Bet You Didn’t Know: 5x for physical Sears gift cards

By Julian, author of Devil’s Advocate..

If there’s one thing we can count on from Sears nowadays (and there literally might only be one thing we can count on from Sears nowadays), it’s impressive shopping portal bonuses.  Greg has reported on several of these recently and it’s likely we’ll see more in the not too distant future.

However, when you buy a physical Sears gift card online (as opposed to an e-gift card or reloading an existing card), the transaction is fulfilled by K-Mart instead of Sears. Why they do it this way is beyond me. I suppose it’s to give K-Mart some extra revenue, though it occurs to me that the last thing Sears should be doing right now is giving out “extra” revenue.

In any case, this quirk is a problem if you’re looking to stack the portal bonus with either the Chase Freedom or Discover 4th quarter department store bonuses, as neither considers Kmart to be a department store.  The good news is there are two ways to stack these bonuses and still end up with physical Sears gift cards:

1) Get a physical gift card ahead of time without much money on it (e.g., use an old one or buy one in store for $5), then go through the shopping portal to Sears and reload it up to a total of $500.  This transaction shows up as coming from sears.com and counts for Freedom’s 5x 4th quarter bonus.

2) If you don’t already have a physical gift card, remember that Discover is not only offering 5% cash back at department stores this quarter, but also 5% for online purchases. So a physical Sears gift card purchase that appears to be coming from Kmart will record as an online transaction for the 5% cash back.

I confirmed this during the recent AAdvantage 8x portal bonus for Sears. Here’s the Discover transaction for a physical Sears gift card bought online. Note the sale is listed as an “online” transaction coming from Kmart.com.

Bet you didn't know

Unfortunately Chase and Discover cap their bonuses at $1,500 in spend per quarter, so this deal isn’t infinitely scalable. But maxing out that $1,500 would result in $75 cash back with Discover and/or 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points with Chase, plus additional miles from the shopping portal.  So make sure you register for Chase and Discover’s 4th quarter bonuses and you’ll be ready for the next portal bonus.

Oh, and don’t hold onto those Sears gift cards too long. The way things are going over there, you’ll probably want to get that Kenmore washer/dryer while there’s still a place to buy them. I’d recommend declining the extended service plan though…

So... Did you know how to earn a 5X quarterly bonus in addition to portal rewards when buying Sears gift cards?

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About Devils Advocate

The Devil's Advocate learned the ins and outs of travel loyalty programs while flying more than 200,000 miles a year as a TV producer and director for World Wrestling Entertainment (and yes, of course it’s all real). He now splits his time between New York and Los Angeles and loathes New York winters only slightly less than Los Angeles traffic.

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Nathan
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Nathan

I needed a PS4 for Christmas. Bought a $10 gift card, then reloaded for $390 through Sears. Then I went through Chase UR to get the PS4 from Kmart (5 pts./dollar). That’s around 6,000 points for $400 (Chase 5x Bonus, Sears Portal, Kmart Portal). I know there are much better Sears/Kmart deals that pop up, but I needed Chase UR points quickly.

Great stuff!

PhatMiles
Guest
PhatMiles

When you want to reload an existing Sears card, that card need not be activated or loaded with a nominal amount (like $5, $10). I can confirm that you can get an empty Sears card from Sears and load it online. It will work just fine. I did that 6 times so far and roadblocks faced. My point is, when trying to maximize the portal earnings every $ spend counts.

Ben
Guest
Ben

last time I bought Sears egiftcards throught Southwest shopping portal. It didn’t earn miles

CRUISINGFLYING4LIFE
Guest
CRUISINGFLYING4LIFE

The Discover portal works and is unlimited for Sears during this quarter (might be restricted to Discover Card usage). Currently pays 10% CB.

Lihong
Guest
Lihong

So going through a portal to load up a physical gift card will earn portal points, right?

Anon
Guest
Anon

Purchase Method does not mean what you think it means.

Miler
Guest
Miler

Shouldnt we wait till black friday where discover normally bumps the cashback to 10% – 15%?

cheapblackdad
Guest
cheapblackdad

I haven’t double dipped yet. Let me make sure I’ve got this clear, at the risk of looking like someone who can’t read what is a very helpful post:

1. Swing by Sears.
2. Buy a $5 Sears gift card with whatever card I like.
3. Go to sears.com through UR portal and use my Freedom to reload it up to whatever I think I need. This will get me 5X UR as it will post as a sears.com purchase even though it’s a “reload”.
4. Use that physical gift card to purchase from Sears.com through another portal (checking evrewards) to get an incremental ?x.

Net Result: 5X from UR with Freedom, and ?X from Electronically reloaded Physical card through portal shopping Sears.

I’d just have to choose a portal that doesn’t require me to use their credit card for the 2nd dip to work. Right?

CJ
Guest
CJ

Full disclosure: I am behind on this. I’m assuming you can buy Visa GCs w Sears GCs?

HC
Guest
HC

Can a Sears GC purchased at Staples use for reload?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

No. You can’t pay for a reload or a new gift card with a gift card online.

Hc
Guest
Hc

Can I add money to a Sears $50 GC purchased at staples? Not using the $50 to pay for anything, just to increase it to $400 and change so I can then go buy some VGC at a physical Sears location.

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Yes

Frank
Guest
Frank

Interesting that this is exactly the opposite of what you said in your October 28 post:

1) Go through a portal to buy Sears physical gift cards. You can find the best portal options here.

2) Pay with either a Chase Freedom or Discover It card. Both offer 5X rewards this quarter (4th quarter, 2014) at Sears.com.

3) Then, use the physical gift card in-store to buy other gift cards such as the ones shown above. NOTE: Not all cashiers allow this. And, not all Sears stores carry useful gift cards like these.

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Good catch Frank. Sorry about that! I made a mistake in that Quick Deal. For what its worth, I’ve edited it: https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2014/10/28/200-visas-at-sears-too/

Guywhocan
Guest
Guywhocan

Day 1 – bought $5 physical card at Sears; loaded additional $495 thru discover portal on Sears.com. Bought two $200 visas at sears.

Day 2 – can not reload that same Sears gift card thru discover portal on sears.com. “Add Value” screen does not allow me to provide new load amount. Logged in with my password.

Day 2 – bought 2nd physical card at Sears for $5. Cannot load it thru discover portal on Sears.com.

Will try this as a guest. Maybe they are tracking usage by loging in?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Wow, I’m really confused by that. That hasn’t happened to me. Please let me know what you find out!

Guywhocan
Guest
Guywhocan

Never mind Greg. I found the error I was making while ordering the Sears GC reloads. All is working fine.
Thank you.

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[…] Bet you didn’t know: 5x for physical sears gift cards […]

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[…] in conjunction with 4th quarter credit card bonuses, you may want to check out my post “Bet You Didn’t Know: 5x for physical Sears gift cards” from last year. Given the current financial situation of Sears Holdings, I suspect […]

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[…] in conjunction with 4th quarter credit card bonuses, you may want to check out my post “Bet You Didn’t Know: 5x for physical Sears gift cards” from last year. Given the current financial situation of Sears Holdings, I suspect […]

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