Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
I wrote yesterday about a really good very limited time opportunity to earn up to 21x miles and points per dollar for purchases at Sears. In order to get the full 21x you need both a co-branded United card in order to get 16x via the United MileagePlus Shopping portal (12x for non-cardholders) and you need a Chase Freedom that is registered for the 4th quarter 5x bonus of department stores (up to $1,500 max). If you have both of those cards and shop via the United shopping portal and pay with the Freedom card then you are earning an insane 21x on purchases at Sears through today. If you don’t have a Freedom card, you can still pay with any card that you want, that is just a good choice thanks to the 4th quarter 5x department store category.
I know many people want to take advantage of this deal, but don’t know what Sears sells that they may actually need. Truthfully it had been a while since I had shopped at Sears myself for anything beyond a grill or appliance, so I wasn’t even all that certain. I spent some time yesterday doing some online shopping to see what I could buy for 21x that we actually need, and not for things that were extra purchases that we didn’t really need. If you take advantage of this promo only to buy stuff you don’t really need then you likely are not coming out ahead. You can simply buy miles for cheaper than this if that is the sole goal.
While I won’t buy things we don’t need (and I also won’t buy stuff to re-sell as I don’t have the time for that game), I will buy things a bit ahead of schedule based on big mileage payouts. For example, I have shoes for the next couple of sizes for Little C that I bought when some shoe retailers had some mega payouts. It has been super handy to have things like that on hand during growth spurts!
To give you a couple ideas, here are a few things I found for sale at Sears.com that may be “needed” items for families:
Toys for Christmas/Hanukkah/Birthday/etc.
Many of the toys via the Marketplace resellers are massively overpriced ($100 for a My Little Pony?!), but the ones sold by Sears are regularly priced, so we picked up a few things for C and her cousins for Christmas. Exciting things like Rescue Bot Transformers, a DVD, recycle trucks, etc. We’ll hold all of these items back until December, and I am thrilled to have already now scratched a few things off the shopping list!
Keurig and Coffee Maker Supplies:
If you are a family that is not yet addicted to coffee I commend you. For the rest of us, they had some coffee supplies for the Keurig we needed to restock on. Not exciting, but functional.
Socks and Underwear:
If a member of your family is running low on socks and underwear, then this is a chance to stock up on those basics. My husband seems to go through work socks at a record pace, so a few more are now headed his way.
They carry many different sheets and towels if it is time to replace some around your house.
Large and small appliances:
If you need something little like a toaster, a coffee maker, vacuum, a blender, or something big like a refrigerator, washer, or dryer, you are in luck. Sears is pretty big on appliances!
The prices for the things I bought were similar to what other retailers were charging, but make sure to check for the items you are interested in. I did use a coupon that was listed on the United MileagePlus Shopping portal for $5 off a $50 purchase (SEARS2013) and I earned Sears Shop Your Way Points. You can also earn Plink points, but I haven’t taken the time to do that yet myself.
One thing I don’t recommend for most families is buying gift cards with no plans for what you want to eventually do with them. The terms online do indicate that gift cards are eligible to earn miles (in recent history physical gift cards have earned points while e-gift cards did not), but I do not think it is a wise strategy for an everyday family to load up on Sears gift cards with no clue on how they will be used. I have heard too many stories of families still sitting on those gift cards years later, still not knowing what to do with them.
All in all we spent about $200 on birthday and Christmas presents, a few clothing basics, coffee supplies, etc. That means we earned 3,200 United miles (actually a bit more if our e-gift card experiment worked) and 1,000 Ultimate Reward points for paying with the Freedom. Not bad for some socks, underwear, and coffee supplies!
Did your family find anything useful at Sears?
This opportunity ends today, so don’t delay if you want to take advantage and remember go logged in via the United shopping portal! Did your family find anything you needed at Sears?
Here are the terms for Sears purchases via the United MileagePlus Shopping Portal:
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. Gift Cards eligible as of 10/4/13. 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.