Quick (important) updates regarding the Sears 12X to 16X promo

This update relates to the current Sears promotion that I’ve written about recently.  If you’re not familiar with the promotion, please read these prior posts:


October 8th and 9th

In one of my earlier posts, I incorrectly stated that the dates for the promo were October 9th and 10th (I have since fixed that post).  I’m sorry for the confusion.  The promo actually ends today, Wednesday October 9th. 

Gift card order verification

With most gift card orders, Sears calls to verify your identity before releasing the purchase.  Unfortunately, they are seriously backed up right now (I wonder why?), so you may not get a call anytime soon.  To expedite the process, call Sears first.  Have your order number(s) handy and call this number:


Be prepared to answer a number of questions to prove your identity.  If you order today, but are not verified until tomorrow, I don’t know whether you’ll get the 12X or 16X bonus.  To be safe, make sure your order is verified today.

Only 15 gift cards per order

In my previous posts I mentioned the idea of buying e-gift cards $50 at a time in order to maximize Plink point earnings.  Not only is this a pain in the butt to do, but it could prove to be a real problem if you need to place a very large order.  Sears.com will accept no more than 15 gift cards at a time.

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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  1. I’m on the sears website right now and am trying to order e-gift cards… but it won’t let me. I have to choose a design even for e-cards, but there is no design to choose from. Did they shut down e-gc? It lets me choose designs for physical gc.

  2. I’m at work and the IE browser is very outdated and probably no trustworthy. I ended up just ordering from the “print” tab, which still is supposed to email the card to you. Not sure how it’s any different than the “email” option. Hopefully I still get the miles.

  3. I had the same problem and used the Print option, called into security number proactively, got approved, and then received an email calling it an ‘e-card’ so it seems the ‘print’ tab works same as ’email’….

  4. Worked fine for me. I just placed 10 orders for $50 cards. About to call to verify them.

    I also used the “print” option. Hopefully that works. Worst case scenario I get 5x UR and 3.00 in plink points per order. I have yet to get any e-mail confirmations so I will probably call now.

  5. Just got off the phone with fraud dept. Gave him my first order number and he pulled up all ten, then said “got some frequent flyer miles going on today . . . ”
    Clearly I’m not the only person on this bandwagon! Should get my e-mails shortly.

  6. thanks for the heads up on the verification! going to earn 16×9 (next promo) x3(aa card they gave me 3x to keep the card)on 3k in gift cards and I ordered $800 in video cards for stock (16×3). Gonna be a nice haul, having an IT company makes it easy to soak up a few grand in GCs.. Thanks for all you do!!!

  7. It may only be that e-gift cards need to be verified before being released- I went in for $50 on a physical and $50 on an e-gift card (starting slow since I haven’t tried trading Sears GCs for Visa/MC GCs at my Sears before). I called proactively to verify and the physical card was already approved, e-gift card needed verification.

  8. Just tried to purchase a physical gc with the e-gift card I just bought, got the following message: Gift Cards Cannot Be Used To Purchase Gift Cards At This Time

    Am I doing something wrong?

  9. 5x $500 e-GC here. (I don’t do Plink.) Called in to verify, received all of them about 10 minutes later. Prepping to purchase a new fridge and dishwasher anyway; it’ll be nice to get a RT ticket to Europe for the trouble. 🙂

  10. Just printed out all of my e-certs. Didn’t realize two things:

    1.) I assumed these would have a barcode so the cashier can scan that. Apparently not! I can only imagine how upset a cashier would be if they had to input a 16 digit account number and an 8 digit pin for each $50 card on a $500 purchase. Looking forward to that resistance . . .

    2.) I inputed my own address for each line – so it says TO: MyEmail Compliments Of: My E-mail. Looks a little odd. Wish I had known they were going to put my e-mail on there. I thought they would leave it blank since I did not fill out the “To” or “From” lines. Oh well.

  11. @CFFrost: download Gyft app and add each Sears e-gc. After entering the card number and pin, there will be a barcode. You can also add to Passbook (for your iphone) and when redeeming it, just show your phone to be scanned. Hope this helps.

  12. The Sears page on mileageplusshopping.com says “Not eligible on items sold by Kmart” but the GCs are sold by Kmart.

    • Rick: Only the physical gift cards are sold by Kmart. And, ironically, we know from many tests in the past that physical gift cards do earn points when bought from Sears. The unusual thing would be for the e-gift cards to earn points. I’m hoping that they will because of the language that was in the T&C earlier.

  13. I just tried to go through the united shopping portal at 8:38pm EST and they removed the “gift cards are eligible as of 10/4/13” wording from the terms and conditions. I really hope we still get points for the gift cards purchased yesterday and this morning!

  14. @nazgul, since it doesn’t say its not allowed, its allowed I believe. I’m not sure though since GCs are sold by Kmart and it says “Not eligible on Sold by Kmart items or any other licensed partners”.

