Verdict: This super-easy to use and profitable rewards program really pays off — especially when you consider that it’s free to join. Every 1,000 points can be redeemed for one dollar credit toward your next purchase, and you earn 10 points for each dollar spent. It adds up fast during a Saturday afternoon Sears shopping spree (or if you’re making big-ticket purchases like tools, home appliances or electronics.) A number of other benefits make this rewards program a winner. And yes, there are opportunities to get bonus points.

Overview: During the holiday season, I gave in to peer pressure. My two shopping buddies (my sister and my sister-in-law, who is the bargain-hunter extraordinaire) both got free Sears Rewards cards, so I gave in to the temptation, took 30 seconds to fill out the application form, and got my handy blue Sears Rewards cards. When I started earning and redeeming points for cash back off my purchases THAT DAY — I was impressed!

It was only when I got home and started researching that I realized Sears truly does offer a good value to its rewards members with a lot of added benefits. The card is also tied in to the KMart rewards card, so points you earn at KMart can be redeemed at Sears and vice versa.

The other retailers participating in the program are:

  • Land’s End
  • MyGofer
  • The Great Indoors

How This Card Works: You can sign up in person at Sears or KMart or the other retail partners, or online at ShopYourWayRewards.com. (www.shopyourwayrewards.com). You must provide a valid email address or cell phone number and opt-in to receive emails or text messaging from Sears and its affiliates. And then you start shopping and earning — it’s that easy.

If you ever forget your card, the sales associate can look it up by your phone number or email address. When you shop online, you’ll need your Reward Member number and your PIN. You can even add points for transactions when you forgot to use your card by logging in with your receipt information. You can earn additional rewards points by posting reviews or participating in the Sears Community Forums. Layaway purchases also give you rewards points.

When you shop at KMart using your card, you’ll also be entered to win a “K’Ching Surprise,” with a grand prize of a home appliance makeover valued at $3000.

Rewards: Most purchases earn 10 points for every dollar, but there are opportunities to earn 2X, 3X, 5X or 10X more than that. So, if you spend $100, you’ll earn 1,000 points, which you can redeem for $1 off your next Sears, Kmart or Land’s End purchase. It’s that quick and easy.

As you spend more money, you will enter VIP status, where you get extra perks.

VIP Silver
Spend $2,500 in a year and you’ll earn:

  • A Shop Your Way Rewards 5X bonus day each quarter, where you get 50 points for every $1 spent
  • A biannual savings book in the mail
  • 5X rewards for online purchases on special cyber bonus days
  • 5X birthday bonus reward points on one day of your choosing in your birthday month

VIP Gold
Spend $5,000 in a year and get all the bonuses of silver status, with a 10X birthday bonus reward day and a 10X bonus reward day each quarter (instead of 5X).

VIP Platinum
Spend $10,000 or more in a year and you get all the benefits of Gold Status, plus you become a ShipVantage member and earn 20,000 bonus points, redeemable for $20. ShipVantage is the Sears and Kmart shipping discount program, which normally sells for $79 a year. ShipVantage members get free and discounted shipping from Sears.com and Kmart.com.

  • Free Standard shipping
  • Expedited shipping for $0.99 per item
  • Premium shipping for $3.99 per item

Pros:

  • Free rewards program
  • Earn cash back fast in stores or online
  • Do returns without a receipt with your card
  • Get added bonuses the more you spend

Cons

  • Points cannot be redeemed on Sears Home Services
  • Points cannot be redeemed at the KMart pharmacy