A year later, a new breed of Sears’ gift card racks spotted in the wild. The mystery continues.

One year ago today, I published “The mysterious case of the secret gift card rack.”  In that post, I described an elusive gift card rack at Sears that holds gift cards other than those branded by Sears, Kmart, and Lands End.  When found, I would take $100 Visa or MasterCard gift cards and gas station gift cards from the rack, and I would pay with my Sears or Lands End gift cards.  It wasn’t always easy to find that gift card rack, though.  It would would mysteriously move from place to place around the store between visits.  And, inevitably, the non-Sears gift cards would be placed away from customers’ viewpoints.  Employees professed to know nothing about this gift card rack.  Just as the rack hid from customers, it apparently hid from employees as well.

Here is the good-old secret gift card rack, as seen from the front.  Only Sears’ own gift cards are visible:

Sears_gc_rack_orig_from_front

And, here is the same rack, as seen from the back.  The $100 Visa and MasterCard cards were sold out:

Sears_gc_rack_orig_from_back

New rack spotted in Seattle

On October 9th, InfrequentFlyerMiles tweeted the first public sighting of the new breed of gift rack:

@FrequentMiler these stations popped up at a Seattle sears next to 2 registers. $50 visa/MC/Amex, $25 shell/ Amazon pic.twitter.com/16B4v39KTL

A few days later, InfrequentFlyerMiles found an even better version of the new rack:

@frequentmiler this is new today in seattle. Defin not mysterious anymore. Also has $100 visa/MC/amex @5.95 pic.twitter.com/crzwRjULHc

New rack spotted in Natick, Massachusetts

On the same day that InfrequentFlyerMiles first found the new rack in Seattle, Robert Dwyer found one in Massachusetts, but this one was missing its spots:

@frequentmiler found the gift card rack at Sears but it was empty. pic.twitter.com/xsQiDvc2ga

New rack spotted in Florida, but in hiding

On October 21st, DavidG reported an interesting story about his encounter with the new gift card rack in Altamonte Springs, FL.  It seems that the store was keeping the gift card rack prisoner in a back room:

I went into sears today to pickup an item i had purchased through UR portal yesterday. as the guy goes into the employees only area to get my item i peak in behind him and there is a huge gift card rack sitting there. when he returned i questioned him about it and asked him if i could purchase those cards and he said ‘no, they were not ready for sale, but they might be put out for the holiday season.

He proceeded to tell me that i could purchase sears GC at the registers. he did not really seem to know what he was talking about and i doubt the information he gave me was accurate. it seems like they pulled the GC rack and just stuck it in the stock room, but it was full of all kinds of GC

The hunt continues

In my local Sears store, I can still find only the old secret gift card rack.  That’s a shame because I would love to buy Amazon gift cards with my Sears’ gift cards!  I’ll continue to visit Sears regularly in the hopes of spotting this elusive new creature.  Have you seen this new gift card rack?  If so, where?  And, what gift card treasures did it hold?

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. Seems with gift cards, it’s a store-by-store policy whether it’s Sears, CVS, Staples etc. Just last month, I went to a Staples to buy some Amazon gift cards with my Chase Ink. When I couldn’t find it, I asked an employee who asked his manager for approval then when given the green light, he went to the stock room and rolled out the entire gift card rack that you would normally see at Staples. After he let me select the gift cards I wanted, he rolled the rack back to the stock room. I didn’t ask, but this method seems to be this particular Staple’s standard procedure regarding gift cards.

  2. Only $50 Amex/Visa GC’s in both of my local Sears’, in the newer, low-profile racks in a more -or-less permanent locale by the register. My local KMarts were still well stocked with gas cards as well as Amazon GC’s in a wide range of denominations.

  3. At my local Sears this weekend two racks was spotted one by the register and one in the tool section. Only $50 Visa gift cards and merchant gift cards were available

  4. Bumped into it yesterday at our Sears; picked up $50 and $25 gas cards. Also available-up to $100 Visa/MC, Southwest, and Amazon. Cashin’ out those cards from last week’s MileagePlus spree!

  5. I’ve got more a lot of Sears gift cards. I’ve done thorough searches at several of my local Sears but haven’t seen any gift cards, but my local KMart does have some good ones. I haven’t bothered trying to buy third party merchant gift cards at KMart as I’m afraid I’ll run into a lot of resistance… has anybody had problems buying gift cards at KMart with Sears gift cards?

    • Just yesterday I purchased $500 worth of BP gas cards at my local KMart using Sears gift cards. Here in Michigan, you get a coupon worth $.30/ gallon off of a 20 gallon fill for each $50 transaction, so it may be worth it to make numerous small purchases in your locale.

  6. Saw these at my local Sears (at a mall) last week. Previously, I searched everywhere for the “hidden rack” and couldn’t find it. Now they have these racks in four different places around the store. Some only go up to $50 on Visa/MC gift cards but others do have $100 ones as well. Had no problems using Sears gc as well as HI to buy Visa GC.

    • Yes. Saves $6.00 off a 20 gallon fill. What is interesting is that when I mentioned to the cashier who processed the ten $50 transactions for me that he could do the same thing- buy a BP gas card there at his store, get the coupon and save himself $6.00 on his next fill he blankly said ” Yeah…..I guess “. Probably too much work for too little return for him.

      BTW – you need to be a Shop Your Way member to get the coupon. I don’t know why exactly but Sears keeps giving me 3,000 points every week or so which I use to buy something small like a lint roller refill when I am there. Free is free I guess.

  7. Going to try this for the first time, so it seems that often (YMMV) you can use Sears gift card to buy Merchant cards at Sears or Kmart? Should you throw in a pack of gum or just go for it?

  8. This week was my first time looking for gift cards at Sears. I was pleasantly surprised that I immediately saw a gift card rack upon entering. I didn’t check all the options available since I just wanted to get a gas card. I did notice they had Amazon gift cards and I believe they had Mastercard and Visa as well.

  9. Same old not-so-secret gift card rack (actually 3 in different places throughout the store, and each register has smaller ones that only have Sears GC). But the selection has changed and they do offer Amazon now. The only gas GC they have are Shell, though, which aren’t worth it because at least in my area their stations are more expensive. I usually buy the $100 Visa/MC.

  10. Found 2 gift card racks STACKED with visa gift cards of all flavors along with amazon and just a crap ton of different ones. Months ago I couldn’t find it but a manager said they pull it out for the holiday season. Sears just gave me the best christmas gift of all. I took pics just so I remembered all the cards they had.

  11. There is probably a very simple explanation. Employees probably get a healthy percent discount off of all purchases including gift cards. And they probably immediately turn around and buy other gift cards with them, just like us.

  12. Just got back from a weekend trip around the Detroit suburbs in which I visited five Sears stores. Only one had absolutely no Amex/ MC/ Visa gift cards in the $100 denomination (curiously, that location had none of the above cards in ANY denomination in any of the check out racks or the taller standing racks). At least until I got there all of the stores had the light green Visa $100 GC’s issued by University National Bank and affiliated with giftcardmall.com. There was an abundance of both $100 MC and Amex.

  13. @FrequentMile
    ” I would love to buy Amazon gift cards with my Sears’ gift cards!”
    How can u cash out an Amazon GC? Or what can u do with it other than buy from Amazon.com?

    • Raj: I wasn’t suggesting cashing out Amazon gift cards. I buy from Amazon a lot, so it would be great to have the ability to get huge saving & points from buying Sears gift cards and then apply their value to things I’ll buy anyway at Amazon.

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