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Ch3apSk8's Down & Dirty FAQ for Shop Your Way Rewards

Ch3apSk8 2,306 11,695 October 27, 2013 at 10:49 AM in Other (19)
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Last Edited by Ch3apSk8 February 14, 2016 at 10:57 AM
Warnings:
- This is a work in progress, unofficial and YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).
- ShopYourWay and friends can change their rules and procedures at any time.
- Sears Holdings Corp businesses and their respective websites are known for having..... issues. Shocking

FYI: To search the FAQ on a desktop/laptop computer, try pressing CTRL+F for Windows or Command+F for Apple.


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Once upon a time, you could not post a Sears or Kmart deal without someone asking: "What losers shop there anymore? lolololol". Rolleyes2
The Shop Your Way Rewards program has increased their popularity on deal sites, so here's a quick-start guide to help understand the deals related to the program.
For more in-depth (and official) info, visit their Help section [shopyourway.com].



CONTENTS:
Basics:
  1. What is ShopYourWay.com (SYW)?
  2. What is Shop Your Way Rewards (SYWR)?
  3. What are the different levels of membership?
  4. Where's my membership card?
  5. How many points do I earn?
  6. Can I combine multiple bonus point offers in one purchase?
  7. How do I spend reward points?
  8. When do my points expire?
  9. What is Shop Your Way MAX (SYW MAX)?

    Tips:
  10. How do I get free reward points sent to me? (or "Why does my friend receive a lot of free points and I get none?!")
  11. How will I know if I was selected for a free Surprise points giveaway?
  12. How do the coupons and promo codes work?
  13. May I have multiple SYWR accounts with multiple emails?
  14. How do you return a purchase at a physical store without a receipt?
  15. Why doesn't so and so work for me?
Offer Links
Purchase Ideas
Promo Codes
Wiki Community Board is located below this FAQ.

==================================================================


BASICS:

1. What is ShopYourWay.com (SYW)?

A free shopping portal [shopyourway.com] with a heavy emphasis on social networking. Their primary goal is similar to Facebook and other social websites, which is to monitor your activities for promoting products that may interest you. So they don't really sell anything, but provide a gateway for retailers owned by Sears Holdings (SHLD) and other third-party (Marketplace) sellers.


2. What is Shop Your Way Rewards (SYWR)?

The free customer rewards program [syw.com] for most stores owned by SHLD: Sears, Sears Grand, Sears Hometown Stores, Sears Home Appliance Showroom, SearsHardware, Sears Outlet, Sears Auto Centers, Sears Home Services, Kmart, Lands’ End, and mygofer.

Non-SHLD owned businesses also participate for earning points as Web Partners [syw.com] or Card Linked Partners [syw.com] (requires Visa card enrollment [syw.com]).


3. What are the different levels of membership?

"Base Member" is when you join SYWR to earn and redeem base reward points, but refuse to let them send you emails.

"Bonus Member" makes you eligible for the free point giveaways and other bonus offers, but you have to agree to receive their email spam!
Instructions: On the SYW desktop site, visit your Account Settings. Click on Email Notifications on the left to find the check box next to "Send Bonus Offers to my Email".

"VIP" status [syw.com] lets you earn extra points during certain periods, receive misc. perks, and thumb your nose at lower members.
Earn Vip Silver at $2500 annual OOP (out-of-pocket) spending, VIP Gold at $5,000, VIP Platinum at $10,000.
If your status is not upgraded within a year, your qualifying spending will be reset to zero and you will start over as a Bonus member.
NOTE: A newer webpage for the VIP program [syw.com] is up, but the spending requirements for making VIP may change after logging into the site.

4. Where's my membership card?

They stopped giving out cards a long time ago, except for the VIP members who will be mailed some cards. SHLD has a lot of faith in the ability of people to correctly type in numbers, but I've heard too many complaints about purchases not appearing in accounts. If you see a mystery purchase in your account, then an employee may have fat-fingered a number at some store.

I suggest printing out your own card with a barcode: Account Settings [syw.com], and then click on "Print your membership card".


5. How many points do I earn?
The regular base points are earned at 1% (2% for SYW MAX 1-yr membership), or $0.01 (10 points) for every $1.00 spent out-of-pocket.
Fixed amount bonus points for a product-specific offer will be earned as long as your entire subtotal is not paid by points redemption (pay some portion OOP). Unfortunately, coupons with a fixed amount bonus now require OOP payment for the stated minimum purchase requirement to earn the bonus points.
Percentage based bonus points will be calculated from your out-of-pocket payment portion (not points redemption). OOP payment includes everything except reward points (cash, credit card, PayPal, gift card, etc.).
Surprise Points (SP) are mainly issued on a random basis, but points from some offers (monthly 3k pts for MAX 1-yr membership) are distributed in the SP format.
If you really want to get much out of the rewards program, you're going to have to work those bonus point offers:
  • A) Become a Bonus member, so you can receive Surprise Points offers on certain days. ("Send Bonus Offers to my Email" must be checked under 'REWARDS [syw.com]' settings)
  • B) Bonus members receive emails that may contain coupons for bonus points (or discounts) on purchases.
  • C) Sears/Kmart will have certain products on sale as "Shop Your Way Exclusives", with either a special member price or a points bonus. Some bonuses are now exclusive to SYW MAX members [sears.com].
  • D) Look for offers from SHLD businesses to earn points by signing up for something new. These points may take some time to show up in your account, and may have a short expiration.
  • E) VIP's get a 20% bonus points for computer accessories & Alphaline Electronics, 15% bonus points for DieHard brand vehicle batteries, a special bonus day each quarter, a bonus for their birthday month (birthday updated in profile at least 1 month prior to birth month), and other misc. offers. Here's their VIP Choice page [syw.com] for special coupons (one choice per quarter), and a new quarter with new coupons starts every three months.
  • F) And of course, monitor Slickdeals.net for new offers and promo codes!
Be sure to read through the Excluded Purchases and Layaway [syw.com] section in the SYW program terms & conditions.

