Sears credit cards, including Sears MasterCard and Sears Store Card, are issued by Citibank. Sears MasterCard can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Sears Store card is used at Sears or Kmart. Neither of them has an annual fee. Although Sears MC can be used outside of Sears or Kmart, they don’t give you any points or rewards. Sears CC gives you the benefit on the purchase at Sears and Kmart only.
The basic benefit of Sears CC is that you earn extra 1X base point (of Shop Your Way Rewards) on Sears purchases, extra 4X base point on Kmart purchases when you pay with the cards. Base point is worth 1% of the price of an item, and you can earn it with any type of payment except for SYWR point redemption. So, extra 1X base point on Sears purchase isn’t great at all. If you use your reward credit card, you still earn SYWR base point and 1% or more cash back from credit card. How about Kmart? Extra 4X sounds good. But, you can find around 10% discounted Sears/Kmart gift cards. If you buy GCs and pay with them, you still earn SYWR base point. And you had already got around 10% discount when you bought GCs.
So far, you may not see any benefits of Sears CC. And you don’t know the reason to apply although there is no annual fee. However, I will tell you in advance. If you purchase at Sears (not Kmart), especially online, you’d better have one of these cards. You may not actually use the card. But, it’s important to have the card. I will explain.
Instead of Kmart’s extra 4X, Sears offers 5% discount on selected items when you pay with Sears CC. These items are found in all categories. For my business, I purchase a lot of items in Tools category. Most of the items in Tools category I buy are eligible for 5% discount. The point is that 5%-discount is applied on your purchase even when you pay with GCs.
It’s easy to do. If you set your Sears CC as a default payment method, 5%-discount will automatically apply on eligible items. If you don’t see the discount, proceed checkout. And choose Sears CC as payment method. (You may need to enter 3-digit security code.) And then click “Review Order.” After making sure that the discount appears, go back to the Payment page and choose GC and enter GC numbers. Now, you can place an order, but it’s better to review the order again.
It doesn’t matter if you partially or fully pay with GCs. The discount is reflected on a list price of items. It also works with SYWR point redemption. Let’s say you have enough points to pay the entire amount of your purchase. After you make the discount show up, go back to the Payment page and redeem points. Review an order to make sure that everything looks good, and then place an order.
You should click through shopping portal sites on every online order at Sears and Kmart. Surprisingly, portals don’t see the 5%-discount or SYWR point redemption. It means that cash back is reflected upon a price before the discount. Even when you entirely pay with SYWR points, you still earn cash back from portals.
And, it may work in store purchases. But you have to tell a cashier that you will use Sears CC. Then a cashier presses a button on a register and rings up 5% discounted price. There is one problem, though. Unlike online orders, you can’t tell if items are eligible for 5% discount.
What about Kmart? Kmart offers 5% back in SYWR point when you pay with Sears CC. Let’s try. 5% in points stay even after GCs are applied. But, when you review the order, points are reduced from 5% to 1%. And don’t bother to place an order without reviewing. It won’t work.You will earn only 1%. For Kmart, you can get 5% back only when you use Sears CC. However, some items at Kmart.com are marked “Sold by Sears.” These items may be eligible for 5%-discount, and you may use the strategy.
On some holiday season, Sears CC offers 10% back in point on up to $500 Sears purchases. Except the period of this promotion, I don’t actually pay with my Sears CC. Sears CC doesn’t have many promotions. But, it’s a great benefit that just having the card qualifies 5% discount on selected items. If you often buy products at Sears, you should apply for one.