Re-Plinking Sears


In my July post, “Plinking Sears,” I introduced the idea of double-dipping when buying Sears gift cards by earning both Plink points and online shopping portal points for the same purchase.  That approach works well, but it is slow and cumbersome. You have to wait for gift cards to arrive via mail and you end up with many separate $50 gift cards.  As I described in the post “Combining Sears gift cards,” it’s not always so easy to consolidate down from many to one.  Fortunately, thanks to a reader tip, I can now introduce a better Plinking process.  Better.  Stronger.  Faster.  [Scratch that “stronger” part. I just needed that word in there to evoke memories of the Six Million Dollar Man intro.  You know: “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better…stronger…faster.”  Memories? Anything?]

Old Plink (pre-bionics)

Here was the rusty old way of Plinking Sears:

  1. Signup for Plink and register Kmart in your Plink Wallet (Kmart was necessary because Sears’ physical gift cards are processed by Kmart).
  2. Go through an online portal to
  3. To maximize Plink rewards, buy only one $50 physical (by mail) gift card.

If all went well, you would earn portal points, credit card points, and Plink points from this single purchase.  Using a Discover card with this quarter’s online shopping 5% bonus, and the ShopDiscover portal, you could earn 15% cash back from Discover and another 6% back from Plink (in the form of gift cards) for a total rebate of 21%!  But, as I said in the intro, you have to wait for gift cards to arrive by mail and you end up with many separate cards each with their own delightful silver strip on the back that needs to be scratched off.

Note too that this process does not work to trigger the Chase Freedom 5% back this quarter at department stores because the charge comes through from Kmart, not from Sears.

Newer, better, faster Plink

What if you don’t want to wait for gift cards to arrive by mail?  What if you don’t want to deal with many separate Sears gift cards?  What if you want 5% this quarter from your Freedom card?  No problem!  Here’s the new way:

  1. Find an empty or low-value Sears gift card lying around.  It can be a physical gift card or e-gift card.  It can be from Sears, Kmart, or Lands End.  If you don’t have one, order a $10 e-gift card online.
  2. Register Sears (not Kmart) in your Plink wallet.  Of course, it can’t hurt to have both registered.
  3. Find the best online portal for Sears (tip: check cashbackmonitor to find the best one), and click through the portal to Sears.
  4. Go to “gift cards” and select “check balance & reload”.
  5. Reload your gift card by adding $50 to it.
  6. Pay with the credit card you have registered with Plink.

You can reload gift cards up to a maximum value of $500.  If you reload a second time (or third time, or fourth time, …), make sure to click through to Sears from the online portal each time.

Note that I’ve tested that the above process works for online portals (specifically I tested with RapidRewards Shopping), but I haven’t yet completed a test to ensure that Plink points are earned.  I am currently testing the combination of Plink and ShopDiscover to make sure both work, but I don’t know why they wouldn’t.  I do see on my credit card account that the purchase of the reload comes from  I’ll update this post with final results once they’re in.

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Can you give me the link to get to the plink website? I used to use religiously and have over 3,000 points saved. Then, a few months ago, I got an email from them saying they were closing their program and the points were no longer available. WTH?? Is this the same Plink, I wonder? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Tianyi Chen

Anyone else has recent experience in reloading Sears GC?

Tianyi Chen

I used to be able to get cashback on reloading Sears gift cards through Shopdiscover. Recently, I used Shopathome to do the double dip. Now, only the purchases using the gift cards were posted in the pending list not the purchases on gift cards.
Is there a change in the reloading game or is it specific to Shopathome?

Jason Janka

@ FrequentMiler –

Why only plink staples max 10 times per month? I didn’t think there was any sort of limit…


Plink added a 10 transaction per month limit for Staples late in November. For some reason they only emailed this info to a select few (I wasn’t one of them).

Chris Cheng

I did email them and online chat, they say it is one time technical problem. But it happens again today, I contact them again, they promise to email me with solution within 48 hours.

Bad news:just receive one email saying that Plink would discontinue Sears in a few days, or next Wednesday. This party would end anyway.

Michael B

Now that Kmart has expired and Sears will soon as well for Plink, what are we to do?


Until something new comes up, I guess we’re left Plinking Staples max 10 times per month

Chris Cheng

After reload many $50 per transaction into old sears gc, get constant deny for orders. Not sure whether it is a permanent red flag. anyone has same experience?

Here is how the cancellation email reads like:

We are unable to process your order because some of the information provided cannot be verified. As a result, we have canceled this order, and you have not been charged.

Please contact us at 1-877-235-9959 so we can assist you with your order.

We value your business and look forward to fulfilling your shopping needs in the future.

Best regards,


Have you tried calling? They might just need to verify that you’re not doing anything fraudulent


Is it normal for the reload to take 3-4 days to process? I did one on Monday and it is still “processing” per my order status page.



No, that’s not normal. I’d recommend calling to check on the order. It could be held up in verification if they’ve been unable to contact you.


I called in and they said it should complete today. My GC got the cash the same say (monday), but it is still a pending on my CC and on my sears order page.

Thanks again FM.


Update: Switch to using wife’s name in the billing address. Third party verification no longer required.

MichaelP third party verification page cleared out the shopping cart. Tried to reload gift card again but reload amount entry box disappear.

Anyone experiencing this?

[…] Re-Plinking Sears […]


Kmart registers seem to now block the purchase of Visa GC with Sears GC. I got a cashier that was willing to try, but she showed me the error message the register was giving her. I’ve successfully been able to do this at Kmart in the past, but cashiers seem to object more often there so I haven’t tried in awhile.

Sears seems to still work if you can find the secret gift card rack at a store in your area, but I fear they are catching on and the days of this arbitrage are limited.


Yeah, I also tried purchasing Visa GCs at Kmart today and error message popped up that wouldn’t let the cashier swipe my Sears GC. He offered to take the Visa GCs to customer service to see if they could override it but I got antsy and stupidly refused..regretting that now 🙁


Thanks. I’ll have to update the FM Lab


UPDATE: I’ve received confirmation of both Plink points and ShopDiscover cash back!


Anybody else being required to call in to verify personal info with security when doing the $50 reload on Weird :/


Every cash back portal says not valid on gift cards. Which one works for this?


They all may say that, but they generally work for physical gift cards but not e-gift cards. I’ve personally had success with ShopDiscover and Mr. Rebates recently.