  15. I’m expecting the e-gift card to not give miles, but I tried it anyway. However, dealing with sears has been a pain. They cleared my order in the fraud department, but still haven’t shipped it. I’m wondering if they are pushing things out a couple days to prevent the double dip.

  16. well obviously this is not my night. now i can’t buy a physical gift cards since there are no designs to choose from. same for the e-cards. the only ones that are coming up for me are the print cards.

  17. @FM

    Just curious, what would you do if you don’t earn miles from buying eGC. Would you fight or just let it goes?

    I bought $1500 in eGC today and my gut tells me that I will not get it so I am planning my course of action now.

  18. Ran into the no design problem only when trying to buy more than one at a time. Not a problem buying one. Repeat as needed. This was with Firefox.

  19. Just ordered $1050 worth (I actually do need to buy a lot of stuff, and with this going on, it makes it worth getting them from Sears!) Does anyone who has ordered recently have any insight on how long it takes to get the e-mails? I called the number to get them okayed, but I’m hoping I get them before midnight tonight. I would have done this earlier, but I was super busy all day today! If they don’t come in until past midnight *and* I don’t get points for the e-Gift Cards, this won’t very well have been worth it D:

  20. How do we know when the orders have actually gone through and we don’t have to worry about calling? I’ve gotten emails saying “your sears.com order is being processed,” should I assume this means that the orders went through OK? Or do I still need to pre-emptively call?

    I’m using my Discover card and did get a fraud prevention email from them where I had to just sign on to my account and authorized the purchases. Loved that, it was much easier than dealing with a fraud department phone call.

  21. Okay so Staples is 300 plink points for $60. Or basically $3 worth when you redeem (every $5 worth). Great.

    Not sure its a game changer. Good news of course. If I buy $60 worth of iTunes and Amazon and Applebees and Southwest gift cards, I get $3 back plus 300 Chase UR points worth about $6. So 50% more value? A nice bonus.

    As far as negating the gift card fees? Staples doesn’t have any variable VISA cards. So probably you’re buying 3x$25 or 1x$100 for maybe $4.95 or so. The $3 back is nice and wipes out some of that, though not all. Personally I’m not going near the 3x$25 even if available, its just too much work calling and setting PINs and running them through the Walmart Money Center machines that sometimes work. God forbid you actually had to cash them at a cashier! Still, the break on a $100 VISA GC might be worth it…

    Rather than say 1X for a $500 Vanilla Reload at the 3-letter store, costing me $3.95 and netting me 500 points (SPG or UR say), I can pick up 5 x $100 in separate transactions with Ink, spend 5x$4.95 (call it $25), get 5x$3 back, so net -$10. And get 500 UR points instead. So 400 additional UR points, worth $8 or so, for an extra $15?

    Not sure this is a big game changer. Or I’m missing something.

  22. Trying to order physical GC’s, any help on the no design issue, tried 1 at a time and “In Private” , cleared cookies. Any ideas ?? Thanks

    • I placed 1 eGC before noon, got the fraud call, and they pushed it through and I got the GC email. Did 10 Print GCs around 4pm, called them, and they said they’d release them. It’s now been 3-4 hours and nothing in my email.

  23. Still getting the following when I try to purchase physical GCs with E-GCs: ‘You Cannot Use GCs To Purchase GCs At This Time.’ Hope I can print it out and use it with my physical to get a $100 Visa/MC!
    Also noticed that the text when portalling through United to Sears no longer includes ‘Gift Cards count beginning 10/4/13’ or whatever it was.

  24. @Glenn

    Why buy $100’s? Starting Sunday staples has a deal on Mastercard gift cards. Buy $300 worth get a $20 staples gift card. 5xUR=2070 points for 2×200 gift cards, 300 plink=$3, and a $20 staples gift card…..not bad at all.

  25. I also purchased some Print GC’s around 6pm and it’s been 3+ hours and still no email yet. I sure hope it comes through before midnight.

  26. I ordered an e-gift card at 9pm, it took my order, no problem. I called and had them security check it, it’s 10:50 and i’ve spent the last half hour on the phone with them only for them to tell me security check scheduled my e-gift card arrival for the 14th and that it will take 24-48 hrs for the research department to see why it didn’t go out for today and there’s nothing else they can do. I had a similar problem two weeks ago when the website said a local Kmart had a TV in stock for same day pick up and then when I tried to pick it up, they said it would be in 5 days. I had to reorder by phone and lost my 5 points per dollar on the TV. This company is a freaking joke compared to others who offer same day service. I’m going to bed and hopefully i’ll at least get my 16 points for the e-gift card.

  27. @Paul

    Considering that they just remove “Gift cards are eligible” from their terms today. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  28. Didn’t get my eGCs in time 🙁

    Hopefully eGCs work for points, and hopefully there’s another good portal bonus at some point for me to use them.

