Big (and mostly bad) changes to the Ultimate Rewards Mall

April 1st kicks off with a cruel joke from Chase.  Many of the big bonus point offers in the Ultimate Rewards Mall have dropped precipitously.  Below are some of my findings this morning when logged in with my old Ink Bold and my Sapphire Preferred (note that you may see different results with a Chase Freedom).

First, the good news:

  • Office Depot: 10X Ink Bold; only 4X Sapphire Preferred
  • Kohl’s: Still at 10X for both cards
  • Nordstrom: 10X Sapphire Preferred (only for 3 days)
  • Drugstore.com: 10X Sapphire Preferred; only 5X with Ink Bold

The exciting news here is the Office Depot 10X opportunity.  Since the New Ink Bold offers 5X automatically when used in office supply stores, you will get a total of 15X when making Office Depot purchases with your Ink card through the UR mall!  Last I checked, though, there were no merchant or bank gift cards available online (also the T&C says “not eligible on purchases of gift cards”).  If they begin to offer free after rebate products, though, this could be a big win.  It might even be worth filling out rebate cards for 15X!

And now the bad news (very bad):

  • Staples: down to 2X (from 4X).  Noooooooo!!!!!  The perfect PPM may still be perfect, but for fewer points.  And for those of you who have been buying gift cards with your Ink card for a total of 9X, the total is now down to 7X.  Nooooooo!!!!
  • Barnes & Noble: down to 2X (from 10X).  No longer can you buy ultimate rewards points for less than a pennyNooooooo!!!!
  • Home Depot: down to 4X (from 10X).
  • Magazines.com: down to 25X (from 40X).
  • Sears: down to 4X (from 5X on the Ink).
  • Lands End: down to 2X (from 5 or 6X)


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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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mike
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mike

looks like a lot of changes to earning rates…
This better be a April fools joke by chase but I greatly doubt it.

Awful news today.. and here are two more changes I saw

Groupon down to 7x from 12
UA 10x to 7x

aznprzn
Guest
aznprzn

this breaks my heart my dumb @ss ocmpletely forgot to load up on gc while this thing was at 4x….ugh no more 9x

sil
Guest
sil

uggh….I buy Groupon every other day…

matt
Guest
matt

Drugstore.com has free shipping on gift cards, but charges $4.95 handling. Bah! Without the 9x, it is now better to buy Visa $200 GC ($6.95 fee each) in-store than $100 Visa GC ($5.95 fee each).

matt
Guest
matt

I should say that I was only looking at the cost per point acquired ($11.90/1483 vs. $6.95/1035) with the Ink. Using the conservative actual cash value (1 cpp), in store is better, but if you use frequent miler’s value of 1.31, then online is still better.

Greg
Guest
Greg

For those who collect Membership Rewards points, AMEX has 4x points at Staples – so marginally better than Ultimate Rewards mall.

The Deal Mommy
Guest

Lowes is up to 5x bonus this month (selfishly good for me as we have a large purchase there today), but no gift cards. Groupon down to 7x GAH! Luckily I just bought a $100 GC so got the 12x double dip and those have already posted.

Ryan from MA
Guest
Ryan from MA

CRAPPPPPP!!! I should have gotten magazines.com 40x gift cards…BOOOOO…well 7x (2x,5x) is still okay..BUT maybe its’ time to buy everything through office depot 15x is pretty sweet

mike
Guest
mike

Amex rewards mall is a pain compared to chase..

Ryan from MA
Guest
Ryan from MA

Things of note to me…

With Chase Sapphire:
Priceline went down to 1x from 2x
Travelocity thankfully is still at 2x
Sephora went down to 5x from 7x
Avis is still at 3x thankfully

not seeing anything I want going up. The Office depot i think is a GREAT thing for those who need office supplies like me.

Curtis
Guest
Curtis

Sad to see home depot go down to 4x from 10x. I think I got a good share on that though! I seriously need to get an Ink Bold card for some of these other deals…

David
Guest
David

For this old Ink Bold holder, Staples is 3X.

DealsSeeker
Guest

Tip: Offer Valid 3/25/2012 – 4/30/2012
Tweet #AmexStaples to get $10 back one time on your next purchase of $50 or more with your synced American Express® Card through 4/30/12. Quantities limited.

Freedom Card:
Kohls 10x
Staples 2x BAAAAAAD
Home Depot 4x
Barnes & Noble 2x
drugstore.com 10x
Office Depot 4x
OfficeMax 3x
Magazines.com 25x
Groupon 7x
Nordstrom 7x

bluto
Guest
bluto

I confirm UR mall for old Ink Bold is 3x. The new Bold is 2x. For those of you with both cards, you might want to create separate logins. I was originally annoyed that I had separate logins for each of my Sapphire, and 2 Bolds, but now it seems that has come in handy.

Peter S
Guest
Peter S

@The Deal Mommy? You can double dip with Groupon?? I am a big fan of groupon. If that can be done, it wold be sweet.

FrequentMiler
Guest

That’s very strange that 2 people have reported Staples at 3X with the Ink Old. I’ve checked twice with mine and it is definitely 2X for me.

THEsocalledfan
Guest
THEsocalledfan

Hey miler,

Note the comment about the Membership rewards portal for Staples above. Didn’t you say they are a bit deceiving as in reality, 1 of those points if from using your card, so it would really be 2X?

FrequentMiler
Guest

THEsocalledfan: Correct. For people with the Amex Platinum or Centurion cards, Staples is at 4X, which really means 3X bonus. For others Staples is probably at 3X through Membership Rewards, which really means 2X bonus. Plus, we don’t really know for sure that points will post through the membership rewards portal (I think they will, I just don’t have proof).

THEsocalledfan
Guest
THEsocalledfan

I have been surfing through the Home Depot site for any ideas of things I can buy and resell. Sadly, I am not finding anything. Looks like I will be going to Staples in person to buy the $200 gift cards as the extra points of paying the fee on each $100 no longer makes sense. To add insult to injury, I forgot to load up and the last time I bought the cards, forgot to link though the shopping portal. UGHHHHH!

THEsocalledfan
Guest
THEsocalledfan

I meant the office depot site….sorry.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Looks like Dell.com went from 3x to 2x.

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Niko
Guest
Niko

I purchased Staples rebate software via MR with my Centurion, I’ll let all of you know if I get the points.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

They still have 10% off Amazon GCs.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jeremy: Who has 10% off Amazon GCs?

Niko
Guest
Niko

Yeah, who has 10% off Amazon gift cards! 🙂