Complete guide to Sears gift cards

by Shawn Coomer – Senior Editor
sears gift cards

Sears gift cards can often be purchased at a discount from a variety of outlets. This guide is designed to help explain exactly what value these discounted gift cards provide and why they can be a good purchase.

Where To Purchase Discounted Sears Gift Cards

From Sears via Portals

Sears is one of a few merchants who used to payout through portals for the purchase of both their physical and e-gift cards. As of August, 2015 many portals added language stating that gift cards no longer earn portal rewards. Some portals still don’t have that language, so it may be possible to earn rewards, however that most likely won’t happen.

More on Sears Gift Cards & Portals:

Note: As of August, 2015 many portals added language to their terms barring gift cards from earning portal rewards.

  • Physical gift cards purchased through Sears are sold by Kmart and may not earn department or home improvement store category bonuses.
  • Sears e-gift cards are usually sold by Sears directly.  Some people have reported that e-gift cards have shown on their statements as Kmart purchases.  In those cases, they had selected card designs that included Kmart in the image. It may be that selecting card designs that are specifically Sears will keep the charge as a Sears charge (but we have not been able to verify this yet).
  • You cannot purchase Sears gift cards online with other Sears gift cards.
  • Some portals feature language stating that they will not pay out when you use a non-approved promotional code. In my experience they do pay out even when you use a non-approved code, however this could change at any time.
  • You can double dip and earn miles/cashback when purchasing the gift cards and then again when purchasing merchandise online from Sears.
  • IMPORTANT: If your gift card isn’t approved immediately, call 1-888-396-5299 to expedite your gift card order.

Click here for tips to ensure success when using portals.

In Third Party Stores

From time to time brick and mortar stores run promotions for the purchase of Sears gift cards. A good example is this recent Office Depot promotion.

Gift Card Resellers

There are a number of companies that buy and resell gift cards online. These companies almost always have discounts on Sears gift cards. They often run promotions with even deeper discounts several times each year.

Gift Card Granny is one service that will search all of the resale sites to find the lowest current prices on Sears gift cards. Their results don’t always show promotional discounts.

eBay

eBay is another great resource for the purchase of discounted gift cards. Gift Card Mall has been the most reliable source of discounted Sears gift cards on eBay. They have run several 20% off promotions in the past year.

When purchasing gift cards on eBay it is also possible to go through a portal to earn additional cashback. You also earn 2% back in eBay Bucks on the purchase.

Stacking Deals

It is often possible to combine credit card rewards, shopping portal bonuses (current portal payouts for Sears)  and deals to achieve an even greater savings. Here are a few examples.

Buying at Office Supply Stores

During the Office Depot deal mentioned above, it was possible to buy a $100 Sears gift card at Office Depot for $80. By utilizing the 5X office supply store category bonus on the Chase Ink, you could also earn 400 Ultimate Rewards points on that purchase.

Another example is Staples. They sell Sears gift cards online and also qualify for the 5X category bonus on the Chase Ink. Purchases at Staples quite regularly pay decent returns through a variety of mileage portals. By stacking the 5X earned with the Chase Ink and miles earned through a portal, you can achieve a significant savings.

Recent 20% Off Deal on eBay

When purchasing Sears gift cards on eBay it is possible to both go through a shopping portal and to earn eBay Bucks. Additionally, some purchases may earn 5X points with the Chase Ink card. (See: A new way to increase rewards beyond 5X.)

Recently Gift Card Mall had a 20% off sale on Sears gift cards via eBay. During the sale, the Ebates portal was paying back 5% on the purchase of gift cards. The purchase also earned 2% back in eBay Bucks and 5X Ultimate Rewards with Chase Ink. Here is how the math breaks down:

  • Cost of Cards: $160
  • Cash Back Earned: $8
  • Total Cost: $152
  • eBay Bucks Earned: $3.20
  • Ultimate Rewards Points Earned: 800

By stacking deals, it was possible to purchase $200 worth of gift cards for $152 and earn $3.20 to be used on a future eBay purchase and 800 Ultimate Rewards points.

What To Do With Sears Gift Cards

There are several things you can do with Sears gift cards bought at a discount:

Purchase other merchant gift cards in-store

Sears stores carry a variety of merchant gift cards. While it is not company policy to allow for the purchase of merchant gift cards with Sears gift cards, many stores allow it.

Note that merchant gift cards mentioned on Sears.com are actually sold by GiftCardMall. You cannot use a Sears gift card to purchase merchant gift cards at GiftCardMall and purchases from GiftCardMall will not earn Sears portal rewards.

