How to Get Free Stuff by Shopping at Sears

This article is a sponsored placement developed by dealnews in partnership with Sears.

While we here at dealnews actually get paid to shop, it's unfortunately not the norm for our deal-savvy readers (to everyone's dismay, we suspect). Luckily a new rewards program from Sears offers shoppers the next best thing: free stuff!

People who sign up for the Shop Your Way rewards program earn points on purchases, which can be used to buy additional goods down the line; it's like getting a treat for good retail behavior! As a member, you'll earn 10 points for every $1 that you spend at Sears. As you rack up these points, you'll have the option to start cashing them in: 1,000 points will net $1, or the equivalent of getting 1% back on purchases.

Some people may liken the rewards to cash back programs offered through a credit card, but Shop Your Way is in no way a charge card. It's a rewards account that tracks your purchases, and a completely free one at that. (They don't even require financial information to sign up!) Shop Your Way points can be redeemed at any time, and they can be used to pay for some or all of a purchase. For example, if you're buying a large item like a grill, you could apply your accrued points to help pay for any additional accessories you might need. Keep in mind, however, that marketplace items aren't eligible for Shop Your Way promotions, and points expire after a year.

Ways to Earn Shop Your Way Points

For shoppers who love things to be "xtreme," there are several opportunities throughout the year to earn Shop Your Way points at a much faster rate than 10 points per dollar spent — and we're quickly approaching one such event. The Sears Friends & Family Sale this coming weekend will give members the opportunity to accrue a greater number of points per purchase. And for those times in between such special events, there are products scattered across the site that receive additional bonus points at checkout.

Moreover, Sears isn't the only store that qualifies for points; Kmart, MyGofer, and Lands' End are all included in the program, and Shop Your Way is in the process of enlisting local boutiques and restaurants as well. In order to earn points at these local joints, you'll need to link a Visa credit card to your account — which bags an additional 7,000 points in the process.

Perks That Go Beyond Points

Regardless of the growing number of eligible merchants, some shoppers may feel like they're unable to accrue enough points to make signing up for Shop Your Way worth it. And while it's true that the points system is best for dedicated Sears fans, less frequent shoppers can still benefit from additional program perks, such as: early access to sales and product launches; members-only coupon codes; and free gifts that don't require the use of points. And since the program also tracks your orders, if you lose a receipt for a return, or if you want to reorder a specific item but can't remember what it was called, it's no big deal as all your shopping history and purchase information is stored in your account.

On the other side of the spectrum, Sears "power shoppers" can look to enhance their Shop Your Way membership with an "all you can eat" shipping subscription, akin to an Amazon Prime account. Shop Your Way Max costs $79 a year, although it's free for the first 90 days and the trial doesn't require a credit card. The subscription yields free shipping on thousands of items, discounted delivery upgrades, and the opportunity to earn twice as many rewards points for an order. (Once again, marketplace goods are ineligible for these benefits.) Shipping at Sears normally checks in at around $6 to $8 for smaller items, but could cost as much as $70 for heavier products, making a Shop Your Way Max subscription a cost-effective alternative, depending on what you typically buy from the department store.

The benefits you receive from the Shop Your Way rewards program of course depend on your personal shopping habits. That said, it's free to sign up, and the base membership doesn't require any financial information. Moreover, additional perks may help you save money outside of the points system. So when it comes down to it, there's little to lose when giving Shop Your Way a try — and potentially a lot to gain.

This article is a sponsored placement developed by dealnews in partnership with Sears. As its information has been provided by Sears, the views and perspectives expressed herein may not necessarily reflect the views of dealnews or of a disinterested third party.

Photo credits top to bottom: Clip and Follow and Protect My ID

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