September experiments in progress


In the recent post “Ultimate Rewards Mall September Edition” I highlighted some big bonus opportunities for the month of September in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Mall.  For the Frequent Miler Laboratory, two opportunities warranted further research: Bloomingdale’s 10X for Sapphire cardholders and 10X for Chase Ink cardholders:

Bloomingdale’s double dip?

With some merchants, you can double points earned by going through a shopping portal to buy a gift card, and then go through the portal a second time to use the gift card.  In order to find out whether this works for Bloomingdales, I went through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Bloomingdales and I bought an e-gift card.  I paid with my Sapphire Preferred credit card.

The second step will be to go through the mall a second time to buy something at Bloomingdales and use the gift card that I previously purchased.

Unfortunately, chances of this double-dip working don’t look good.  Here are Bloomingdale’s Ultimate Rewards Mall Terms & Conditions (bolding is mine):

Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents. Not eligible on phone orders or any purchases made from Bloomingdale’s Wedding Channel. Eligible on sale amount excluding any discounts or coupons, taxes, shipping and handling, gift wrapping or other services, credit card fraud, bad debt, or adjustments to purchase price to address customer service issues and deductions/allocations for returned items. The purchase of bridal registry items, adjustments, reorders, corporate gift cards, mattresses and furniture or sales from partner sites that have their product listings linked to are not eligible.

The most likely outcome is that I will get points for using the gift card, but not for buying it.  Often, though, points are awarded despite terms like this, so I’ll give an update once the results are in. gift card points?

There are not many online stores where you can buy gift cards for other merchants and earn points when doing so.  Back in February, a reader reported successfully getting points from the Ultimate Rewards Mall when he went to and bought a Home Depot gift card.  Does this trick still work?  The terms & conditions seem to indicate not (bolding is mine):

Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents. Purchases paid by check, or method other than a credit card, are not eligible. Wireless Plan, purchases made through Canada, music downloads, and purchases made from other stores operated by third parties that may be accessible from Partner’s site are not eligible.

To test this, I went through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to and I bought a $100 gift card. charges $2.99 for shipping so my total came to $102.99 which I paid with my Ink Bold card.  If all goes well, I should receive 1030 points from this purchase.  As always, I’ll give an update once results are in.

Reader experiments

Have you tried any interesting tricks to get miles or points?  How did it go?  Please let me know so that I can update the Frequent Miler Laboratory with your results!

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