Sears 15X: Rapidly Disappearing Rewards

imageLast month, for two days only, the Southwest Airlines shopping portal (Rapid Rewards Shopping) offered 15 points per dollar when shopping at Sears.com.  In the post “Sears 15X: Leveraging the deal” I showed a number of ways one could capitalize on the opportunity.  And, in the post “Sears 15X: Shopping for 110,000 points” I showed how one could earn 110,000 Southwest points by double-dipping: buy gift cards for 15X and then use them to buy merchandise for another 15X.

Initial results from this adventure varied widely from person to person.  Some people reported big problems right from the start (see, for example, “When the deal goes awry”) while others had great apparent success (“Sears 15X: Frequent Miler’s almost final results”).  For some, though, initial success may have been illusory…

Disappearing points

On June 21, in the comments of the post “Sears 15X: Frequent Miler’s almost final results,” a reader named Dustin reported that points initially pending to his account had been subtracted out.  He had bought e-gift cards (for 15X) and then used the gift cards (to get another 15X).  The points awarded to him for the use of the gift cards had been removed (see comment 48 of that post).

After Dustin’s initial comment, 3 more readers commented with the same issue, and another reader reported this issue to me via email.  What’s going on?  It’s understandable to have points removed if items are returned, but Dustin and others deny having done that.  It would also be understandable if purchases made with gift cards were not allowed to earn points, but there is no such exclusion in the T&C (see “Sears 15X: do gift cards count?” for more information).

Is there a common thread among those who lost points?  Dustin double-dipped, but I did too and haven’t lost any points yet.  One reader, Wndstr, reported having done a price adjustment.  Is that the issue?  Was it the purchase or the use of your gift cards that was subtracted out?  If you’ve had points removed, please comment below and let us know which of the above factors apply to your situation.  Any other ideas of the cause?

Contact them

If your points have been subtracted out, I’d recommend that you fill out the “contact us” form right away.  The more people that do this, the more likely (I hope) it is that someone will figure out what has gone wrong.  After you log into your Rapid Rewards Shopping account, click the “contact us” link at the bottom of the page, or go directly to that page via this link.

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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  1. Yes, I’ve just noticed that the actual purchase I made has been deducted. Gift cards are still there, though.

  2. My purchase of egift cards was subtracted. Purchase of physical gift cards not subtracted. Purchase using egift cards not subtracted.

    Contact us reply said allow 4-8 weeks for them to figure it out.

  3. My bonus points from purchasing the e-gift card and making a purchase with the gift card are still showing in my RR Shopping account. Both purchases were for less than $100, though, so I’m small potatoes in this deal.

  4. I looks like mine from egift cards and purchases are still showing up. How long are we anticipating for these to be transferred to SW to see if they count towards the CP?

  5. My results are mixed. I did the double-dip by first purchasing e-gift cards and both sets of points are still showing, the transaction date was 5-23. However I forgot to factor in not getting point credit for the taxes and was a little bit short for the companion pass, so on 5-29 I did another double-dip without the 15X to make up the difference. I bought a $100 e-gift card and subsequently made a purchase (total of $167). It appears that earlier this week they subtracted the points for the purchase made using the gift card, although I still received credit for the purchase of the gift card. All things considered, I’m still in pretty good shape, although I’m pretty nervous about the possibility of another adjustment down the road… Fingers crossed!

  6. My rewards points from purchasing e-gift cards are still there. I did not do double dipping. If they take away
    the points, can I return the e-gift cards for refund?

  7. Not the southwest mall or sears, but I had been buying gift cards with gift cards from another merchant. I wasn’t doing this to earn points but rather to secure new e-gift cards from ones I purchased on ebay, etc. I was getting 5% cash back on the cycle. Last week I noticed the pending points for all my gift card purchases had been zeroed out. It makes me a little more cautions about double dipping, because the merchant may after the fact choose not to pay affiliate commissions on one or the other and I don’t think a reasonable arbitrator would fault them.

  8. After reading this post, logged on to my account and noticed the same thing – purchase of the gift cards are still there, however all the actual purchases (four of them on the same day) have all been separately subtracted out, on June 20th.