Different situations will require different amounts of time for the earned points to appear in your account:
  • For an in-store purchase, check the printed receipt.
  • For an online order with in-store pickup of item in stock, check when you receive the order pickup email.
  • For an online order with shipping, check when you receive the order confirmation email.
  • For a bonus points offer that has specific dates redemption dates, check on the first day of that period.

WARNING: Paying for your whole purchase by redeeming points usually results in earning zero points. It will help to pay at least one cent out-of-pocket for each item. So, for three items, it would be good to pay three cents OOP. Make sure to view the Review Order screen, and take a screenshot for later reference.

NOTE: Slickdealers like to roll points, which is both paying with points and earning points on the same purchase. However, do not be surprised if SYW customer service informs you that the practice is not allowed, because the official program T&C prohibits earning points on a purchase that involved redeeming points:
"3. Excluded Purchases and Layaway. The following are excluded from Qualifying Purchases (collectively "Non-Qualifying Purchases"):
.....
(viii) any redemption of Points for some part or all of the purchase price;"

6. Can I combine multiple bonus point offers in one purchase?

According to SYW's website: Yes.
According to SYW's customer service: No. Head Bang

If you don't the receive your bonus points after being allowed to combine multiple offers, you will have to contact SYW customer service. While their general policy is not to allow combining offers, you can have positive results if the service rep is nice.

Multiple Surprise Points offers are not supposed combine, but sometimes an error might occur and allow it.


7. How do I spend reward points?

Marketplace sellers and Sears Home Services don't accept reward points as payment, but most other SHLD stores should accept them: Sears, Sears Grand, Sears Essentials, Sears Hometown Stores, Sears Home Appliance Showroom, Sears Hardware, Sears Outlet, Sears Auto Centers, Kmart, Lands’ End, and mygofer.
NOTE: Surprise Points offers are usually restricted to full-line Sears or/and Kmart stores, unless the offer specifically states something different.

"Rewards Redemption excludes the following:
Items not sold by Sears or Kmart, Prescriptions, Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms/Ammunition, Gift Cards, Installation charges, Shipping charges, Delivery charges, All taxes and fees, Extended warranties, Protection agreements"


For online ordering, you will have to go to the payment page of checkout and find the Redeem My Reward Points button. After clicking on it, a Change Points option becomes available to adjust the amount of points you want to spend. An eligible Surprise Points offer will be applied first, followed by points from your points balance that have the earliest expiration date. The online cart's "Earn for Next Order" value can help verify whether you are earning the expected amount, but the value can change after clicking the Review Order button on the payment page.

For Surprise Points offers, the online shopping cart's 'Redeem Today' value can be used to verify that you are correctly activating the offer. If your subtotal is higher than your existing points balance, then you will see the 'Redeem Today' value jump to a higher amount when an eligible Surprise Points offer is available. Also, the final payment page will list qualifying Surprise Points for the purchase, right above the Redeem My Reward Points button (e.g. "15,000 Surprise points, worth $15.00").
NOTE: Multiple Surprise Points offers cannot normally be combined in one purchase, and it can vary for which eligible offer will trigger first for your purchase.

In-store, tell them you wish to pay with your points. The cashier can see which Surprise Points-type offers are loaded in your account, but they do not really know if a purchase qualifies for a Surprise Points offer. You will want to check your new points balance on your receipt to see if an offer activated correctly. Again, an eligible Surprise Points offer will be applied first, followed by points from your balance that have the earliest expiration date.
- At Kmart, the cashier's Surprise Points screen has a field for entering a specific amount of points to redeem.
- At Sears, finding a cashier with the knowledge to find the screen for entering the specific amount of points might get difficult.

WARNING: Paying for your whole purchase by redeeming points usually results in earning zero points. It will help to pay at least one cent out-of-pocket for each item. So, for three items, it would be good to pay three cents OOP.

If you decide to return an item after already spending all your earned points, then there are multiple reports of how the refund is handled:
  1. The amount of points is subtracted from your balance. If you have zero points, then you will end up with a negative balance.
  2. The amount of points is subtracted from your out-of-pocket refund. If you charged a $100 purchase to your credit card and earned $25 in points, then only $75 is refunded back to your credit card.


8. When do my points expire?

For base points and some promo code/coupon bonus points, the following from the program T&C normally applies:
"EXCEPT FOR POINTS ISSUED WITH A SHORTER EXPIRATION PERIOD, POINTS EXPIRE AT THE END OF THE CALENDAR QUARTER THAT INCLUDES THE 12 MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DATE THOSE POINTS WERE EARNED. Calendar-quarter end dates are March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31. For example, 12-month Points earned on November 1, 2011 will expire on December 31, 2012."
However, most bonus point offers and some coupons have a more limited time to use the points. Earned bonus points may only be available for 30 or 90 days. Some offers even have a shorter period with specific dates. After a purchase, you can visit your Account & Order History [shopyourway.com] on SYW and click Full points details for an item to view a breakdown of when the earned base and bonus points will expire.

To view the expiration date for your points that are expiring the earliest, click on your points balance on either SYW or the Sears/Kmart sites. You will have to contact customer service to request the dates for any points expiring at a later time. Points can be redeemed through the day of the stated expiration, until 11:59PM central time.

The Overview tab of your profile section on the Sears or Kmart website contains various dates for "Surprise Points Offer" and "Expiring Points".
You can also review a calendar with various expiration dates for your reward points (not Surprise Points) on the FitStudio website [fitstudio.com] by clicking on My Rewards under the MY PROFILE dropdown menu.

For Surprise Points offers, the offers shown on the SP offers webpage [shopyourway.com] will be active all the way up to 11:59PM central time of the expiration date displayed. The SP offer webpage can sometimes get updated a few hours BEFORE midnight central time, but your offers that disappeared early may still be loaded for making a purchase. Any new offers that are displayed early will require waiting until after midnight central time to use them.

NOTE: If returning an item paid with points that are now past their original expiration date, then those expired points are sometimes refunded with a new two week expiration. Their policy is not to refund Surprise Points after the expiration date for the offer, but you may want to contact them if they are responsible for an order cancellation.


9. What is Shop Your Way MAX (SYW MAX)?

The free-shipping program for Sears and Kmart, and will work with items marked as sold by Sears or Kmart. Supposedly, it will also work with a few Marketplace items. A $10 minimum price is required to trigger the free shipping, and any item under $10 will require a minimum order of $30 (before taxes).

