Last week, Sears offered 12 to 16 miles per dollar through the United MileagePlus Shopping portal and then 12 miles per dollar through the AAdvantage eShopping portal. Many of us jumped in and bought gift cards, e-gift cards, and merchandise.
In many ways, many purchases were a leap of faith. For example, e-gift cards at Sears haven’t worked for earning portal points for quite a while, but at the beginning of these promotions the Sears’ T&C stated that gift cards were now allowed. Then, that terminology went away. Then, a new statement appeared and excluded gift cards. All of this led to increasing confusion about whether or not points would be awarded. For the full story, please see “Sears gift cards and the mysterious case of changing terms and conditions.”
Confusing terms and conditions also led people to wonder whether their merchandise purchases would really result in miles earned. Are tire purchases considered excluded auto services? Are marketplace items allowed or not? What about Kenmore or Craftsman items? I believe that all of these items qualify as long as you can “Add to cart” while still on Sears.com, but the Terms & Conditions make it unclear. Similarly, physical gift cards are sold and shipped by Kmart so it looks like those are excluded even though many past experiments have proven otherwise. Take a look at the latest T&C, for examples. I’ve bolded some of the relevant parts:
Please note these terms & conditions: Not eligible on purchases made with coupon or discount codes that are not found on this site. Only products with “Add to Cart” button are eligible. Not eligible on Home Delivery Charges, Auto Services, PA and Installation, Master Protection Agreements, Take With, Protection Plans, Sears auctions, Landsend.com, PartsDirect, Sears Canada, Portrait, Craftsman, Kenmore or Outlet purchases. Sears Marketplace products with “Go to Site” button are not eligible. Not eligible on Sold by Kmart items or any other licensed partners. Any return, exchange or other adjustment made at a physical store location for an on-line purchase may result in your purchase being deemed ineligible. Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents.
Regardless of the specific wording of the terms and conditions, what really matters is how Sears has implemented their systems. If they report your purchases back to the portals, those purchases will qualify for miles. In my experience from the past, other than e-gift cards, any item with an “Add to Cart” button while still on Sears.com does in fact result in points.
Points start to post
On Saturday evening, many United MileagePlus Shopping purchases started to post within the portal. To see for yourself, log into the portal and click “My Shopping Account”. In my case, all of my merchandise purchases posted along with two of my gift card purchases: one small e-gift card and one small physical gift card. This is good news because it means that gift card purchases most likely will post for those who bought them.
Waiting for the rest
Not everyone has seen all of their miles post yet. In my case, there are many e-gift cards and physical gift cards that have not yet shown up. Many readers have reported the same for gift cards or for large merchandise orders. This is normal. In many past deals, we have seen the same portal behavior. Small purchases post quickly. Larger purchases take much longer to appear. It’s not unusual to have to wait about three weeks for portal points to post for purchases of $500 or more.
In my case, many of my e-gift card orders were quite small ($50), so they should have posted quickly. But, when I made those purchases I had to call Sears’ verification department to get the orders to go through. At that point, they were all verified at once. My guess is that my batch of e-gift card orders are being treated as one large purchase with respect to how long it will take for Sears to report the transactions to the portal. At least, that is my hope.
The waiting is the hardest part
There’s no doubt that it’s nerve racking waiting for portal points to post. But, that’s all we can do right now: wait and hope. Good luck everyone. And, please comment below to let us know whether your United or AA miles have posted.