Purchase Visa gift cards in-store

Some Sears stores sell $200 Visa gift cards for $206.95. Just as above, it is not policy to allow for the purchase of these cards with Sears gift cards, however some stores allow it.

Visa gift cards sold by Sears are issued by Bancorp and are pin enabled. These cards can be loaded to Bluebird/Serve at Walmart.

Sell Them

If you can purchase Sears gift cards at a significant discount it is sometimes possible to turn around and sell them to a gift card reseller for a profit.

For example, during past 20% off deals, several resellers were paying up to 85% of face value for Sears gift cards. A $100 Sears gift card purchased for $80 could then be sold for $85 resulting in a $5 profit, plus credit card rewards, portal cashback and eBay Bucks if applicable.

Buy Merchandise

You can also use these gift cards to buy merchandise at Sears or Kmart for your personal use or to possibly re-sell. Sears has a rewards program call Shop Your Way Rewards which can be quite lucrative.

Some people wait for generous Shop Your Way promotions to purchase merchandise at a discount with the already discounted gift cards. This enables them to resell at a profit. Sears gift cards can be used at Kmart, Lands’ End, Crafstman, Kenmore, PartsDirect, Sears Outlet, and even with My Gopher for online grocery purchases.

Conclusion

Sears gift cards are often available at a discount from a variety of sources. They can not only provide significant discounts when purchasing merchandise from Sears and its sister brands, but they can also provide opportunities to make money and manufacture spend.

If you have any questions about this topic feel free to leave a comment below.

Comments

  1. Southwest Rapid Rewards 10 (2) pt./$

    Sears raised their Southwest payout to 10 miles per $ today, 05/01/15

      • Visa gift cards are handled like regular credit cards. You can only use one credit card. If you want to use two Visa gift cards, you’ll have to use one first to buy a Sears e-gift card. Then you can use the e-gift card plus the Visa gift card to buy merchandise.

  2. Greg,

    I am seeing some chatter re: Discovery portal not paying the 10% cash back when buying Sears e-gift cards thru their portal. Any new info on this? Thanks.

  3. Is there a limit on how many gift cards you can use or how much can be loaded to one? Great timing for me because we need new kitchen appliances and am looking at spending several thousand dollars on Range, Refrig and dishwasher. I just got my wife a discover it card to go along with mine. Please also let me know the outcome of the gift card cash back bc I probably will buy about 7K in gift cards before the 21st to use on my purchase.
    Thanks again my friend!

    • Sears offers $1,000 and $2,000 gift cards through redemption of Sears card points (at a discount). Those denominations may not be available at any stores or Sears.com, but may show up at resellers for a discount.
      My stores locally allow for upgrading, but the denominations of third party cards are low for liquidating a $1,000 G/C!

  4. I just purchased a TV at Sears through the Discover Deals portal with Sears gift cards (purchased previously through the DD portal as well with the D It card). My question is If I paid the main balance with those gift cards and paid the remainder with my actual Discover It card would the cash back still be applied? The shipping was also waived due to the large purchase. Would that affect the cash back as well? Thank you.

  5. Greg:

    Sears has a number of third parties that sell thru its website. If you go through DD to purchase an item on the Sears website from one of these third party sellers, will you still get the 10% cash back? Can’t find anything in your lab on this. Any readers out there who have done this, I would appreciate your input, also. Thanks.

    • Yes, it works. As long as you’re still on Sears.com when you click “add to cart”, you should get portal rewards. It has always worked for me. That said, I try to avoid those items, if possible, since you can’t return those items to a local Sears

  6. Greg, do you know if the sears e-gift cards count as “home improvement” right now through Discover? Trying to assess if I should bang a few out before the end of the month. I know you said that physical cards are issued by k-mart and likely wouldn’t apply. But the e-gift cards, are they considered home improvement?

  7. Is there any way to check at Discover.com to see if I get 5% and/or 10% Discover Deals discounts on a purchase BEFORE my statement closes?

    In other words, is there any where I can check to see if my purchases of sears e-gift cards from Sears.com do, in fact, trigger the 5% for quarterly bonus and the 10% for current Discover Deals promo?

  8. I’d like to add that you can use Sears giftcards to purchase 3rd party giftcards in store at Kmart. It is possible that the Kmart employee will turn you away. Technically, in the employee training manual it says that people aren’t supposed to buy 3rd party giftcards using Kmart giftcards. But in reality (at least at my local Kmart) the employee turnover is so incredibly high that whichever high school kid checks you out, he snoozed through the training videos and only has a few days of on the job experience and really doesn’t care about anything at Kmart anymore because he plans to quit within a couple days. The Point-of-Sale itself does allow customers to buy 3rd party giftcards (except prepaid visa/mc) with a Sears/Kmart giftcard so it is a good way to upgrade your card.