NOTE: One method to bypass the $30 requirement is to increase the quantity of the item priced under $10 until you have at least $10 worth of it.
(e.g. $5.99 product requires a $30 minimum order, so increase the quantity to two for a $11.98 total Wink)



Paying the $79 $39 annual fee gets you free shipping on many (not all) items without a minimum order amount. Plus, you earn double base points for your purchases, and receive a free $3 in Surprise points each month (valid for the first 14 days of the month).

There is also a free 90-day trial [shopyourway.com] period, but the double base points and free monthly $3 in points is not activated. The trial period seems to automatically renew for most people, and no one has reported being charged for the annual membership without permission. Add sears@value.sears.com to your contact list, and look for the renewal email the day after your trial has expired. If it does expire, you can try checking under your profile on the Sears or Kmart website for an option to start a new trial by clicking on "view membership status" under the Shop Your Way MAX section.

Items such as furniture or large appliances will not qualify for SYW MAX, but check for a minimum order amount that can enable free shipping from the seller.

Both annual or trial members can take advantage of bonus point offers [sears.com] that require having SYW MAX membership. The minimum spending requirement for an offer will have to be OOP to earn the bonus points.


TIPS:

10. How do I get free reward points sent to me? (or "Why does my friend get sent a lot of free points and I get none?!")

Surprise Points offers are free "invisible points" loaded into your account. They are usually sent out on the same day for everyone, but we have not figured out the method for which members are selected and for which type of conditions (store, department, amount of points, minimum purchase amount). The requirements to trigger them at checkout are listed in the email sent to you, but you can also view the requirements (except start date) on the Surprise Points webpage [syw.com]. If the SP do not activate according to the requirements, you can troubleshoot by trying different things than what is stated.
If your purchase subtotal is less than the full amount of the Surprise Points, then only part of the Surprise Points will get redeemed. This will leave the remaining unused amount from that SP offer available for another purchase before the offer expiration.
Most Surprise Points offers cannot be cannot be combined with other Surprise Points offers, but a few special types (e.g. SYW MAX monthly pts) will combine with others. Sears Hometown, Sears Outlet, and Sears Appliance & Hardware are not part of the regular Sears, so for in-store shopping make sure you are at the correct store stated in the offer (Sears, Sears Automotive, Kmart, etc).

NOTE: If you are notified about an SP offer in a Sears or Kmart email, then it may not already be loaded in your account. Try logging into the respective website, and then click SHOP NOW next to the SP offer in the email.
WARNING: Using Surprise Points can interfere with a post-sale price adjustment. See here.

A) For SYWR Bonus members, Surprise points are (usually) issued on a weekly basis (Tues, Wed, or Thurs), but the schedule can vary. Look for email subjects such as the following:
<SPECIAL MESSAGE!>
XOXO
Surprise points inside!
B) In-store shopping gives an additional chance to get a Surprise Points offer. When making a purchase, choose to have your receipt printed out. Sometimes, one of the coupons printed out will be a Surprise Points offer, which will be automatically loaded to your account (may take several hours). The expiration date and other conditions can be found on the Surprise Points webpage [shopyourway.com].

C) While browsing the SYW website, clicking on Want It for an item may activate an SP offer for that item's department.

D) Logging into the FitStudio website [fitstudio.com] will reveal a "GEAR DEAL OF THE DAY" section, with a drop-down menu to select a SP offer for a specific subcategory from the Sears Fitness & Sports department. You can activate a new offer every day, and each offer will be available for a week.

E) The "x2" Surprise Points offer is unusual, because the amount of free points is dependent on your own existing points. It will double the amount of your own points that you choose to redeem on a purchase. If the offer states a limit such as "--up to $25 in points", then it will double only up to $12.50 of your own redeemed points.

F) Some members might receive a Kmart email with SP offers for specific grocery/household items, which can now be viewed on the SYW SP webpage. but such offers will not appear on the SP webpage listing. Search for the offers under My Profile [kmart.com] on the Kmart or Sears website. Be sure to read any minimum purchase quantities in the email. The email might state they're for in-store, but test an offer on Kmart.com to see if it will work online as well. Look for an email from Kmart that is usually titled: "You’re one of a kind and so are your savings".
NOTE: If a few of the SP offers mentioned in the email are not appearing on the SYW site, then the offers may be hidden and using the Kmart online cart can reveal them at checkout.

G) Entering a sweepstake [blogspot.com] on the SYW website can award an instant SP offer if you find one that is temporarily tagged with a pink Doorbuster flag. (this program may have expired)

HINT: For the Kmart Outdoor Living SP offers, make sure the product(s) you are purchasing are coded to Department 28. For online, just check the first three digits of the item #, as with this BBQ Pro Grill [kmart.com]. For in-store, the sale and price drop tags usually display the code and department.


11. How will I know if I was selected for a free surprise points giveaway?

A) Look for the Surprise Points emails, but the emails might end up in your junk mail folder. I update the 'Short-term Notices' section near the top of the FAQ with the latest point offer dates.

- SYWR Bonus members, add rewards@rewards.shopyourwayrewards.com to your contact list.
- Craftsman Club Tool of the Month members, add craftsman2@value.sears.com and craftsmanclub2@value.sears.com to your contact list.

B) Some people may not receive an email, but the SYW homepage displays upcoming expiring points on the right side of the screen.

C) YMMV - You can set a deal alert for keywords relating to SYW, but that relies on others actually starting a new thread about SYWR issuing some free points (and that thread having those keywords).


12. How do the coupons and promo codes work?

NOTE: There are multiple factors concerning a coupon: which store(s), online or in-store, expiration, minimum purchase amount, discount vs point earnings, amount of redemptions allowed. The programming or fine print for a coupon might get updated, so don't be surprised if your experience with a coupon is different from a previous time.

