December 2, 2012
Most offers hold steady for December.
Every month, the Ultimate Rewards Mall has new month-long specials. Last month, I wrote about the November specials in the post “Ultimate Rewards Mall November Edition.” Today, I’ll show you how things look for December.
As always, thanks goes 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
Here are some of the stores that reduced their bonus points since last month:
- Eddie Bauer dropped from 3X to 2X
- Newegg.com dropped from 2X to 1X
- Walmart dropped from 2X to 1X
- KaBloom dropped from 15X to 6X
Sears double dip dead?
Sears (still at 5X) has been a very reliable double-dip store. That is, it has always been possible to get points for buying their gift cards and then more points when using the gift cards. However, new language was introduced last month in the Terms & Conditions:
Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents as of 11/1/12.
Similar language has appeared in other portals as well. Has anyone had experience buying Sears gift cards since Nov 1 through the Ultimate Rewards Mall or any other portal that has this language in the T&C? Have you received points?
Sadly, just like November, there’s very little to get excited about this month. What’s going on, Chase? We love the Ultimate Rewards Mall, but we especially love your 10X specials! Bring them back! Please?
Here are some items worth mentioning…
This is a new addition to the mall. They sell stuff for your home, similar to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They sell gift certificates. If anyone buys one, please let me know whether you receive points for buying the gift certificate and/or using it.
Holiday Inn, InterContinental Hotels Group 8X (up from 4X)
If you’re planning to book a stay at any Priority Club property, you can go through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to earn an additional 8 points per dollar above any earnings you get directly from your credit card or from the hotel stay itself. That’s pretty good, but its worth mentioning that TopCashBack is offering 15% cash back too, so there are a few very good portal options here.
The North Face 8X
Reader Chris D recently reported success here in doubling their Ultimate Rewards earnings through a double dip. Here is what he wrote:
Went through UR portal and purchased North Face GC (8x). Went through again and purchased item but also paid a bit more on CC due to taxes so not pure GC payment(8x). Both the GC purchase and actual purchase posted in rewards mall activity. So 16x! The amount paid for tax did not post. This all worked despite The North Face t&c “Not eligible on gift cards.”
Kohl’s has repeated 10X every month for over a year, but it is still worth mentioning. This quarter, Freedom cardholders get 5X for shopping at Kohl’s (up to $1500 spend in bonus categories), and so will get 15X by shopping through the Ultimate Rewards Mall and paying with the Freedom card! Recent reader experiences have been mixed about whether Kohl’s will pay out points when you buy gift cards from them (some have reported success, some not), but they will pay points for orders paid for with gift cards. If you don’t have a Freedom card, checkout this old post of mine to see how to stack multiple discounts and rebates at Kohl’s: Fantastic points and savings at Kohl’s.
Home Depot 5X (same as November)
People have had success double-dipping by buying Home Depot gift cards elsewhere and then using them when shopping through the Ultimate Rewards Mall. For example, use a Chase Ink card to buy Home Depot gift cards at an office supply store (to get 5X), and then shop through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Home Depot to get another 5X. A total of 10X is pretty good! Reports are mixed on whether points are awarded if the entire purchase is made with gift cards. If at all possible, pay a small portion of the total with a credit card to ensure that your points track appropriately.
Lowe’s 5X (same as November)
This is the same story as with Home Depot. Read the text above to see how to double dip.
On Friday I made some Ultimate Rewards Mall predictions. Let’s see how well I did:
- Home Depot and Lowes will remain at 5X. Correct
- JCPenney will stay at 6X. Correct
- Kohl’s will stay at 10X. Correct
- Staples will increase from 2X to 4X. Wrong. Staples held steady at 2X.
- OfficeMax will increase from 3X to 5X. Wrong. OfficeMax held steady at 3X.
- Office Depot will stay at 5X. Correct
- Sears will stay at 5X. Correct
- Best Buy will increase from 1X to 3X. Wrong
Total score: 5 out of 8 = 62.5% correct. That would be a pretty good score, except that I cheated! For all 5 guesses in which I predicted that the multiplier would stay the same, the T&C in November said: “Special increased earnings now through 12/31/2012!” So, I knew those stores would stay the same because it was written on the site. So, of my real guesses, where I predicted a change, I scored 0 out of 3. Not my best showing…