    This has worked for me for years. On every $50+ purchase, the catalina coupon printer used to crap out a $0.30 off per gallon coupon to BP stations (nowadays its only $0.20 off). It even used to crap out the 30 cent coupon when you merely bought a $50 BP card using your Sears GC. After discounts, I cant remember the last time I paid more than $2 per gallon for gas.

    I think you will get a better return for your Sears cards if you decide to upgrade them to BP cards or ebay cards at your local Kmart. I suspect that online resellers will give you a higher payout for BP cards vs. Sears cards but I have never tried it.

  9. I just purchased an egift card from Sears and the pending charge on my discover card is from Kmart (no 5%). Is this normal? Will it switch to Sears when the charge posts?

  10. The first choice i was given “Smile its your Day”. Looking closer, that design says Kmart/Sears on it while there are other designs that just say Sears. I wonder if that makes a difference.

  11. Yup, it says it right there in the cart and i just didnt notice. Smile its your day is sold by Kmart and Blue Sears eGift Cards are sold by Sears.

  12. Sears now has 10% cashback via Discover Deals. However, the terms state:

    EXCEPTIONS: ShopYourWay partners, Sears auctions, LandsEnd.com, Kmart.com, mygofer.com, Craftsman.com, Kenmore.com, PartsDirect purchases, Home Services, Outlet, Installation service fees, gift card redemption, layaway, shipping, taxes and fees.

    what is the definition of “gift card redemption”? Does this mean purchasing/reloading a gift card online? Or does it mean using the portal to pay for Sears items with a gift card?

    • It means that you’re not supposed to get portal rewards (e.g. Discover cashback) when you use a gift card to pay for items after clicking through the portal. In practice, we don’t yet know if it is enforced. I’ve launched a test, but it is too early to know.

      • I’ve talked to a rep she says it wont qualify if you partially paid by gift card. You will only get the regular 5% rotation cb

      • Do you have any update regarding this?

        “It means that you’re not supposed to get portal rewards (e.g. Discover cashback) when you use a gift card to pay for items after clicking through the portal. In practice, we don’t yet know if it is enforced. I’ve launched a test, but it is too early to know.”

        • Unfortunately, Discover Deals doesn’t seem to be working at all (for anything) since mid-October. The test I ran worked, but then tests I ran later didn’t appear to work since Discover Deals hasn’t been awarding cash back for any purchases. Hopefully they’ll fix it soon.

  13. I need to purchase about $3,000 appliances from Sears this week. I have United and Chase Ink credit cards. Can I go through United Portal, then to Sears to buy Sears E gift card, then go back again to purchase the appliance with ecard. Is this double dipping still working? Really appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

    • You may not have time to take advantage, but Sears gift cards are always available at a discount. I wait for at least 10% off which is way more than the double dip will earn you. The best deal is getting them with Discover points at 20-25% off but the denominations arent real high. Some stores will let you consolidate cards, but that is very YMMV! You can get credit cards points for buying the gift cards and usually get portal points for buying the appliances with gift cards. Just a thought.

  14. Does one earn 5% cash back buying sears e giftcard online via upromise n then go back n buy an item on sears.com via upromise for a second dip? Thanks.

  15. Is it still possible to buy GCs and vGCs at Kmart/Sears with a Kmart/Sears GC? There’s no date on this article so it’s difficult to tell.

    • It has been ok to do that for years, I used store credit online about a week ago. You can test it with your order without completing the checkout.

  16. So I’m looking at some luggage advertised on Sears.com, but sold by buydig.com.

    Can I use a Sears gift card on a purchase at buydig.com that is on the Sears website?

    Thanks!

    • As long as you checkout on Sears.com (buydig is a 3rd party merchant) and not on Buydig’s site, then you can use Sears gift cards, but you won’t earn Shop Your Way Rewards.

  17. Is there any way to buy Sears gift cards,using a European (German or Swiss) debit card?

    I tried to make a purchase via Sears site,but there is no option to change the country,in which the card is issued.

    Any help will be appreciated,

    Thanks in advance

    • You may be able to buy them from a third party website, although I am not sure. The best move is probably to contact Sears to see if they have any way to use international cards on their website.

  18. I have found an old sear gift card that does not have a pin# and the card has a number on back that starts with an alpha character. Anyway I can find out if the card is useable and what the balance is?

    • eGift cards should be reloadable online (you enter the card number and PIN and reload it). I’ve never tried with a physical card. Have you tried going to the Sears site and entering your number and PIN to see if you can reload it?

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