Coupons and promo codes can be found in various places, including:
  • The PROMO CODES section in this FAQ contains codes that have a longer expiration date.
  • The Sears and Kmart websites feature short-term promo codes on the homepage or department pages.
  • SYWR Bonus Members receive emails that sometimes contain coupons. VIP emails may contain more exclusive coupons. Some emails may generate new coupon codes after the exp. date passes, so it is worth holding onto old coupon emails. Sign up for Sears [sears.com] and Kmart [kmart.com] emails in the My Preference Center of either website.
  • The Coupon Center [shopyourway.com] section of the SYW site has various types to choose from, but a few additional ones may appear in the Coupon Centers of Sears and Kmart. Check the Sears desktop site [sears.com], Sears mobile site [sears.com], Kmart desktop site [kmart.com], Kmart mobile site [kmart.com], and SYW smartphone app version of the Coupon Center.
  • On a smartphone, the SYW app [shopyourway.com] also has a Shop'In feature that let's you select a store and choose Deals to load more coupons (usually expire same day) into your account. Once they're loaded, some coupons can be redeemed in-store only and some are for either in-store or online.
  • After placing an online order, the order confirmation page or order confirmation email may contain a coupon(s)
  • When checking out in-store, choosing to print out your receipt can result in multiple coupons being printed out.
  • While logged in on the Sears/Kmart homepage, scroll down through it to see if you have a coupon(s) available.
  • In your SYW account history [shopyourway.com], scroll down to the bottom to see if a few coupons are available. They may or may not be different from what is already available in the SYW Coupon Center.
  • Subscribing to Sears text messages [hit2c.com] will reveal links for SYW Sears coupons and other offers, and subscribing to Kmart text messages [hit2c.com] will reveal links for SYW Kmart coupons and other offers.
    With a browser on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet), use these direct links without having to subscribe: SEARS [cpn2c.co] and KMART [cpn2c.co] coupon generators.
    NOTE: You may have to load the visible coupons into your account to reveal other ones. A coupon will usually become available again about one week after you previously loaded it.
  • Choosing a Personal Shopper [shopyourway.com] [shopyourway.com] can result in some extra coupons by email.
NOTE: For a place dedicated to SYWR coupon trading, visit the Sears and Kmart / Shop your Way - Coupon Trading Thread.

Applying coupons:
  • Website promo codes - They're for online use only, so enter the codes in the "Have a coupon code?" field of the shopping cart on the applicable site.
  • SYWR member coupons - These can usually be loaded into your account from the coupon source, and if unwanted they can be unloaded using the SYW website Coupon Center [shopyourway.com].
    - On the online desktop sites, the shopping cart has an "apply my Shop Your Way coupons" link to bring them up. In-store, the register is supposed to automatically activate a qualifying coupon loaded in your account, but sometimes the cashier may need to scan the coupon barcode (printed on paper or displayed on smartphone screen).
    - An alternative option would be to enter the code manually in the "Have a coupon code?" field of the shopping cart. In-store, employees can manually enter coupon codes as long as they have the proper training and it is not prohibited by the store manager.

The numbers:
  • Generally, most Sears and Kmart alphanumeric promo codes can be redeemed multiple times, such as the Sears promo code 'SEARS2014'. SYWR also has some alphanumeric promo codes that can be shared, but some of them are only for one redemption per account. All of these types of codes are meant for online use only.
  • SYWR relies heavily on unique 16-digit codes, which are meant to be only used once and disposed of. So do not share a coupon unless you are sure you do not plan to use it. Also, don't expect a canceled order to reactivate the code that was used, but you may try complaining to SYW if you're not responsible for the cancellation. Once in a while, SYW issues 16-digit code that is allowed to be redeemed by multiple members. All these codes can be used either online only, in-store only, or either one.
The restrictions:
  • Stores - A coupon for Sears usually refers to a regular, full-line store, and not something like a Sears Hometown store. Though, you can still try using the coupon on Sears.com, and then choose the Hometown store for in-store pickup. Online, look for items marked as "Sold by: Sears" to verify the coupon is valid for the product. A Sears-only coupon will not work on Sears.com if the item is marked "Sold by: Kmart", but may be valid for items marked "Sold by: Sears" on Kmart.com. And vice versa for Kmart-only coupons. No coupons work on products sold by Marketplace (third-party) sellers, so watch what you add to your cart.
    NOTE: For in-store purchases, coupons will be voided if a cashier hits the "back" key when processing tender.
  • Departments - Generally, the "Departments" drop-down menu on the Sears and Kmart website can help narrow down the list of valid items, but sometimes the fine print might be more restrictive than actually stated. You may have to add products from different sub-departments to your cart to further narrow down the list of valid items.
  • Minimum purchase amount - The cart subtotal will determine if you meet the minimum purchase requirement, and only discount coupons or discount promo codes affect this value. Your payment method (including gift cards), sales tax, and shipping costs do not affect the subtotal.
  • Points redemption - For bonus point coupons, the affect of redeeming points as part of the payment can vary from offer to offer. Members are usually able to get their bonus points by ensuring that they pay at least a small portion OOP (out-of-pocket) when redeeming points, otherwise known as "rolling points" on SD. However, there are an increasing number of coupons that require the minimum purchase amount to be paid completely OOP. Even worse, there have been a few cases where redeeming any amount of points killed the bonus points.
    Note: For online orders, click the Review Order button on the payment page of checkout and use the "Earn for Next Order" value to verify you will earn the expected amount of points.
    Warning: Coupons that previously rolled may not allow rolling anymore.
  • Expiration date - Coupon will still be valid on the day of the expiration, until midnight central time. If you use a coupon online, don't be surprised if the cart shows an expiration date much further away than advertised in an offer or email. Sometimes the coupon expires on the advertised day, sometimes it continues up to the exp. date shown in the cart. Codes that begin with 97--- generally expire on the stated date.
  • Product tags - The websites contain a variety of products tags to block the use of coupons and promo codes, including: Hot Buy, Clearance, Online Only, Online Only Price, Great Price, Amazon Price Matched, etc. With the 16-digit coupons, most of these tags can be bypassed by shopping in-store.
Stacking:
  • The websites allow one discount coupon/promo code to be stacked with one bonus points coupon/promo code.
  • The websites may incorrectly allow multiple bonus point coupons/promo codes to be stacked, but SYW policy is to honor only one.
  • In-store, only one SYWR coupon is usually accepted by the register, but manufacturer's coupons are a separate matter.
  • A Surprise Points offer or bonus points coupon with a minimum purchase amount will be affected if a discount coupon/promo code is used to lower the subtotal below the required minimum for the points offers.
  • Short-term free points added to your points balance (e.g. LocalAd Points Giveaway offers) are used as a form of payment, just like normal points.
Confusing coupons:

