At the beginning of each month, new promotions appear within the Ultimate Rewards Mall. Usually, on the last day of each month, I make predictions about what we may see the next day. And, usually, my predictions are wrong.
Today, instead of making specific predictions about specific merchants, I’ll make a few general predictions about the portal overall.
10X promotions return
In 2011, and frequently in 2012, a merchant or two would increase their payouts through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to 10 points per dollar. In the last three months of 2012, though, we suffered without these special promotions. Sure, some stores such as Kohl’s continued to offer 10X (which is the same amount that has been offered since I first looked at the Mall), but there were no more monthly 10X specials. My guess (and its just a guess) is that we’ll see the monthly specials return. Call me an optimist.
Gift card restrictions increase
The Ultimate Rewards Mall has a section titled “gift cards”. This section lists the merchants that explicitly give bonus points for customers who purchase their gift cards. In 2011, this section was pages long. Now, it is just one page of mostly uninteresting options. Worse, the fine print for many merchants now says “not eligible on gift cards”. Despite that, many merchants continued to pay out points for gift card purchases. Recently, though, some have started enforcing the restrictions (for example, you no longer get points at Sears for buying e-gift cards). My guess (and its just a guess) is that we’ll see fewer stores offering points for gift cards, and more stores enforcing restrictions. Call me a pessimist.
Holiday promotions reappear
In 2011, near the winter holidays, the Mall offered special one day bonus point offers such as Apple at 10X. I’m hoping these specials will reappear. Call me hopeful.
What do you think we’ll see in 2013?