  29. I think they removed it at around 7pm. Wondering how they will deal with the e-gift card orders placed before that. They are required to honor it, ain’t they?

  30. I placed numerous orders (total of 31 orders: some 50$ cards, some goods, and a 500$ card at the end at 11:20 PM). All the earlier cards I received without a question being asked. The 450 one, I had to call and the rep processed my order and confirmed that the points will be posted even before I asked. I asked if she could confirm the points for the other orders and she said ALL are eligible for UA points as per the 12X promo. Unfortunately, I haven’t received the 450$ card and it is past midnight. Thats OK!. The rep was very nice and super confident about the 12X. Looks like the nail biting part is almost over even though I want to keep my fingers crossed. This is a huge promo for me. Hope every one had their share of UA Miles, Plink Cash, SYWRs, and UR (for Freedom holders). THANK YOU FM.

  31. @Trevor

    Considering my past experience with United, they will do whatever they want and they don’t seem to care. I might be wrong though.

    • I just got this from chat just now. So it looks like they’re pretty backlogged.

      Sophia: Ken, I have checked and I am truly sorry that the order was held by our accounts team for verification process. However, the order was processed today and you will receive the gift card today by the end of the day.

      Sophia: Please be assured that you will receive the gift card today.

  32. I ordered 10 $500 Print GCs yesterday at 6pm, and I called at 7pm. It’s now almost 12 hours later and I haven’t received any emails.

    • @RNP: My Print and eGC say SEARS.COM 9300, and my physical GC from Sears.com says KMART.COM 7840. I tried both to experiment, but bought the majority through Print GCs even though I haven’t received any yet.

  33. Yep RNP, my Chase Freedom purchases of physical gift cards also say Kmart.com 7840. I purchased two with the Freedom before realizing that they probably wouldn’t count for the 5x department stores, so then I switched to using my Discover card for 5% cb online shopping.

  34. It’s gonna fun to watch this one play out with the gift cards! I have screen shots showing the “Gift Cards are Eligible” if anyone needs it down the road… Another lesson I learned this time around was to call Chase before placing the order so it doesn’t get denied due to a fraud alert on their end. Just tell them you’re making a large purchase and they’ll ask the amount, merchant and city (similar to authorizing if you’re taking a trip overseas). I’m in for over 10k this round (physical gc’s), curious if anyone went bigger? Also would love to know if you folks tell your spouses/SO’s prior to pulling the trigger on these crazy deals or if you wait for a happy ending before having the “talk”?

  35. @Erik – that’s brave of you but I love it! I’m only in for a measly $500 so far – lol!
    Curious to know if you’re buying physical GC’s and plan to purchase big stuff for your house? Or are you planning on reselling? 370K miles here you come!

  36. I’m going the buy and resell route. I didn’t double dip this time so I’m only hoping for 160k and hopefully I can catch another 5-12x when I go back for purchases to resell. I have Platinum through Sears rewards program so should get another 10% back to help offset my losses. If the miles post and I lose 10-15% net I’ll be a pretty happy guy.

  37. @Erik – so have you told your spouse yet? LOL…
    Good for you on the buy and re-sell route. Have you done it before? I’m assuming you’re doing Amazon FBA? Did you do the e-gift cards or?

  38. I’m waiting until after we get married (2 weeks) before breaking the news 🙂 Perhaps she’ll take it better on a flight in F on Etihad on our honeymoon. I’ve been doing this a long time (thanks to FM) and have probably pumped over 30k through Sears over the past couple years. If you can reach Sear’s platinum level there are some really great perks you can stack on top of the miles. I generally sell through eBay and if you open a store ($15 a month), you can get their fee down to 6% selling tablets and laptops. I aim for sub 18% loss (eBay/paypal fees, tax, shipping, + price differential) and recoup a big chunk of that through Sears points which I redeem for merchandise that I resell. If the stars are aligned I make out with a net loss of under 10%, but it’s a ton of work and very high risk. Not for the faint if heart.

    • I haven’t gotten any of my 10 of the Print GCs yet. On chat with Sears now and they’re saying it looks like th payment didn’t process. If I call Chase and clear things up with them is there any chance I’ll get the Uunited points if they re-process the payments tomorrow?

  39. I want to confirm that I have gotten most of my points.
    The only missing is the big order (spent all the gift cards + little on credit card).

    Maybe it will come in these few days. we still got fraud call this AM, so maybe it will show soon.

  40. Ordered 30 separate orders each for a $50 GC ($1500 total) on 10/9. Still waiting on:

    Discover: $75 (5% CB on online purchases)
    Plink: $90 (6% on each $50 purchase)
    MileagePlus shopping: 24,000 miles

    Nothing is showing on any of the 3…I’ll get nervous if I still don’t see anything in another week.

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