Ultimate Rewards Mall September Edition

Sears brings 10X to Freedom holders, but drops Ink and Sapphire to 4X.   

Every month, the Ultimate Rewards Mall has new month-long specials. Last month, I wrote about the August specials in the post “Ultimate Rewards Mall August Edition.” Today, I’ll show you how things look for September.

As always, thanks goes to HikerT for updating his website that shows the Ultimate Rewards Mall payouts for different Chase cards. You can find his website here: lakebagger.com/ur/.

First the bad news

Here are some of the goodies from last month that went away:

  • Sears dropped from 10X to 4X for Ink and Sapphire cardholders
  • Staples dropped from 5X to 4X
  • Office Depot dropped from 5X to 3X
  • HSN dropped from 10X to 4X
  • Shoebuy dropped from 15X to 10X
  • JCPenney dropped from 10X to 6X
  • Drugstore.com dropped from 10X to 8X


September Goodies

Now on to the good stuff!

Sears 10X (Freedom 10X. Ink & Sapphire 4X)
A couple of days ago I predicted that Sears would extend 10X through September.  I was hoping that would mean that I would get 10X from either my Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold card.  However, Sears’ bonus earnings for both of those cards has dropped down to only 4X.  For Freedom cardholders, though, there’s great news: Sears now offers 10X bonus points if you log into the Ultimate Rewards Mall with your Freedom account!  For information about how to leverage this deal, see “Sears 10X: Leveraging the Deal.”  Also, please see “Sears 10X final days?” for additional information.

Sony 10X (Ink Bold 10X, Freedom & Sapphire 2X)
Note that past experiments have shown that it is possible to double-dip here to get a total of 20X, but you need to be very careful.  Buy only physical gift cards (not e-cards).  Then, when using the gift cards, make sure to avoid products excluded via the T&C:

Not eligible on Sony outlet, refurbished, clearance items, and Sony Ericsson locked phones, or Employee Purchase Programs. 

See “Sony 30X success” for more information.

Buy.com 10X (Ink 10X, Freedom & Sapphire 4X)
From an old Frequent Miler post, I found the following about buy.com:

A reader has reported success in getting 5 points per dollar by going through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Buy.com to purchase merchant gift cards (Home Depot was his example).  They do charge a small shipping fee ($2.99 for the first card, $.99 for each subsequent card), but they also give you 1% back in the form of “Super Points” which can be used for future purchases.

For some reason, this info never made it into the Frequent Miler Laboratory (I probably simply forgot about it).  I plan to redo this experiment this month before putting it in.

Bloomingdale’s 10X (Sapphire 10X, Ink & Freedom 6X)
Time for a new double-dip experiment!

OfficeMax 5X (Ink 5X, Freedom & Sapphire 3X)
Note that in a previous Frequent Miler Laboratory experiment, buying OfficeMax gift cards through the mall did not result in points.

Home Depot 5X (Ink & Freedom 5X, Sapphire 3X)
In past experiments, buying gift cards from Home Depot did not result in points, but using gift cards did results in points as long as part of the payment was made with a credit card. See “Is the Home Depot double dip alive?” for details.

A few more:

  • Macy’s 5X (Freedom 5X, Sapphire & Ink 3X)
  • Ralph Lauren 5X (Sapphire 5X, Ink & Freedom 4X)
  • Pottery Barn 5X (Sapphire 5X, Ink & Freedom 3X)
  • Lord & Taylor 5X
  • Dell Home 5X (Sapphire 5X, Ink & Freedom 2X)
  • L.L. Bean 5X (Freedom 5X, Ink & Sapphire 2X)
  • Tiger Direct 5X (Ink Bold 5X, Freedom & Sapphire 2X)
  • KMart 4X
  • Living Social 3X
  • New Balance 3X



Near the end of most months I write up a post with my predictions for how the mall will change.  I didn’t do so at the end of August other than to predict that Sears 10X might stay around longer (partial success!).  Sorry if you were expecting a more complete set of predictions!  I’ll plan to do the usual prediction posts at the end of each month going forward.

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    • Grant Thomas: Yep, this month’s specials are, on average, a bit boring. I’m excited to see Sears 10X continue, though, even though I can’t take advantage of it (I don’t yet have the Freedom)

  1. Miler, did you mean buying a Home Depot gift card from Buy.com through the Ink portal would result in 10x+5x=15x points? Or just 5x points?

  2. @Erik, I have had very good success buying replacement ink on eBay. Most cartridges are generic Chinese ones but work just as well as name brands for a lot less.

  3. The buy.com 10x could be huge if you need to buy something expensive from Home Depot, assuming it works on the GCs. In effect, it would be 15x at Home Depot.

  4. Hi,

    First time person interested in the Sears.com deal.

    Do you know if e-gift card to Sears count for the 10X? Interested primarily in the double dip!

    Thank you!!

  5. I bought hd gift cards in the past from buy.com and got portal bonus points but I noticed that they changed the t&c to say that they do not award bonus points for gift cards so proceed with caution.

  6. @FM, it’s unusual for the freedom to have better earning potential than the “annual fee” Chase cards, maybe Chase wants more people to apply for the Freedom card.

    • Kris: Thanks! I wasn’t planning to buy a buy.com gift card, but rather a different merchant gift card through buy.com (e.g. Home Depot, Marriott, etc.). It would be interesting to try a straight up buy.com double dip though. If my first experiment is successful, I’ll try that next.

  7. @Wayne
    I bought a crap load of sears e-gc’s last month and got the UR points. I ordered one physical gc and it showed up as kmart so i sm’d chase and they manually credited me.

    When are you going to test bloomingdales?

  8. @Frequentmiler The T&C of the Buy.com link from the UR mall mentions the following: “Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents.”

    Was this in effect when your reader reported success with getting points for GC purchases?

    (OT: Rough game for the Wolverines last night, but Brady’s still got the program going in the right direction.)

  9. Hi, does anybody know where the Ink Plus and Classic stand with regard to bonus points when shopping via the UR Mall portal? thanks

  10. @FM

    just double checked inside the Freedom portal…it DEFINITELY says that the 10x points is “valid through sept 4, 2012”

  11. @FM, I don’t see the buy.com gift cards on line. I found all of the merchant cards easily under gift cards but nothing from their site. Also, do they have them in egift cards for faster double dipping?

  12. Kathy: maybe they don’t sell buy.com gift cards. The double dip potential I see here is to buy home depot gift cards at buy.com (and hopefully earn 10x), and then use them at homedepot.com for 5x (as long as you put part of the order on a credit card)

  13. Just an FYI, I was able to double dip Sears.com on August 31, while still at 10x. I received an email today and all points were accounted for. Thanks again for a great double dip idea as the mower I wanted was on sale, with a coupon and a nice double dip was the cherry on top!

  14. @Brett: I purchased a $300.00 gift card from Sears.com on 8/29, but the points have not yet posted to my UR account, should I be concerned?

  15. for sears purchases on the Ink UR portal they posted after 3 days, if they posted at all. So far it’s been 6 days on Sears purchases through my freedom UR portal and purchased on the freedom card to be sure and they haven’t posted, anyone have any success yet?

  16. @FM, did you successfully get your UR points post yet by buying Home Depot GC at buy.com? I’d like to buy HD GC @ buy.com but not sure if the points will post.

  17. General suggestion — can you put the year on the date of the post instead of just month and day? There’s no way to tell if the post is outdated unless you look at the dates of the comments. thanks

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