Kmart Will Trade You A Bottle Of Coke Or Free Candy For A Sears Credit Card App

Dan sent us this pic he snapped in a local Kmart and writes, “I remember a previous post on a Wal-Mart card that offered a 2-liter bottle, but I guess inflation caught up with big K as they are only offering 20-oz.”

Starbucks grotesquely mishandled their free coffee stunt—they could have been collecting credit card apps all day long.


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  1. octoSink says:

    Doh! I have nothing witty to say. I was hoping to be first.

    How about “Hey guys, how about a low interest rate?”

    I need a cup of tea.

  2. RBecho says:

    At least it’s name brand soda / candy and not just store brand.

    That’s about the only positive with this.

  3. laserjobs says:

    Now just think how much of a hit this would be if they could only issue credit cards to kids.

  4. zentec says:

    I think they misunderstood someone telling them they “needed to sweeten the pot for credit card applicants”.

  5. eirrom says:

    Wow, a bottle of Pepsi & a bag of M&M’s. They really went all out. Plus you get the envy of all your friends by having a SEARS credit card. Nothing like carrying around that kind of respect in your wallet.

  6. Maurs says:

    Do they check to see if your app is correctly filled out? I mean, could you apply as Mr. I. C. Weiner and grab some M&Ms?

  7. DeafLEGO says:

    Candy? Are they trying to get 5yr olds to sign up?

  8. ophmarketing says:

    “Candy? Are they trying to get 5yr olds to sign up?”

    No. Just people with the intelligence and financial acumen of 5-year-olds.

  9. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    I’m curious how someone can apply for a Sears Card in a KMart. The sign says “Sears.”

  10. akalish says:

    That looks like Pepsi…

  11. zentex says:

    I will never understand this kind of 5th-grade marketing…

  12. Parting says:

    Well, I guess they don’t know how to boost their credit card applications =) But candy??? At least offer 10$ gift certificate or 10% off on all purchases for the day (the last thing is done by all canadian HBC/Zellers/DecoDecouverte stores – it could be worth it, when buying furniture or appliences)

  13. levenhopper says:

    @ConsumptionJunkie: Sears now ownes Kmart.

  14. Parting says:

    @ConsumptionJunkie: Kmart belongs to Sears, if I’m not mistaken.

  15. ChuckECheese says:

    Frequently the 20 oz bottles cost more than a 2 liter.

    @ConsumptionJunkie: You can apply for a Sears card in a KMart because Sears owns KMart.

    Oooh–I see Snickers Dark in that pic!

  16. Parting says:

    @octoSink: Or coffee… (Local Sears already offers free cofee once a month, on Saturdays, to early shoppers – no credit application asked).

  17. SpdRacer says:

    @ConsumptionJunkie: Owned by same holding company.

  18. billbillbillbill says:

    I’ve seen this all over. Even in the almighty Costco, I saw a promotion to get a free flat of Costco muffins for signing up for the Amex card they seem so keen on signing you up for (I already had the card so no muffins for me)

  19. Anonymous says:

    The funny thing is, that Kmart/Sears probably isn’t even footing the bill for the goodies. Pepsi / M&M are probably paying for the product and get some kind of secondary benefit from Kmart.

  20. rmz says:

    Only a 20oz bottle? Not even a 2-liter?

    The economy IS in bad shape.

  21. Underpants Gnome says:

    @billbillbillbill: To be fair, costco muffins do rule. I’ve been thinking of signing up for one of their AMEX cards, and if they offered me a pile of those I probably would :-)

  22. takotchi says:

    I got $100 off my first purchase when I got my Sony card. I’ll admit, that’s what got me to sign up. You have to do better than a few dollars worth of junk food to get me to apply for a new card.

  23. levenhopper says:

    @billbillbillbill: Whenever I go to a MLB or NFL game, and they have those kiosks in the stadium to sign up for a team-branded card, I walk up to them, and say I already have that card.

    If I show them the card, along with reciepts that prove I’ve used the card earlier in the day, I usually get the give away anyways, as a thank you for being a “good customer”.

  24. forgottenpassword says:

    Long ago (probably 20 years ago) I remember sears offering a 5 dollar credit for applying for a sears card. I was young & trying to get my foot in the door & establish a good credit history. I didnt even know about the credit until they told me. I bought batteries.

    Goes to show you how bad sears has gotten if they are only offering something worth maybe 2-3 bucks tops right now.

    Kinda pathetic. I assume they are targeting the poor,fat, diabetic unsavvy consumer crowd with this type of incentive.

    Sad actually.

  25. mmbb says:

    I just canceled my Sears card because they converted it to a MasterCard. The CSR that I talked to would not let me downgrade my account back to the Sears-only card.

    Maybe they’ll convert my Subway Club card to an AMEX next.

  26. Landru says:


    I think it’s the other way around; Kmart owns Sears.

  27. bohemian says:

    I was in a Kmart last fall and they were running this promotion using a 2 liter of Pepsi. I thought it was pathetic then as I watched someone apply for a card at the customer service desk. Yes, they make the person stand there while they input the app BEFORE they will give them the 2 liter of pop.

    The 16oz soda for a credit card is rather amusing though.

  28. Geekybiker says:

    Cemore Butts needs a credit card too!

  29. jmschn says:

    LoL desperation…

  30. ecwis says:

    @Landru: Not really. They called it a merger but Kmart’s main headquarters in Troy, Michigan were shutdown and Kmart is now owned by Sears Holdings Corporation. So I think it’s safe to say that Sears owns Kmart.

