Ultimate Rewards Mall August Edition


Sears brings back 10X!

Every month, the Ultimate Rewards Mall has new month-long specials. Last month, I wrote about the July specials in the post Ultimate Rewards Mall July Edition.”  Today, I’ll show you how things look for August.

Thanks again to HikerT for updating his website that shows the Ultimate Rewards Mall payouts for different Chase cards. You can find his website here:lakebagger.com/ur/.

First the bad news

As expected, some of the goodies from last month went away Nyah-Nyah

  • Lowe’s dropped from 10X to 5X
  • Office Depot dropped from 10X to 3X (5X for the Freedom card)
  • Bloomingdale’s dropped from 10X to 6X
  • Avis dropped from 5X to 3X
  • eBags dropped from 15X to 8X


August Goodies

Now on to the good stuff!

Sears 10X (Ink & Sapphire 10X. Freedom 3X)
I’ve been waiting a long time for this!  When I first started blogging a year ago, Sears was at 10X and I wrote many posts about ways to take advantage of this.  One of the best things about Sears is that they will pay points for Sears gift card purchases and purchases made with gift cards.  This means that you can earn 20 points per dollar by buying gift cards and then using them through the Ultimate Rewards Mall!  I will follow-up with many more posts on ways to leverage this throughout the month.

Staples 5X (Ink 5X, Sapphire & Freedom 4X)
Last month Freedom cardholders got 5X from Staples.  This month, 5X moved over to Ink card holders.  This is great news because Staples is one of the few stores to sell gift cards online and, despite the listed Terms & Conditions, they give points for gift card purchases.  Even better, when you buy merchant gift cards (Marriott, StarBucks, etc.) there is no fee and no shipping charge.  When you combine this 5X with the automatic 5X that the Ink Bold gets for office supply purchases, this becomes a 10X deal!

ShoeBuy 15X (Freedom 15X, Ink & Sapphire 10X)
Freedom cardholders can once again get 30X by double-dipping!  See “Shoebuy double dip 30X. Is it worth it?” for details.

JC Penney 10X (Freedom 10X, Ink & Sapphire 6X)
This one held steady from last month.  JC Penney gift cards often sell for 25% off or more through resellers (search giftcardgranny.com).  A nice double-dip is to buy gift cards at a large discount and then go through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to JC Penney to use them.

A few more:

  • Lancome 12X (through 9/30)
  • HSN.com 10X (Ink 10X, Freedom & Sapphire 4X)
  • Drugstore.com 10X (Ink 10X, Freedom & Sapphire 8X)


Prediction Results

In yesterday’s post “Ultimate Rewards Mall Reminders and Predictions” I made some predictions about what would change in the mall.  Let’s see how I did:

  • Target: I said Target would increase to 3X or so.  Result: FAIL.  Target held steady at 2X
  • OfficeMax: I said OfficeMax would increase to 5X.  Result: FAIL.  OfficeMax held steady at 3X
  • KMart: I said KMart would pop up to 4X or 5X.  Result: FAIL.  KMart held steady at 2X.
  • Sears: I said Sears would jump up to 5X, and I mentioned the possibility of 10X.  Result: Success!  Sears beat my expectations by jumping all the way to 10X!
  • Staples:  I said Staples would hold steady at 4X and drop the 5X from the Freedom card.  Result: Mixed.  Staples did drop 5X from Freedom, and they did hold steady at 4X for Sapphire cardholders, but they bumped up to 5X for Ink cardholders.
  • JC Penney: I said was likely to hold steady with 10X.  Result: Success!
  • Kohls: I said was likely to hold steady with 10X. Result: Success!
  • DrugStore.com: I said was a likely 10X.  Result: Success!
  • J. Crew: I said would jump to 10X.  Result: Fail.  J. Crew held steady at 5X.

Overall score: 4.5 out of 9.  I suppose if this were baseball you could say I did all right batting 500….

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