  9. My reply from Customer Care said they would get back to me within two to four business days – much faster than @Brian’s four to eight weeks.

  10. The points for my order seem to have been reduced. I had bought 10 of the same item and it seems like I’m only getting points for 9 of them now.

  11. Oh no! My points for the purchases on the double dip have been subtracted as well. Thanks for the contact link. Fingers crossed. I did do a price adjustment on the Galaxy 10″ tabs, but the CSR stated that it would not affect my points.

  12. I bought e-gift cards and then bought Galaxy 10 tabs. I later did a price adjustment but as of now my full points are all still showing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  13. Looking over the comments, I see one potential, albeit strange, trend. Everyone who has purchased Tablets of some sort seem to have kept their points? I purchased cameras and that was the purchase that was subtracted. This was also my first time using both SWSP and sears.com online (did not have an account before). For those whom points were subtracted, have you used the Southwest portal and Sears before?

    Since we are talking about Cartera, there might not be any method to this madness. I knew I should have been nervous about spending this much with that company.

    I’m going to fight this one. I don’t see how they have any legal leg to stand on. This is far different than the mistake pricing on AA’s website from last year. There is nothing in the T&Cs rejecting double dipping, and they have shown precedence for accepting double dipping in the past. We might have to talk class action in order to get their attention however.

  14. I think someone above hit the nail on the head. If cartera is not getting the affiliate credit from sears for some part of the purchase, then the buyer will not get it either.

    Definately caveat emptor. Or what Sir Walter Scott said about tangeled webs being woven.

  15. @eds1830 I think you are probably at least partially right. They told me it would take 4-8 weeks for resolution because a third party was involved (sears.com). So this suggests Sears removed the affiliate credit. However, as Frequent Miler says, Sears says nothing about not using gift cards for purchases in the T&Cs, so I’m curious how they will explain themselves, especially since they initially gave the points.

  16. I didn’t get in on this deal, so I don’t have any skin in the game so to speak. But I’m curious as to what tactics could be used in the case of points clawback when no T&C were violated. Could you call up your credit card company to dispute the charge? Obviously, you received the product you purchased, but you could make the case you were purchasing both product and points which were taken away. Would the CC accept this? Alternatively, is small claims court a feasible option? Just curious how one would tackle the problem of being in on something like this for thousands of dollars and being denied points without good cause.

  17. Cartera is dogshit and a crooked company. Anyone dealing with these scumbags runs the risk of getting hosed by them.

  18. Could it also be items purchased from their marketplace instead of directly from Sears.com? I know there was a specific statement against points on items that send you to another site, but there are also items that you can buy through Sears.com but ship/sold from a third party.

    My redacted points were from a marketplace purchase, FWIW.

  19. @Dustin I purchased cameras sold by Sears. This would be my first time using the SW shopping portal, but I did have an existing Sears account.

  20. @Dustin I purchased camera, samsung tablets, some clothing, a video game, and some other miscellaneous items. All the points from all of my purchases (affiliate or sears.com, either one) have been subtracted out, with the exception of my gift card purchase, where I used an actual credit card to purchase. But I agree, nothing against using gift cards (physical or e) in the T&C.

  21. This is getting weirder all the time. No obvious pattern to why some lost points, but others did not. For those that lost points, were they subtracted on June 20? A few people mentioned that date

  22. Someone purportedly from Sears read your post when the deal was on-going and responded to a comment concern, so I’ll say this in case they’re appraising the situation: small-claims+damages. Save us both the time.

  23. Well, I did in my inbox this morning the “Because a third party will now be involved (sears.com), we ask that you please allow 4-8 weeks for a definite resolution. However, we hope to have this issue resolved much sooner than that.” I love how the first sentence starts out, “I am sorry to know that your purchases made at sears on 5/23/2012 have been deducted from your account.”

  24. Well despite my difficulties with them, my points are still all showing as pending. I have taken a screen print of them now in case something goes wrong down the road.

