Ultimate Rewards Mall October Edition

JCP returns to 10X for Ink and Freedom cardholders. Freedom cardholders can get 15X at Kohl’s. 

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

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 (Freedom) to 5X for all cardholders
  • Sony dropped from 10X to 2X
  • Buy.com dropped from 10X (Ink) to 5X (Sapphire) 
  • Bloomingdale’s dropped from 10X to 6X
  • Home Depot dropped from 5X to 3X
  • Tiger Direct dropped from 5X to 2X

October Goodies

Now on to the good stuff.  Sadly, I’m not seeing any killer deals like we’ve seen the past couple of months, but there are a few decent ones:

JCPenney 10X (Ink & Freedom 10X. Sapphire 4X)
JC Penney gift cards often sell for 25% off or more through resellers (search giftcardgranny.com).  A nice double-dip is to buy gift cards at a large discount and then go through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to JC Penney to use them.  Several readers have reported success with this in the past.

Kohl’s 10X (Ink & Freedom 10X, Sapphire 2X)
Yes, Kohl’s has repeated 10X every month for over a year, but it is more interesting how.  This quarter, Freedom cardholders get 5X for shopping at Kohl’s (up to $1500 spend in bonus categories), and so will get 15X by shopping through the Ultimate Rewards Mall and paying with the Freedom card!  Checkout this old post of mine to see how to stack multiple discounts and rebates at Kohl’s: Fantastic points and savings at Kohl’s.

Shari’s Berries 15X
15X is a very nice return, but note that shipping and delivery charges are usually not included in the amount that is given 15 points per dollar.  Since shops like these tend to have very high delivery charges, your actual return will be lower than 15X.

Sephora 10X (Sapphire 10X, Ink & Freedom 5X)
Note that in May we saw Sephora at 20X so this isn’t very big in comparison.  Readers have tried to double-dip in the past (buy gift cards through the Ultimate Rewards Mall and then use the gift cards to buy merchandise to get double points).  Two readers reported success, but one reader reported not getting points for the gift card purchase.

Paul Frederick 12X
Men’s clothing.

UGG Australia 10X
Ugh.

Saks.com 7X
Saks was 10X in June.

Brookstone 9X
Maybe you can use those Brookstone Groupons you bought recently and double dip?

Prediction Results

Over the weekend I made 10 Ultimate Rewards Mall predictions.  Let’s see how well I did:

  1. InterContinental Hotels Group (Holiday Inn, etc.) will increase from 4X to 10X.  Wrong.  IHG stayed at 4X.
  2. JCPenney will increase from 6X to 10X.  Correct!
  3. Buy.com will repeat at 10X. Wrong.  Buy.com dropped to 5X.
  4. Sears will take a break from 10X and stick to 4X or 5X.  Correct!
  5. Kmart, which dropped from 4X to 2X sometime during the month will pop back up to 4X. Half right. Kmart increased from 2X to 3X.
  6. Macy’s will drop from 5X to 3X.  Wrong. Macy’s stayed at 5X.
  7. L.L. Bean will drop from 5X to 2X. Half right. L.L. Bean dropped from 5X to 3X.
  8. Best Buy will try to grab some iPhone 5 orders by jumping from 1X to 2X or 3X.  Wrong. BestBuy stayed at 1X.
  9. OfficeMax, OfficeDepot, Staples: 2 out of 3 will go to 5X (currently they are 5X, 3X, and 4X).  Wrong. Only OfficeDepot went to 5X.  Staples dropped to 2X.  OfficeMax dropped to 3X.
  10. Groupon will increase from 5X to 12X.  Wrong. Groupon stayed at 5X (Sapphire).

Total score: 30% correct.  That should teach you better than to believe any of my predictions 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. do we get the points by buying Kohl’s gift card online ? and can we use Kohl’s gift card to other gift cards such as restaurant, gas at the Kohl’s store? Thanks

    • Will: Great question. When I’ve bought Kohl’s gift cards through the UR Mall in the past I usually did get points, but one time I didn’t so your mileage may vary. No, Kohl’s will not let you use their gift card to buy other gift cards. The register itself prevents it.

  2. I used my Brookstone Groupon last week and got the ultimate rewards points on the full purchase amount! Too bad it wasn’t 9X last week

  3. I wonder what is the best way to play the JC Penney angle. As FM points out above, JC Penney gift cards can be had ultra cheap off of the re-seller sites (28.5%) Then 10X through UR mall is a nice multiplier. But I’m not content with that. I wonder if JC Penney can be worked the way Sam_Goh works it with Lowes (see FM’s prior post about Extreme Savings at Lowes). I’m looking to buy a new couch and if I can connect the dots and find something I like at JC Penney, this could make for a nice return.

  4. FM, I’m sure you’ve answered this before, but can you buy VISA gift cards at OD thru UR portal for points?

    I assume not but thought you could confirm.

    Thanks for the great work.

  5. It’s a shame that the $15 off $150 OD coupon that was eligible for points earning through the UR mall disappeared with the Freedom increase to 5pts. I’m looking to buy a desk and hutch and savings from available coupons (that invalidate UR points earning) are better than the points right now.

    Also now barely makes sense to buy Staples GCs online for the bonus points. $1.99 fee for 204 points. I’ll probably stop that until Staples points goes back up.

  6. kohls gc is only 7.5% now on Cardpool.com. Also you cannot double dip the Freedom 5% off if you use kohls gc. Do i miss anything? thanks.

  7. Allen: you’re right, you can’t buy discount kohls gift cards and get the Freedom 5x. Best bet might be to buy kohls gift card with Freedom card and then double dip for a possible 25x total

  8. I checked the IB URM last week and it said buy.com will be 10 ppd until 10/31/12.

    Did they pull a fast one?? I’m pissed >:(

  9. The T&C for the Container Store (5x) does not specify excluding gift cards. Does it mean buying gift cards of the Container Store would earn 5x UR points?

    • Ken Y: It’s not a sure thing to get points in that situation, but it is very likely. And, if you use your Chase UR card you can call to request the points if they don’t track automatically.

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