Warning: Portals No Longer Paying for the Purchase of Sears Gift Cards


One of the greatest double dip opportunities lately has been to purchase Sears e-Gift cards through a portal to earn rewards and then earn additional rewards when you use those gift cards. I have covered this strategy before.

This morning Julian of The Devil’s Advocate and Bet You Didn’t Know fame, emailed me to let me know that several portals have changed their language to exclude gift cards from earning portal rewards. I checked several portals and confirmed the changes.

Here is the new language on several portals:

Southwest, Delta, AAdvantage, United (All Cartera): Not eligible on online purchase made using Sears Shop Your Way points. Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents.

BeFrugal: No cash back on apparel clearance, delivery charges, installation, layaway, master protection agreements, gift cards, and auto & home services.

Ebates and Discover don’t contain any language excluding gift cards and Top Cashback has the following interesting language:

Please note: Cash Back is eligible on the sale of Giftcards. There will be no cash back awarded for the redemption of gift cards.

Bottom Line

Sears generally handles all portals the same way, so the ones without the gift card exclusion are probably just slow to update. It seems this deal is probably done for now, but if you do decide to purchase through a portal without the exclusion, make sure to document everything.

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About Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor

Shawn Coomer has spent nearly a decade circling the globe for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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  1. So this just happened? I can say that my order for buying and redeeming Sears GC last week using Discover portal worked tracked. I’m glad I got in on time! I still have $100 Sears GC, sounds like I can still use it in via Cartera portal. Or maybe just go to a store to pick up an Amazon GC.

    • At this point I wouldn’t make assumptions. It is probably best to see how it shakes out, but my guess is that it is going to be limited in one way or another. If you choose to use a portal like Top Cashback, make sure to document everything.

  2. I understand AA wont allow all for purchase of gift cards or the use of SYWR – but seems using a GC for purchase is still an option. Buy GC through discover portal…use GC through AA?

    Still seems you can use SYWR through discover – though Ive been also paying some portion
    with my Discover card

    • They may have not updated their terms. Sears may not pay them in which case you will have to file a claim. It is hard to tell how it would turn out either way. Just make sure to document everything if you decide to go that route.

      • Hi. Where can you track your cashback on Discover? I can’t find anyplace like the other portals. It doesn’t show your clicks.

        I just get an email saying I’ve earned $ via the portal about two days later.

        Also how do you file a claim with Discover?
        Thanks in advance! Lets hope you can still get 10%!!!!

      • Hmm, I made a large purchase through the Discover Deals portal this past Sunday (8/23) and paid with mostly GCs and a little bit on the Discover IT card. The item needs to be delivered but will not arrive until late September. No cashback confirmation as of yet. Documented everything.

        Am I screwed?

        • from my experience (over $4000 purchased from sears this month between me and wife with 100% tracking success rates), you should get the confirmation email in 2 days after processing of order regardless of delivery or pick up date. you get email at around 6:10pm. If order is placed on weekend or late night then 3 days. I’ve experimented with SYWR, both redeeming points and applying discount coupons and all tracked just fine. But of course I don’t count on getting all cash backs after hearing rumors of Discover reclaiming the cashback.

        • Just my luck this has to happen now. It’s been 4 days since Sunday and no cashback confirmation. I have a feeling I’m gonna have to fight this one.

        • I’ve been having issues with Discover Deals tracking purchases over the past month or so as well. I’ve made 11 purchases of Sears GCs over the past month but only 4 of them have generated the Congratulations emails. For whatever reason it appears that order numbers that start with a 9 do not track correctly but all of my orders that have started with a 8 have tracked just fine. I don’t know if that has anything to do with the issue of not tracking but I have screen shots of every page of the DD and Sears sites as I click through them and that’s the only difference I can find.

  3. Top cash back wording seems to implicate that you earn CB on the purchase on gc’s

    So why not buy through TCB, and redeem via one of the other portals?
    It’ll still be a double dip.

    • As long as all portals remain the same, but historically changes with Sears go across all portals. My guess is one of the portals has a mistake and we will see standard language soon.

  4. I reloaded a Sears card last Friday and got my cash back confirmation shortly after. I reloaded again on the 25th and no email, although the charge is still showing as pending and my gift card has already been loaded for a day. Hopefully the cash back will go through, but thanks for the heads up since I was planning on reloading more before 8/31.

    • Keep us posted if Discover issues the cash back(usually 2 days after purchase). I also purchased a gift card reload on 8/21-22 and received full cash back notification and planned on reloading tomorrow and Saturday.

  5. It looks like the above language also seems to eliminate earning rewards if you use SYWR points on purchases. Is that also new? I have been earning points through portals on total purchase price even when I use points to cover almost the price. That worked as late as yesterday getting confirmation. Am I in for a world of hurt on my little purchases?

  6. FM,

    I signed up for this thread today using the “subscribe without commenting” method and they’re still coming in plain text.


  7. So back in the day, I used to get Congratulations emails all the time (when it was shopdiscover.com and not Discover Deals).

    In the last week, I’ve made several Discover Deals purchases with my new Discover IT card and have failed to receive any emails whatsoever.

    Am I screwed? Should I be getting these emails?

  8. Wow hopefully I got in just in time before the change! About two weeks ago I bought $1200 in Sears GCs through the Discover Deals portal and went back through the portal and redeemed the GCs. Got both Congratulations emails for portal cash back but now am worried about a course correcting claw back… when would that happen if so? I’d hate to lose any of the 50% cash back which made my new hybrid water heater a STEAL!

  9. So I bought $1485 worth of reloads last week at Sears through the Discover portal and got the congratulations email 2 days later for the 10% cash back. Is this still doable? I actually did this on my wife’s card and I just got my own Discover card in the mail this week so I was hoping to do this again today with my card. I’ve found a couple CSR’s at local Sears that let me buy $200 VGC with the Sears GC in store so profit margin on $1485 of reloads was really high. Think I should give it a go to do exact same thing through Discover portal again?

  10. Discover Deals still not updated. Considering whether I should try to get in under the wire. Seems like Discover has language here to cover a delay in updating their terms:

    “These are subject to change, including termination without notice.”

  11. Hit up united 9x almost a week ago on a double dip just waiting for everything to post, I got a screen shot showing the terms on that date, Thank God.

  12. I bought $1000 in Sears gc through Southwest’s portal. It’s showing that I earned 6000 points on the portal page, but hasn’t posted on my Rapid Rewards account. I’m assuming they will?

  13. Bought ~$800 in Sears GC on my Discover IT on Aug 28th through the Discover Deals portal; I received a cashback confirmation email yesterday.

    Bought $450 in Sears GC on my BofA Travel Rewards (BankAmerideal) on Aug 29th through Topcashback, and Topcashback is showing $9 in pending cash back.

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