  25. I purchased a refrigerator and Washer/Dryer, separate transactions and double dip using eGift cards, so total 4 transactions on 5/23/2012. Only all the refrigerator purchase (use of eGift cards) points have been taken back on 6/20/2012.

    For both transactions I got a price adjustment of 25% discount (BuyMoreSaveMore sale), in fact for W/D I got additional price match adjustment. Both over $2000 transaction and over $500 discount refund.

    Only difference is the Refrigerator discount refund was Gift Cards (physical cards in the mail), while the W/D discount refund was on credit card portion of the purchase.

  26. Just so we don’t have mixed results, there are some notable exclusions that are standard for Sears.com and have tripped me up in the past – “Not eligible on … PartsDirect, Craftsman, Kenmore or Outlet purchases.”

  27. I have no points realized or pending points. With 4k spent, I’m getting worried. I took screen shots of every screen. Any more advise would be GREATLY appreciated!

  28. @Medman What type of items did you purchase? Were they items sold directly by Sears.com or Sears Marketplace? Did you per chance purchase anything on their exclusions list?

  29. @Frequentmiler, Yes I filed a ticket. I’ve got three days until the 45 days required to wait for such tix to be advanced to the merchant.

    @c0ldlimit: I purchased 8 physical Gift Cards from Sears.com. These were not on the exclusion list to the best of my knowledge.

    Thank you.

  30. Yes, just today I looked and there are points posted on 7/05. I had all my gift card purchase points post, and then an additional mysterious 14,580 points post, when it should have been 21,370 from my merchandise purchases. All of the 14,580 points are still showing on my rapid rewards shopping as being subtracted out, so I don’t know what’s going on.

    • Greg: Interesting! Hopefully you’ll get all the points you are due despite what the shopping portal says.

      Medman: Ouch!

      All: I still only see half of my points, but the good news is that the screen shows I’m half way to a companion pass! Hopefully the rest of the points will post…

  31. I take back what I said before – the points were apparently in the process of posting, and now they have all shown up! So I’m at 100 percent for companion pass.

  32. I’m in the same boat as you with half of the points posting. My gift card purchases have not posted to RR but the second double dip purchases did post. And it’s nice to see confirmation that they count towards the companion pass. However I am a little nervous that the whole set of points didn’t post, as all the purchases were made on the same day…

  33. I’m expecting 15k for gift card purchases and 8,610 for a merchandise purchase (23610 total) – and am seeing a 17,220 point transfer as of right now. Can’t make sense of it. Interested to see how this pans out today.

  34. Good to hear some points are posting. I still have yet to see my points post to my RR account. Based on a FT thread I gathered that Shopping Portal points tended to post the first week of the month. It’s a little weird that it wasn’t just done as a batch posting for everyone.

    @Greg That’s awesome!

  35. Just a report. My points have been posted partially today. I hope all points will be posted very soon as I need the companion pass in two weeks!

  36. the purchase half of my double dip posted today. The gift card set of points still shows in the shopping mall but has yet to post to the southwest account.

    the half that posted is counting towards the CP as expected.

  37. A further update from two of my friends as well. They have half of the points posted. More interestingly, the transactions with lowest point values are posted but those higher are not. For example, a friend has made four purchases of gift cards and seven purchases of merchandise with gift cards. Six of these eleven purchases with the lowest point values are posted. A similar situation happens on my account too.

    • Sam: interesting! Maybe they sorted smallest to largest and are making their way through. Or, maybe purchases over a certain threshold go through a special vetting process. We’ll probably never know…

  38. Two other transactions of mine have posted. Again, they have the lowest point values among those not posted when I last reported here.

    • Has anyone who purchased physical gift cards received the points yet? I’m still holding mine since I’m going to bitch and beg for a full refund if I don’t get my points.

  39. @TravelerMSY: My points on physical gift cards are partially posted. As mentioned in my previous replies, the transactions are posted in ascending order of their point values on my account and my friends’ accounts.

  40. ok, 100k+ points just hit my rapid rewards account. A few weeks ago I had points deducted at the shopping portal end, so it looked like I would be a victim of the double dip not working, but they are now all showing up in my actual sw rr account. I’m not very confident that they will be staying there. fingers crossed.

