New Ultimate Reward Mall Bonuses Released

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As expected the new month brought new Ultimate Reward point bonuses (and saw some old ones go away).  If you don’t already use the Ultimate Rewards mall, let me briefly explain why you should consider it.  You can access the Ultimate Rewards portal if you have a credit card that earns Ultimate Reward points (Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Freedom Visa, and Chase Ink Bold Card).  Then, instead of going straight to a retailer such as Sears.com to purchase your home appliance, back to school supplies, or other items, you go through the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal to get to the retailer.  It is an extra click or two, but it is very much worth the effort.

Not every retailer in the world is available in the portal, but many are.  This month there are several popular retailers that are giving 10 points per dollar.  Say you need to buy $200 worth of back to school clothes for your kiddos at Sears.  If you go directly to Sears.com, or go into the store to do this, then you will probably earn one point per dollar for a total of 200 points if you use a rewards earning credit card.  However, if you do this through the Ultimate Rewards portal you will earn 2,000 points.  It is easy to see how making purchases using this strategy really adds up quickly.  You can even select “in store pick-up” with some retailers and have the best of both worlds.

Do be aware that if you have several Ultimate Rewards earning cards, you need to make the purchase from the account that provides the largest points pay out for that individual retailer.  An easy way to compare bonuses available to the different Ultimate Rewards cards is by going to HikerT’s very helpful site .  This is yet another reason that diversifying your Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards is a great idea.  I have the Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, and Ink Bold, so I don’t miss out on any of the UR portal bonuses!  A good strategy is to at least make sure you or your partner (or another close family member) have each card between the two of you.

Now that you know why this shopping portal is such a corner stone of my miles and points strategy, here are some of the bonuses that stood out for me for the month of August:

15x from Shoebuy.com (Freedom card) – if you or your kiddo needs some new shoes for fall, this is a good source to check.  It has free shipping, no sales, tax, and seemingly competitive prices.  According to the King of Gift Cards, Frequent Miler, you may be able to increase this one to 30x with some strategic gift card use.  I may be giving this a try myself as C’s foot never stops growing.  😉

10x from Sears (Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold) – again a gift card double-dip may be possible with this one to bring the total to 20x

10x from JC Penney (Freedom) – this one isn’t new, but it is still worth pointing out since 10x is pretty good

10x from Kohls (Freedom and Sapphire Preferred) – again, not new, but still helpful for back to school purchases

5x from Staples (Ink Bold) – I mention this one as the Ink Bold itself also provides 5x at office supply stores, so this is really 10x for those who have the Ink Bold.  As I mentioned in this post, I utilize this method to get some restaurant gift cards, like Starbucks and Outback for 10x.

Are there any retailers that you are especially excited about this month?

 

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Comments

  1. Anyone had any luck with getting a bump on bonuses? I just bought $4k worth of appliances at sears last month at 4pts.

  2. Thanks for the update.. Which drives the bonus (per HikerT’s site): Is it the specific portal thru which you access the retailer or is it the card that you use at checkout? For example, if you use the Sapphire Portal to access Drugstore.com, but use the Ink Bold to checkout, is the points calc 10x or 8x?

  3. The portal drives the bonus. You can use any card at checkout, even non-UR cards which you might want to do if they offer a higher earn rate. For example, you can get an extra 10% cash back from OPEN savings at OfficeMax.com if you pay with an AMEX OPEN card.

  4. @hikerT. Love your lakebagger\ur site. In AMEX open officemax.com scenario above, an IB cardholder would forego the 5X IB “office supply store” bonus points in favor of the 10% AMEX OPEN cashback, correct?

  5. @Erik, I have never tried. I can’t imagine your chances are good, but you never know.
    @fauxblogger, it is the portal, not the actual card used.
    @Jim, I remember reading something on FM’s site about that in the past. I think it was a YMMV situation. I have never tried it myself. Perhaps someone else can weigh in!
    @HikerT, thanks again for your site and for weighing in. 😉
    @fauxblogger, I believe that is correct.

  6. Just a note about the portal versus the card. One risk to not using your ur card is if the points dont post. I’ve had this happen a few times and it’s very easy for chase to see the credit card transaction and then credit you the pts

  7. My personal experience with Sears is super YMMV.
    I once tried to return a pair of shoes I bought on sears.com to my local store and was rejected. The local store claimed that they do not accept returns for stuff they do not sell.
    The shoes was returned to another 50 miles away sears store later. The manager there told me that my local store is totally wrong.

    Similar things happened in other stores in my town for price match, coupon match, return etc.

    The rule I find out is:
    Store in small towns generally reject any crazy deal idea because there is no local competition.

    Store in mid-size town generally accept any thing because there are local competitions. (e.g. I have been CVS stores accept expired coupons and walgreens coupons just because there is a walgreens right across the road. My local CVS rejects everything as there is no other drugstore in town)

  8. I have seen this card vs portal discussions before. I still do not understand it completely. If it is truly 100% portal based and if you free to choose whatever card you like, then how/why is Chase going with different bonus points for different cards in Ultimate Rewards Mall?

    For Example, Sears.com has a bonus of 3 points for Freedom and 10 points for Sapphire. How does it work if you use an AMEX card or Chase United Club credit card.

  9. The problem arises when the points don’t post. Chase can’t see you spend the money since it wasn’t on your chase card

  10. -I agree about taking a risk when you aren’t using a Chase card. Gotta weigh the pros/cons.

    -Accessing the portal is card specific. So, you can’t access the Freedom portal if you don’t have the Freedom card. However, if you do have the Freedom card then you can use whatever card you want to make a purchase in that portal. You can use a United Club card in this portal just as you could in any other shopping portal.

    -I’m really not the resell expert. Delta Points, Frequent Miler, and Deals We Like have all had some experience doing that though!

  11. Go to sears.com via UR portal. Buy sears.com gift card. Then, go through sears.com through UR portal again and use gift card.

    That’s a double dip.

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