Sears 20X

Every now and then I’m terribly jealous of Freedom cardholders.  This is one of those times… 

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As I reported earlier (see “Ultimate Rewards Mall September Edition”), for the month of September, Chase is offering 10 points per dollar at Sears to Freedom cardholders who shop through the Ultimate Rewards Mall.  Last month, they offered the same deal to Ink and Sapphire cardholders.  One of the great things about this is that it’s possible to double-dip with this offer: buy Sears gift cards for 10X, and then go through the mall a second time to use those gift cards for another 10X.  Please see “Sears 10X: Leveraging the Deal” for more details about how to take advantage of this great opportunity (note that that post was written last month for Ink and Sapphire cardholders, but the same tricks apply for the Freedom card).

The waiting game

Historically, when shopping through the Ultimate Rewards Mall I’ve usually seen points post within about a week (see “Ultimate Rewards Mall: When and where do points post?”).  However, points from Sears for large purchases have been taking much longer lately.  My assumption is that large purchases go through some sore of manual verification process before points are awarded.  In August, I made 6 Sears orders (two were purchases of gift cards and four were purchases using gift cards).  Three of the orders were under $1000 and all three posted within 5 days.  Of the orders larger than $1000, two took about 3 weeks to post, and I’m still waiting for the third order that was placed on August 31.  I’ve heard many similar stories from readers.  Personally, I plan to wait 4 weeks before I worry (too much) about the points.

In case you don’t know how to see whether points post, please read “Ultimate Rewards Mall: When and where do points post?

Can one really get points when using a gift card?

There are two issues here: whether the merchant awards points for gift card purchases, and whether Chase awards points for purchases made without your Chase card.  In the first case, yes, Sears is known to award points for both purchases of gift cards and purchases made with gift cards.  Not all merchants do the same.  To see which merchants this works with and which it doesn’t, please take a look at the Frequent Miler Laboratory.  As to whether you can get points in the Ultimate Rewards Mall when making a purchase without a Chase card, the answer from experience is unequivocally yes.  The answer most Chase representatives will give you, though, is “no”.  They are wrong.  Trust me.  For more, see “Ultimate Rewards Mall T&C,” and “Ultimate Question.”

Will points really post?

There are many things that can go wrong when using a shopping portal.  Before making large purchases, please read my post “How to ensure your portal points.”  Ultimately, if your points don’t post, you’re at the mercy of Chase’s support team.  If you purchase gift cards using your Freedom card, then you should have no problem getting Chase to credit your points since they will be able to see the transaction on your account.  For purchases made with other cards or with gift cards, you will have more trouble.  Many agents will refuse to help, but you may be lucky enough to find one willing to credit your points.  I’ve known people to call Chase 6 or 7 times before finally getting awarded courtesy points. When this happened to me (months ago), it took me only two calls to get a friendly agent.

Caution

Some readers write in to me in frustration.  They say they’ve followed all of the above advice, but still haven’t received any points (or haven’t received all of the points they are due).  This is a real risk with all shopping portal deals.  Consider this risk before jumping in.

Freedom card

Yes, I plan to get the Freedom card eventually.  There are just so darn many great Chase cards…

Frequent Miler is on vacation

Posts have been scheduled in advance. See you in September!

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Comments

  1. Woohoo! I knew getting the Freedom card was a good idea.(The 30k bonus wasn’t a bad incentive either ;)) Between that and the Sapphire, I’m covered.

  2. Got the same 30k incentive myself too. Great card with the 5% quarterly bonuses too. Helps save the Amex-PrePaid for everything else that doesn’t get 5x.

  3. Still waiting on 1450 order from August 18th to post, although I don’t think it will. Paid with a non-chase card so I think I am out of luck. Lately very few of my purchases from UR shopping mall posted and I have no idea why. Could it be because of Adblock? (I have it disabled on chase websites)

  4. Thought I’d write a very sincere thank you to FM. Thanks to his blog, I double-dipped at Sears, purchased electronics that I then sent to Amazon to be sold. Overall spent $5000 between two Sapphire cards, lost around $500 (with shipping, amazon’s cut and a return) and earned a bit over 100k points, with only 20k points not posting automatically which were ‘adjusted’ after a couple secure messages and a call.

    Just a few pitfalls: shipping and Amazon’s cut are higher than they seem, even for electronics. And returns can be tricky. I was lucky that I have (so far anyway), only had one return. But since it takes Amazon up to a month to return the merchandise to you, it’s too late to return it to Sears, which means you’re out however much that one device was worth (plus any other returns).

    Overall very successful, though, and owe a huge thanks to FM.

    • Gabriel: I’m glad it worked out so well! BTW, you should be able to resell the Amazon returns unless they are completely broken (in which case you should be able to send back to the manufacturer). One of my items had never been opened so I resold it as new. Another had been opened, but it works fine so I’ll probably sell it as used – like new.

  5. I’m still waiting for Sears points to post from a purchase on 8/22… $200 purchase/2000 points. Unfortunately, I put it on my SPG card so if they don’t automatically post, I don’t know that there’s much I can do. Forgot to double dip. :(

  6. Interesting point about the sub $1000 purchases. I plan on purchasing a TV shortly and will divide the gift card purchases, unfortunately, there is no way to divide the TV purchase to make it come in under $1k.

  7. I don’t need anything from Sears. So how to I take advantage=(cash out) of this option? I am not keen on doing a “Gabriel” and lose $500 in the process.

  8. I also recently did the double dip for a DSLR and lens. Got a great price on both as well as around 17,000 miles or so! They even gave me full miles for the non-sale price for the actual purchase of the camera/lens.

  9. Does anyone know what will happen if I return some of the sears merchandise? Most of the points have posted to the portal unlike last month. I’ve got a return from last month and I’m not sure how it will impact things. Also how long does it take for everything to shake out. The return was made on August 18th.

  10. I made a purchase this morning on an e-gift card, only $50, but they still had to call me and verify my name, email, card expiration date, address, and amount of card I purchased. Said they have a lot of errors on e-gift cards. Seems kind of overkill for $50.

  11. I’m in the middle of attempting a double dip on tires too. I’m about 6 months from needing new tires, but I can easily store them in the back of my garage until I need them.

    The nice thing about the tires is that Sears has a price match policy for up to 30 days after the purchase. It only matches local retail stores with the same tires in stock, but it makes their prices much more competitive.

  12. Great blog — very helpful! Quick question: I have the Freedom card (a few years old), and just received the Sapphire card a few days ago; I’m currently working on fulfilling the minimum spend on my Sapphire. I need to buy a dishwasher. If I go into the Ultimate Rewards mall via my Freedom card account, Sears shows up as 10x points. I’d like, though, to use my Sapphire card to pay for the gift card in order to help make the required spend. (Then I’ll go through the the mall again via my Freedom card account to use the gift card to buy the dishwasher.) Do you know if I’ll still get 10x points by using my Sapphire card to pay? (As you know, the bonus for Sears is 4x via the Sapphire card.) Thanks!

  13. Thanks again, FM! By using the double dip, 13250+ points have now posted for the dishwasher I bought. I think I’m getting hooked on this… :)

  14. Chase notes in the clickthrough page for the T&C now for Sears that, “Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents as of 11/1/12.”

    Might be worth a re-test.

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