  41. j: Good news! Let’s hope the points stay!

    Sam: You’re right. My points have been posting in ascending order. I’m still waiting for a 50K+ transaction to post. Has anyone had points post yet for a greater than 50K transaction?

  42. Well, this is interesting. Looks like I got double points posted for the merchandise transaction – both the +8,610 and -8,610 posted to my RR account for a net +17,220.

    Maybe we should book a dummy ticket NOW to keep the points safe until this gets worked out?

  43. Cartera is an absolute mess. I filled out the rapidrewardshopping.com contact page and got this today:

    “I have confirmed that 45 days have passed from the purchase date and this order can now be sent for research with the merchant to confirm its eligibility for rewards. Therefore, I am sending this order to be investigated immediately. Because a third party will now be involved, we ask that you please allow 4-8 weeks for a definite resolution. However, we hope to have this issue resolved much sooner than that.

    Please note on all orders purchased via US Airways Dividend Miles Storefront taxes and shipping fees are not eligible to earn miles.

    Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for your patience and, as always, your continued patronage.

  44. At 11am EDT on 6 July 2012, the threshold of posting transactions seems to be at around 50000 points. A friend of mine have a transaction of 49950 points have posted, but another transaction of 50100 points is not seen yet. FrequentMiler may be right. The supervisor may be on leave this week!

  45. it now states that i’ve earned a companion pass and I have a form where I can enter my companion info. I’m still pretty worried that a good chunk of the double dip points are going to get clawed back, and therefore invalidating the companion pass. I suspect that points get credited and reversed in batches and that since the original point deductions didn’t happen on the shopping mall site until about a month later that the reversal won’t happen for another month.

  46. All my points posted today and the ‘progress bar’ for companion pass status shows 100%! However the actual status says “not yet earned”. I am assuming that since the points just posted today, it may take a couple of days for the companion pass status to be updated so that I can enter my companion info. Fingers crossed!

        • Boy they have a mess over there. On the 5th the points I earned from the e-gift cards posted but not the disputed points for the purchases made with the e-gift cards. This was expected. Today, however, they posted the points for the disputed purchase AND the e-gift cards…again. So I have been given double points for the e-gift cards… Which obviously won’t stay. Here’s my dilemma however: we have a flight on Wednesday that we could use the companion pass for. Once the companion pass clears (I assume tomorrow), do I use it for Wednesday? I wonder what Southwest would do if/when they rescind those points? It seems a little risky to me, but it would be nice to save the money…

        • TravelerMSY: Me too! Sweet!

          Dustin: If I were you I would go ahead and book the flight with the companion pass as soon as possible. Once they issue the ticket I think it’s very unlikely that they would claw it back especially since this is their error not yours

        • Dustin, the CP sometimes takes a while for Southwest to recognize you earned it. And you are theoretically supposed to present the plastic card upon their request, but they almost never ask now that checkin is online.

          It’ll be close.

        • @TravelerMSY: Is there something I can do to expedite the process? Call them or something? We already have a ticket booked, but if I could rebook as a companion that would be pretty sweet. Maybe I’ll just use it for the return flight in a week.

  47. @Dustin: You can call Customer Relations at 214-932-0333. They will be able to pull up your account, issue you the companion pass and add a companion to your flight.

  48. My transactions of 50K+ points posted! Thanks @FrequentMiler.

    @Dustin Did they activate your CP the quickly?

  49. Great news! I just got a confirmation of the points in RapidRewards Shopping. How long does it take for the points to convey to my southwest account?

  50. Hey I’ll take what I can get. Quick q: Can I book a ticket now for three months out and add my wife at that time? Or do buddy pass tickets have to be confirmed at the time of booking?

  51. @c0ldlimit They automatically activated my CP this evening (I didn’t even have to call). I cancelled and re-booked the flight for Wednesday! Thanks Frequent Miler! Though I don’t think this story is over. I suspect they will be clawing back miles in the near future…I am curious how the companion pass will be handled when that happens…

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