Published on July 17th, 2015 | by Chuck51
10% Back on Sears Purchases Through Discover Deals, Double-Cash, & How to Maximize
Discover Deals is a great shopping portal for Discover cardholders and often offers the highest cashback rates at many top merchants. What’s even more awesome is that now many of us got in a temporary offer from Discover to double all cashback for a year, including cashback earned from credit card points, from the portal, or anything else. That offer is no longer available for signup to existing Discover cardholders, but you can sign up for a new Discover card and get the deal. Even if you already have one Discover cashback card, you can signup for a second one and take advantage of this deal.
We’re here today to discuss the Sears rate in particular. It was at 10% around a month ago, then it dropped down to 5%. Today, FrequentMiler broke the news that it’s back up to 10% until August 31, 2105. Honestly, this was a surprise to me as I assumed they lowered it due to the over-generous nature of the offer in conjunction with the double-cash promo. It’s definitely nice to see it back and we know it will be here until 8/31/15.
What’s even more awesome is that Discover is currently offering 5% cashback on the card in the following categories: home improvement stores, department stores, and Amazon. Sears is considered a department store and would work to trigger the 5% rate. If you add the 5% plus the 10% from the portal and then double that total at years end, you’ll end up with a whopping 30% discount on your purchases.
Okay, so what should we do with this promo? Buy stuff we need anyway? That’s no fun! Let’s be more creative…
Sell Gift Cards
One unique aspect about Sears is that they’re known to pay out portal points/cashback on gift card and e-gift card purchases. You’ll get the portal cashback whether you buy physical gift cards or e-gift cards (even reloads will work), but you’ll only get the 5% quarterly bonus if you buy e-gift cards since physical gift card purchases done at sears.com are run through the Kmart system and is not considered a department store purchase. See FrequentMiler’s guide to Sears gift cards for more info.
For our purposes, we want to maximize the 5% category bonus, so we’ll want the e-gift cards. You’ll get a whopping 30% off the price of the cards (after the double cashback comes at years end) and you’ll be able to sell it at a nice profit.
For example, Saveya is currently offering 84.5%.
- Pay $1500
- $75 back from quarterly category
- $150 back from portal
- $225 back at years end
- Sell for $1267.50 to Saveya
- Profit: $217.50
Note: There is definitely a risk of devaluation of the gift cards. That said, it’s hard to hear a real possibility of loss, assuming the portals all track properly. Also note that we’re all throttled at just $1500 per person, so it’s not a very scalable thing and may not devalue terribly.
Note #2: Saveya has strict limits on how much you can sell to them, see The Complete Guide to Selling your Unwanted Gift Cards for Cash for more info.
Note #3: You won’t get any immediate profit; in fact there’ll be a $7.50 loss. The profit will only be realized at years end.
As noted, Saveya has strict limits on the amount of gift cards you can sell them and most of us will have to sell to other resellers.
You can get 84% from Cardcash or Giftcardzen, but only with physical gift cards. If you purchase the physical gift cards from Sears it won’t work to trigger the 5% quarterly bonus. For this reason, it won’t be so easy for most of us to take advantage of this deal.
A workaround route is to a buy $5 physical Sears gift card from a Sears store and then reload that card online at sears.com. This way, you end up with a physical card which can then be sold to Giftcardzen or Cardcash for 84%.
- Pay $15 for three separate $5 physical Sears gift card
- Pay $1485 for three separate reloads of $495 each
- $74.25 back from quarterly category
- $148.50 back from portal
- $222.75 back at years end
- Sell for $1260 to Giftcardzen or Cardcash
- Profit: $205.50
If gift cards isn’t your speed, you can try reselling merchandise purchased from Sears. Orensmoneysaver has a great idea for reselling an iPad from Sears. I haven’t researched this extensively (I’ll leave that for the reselling experts to chime in on), but the gist is that you can buy 3 iPads from Sears for around $1400 and resell them for a walk-home amount of $1230.
The beauty of reselling merchandise – something that we gift card sellers just can’t seem to get into our head – is that you can double dip with the Sears portal by purchasing the gift card intially through the portal and then buying the iPads through the portal. That’s awesome on its own and it’s doubly awesome since all the cash back will be doubled.
- Pay $1400 for the Sears e-gift cards
- Get $70 back for the quarterly category
- Get $140 back from the Discover portal
- Use the gift cards to buy the iPads
- Get $140 back from the portal a second time
- Get another $350 back from Discover at years end (brings us to a total of 50% cashback!)
- Get $1230 on the sale of the iPads
- Profit: $530
See orensmoneysaver for more details on this opportunity (and some more creative stuff along the way). Of course, there are probably lots of other reselling opportunities as well.
Important Note: Technically, we’re only supposed to get cashback from the Discover portal when paying with the Discover card. In the above scenario, only the initial gift card purchase was with a Discover card and the iPad purchase was not. There is a risk that Discover could claw back the cashback from the second go-round. Maybe it would be a good idea to pay the last few dollars of the iPad cost with your Discover card so that it looks a little better.
See the comments on this FrequentMiler post where a few mention getting the cashback clawed back. This may be a new trend; we’ll have to wait for more data points on that.
Risks of the reselling route:
- Discover clawback on the 10% (x2) for the iPad purchase. [If this happens, you’ll be out $280 and your profit is down to $250.]
- Merchandise returns on Amazon.
- A flood on iPads on Amazon causing the prices to lower.
- Probably other stuff I don’t know about since I don’t do much merchandise reselling.
Personally, I think I’ll be sticking with the gift card route since I’m more comfortable with gift card reselling and have bulk seller status with various exchanges which changes a lot. Those more comfortable with selling merchandise will likely prefer the increased profitability of the iPad deal.