NOTE for postcard offer from SYW: Some people have reported receiving a physical postcard in the mail from SYW. It may contain an offer for bonus points, but there is no coupon code. Try adding an item priced more than the bonus points amount to your online cart, and see if the bonus appears in the amount that can be earned for the order. The minimum amount purchase for the offer will require OOP payment. Currently, other eligible bonus points offers and/or coupons can be combined with this offer.
  • The "Points Match Back" (or "Match Points Back") coupon will only provide a maximum $50 in Surprise Points for one item in your online purchase. For some, the coupon applies to the highest priced item in their online purchase, so the amount of Surprise Points will be determined by that one item. For others, the coupon applies to the total amount of their online purchase. In-store, the coupon will be applied to the subtotal for all your items combined. In other words, this coupon is YMMV for how it will function in your account and for your particular purchase.
    Surprise Points offers (and other free pts offered in this format) can interfere with this coupon, so you may have to use up those other offers before applying this coupon. However, some people report that doesn't even work for them, and they have to actually wait for the expiration dates of the SP offers to pass.
    NOTE: Your online cart may require items from multiple departments to kick start the coupon into activating, and then you can go back to remove the items you do not want.

    Here are some examples of a $200 total purchase with multiple items, and the coupon is applying across all items:
    1. Redeem $40 in points, and $20 of that is covered by the coupon.
    2. Redeem $100 in points, and $50 of that is covered by the coupon.
    3. Redeem $130 in points, and $50 of that is covered by the coupon.
    Here are some examples of a $200 total purchase with multiple items, but the coupon is applying to the highest priced item of $50:
    1. Redeem $40 in points, and $20 of that is covered by the coupon.
    2. Redeem $100 in points, and only $25 of that is covered by the coupon. (a 50/50 split for the highest priced item of $50)
  • The "Redeem at least $15 (15,000 points) (or $25 for other version) on your next in-store purchase and we'll put $10 (10,000 points) back in your account." coupon requires you to redeem a minimum $15 in points (or $25 in points for other version), and then click on the Review Order button to view the bonus points under "Earn for Next Order". Surprise Points work fine with this coupon, as long as "coupons" is not listed in the exclusions of the SP offer.
  • There is such a thing as coupons for Surprise Points, but everyone complains about them not working. SYW will tell you to place an order with the coupon, and then call back for help. Mad


13. May I have multiple SYWR accounts with multiple emails?

That would be abusing the system. Whistling If SYW finds out you have multiple accounts, they will attempt to merge the accounts into one. The points balances and purchase histories will be combined together.

However, there are some cases where the accounts were suspended, or altogether banned.

Oddly, my father's account from another town was merged with mine, even though I told them it was not mine. Facepalm


14. How do you return a purchase at a physical store without a receipt?

If you purchased something with your SYWR#, then the store employees can look up the purchase without a receipt. If you have a B&M store nearby, it can be easier to return an online order in the store.


15. Why doesn't so and so work for me?

I'm not tech support, and SHLD has some of the more buggier retail websites. Choose your customer service center wisely if you don't want to waste a bunch of time on hold, only to be told to contact a different customer service center: Sears/Kmart, Lands' End, Shop Your Way Rewards, Craftsman.com, etc. The people answering the telephone calls sound American, but they might not seem...intelligent. I am guessing they either have a lack of training, or are required to respond according to a manual in front of them. Or, they really are not too bright. Good luck! VIP members get priority with SYWR customer support. Some of the SHLD websites currently have chat support, but ShopYourWay does not. Their "Get Advice [shopyourway.com]" section might result in a faster response than email, but the answer can be from customer support or/and another shopper. Also, your question might get drowned in a sea of questions for celebrities that have product lines with SHLD, or people looking for likes or followers.
NOTE: It might be a pain, but taking screenshots of offers and the cart/checkout pages can help when arguing with customer support.

There's a huge variety of problems with SYWR offers and coupons out there, so you can try experimenting with different store sites (Sears, Kmart, SYW, Craftsman), desktop vs mobile sites, a different device, trying it in-store vs online, different products, different departments, etc. If a website issue is not occurring for others, then you might want to try deleting your web browser's cache and cookies.

Other shoppers in this FAQ thread can help troubleshoot a problem if you post plenty of details (minus personal info) for the offer and what you already tried. The details may include:
  • store full name, and whether online or in-store
  • type of offer/coupon, and it's fine print
  • product item number(s), and link
  • error message for online purchase, and type of computer/phone used
FYI: Some of the SYWR incompetence works against the customer, some works in favor of the customer. Sly

Checkout Jumping Back to Cart error: Sometimes the product page will not display the out-of-stock notification, so the product can still be added to the cart. If the checkout process forces you to jump back to the cart, then you will have to remove items one by one to figure out which item is OOS.

Clingy Coupon error: Some bonus point 16-digit coupons may refuse to leave the online cart after clicking remove under the coupon.
Try the following steps:
  1. In the cart, click Proceed to checkout to head to the Shipping / Pickup part of checkout.
  2. Now, click on the Cart icon near the top, and then Continue to Cart.
  3. The clingy coupon should be gone from the cart.
  4. Might have to log out and log back into the website to completely remove any trace of it.
Cart error messages for member coupons and website promo codes:

We're sorry, this coupon does not apply to the item(s) in your cart.
Check the member coupon or website promo code exclusions.

"We're sorry, this coupon is no longer valid."
Code does not exist, or expired website promo code. The websites have been known to sometimes kill a promo code early.

"We're sorry, we are having technical difficulties and working as fast as we can to fix it. Please try again in a little while."
Code does not exist, or expired member coupon. SYW has been known to kill some types of coupons early.

"We're sorry, this coupon no longer valid."
Member coupon was already redeemed (one less word than the other error).

