January 31, 2016

How To Get Free Stuff From Sears and Kmart SYW Weekly Member Deals

I previously discussed how  I Got $165 Worth of Stuff at Sears / Kmart for $37 using Shop Your Way (SYW).    You can use SYW deals to get free stuff if you use the points to buy stuff you'd need anyway.  

Here are the steps you can use for free stuff ;

1. Sign up for SYW.  Its free.
2. Find a good cashback deal for Sears & Kmart.    You can use Cashbackmonitor.com  Right now Discover Deals offers 5% back for either store and eBates offers 3% as examples.
3. Look around the Kmart and Sears sites to find something you need or would buy normally that is a good price.  Household stuff you buy regularly like paper towels or soap might be a safe bet at Kmart.   You can also find good deals on clothing at Sears.      Make sure you can either pick up the item in store conveniently or that they offer shipping.  
4. Watch the weekly member deals at Sears and Kmart for 100% points items.   You'll want to find something that is useful to you in some way.   Don't worry about the prices paid since the plan is to get this stuff for free after the points.  The promotional points usually expire in a relatively short period (30 days commonly) so you'll need to use them quickly.
5.  Once you've found something worth getting for 100% at either store you can buy it.   If you want shipping then look to buy >$35 to take advantage of free shipping.    Use the cashback deal from step #2 as well for extra cash back.
6. After you've bought the 100% points items from step #5 you should get your points.
7. Take your points from 6 and use them to buy an item you identified in step 3.

Lets run through an example...
1. I'm already a SYW member.
2. I would use the Discover deal for 5%.
3. I will buy some of the paper towels at Kmart.  They are $8.99 for 8 rolls which is a competitive price.
4. I see various phone accessory items at Kmart and Sears right now.   Among the list of 100% points items I might want a car charger for $14.99 and battery backup for $12.99.   Thats $27.98 and it looks like both qualify for free shipping.
5. I go to Discover Deals and follow their link to get 5% cash back.  I then go to Sears and buy both items with my Discover credit card.
6. I get credited $27.98 in points that will expire in 30 days.
7. I go through Discover Deals use the $27.98 in points plus and $7.98 with my Discover card I buy 4 of the paper towel packs for $35.96.

I spent $35.96 on my Discover card.    I will get $2.15 cash back.   Thats a net cost of $33.81.   I get 32 rolls of paper towels, a car charger and a phone USB backup battery.    You'd also get SYW some points from the paper towel purchase to use on a future purchase.

Note thats just an example to illustrate how it works.

Keys to making it work well :
1. Make sure you identify stuff you need and would buy anyway at Sears and Kmart for good prices.   If those paper towels are 25% cheaper at Winco then this isn't such a good deal because you should just buy them at Winco.
2. Don't bother unless the 100% points items in the weekly deals are something you want, or can make some use, gift to someone,  or resell.    I don't need or want a phone backup battery personally.   I don't know anyone really who'd want it as a gift and I doubt I could resell for much.  So I wouldn't actually buy that item myself.    
3. The SYW program also has pretty frequent promotions with coupons and free points deals.   You can try and combine those with the basic strategy above.  Whether or not deals can combine will vary and I'm not sure what rules they apply for that.

Additional things to consider:
If you find a particularly compelling deal at the weekly deals that isn't 100% points back but still a great buy then it might be worth doing.    Depends on what they're selling and if you need it or not.   For example, they've got Nutribullet 8 piece sets for $79.99 with $20 points back.   That $79.99 seems to be the standard price and the $20 is basically 25% off.  If you're looking to buy one of these anyway then this is a good deal for you.

--This article may contain referral links which pay this site a commission for purchases made at the sites.

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