changed from 7 to 12 extra points. It says this is a limited time offer till end of this month.

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