Ultimate Rewards Mall Update

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As of this morning (Feb 1), there are a number of changes to the payouts from Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Mall for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold (note that when logging into the mall for other Chase cards, you will have different offers).

Let’s look at some key bonus rates for the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold:

  • Avis: 5X
  • Barnes & Noble: 10X (up from 7X)
  • Drugstore.com: 5X (down from 10X!)
  • Groupon: 0 (has been missing from the UR Mall since January)
  • Hotels.com: 4X
  • HP: 3X (down from 5X)
  • Kohl’s: 10X
  • Magazines.com: 40X
  • Office Depot: 5X
  • Sears: 4X (Same as before. Boo!  I was hoping Sears would go up!)
  • Staples: 4X (down from 5X)
  • Target: 3X (down from 5X)

Comparing to predictions

Last night, I made the following predictions:

  • Staples.com will stay at 5X
  • Target.com will decrease from 5X to 3X
  • HP will stay at 5X
  • Drugstore.com will decrease to 8X
  • Sears will increase to 6X or 7X

How did I do?  I got Target exactly right.  I also correctly predicted that Drugstore.com would go down, but it actually went all the way down to 5X instead of my predicted 8X.  Against my predictions, Staples and HP both went down, and Sears stayed the same.  So, I batted 1 (or maybe 1.5) out of 5.  Not very impressive!

Analysis of Changes

Ick.  Most of the changes are not so good.  Sears staying at 4X is a big disappointment.  Staples dropping from 5X to 4X slightly lowers to value of the Ink Bold double dip I’ve been writing a lot about lately (in fact, I need to re-write a new post that I had ready to go).  Office Depot at 5X doesn’t help too much as their terms and conditions explicitly say that gift cards are excluded (but it’s a great deal if you actually want to buy something from Office Depot).  Also Groupon is still missing from the site altogether.  On the plus side, it’s great to see Barnes & Noble back up to 10X.  I’m really pleasantly surprised, as well, to see Magazines.com staying at 40X and Kohl’s staying at 10X!  Also with Avis at 5X and Hotels.com at 4X there could be some great opportunities to save on travel and double-dip with other promotions.

What’s Next?

Virtually every shopping portal, including the Ultimate Rewards Mall, is heavily promoting Valentine’s Day related merchants right now.  So, my next bold prediction is that rates will change again on Feb 15th.  Let’s hope for some good news then!

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