Sears 15X: do gift cards count?

Today and tomorrow, the Southwest Airlines shopping portal (Rapid Rewards Shopping) is offering 15 points per dollar when shopping at Sears.  In the post “Sears 15X: Leveraging the deal” I showed a number of ways to capitalize on this promotion.  Many of my suggestions were based on buying Sears gift cards for 15X.  The question explored in this post is whether gift card purchases really count…

Terms & Conditions

In the Rapid Rewards shopping portal, the Sears Terms & Conditions are as follows:

Not eligible on Home Delivery Charges, Auto Services, PA & Installation, Master Protection Agreements, Take With, Protection Plans, Sears auctions, Landsend.com, PartsDirect, Craftsman, Kenmore or Outlet purchases. Sears Marketplace products with “Go to Site” button are not eligible. Only products with “Add to Cart” button are eligible. Great Indoors & Kmart products are eligible. Kmart.com products are eligible as a Kmart.com purchase.

In general, the above T&C mean that your purchase must be made at Sears.com, not at Kmart.com, Kenmore.com, etc.  Sears.com has links along the top that will take you to other URLs.  Don’t go to any of them:

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The other telling part of the T&C is the part that says ‘Only products with “Add to Cart” button are eligible.’  Even though this isn’t explicit, in my experience this means that all products at Sears.com with an “add to cart” button are eligible.

There is nothing in the Terms & Conditions that would exclude gift card purchases.  And, gift cards do have “Add to cart” buttons:

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Experience

While I don’t have experience with the Southwest portal, I have bought and used Sears gift cards through other portals many times and have almost always been successful.  The one exception was when I once bought Sears gift cards through the AAdvantage eShopping portal.  I didn’t get credit for that purchase, but since then I’ve heard from multiple people who have received miles from buying Sears gift cards through that portal.  I have also had 100% success in getting points when using gift cards at Sears.

Other Issues

If you fail to get points when buying Sears gift cards, the issue may be with a failure to properly track the purchase through the portal.  See “How to ensure your portal points” for details of what could go wrong and how to ensure success.

Wrap Up

I believe that purchases of Sears gift cards (both physical and electronic) do count as valid 15X purchases.  In order to protect yourself, make sure to keep your purchase receipts in case you need to file a missing points claim in the future.

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. This sounds good. I was thinking of buying e-cards and using those to buy tivo elites for 399.99. It has an “Add to Cart” button. The only thing that bothers me is is says “Sold and shipped by HIDEF Lifestyle Inc”. Does this present a problem?

  2. Thinking about making the ~$7000+ purchase in gift cards to get the Southwest companion pass. I’m a little nervous about making the leap. Can I presume that Sears handles it’s relationship with all shopping portals in a similar fashion? Or is it the shopping portal itself that governs what purchases count?

  3. @FrequentMiler Per the FAQ on the Southwest Shopping Portal it seems like if Sears has acknowledged gift cards in the past, there is a good chance they would treat purchases via Southwest the same.

    How are the Rapid Rewards Points I earn calculated?
    Rapid Rewards Points earned are calculated on the net amount of eligible purchases. Taxes, special handling charges, returns, freight or shipping costs, and any unshipped products are not included in the points calculation. Individual retailers determine eligible purchases; please reference the retailer detail page for complete information.

  4. To make sure I’m understanding this right.. is this math correct? I’d be able to get 25,000 SW miles for $283 (15X on $1667 of gift cards, sold back to Plastic Jungle with TopCashBack boost at 83 cents on the dollar)? Plus, of course, 1667 points on the card I use to buy the points (no added benefit for using a Southwest credit card, right?). This way, the only “risk” I’m taking is that the gift cards won’t count (rather than dealing with the second step of merchandise reselling, which makes me nervous since I’ve never done something like this before.)

    • Jeffrey: Yes, that looks right. The added benefit of using a Southwest credit card is that you can buy less to get to 25,000 points since your take is 16X instead of 15X. I’m not sure if credit card points count towards the companion pass, though. I’ll have to look that up.

      vr: That’s very strange! Thanks for pointing it out. Its a real shame if people can’t use their prepaid Amex for this. I had a similar problem with a Visa gift card.

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