"Coupons have been locked due to the number of times you have tried to add incorrect codes. Please call 1-800-697-3277 and we'll help."
Invalid member coupons or website promo codes were entered multiple times in a row.
The following solution may unlock it (works also for a null error in the cart):[/INDENT]
  1. Log out of the website
  2. Add a product to your cart
  3. Apply a valid promo code
  4. Log into the website
Contact Info:
If the Sears or Kmart chat option is not visible, find the Have a Question? field:
- Sears Help [sears.com]
- Kmart Help [kmart.com]
Type in any gibberish, hit the Ask button, and I recommend choosing "I have NOT placed an order and need help." in the pop-up window.

SYW contact info [shopyourway.com] (no chat option available)


OFFER LINKS:

- Shop Your Way MAX 90-day trial. [shopyourway.com] (let it expire for a chance at free auto-renewal)

- Kmart Big Gas Savings [kmart.com] will get you a coupon for 30 20 cents off per gallon at participating gas stations, when you spend $50 or more for in-store purchase. Make sure the cashier's Catalina coupon printer is on and ready.

- Shop Your Way Card Link [shopyourway.com] sign-up will let you link a VISA or Mastercard to earn points from Rewards Partners.
Your list of linked cards. [shopyourway.com]

- *Discontinued* "Tool of the Month [craftsman.com]" (TotM) program from the Craftsman Club. Receive a free $10 in Surprise points on the first of each month towards a Sears tool purchase. Requires a single $199+ Craftsman tool(s) purchase from Sears' Tools or Lawn and Garden Departments. Here is the direct link for the TotM form [epsilon.com].

- Choose a Personal Shopper [shopyourway.com] to receive coupons or offers. Personal shoppers are members that help other members shop on SYW and earn a little commission from their client's purchases. They might not find better deals than SD, but it is good to have one for the free points put in your account from time to time.

- Rewards When You Review at Sears.com [sears.com] or Kmart.com [kmart.com] gives 1,000 pts for writing a customer review for a product purchased within 60 days. A higher amount of points for certain categories. People have reported different results, so YMMV. Though, I believe you need an email invitation that mentions the specific product.
For some reason, you may have to be logged out of the Sears or Kmart website to see the offer webpage.

- Hearst magazine subscriptions [shopyourway.com] for $5 and earn $4.99 back in points. For new subscribers, and cannot pay with points. May take up to a month after subscribing to get the points. As with most magazine subscriptions, beware of auto-renewal.


PURCHASE IDEAS:

- Products tagged as 'Great Price' never get discounted online and most coupons do not work on them, so it might be good to create your own sale price by using any free points.
- Clearance items can sometimes go OOS fast after being posted on SD. The websites can be inaccurate for tracking inventory at stores.

- For the Sears Deal Heist [sears.com] page, some or all of the first 5-6 offers are one-day offers. The offers are meant to be online-only, but some stores might price-match the website.

- The old Kmart Deal Heist page was replaced with Kmart Bluelight Specials [kmart.com]. They're typically set for every four hours, but the deal may end earlier if it gets sold out.

- Sears SYW Exclusives [sears.com] and Kmart SYW Exclusives [kmart.com] contain SYWR member-only offers.

- Some monthly bonus point offers are SYW MAX member exclusives [sears.com].

NOTE: The digital versions of the current weekly circular ad are now appearing the main sites: Sears [sears.com] and Kmart [kmart.com]

- Online Local Ads. Store location-specific discounts (cannot be price-matched to other locations) are available in-store, or for online ordering with in-store pickup.

NOTE: The old links for the online local ads no longer work for full-line stores. If you have an old bookmark for a specific store, edit the URL so that it is all in lower-case characters.
Old format: local.kmart.com/Bloomingdale-IL-60108#!/
to
New format: local.kmart.com/bloomingdale-il-60108#!/

Or edit the zip code in the following addresses with your local store's zip code:
  • local.sears.com/xx-xx-60108#!
  • local.kmart.com/xx-xx-60108#!
Also add "/minDisc/50/maxDisc/95" to departments and edit the minimum and maximum numbers for searching by percentage discounts in the local ad. You may have to use the Sort by option to make the search results appear.
  • local.sears.com/xx-xx-60108#!/offers/tools/department/1020000/minDisc/50/maxDisc/95
  • local.sears.com/xx-xx-60108#!/offers/clearance-overstock/group/1001/minDisc/50/maxDisc/95
  • local.kmart.com/xx-xx-60108#!/offers/tools/department/23417/minDisc/50/maxDisc/95
  • local.kmart.com/xx-xx-60108#!/offers/clearance-overstock/group/2001/minDisc/50/maxDisc/95

- These pages may offer some more ideas:
Sears Weekly Hot Deals [sears.com]
Kmart Weekly Hot Deals [kmart.com]


PROMO CODES:

Sears codes
Kmart codes

Notes:
- Typically, a 16-digit code will work only once. A few versions are meant for everyone, but one use per account.
- When a "Hot Buy" tag is slapped on an item, it negates most discount promo codes. Other tags include: Clearance, Online Only, Online Only Price, Great Price, Amazon Price Matched, etc
- Usually, a sale or coupon expires at Midnight CST.
- The promo code details in your shopping cart may reveal a much longer expiration date than the date in the email.
- Combine a discount code with at least one bonus point code to maximize your deal.
- Paying for your purchase completely with reward points can cancel out any bonus point coupons/offers. You will not earn any points.
- Sales tax and shipping costs do not count towards meeting a minimum requirement.
- A coupon for Sears.com might also work on Kmart.com, and vice versa.
- WARNING: Attempting to use unrecognized codes three times in a row will block all promo codes for your account.
If you purchase something through a post on our site, Slickdeals may get a small share of the sale.

Community Wiki

Last Edited by Ch3apSk8 September 20, 2015 at 11:39 PM
This post can be edited by most users to provide up-to-date information about developments.

