“During chaos, opportunity awaits”
Growing up in Melbourne Florida, we had one major retailer in town, that was Sears. It was our one stop shop for every item that our home needed; tools, clothes, assorted home furnishings. I still vividly remember my mother and I stopping by their in house candy shop; my mother would buy a small back of assorted chocolates to share with my sisters and me as we strolled through the store ogling the wares. That was over forty years ago.
And, the store still looks the same; 40+ years later.
Sears and Kmart are having a tough go of things. Even CEO Eddie Lampert has admitted things do not look good for the American shopping icon that spearheaded shopping by mail long before Jeff Bezos and his precious Amazon was even a doodle on paper.
These days, the American shoppers have drifted off to shinier stores and outdoor shopping venues. Immense competition from newer and more nimble vendors has left Sears management scratching their heads as they try and respond to a fickle consumer. The Sear’s stores are empty, devoid of customers, and sometimes even of their staff.
And, that is why we, the Average Joes, need to step in and take advantage of this situation; and in the process, we can help out the struggling Sears.
Here are my thoughts and reasons:
Rewards Points – I am not a fan of in store branded credit cards. Normally, I am chasing airline miles and hotel points and gravitate towards those as my first choice. But, the Sears branded MasterCard has caught my eye. I like what they are offering for rewards for using their credit card:
- 5% back in points for gas purchases.
- 3% back in points for restaurants and groceries.
- 2% back in points for in house purchases.
- 1% back in points for other items.
- A $35.00 credit for opening the account.
The drawback here is these bonus points appear to cap out after the first $10,000.00 in purchases and then revert to a 1% payout after that. But, okay, I will take a potential $500.00 quick payout in points.
Also, I have found that store branded cards seem to be the easiest to get approved for when applying for credit cards. If you need a credit card to help spread out your credit usage ratio, this may be the one you are looking for.
Bonus Rewards – Since signing up and becoming a “Shop Your Way Member,” I have been inundated with in store offers and “extra rewards” points. And, these are pretty substantial offerings that can stretch my shopping dollars. I used one coupon recently for 30% off of a pair of shoes. I received another $300.00 in bonus points after buying a mattress; even Average Joe has to buy clothes to wear and items for the homestead.
Uber – In what has to be the oddest of co-brandings I have ever seen, Uber and Sears have teamed up to offer Uber riders and drivers Shop Your Way Points for both taking rides and giving rides. I recently took an Uber ride and received back $2.00 in ‘Shop your way points.’ Now, when I travel, especially travelling overseas, I hate the local taxi services. So, Uber just may be my newest, bestest, travel buddy. And, hey, I will take a ‘kickback’, I mean rebate any day!
Using My Sears Points – My goal with these “Shop your way points,” points is too help people. I mean, I have more hotel points and airline miles than I can use. So, with my Sears points, I am using these to help people with things they need; not, so much what this Average Joe needs. Recently I made a purchase for some friends; bedding, shoes, towels, household goods and a small kitchen appliance. The total was $220.53. But, after using some of my points, the total was $0.00. Free, gratis, a thank you for being a “new” Sears loyal customer. And, I still have 184,291 points left over.
Did You Say Free – Remember the first rule of Average Joe Arbitrage, “in all thy getting, get free stuff first!” We at Average Joe are focusing on free travel, free airline flights, free hotel rooms and free food. But, since we do not live in caves, we need to get stuff for the homes. So, let’s get as much free stuff as as we can!
And, Sears does a pretty good job of that. Give them a try, walk through a store, and buy something!
I would love to hear your thoughts on Sears. Send them my way!
And, remember, before getting any credit card, make sure you understand your terms!