Ultimate Rewards Mall 2013 Predictions

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?

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  1. I really hope you’re right, but I see lower (relatively speaking) earning opportunities continuing into 2012. I think the holiday bonuses of years past were intended to drive extra spending while the economy was especially weak. It’s not prime now, but nothing like 2010/11, especially in terms of consumer spending.

    I would love to be wrong, but I don’t see things getting any better. That said, the earning opportunities are still GREAT compared to nothing at all!

  2. What we need is an Office Supplies store that sells GCs online :) Maybe FTU can find that out for all of us in 2013 so we don’t have to deal with TSA-Wannabes from OD cash registers who suspect everything is for “terrorizer” funding haha

  3. I agree with Zz and Matt, I think the days of 10x will be few and far between for 2013. Retailers just don’t seem to be that hard up for dishing out the points to earn our business. I remember when anything below 8pts didn’t even catch my attention, now anything 4pts and up looks great!

    Checked my CSP UR Mall this morning and the bonuses look boring as usual. Went to my wife’s Freedom UR Mall and it looks boring there, too. At least we have a new round of quarterly category rotation starting today. (5x for Starbucks and gas stations)

    • Yeah, I agree. Regarding this month’s multipliers, I was going to publish a post about it, but things seem to be in flux. Sears was at 6X when HikerT updated his site, but they’ve now dropped to 3X. Let’s see what happens in the next few days. It’s possible (but admittedly unlikely) that some promotions haven’t kicked in yet.

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