Prolonged editing can cause mix-ups if two people unknowingly try to edit at the same time.
To alert others that you are in the middle of editing: 1) please red color the "EDITING IN PROGRESS" text, 2) Save, 3) make your changes to the wiki, 4) change back the text to black color before saving your edits:

EDITING IN PROGRESS
(change font to red during prolonged editing)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONTENTS:
  • Quicklist of Direct Links
  • Kmart Department Code Listing
  • Pre-ordering videogames
  • Sears/Kmart Store Closing Tips
  • Consumer Protection Info
********************************************************************************************************

Quicklist of Direct Links (list of links to avoid having to search the whole FAQ)

FitStudio Calendar [fitstudio.com] - Expiration dates for reward points.
SYW Coupon Center [shopyourway.com] - Main list of coupons.
Mobile KMart coupon site [cpn2c.co] - Coupons.
SYW Account History [shopyourway.com] - Check bottom of webpage for extra coupons.

********************************************************************************************************

Kmart Department Code Listing (thanks catnapped, Corpas, and others)

4 Toys
5 Hardware
6 Housewares
9 Seasonal
10 Tools
11 Housewares/Home Goods
12 Home Theater
15 Fragrances/Cosmetics (Body wash and soap)
16 Cosmetics
17 DVD
18 Home Electronics
20 Computers and monitors
21 Furniture
22 Kitchen appliances
24 Infant (baby apparel, cribs, strollers)
25 Stationary
26 Jewelry
27 Ladies
28 Patio
29 Chemical Pantry (laundry detergent)
30 Fashion Accessories
31 Third party gift cards
32 Celebration
33 Food
35 Footwear
36 Regional Merchandise
38 HBA (health/Beauty)
40 Licensed business (scrubology)
41 Mens Apparel
42 Shop Your Way Brand
43 Garden
45 Newspapers
52 Caesars
54 Charity
63 Gift card
69 RX
70 Domestics
80 Sports/Athletic
82 Auto
89 Sports/Outdoors

********************************************************************************************************

Pre-ordering videogames

DocDeals has shared some experience with pre-ordering videogames:
Quote from DocDeals View Post :
For those who have preorder issues (which we are probably getting ready to have more and more of given the holidays), here is an explanation as to what I'm pretty sure is happening when points are used on preorders. This can help you navigate the waters, but my advice would really be, just don't do it.

The main issue is the processing of any surprise, then the soonest expiring points first. Use of surprise points on a preorder pretty much guarantees cancellation, unless the preorder is placed very shortly before release date (so the surprise points don't expire). Unfortunately, for non-surprise points, the issue is quite a bit more complicated, though again, it could be mitigated by placing the preorder almost right before release (though for many games, that isn't possible).

Say you have $100 in points, $40 of which expire in December and the rest expire in March. You preorder a $40 game in October and the game releases in November (so no points expire for the purposes of this promo). When you made the preorder it earmarked your $40 in December points for the preorder. If you spend any amount of non-surprise points thereafter, it will deduct that number from your batch of earliest expiring points, in this case the December ones. When the preorder is ready to ship, it is looking for $40 in December points, which it can no longer find, and the order is cancelled for insufficient funds. The insufficient funds explanation has confused many, many people because they know they have tons of points in their accounts. But that's not the root issue.

So it's a lot worse than just an expiration/sufficient balance problem. Now I'm not 100% sure this is what is happening, but based on the behaviors we see (mass cancellations, point expiry behavior, and the rare, point-purchased preorder that does actually ship), I think this is pretty close to hitting the mark on what's happening.

Really, the two easiest ways to fix this would be a) prevent points on preorders, or b) remove points when the order is placed. As b) would raise a host of other questions (when should bonus points post? what happens if the item isn't in stock as thought? etc.), really the only viable option would seem to be a). SHC did actually try to implement this at one time, but it seems to be allowing it again, and I have a feeling even when it wasn't supposed to be happening, there was likely a workaround so simple that one could easily have done it by accident.
As more experience and data points come in, additional lessons have been learned. The following is recommended...
-Pay with a CC; not Paypal, not debit, not points, not a GC (if the latter two are even allowed). There have recently been issues with preorders not shipping at all, or in an extremely delayed (one month) fashion. When the charges post though has not always been consistent, and dealing with a refund for something that never shipped is easiest with a CC (just dispute it). Many have reported issues with Paypal especially (funds are deducted, but the order doesn't ship).
-There is a risk of stock out causing cancellation or delay of an order. If getting your game on release date is your primary objective, do NOT preorder from KMart. If getting your game for the cheapest price imaginable is your primary objective and you are willing to take the risk of dealing with the SYW circus should things go wrong, then do purchase from KMart.

********************************************************************************************************


Sears/Kmart Store Closing Tips


********************************************************************************************************

Consumer Protection Info

just a good site that offers help to consumers dealing with the drama that everyone is going through including points not showing up , getting jacked on returns , and any other issues , you may come across .

http://consumerist.com/about-us-2/

Founded in 2005, Consumerist is an independent source of consumer news and information published by Consumer Media LLC, a not-for-profit subsidiary of Consumer Reports.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHdpEaN64jk#t=59

Please do send us the following:

Questions you’d like us to answer
Stories you think we should cover
Helpful tips for consumers (e. g., Do you work retail and wish your customers knew xy & z?)
Pictures of interesting things you see while shopping or working. (If you’re on the go, download the Consumerist Tipster App and use it to quickly send us pictures. Your photo submissions are sent directly to the editors.)
Information you think we might be interested in seeing

https://play.google.com/store/app...ster&hl=en

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/c...45014?mt=8


NOTE:: During an in-store pickup of an order, the store employee may see an error message prohibiting the release of your order. Ask the store employee if they correctly entered the keys for performing the ID check, or kindly request that another employee performs the steps.

Quote from Kalanchoe :
Not that I expect most folks to really read and heed this post anyway, but I think it would be a lot easier to understand all the various things going on with everyone's accounts if we could refer to each particular case with more appropriate terminology.

I know of 3 different "punishments."

Suspension: Can't use points online or in-store, but a call to a SYWR supervisor can usually get the account unlocked pretty easily. You are suspended if your point balance still shows properly in your account and you can still gain points from various activities like local ad giveaways and FitStudio, but you cannot actually spend any points (your online cart will always show that you have 0 points you can redeem). Doing too many transactions within a short period in-store will cause a suspension to trigger; unclear what causes it to trigger online, but it could also have something to do with too many transactions.

Online ban: Any order online gets canceled immediately, but points are intact and can still be used in-store. Nothing in your account will indicate whether you have a ban unless you submit an order and see if it goes through. If you are banned, you will likely immediately receive an email letting you know that your order was canceled "because some of the information provided cannot be verified" or because "we are unable to authorize your purchase at this time." (I've seen folks mention both these messages before, but it's unclear to me what each means or what the difference is.) This ban is imposed by Sears corporate, so SYWR will not see anything wrong with your account. Some have been told that this is a result of abusing MAX shipping, although I have no idea what's actually considered such an abuse. Some have also wondered whether contacting CS might trigger this (since many have been hit with it shortly after contacting CS for missing shipments/points, price matches, etc.), but this is pure speculation.

Account closure: All points are lost, game over. You will see you have 0 points when you log in to sears.com/kmart.com, and your SYWR account won't even show a member number anymore (and does not show a point balance at all); you cannot gain points anymore either. SYWR will see that your account is closed, and they will tell you there is nothing they can do. I believe Sears corporate is again the entity asking for the accounts to be closed, but the SYWR department is generally not authorized to reopen accounts in this situation. The reason cited is always that you have abused the terms and conditions by having more than one account. If you have a legitimate excuse/reason, you can try pleading your case; there have been a few (very few) success stories, but be prepared for a long battle.
This post can be edited by most users to provide up-to-date information about developments of this thread based on user responses, and user findings. Feel free to add, change or remove information shown here as it becomes available. This includes new coupons, rebates, ideas, thread summary, and similar items.

Quote from dampier View Post :
My cousin got the order ban because he returned three things and had spent the points already on one of them and ordered them from an "unauthorized website link" (Slickdeals). This was before they started deducting points from refunds so his account went into a negative points balance -- a surefire way to attract attention from the banners.

Other common reasons for online order bans that I have seen based on earlier testimony:

- an approved price match later determined was actually ineligible
- multiple accounts utilizing free shipping (assumption you are enrolling in multiple trial offers)
- a manually applied points award later determined to be ineligible
- an audit resulting in excessive point clawbacks
- not accepting shipped merchandise
- using the same credit card or PayPal account on multiple accounts
- using too many points for a purchase and an order history showing a trend of you getting more in value from point rewards than you are actually spending out of pocket
- excessive returns
- exceeding quantity limits
- excessive contacts with customer service

I can't vouch for these particular reasons since I have not encountered them directly, but I've seen multiple reports indicating these are triggers.

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8-2-15 UPDATE: CONFIRMED IN STORE

If you get SP that say "Sears automotive 10,000 ($10.00) Get an instant $10 in Surprise Points (10,000) when you make a Sears Automotive purchase", it has to be rung up on the automotive section's register to work.

It will not work on the other registers in the store (or on SYW or SEARS online). -slowdive21

This post can be edited by most users to provide up-to-date information about developments of this thread based on user responses, and user findings. Feel free to add, change or remove information shown here as it becomes available. This includes new coupons, rebates, ideas, thread summary, and similar items.

Once a Thread Wiki is added to a thread, "Create Wiki" button will disappear. If you would like to learn more about Thread Wiki feature, click here.

21,828 Comments

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Joined Apr 2006
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#3
Quote from Ch3apSk8 View Post :
- Sears Holdings Corp businesses and their respective websites are known for having..... issues. Shocking
Ain't that the truth. laugh out loud

This is a great idea and you've done an excellent job explaining everything. A definite must-read for anyone with questions about the SYWR program. nod
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#4
Is there any way to sign up for the $7 Shop Your Way Card Link without a phone supporting text messages?

Maybe there's a web service that emulates a text-message cellphone?
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#5
Quote from Corwin76 View Post :
Ain't that the truth. laugh out loud

This is a great idea and you've done an excellent job explaining everything. A definite must-read for anyone with questions about the SYWR program. nod
Thanks! With so many people posting Sears/Kmart deals these days, I haven't been fast enough to contribute anything lately. So, I threw this thing together yesterday, and will continue to improve it if there's much interest.
Quote from kk_wild View Post :
Is there any way to sign up for the $7 Shop Your Way Card Link without a phone supporting text messages?

Maybe there's a web service that emulates a text-message cellphone?
Using something like Google Voice would be abusing the offer, but I'm sure no SDr would do something like that! Angel Not
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#6
First off, thanks to Ch3apSk8 for the comprehensive FAQ!

A purely hypothetical question: what happens if you return an item after you've spent the SYWR points you earned from the purchase? For example, those useless grills from last weekend netted me a pile of points. Those are now spent; what happens if I return a grill or two?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#7
Quote from fitzejunk View Post :
First off, thanks to Ch3apSk8 for the comprehensive FAQ!

A purely hypothetical question: what happens if you return an item after you've spent the SYWR points you earned from the purchase? For example, those useless grills from last weekend netted me a pile of points. Those are now spent; what happens if I return a grill or two?
Your points will go negative. Happened to me after last years Sears greatest Christmas giveaway. -94,480 pts laugh out loud
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#8
Quote from revgeneral View Post :
Your points will go negative. Happened to me after last years Sears greatest Christmas giveaway. -94,480 pts laugh out loud
How do they get the money back?
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#9
Quote from Newpurchaser View Post :
How do they get the money back?
They? As in Sears?
Answer: They don't. The member stops using that account, and probably creates a new one.
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#10
Quote from Ch3apSk8 View Post :
They? As in Sears?
Answer: They don't. The member stops using that account, and probably creates a new one.
?!? really? whoa...
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#11
Today (11/5/13) is SYW VIP Bonus Day [shopyourway.com]
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#12
Great post! Thank you OP!
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#13
Did anyone get any points today?
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#14
Quote from edcantu9 View Post :
Did anyone get any points today?
The point offers from last Thursday were extended by two days: 11/14 to 11/22.
Also, the Saturday SYWM points showed up early on 11/20 to 11/22.
All YMMV on whether you were picked for the offers.

In general, it appears they are shaking things up for the holiday shopping season. Definitely not a fan of the change to SYW MAX shipping for items priced under $10. Mad
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#15
Bump..
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