  31. humphrmi says:

    @ecwis: Actually, Kmart did buy Sears. They changed their name after the sale to “Sears Holdings”. The gave up their Troy HQ and moved into Sears’ HQ in Barrington, IL. Eddie Lambert, who was the chairman of Kmart pre-merger became the chairman of Sears Holdings and Sears’ former chairman became vice-chairman.


  32. waffle iron says:

    @ecwis: It’s more complex than that.

    Chairman of the Board Eddie Lampert bought the Kmart Holding Corporation. Then he directed the KHC to buy Sears Roebuck & Co. After the acquisition was finalized, KHC was renamed to Sears Holding Corporation and most of Kmart’s corporate structure was closed in favor of Sears.

    When applying for a Sears Card/Sears MasterCard at a Sears store, the introductory offers are 6 months no interest on purchases made that day or a $10 to $15 credit on your first statement.

  33. prameta1 says:

    that’s absolutely unconscionable. it’s the kind of marketing that preys on especially financially naive individuals. i mean, who else in their right mind would sign up for all the high-interest and incessant spam that likely comes with a store brand credit card.

    not only that, but there’s probably a very slyly hidden annual fee somewhere in that contract. that’s probably a $100 bag of $2 M&Ms they’re trying to get you to buy.

  34. etoilegyrl says:

    When I worked at Kmart a couple of years ago, they were giving away jewelry and board games to get people to apply…

  35. Mike8813 says:

    Good thing it’s either/or.

    Mountain Dew and chocolate do not a tasty mix make.

    Oh, and don’t touch a store card with a 10-foot pole. Credit score poison.

  36. SkyeBlue says:

    Candy? Sodas? Jeez, at least with some of the Hotel reward cards they offer you enough points for a free night or two at one of their hotels when you sign up with them.

  37. President Beeblebrox says:

    There was a time, not long ago, when a Sears Card was a Good Thing, because Sears was a solid department store that sold awesome tools and appliances and decent (if kind of pedestrian) clothing.

    That time has, sadly, come and gone.

    Sears/K-mart was a horrible, atrocious idea. Good thing the executives who came up with the idea got penalized… wait, what’s that? Multi-million golden parachutes in exchange for resigning? Oh, never mind.

  38. No Peanut M&Ms…no deal.

    Oh…AND it’s a dumb idea from the start.

  39. No Peanut M&Ms…no deal. Mt. Dew not cold?

    I’m paying with cash today, a-hole. :-)

  40. evarga says:

    I always laugh at some of these credit card freebies. You can currently get 25,000 frequent flier miles with American and United branded cards right now. That’s worth up to $400….and the “cost” is the same, if not less, than a crappy store credit card.

  41. humphrmi says:

    @evarga: I held out and got 40,000 with the AA branded card. One free coach flight anywhere in the US, or with 5,000 more miles (which I get every month, and pay it off) I get a free round-trip first class ticket.

    And when I take my free first-class flight, I even get a free pop, and maybe some snacks, on the free flight.

  42. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    I don’t know about where everyone else is at, but here in the Greater Cleveland area, the K-Marts (Well, “Super” K-Marts), and Sears stores in the Area (Lorain, Cuyahoga and Lake Counties in Ohio) look like they are in Day 18 of a going out of business sale.

    Granted, it’s business as usual. Here, they have the same square footage of a “Big Box store”, yet have offerings that are on par with a really trashy Big Lots store. (No offense to Big and Odd Lots… I wouldn’t put the two in the same catagory.)

  43. mariospants says:

    It’s always a sad day when a retailer brings out the knock-down tables and the yellow laser printer paper. Sadder to think they’re probably making more money selling credit than they are retailing those beach towels. Or whatever it is that Kmart sells these days.

  44. Kavatar says:

    Who needs 10% off your next purchase, when you can have FREE JUNK FOOD!?

  45. catnapped says:

    2 liter bottles are only around .20 more than the 20 oz so it makes you wonder how bad it is if they can’t swallow the extra two dimes for the promotion.

  46. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    I don’t think it matters whether Sears owns Kmart or Kmart owns Sears. The current owner has run them so far into the ground that both will be out of business in 5 years. Gone. I want you all to bookmark this page, set your alarm clocks for 5 years from now, and then check this page in 5 years. You’ll see I’m right.

  47. richcreamerybutter says:

    @ChuckECheese: Oooh–I see Snickers Dark in that pic!

    I did think that was a rather cosmopolitan option.

  48. frogman31680 says:

    The Kmart that I work at gives you a FREE Little Ceasers pizza to you even if you don’t get approved.

    Great help with the heart attack that you get when you finally see the interest rate.

  49. Xjep says:

    Kmart brought Sears then changed its named to Sears Holding Corp.

  50. Manok says:

    I shop at KMART and SEARS 0% of the time. What a great deal!

  51. StevieD says:


    What a cheapie offer.

    The first time I saw one of those offers it was 10% off your purchase in a department store. I was 22ish and buying a living room and bedroom suite. Darn right I filled out the application for a nice little $300 savings.

    Last one of those promo offers I saw was get $10 off your purchase. $10 was not enough for me to waste my time completing an application for a card that I didnot want.

    Now we are down to a free bottle of pop.

    Why bother?

  52. PSTOKELY says:

    This kind of marketing works on (or near) college campuses with Freshmen mostly

  53. fuzzymuffins says:

    i think i’ll wait until they start offering a “free boot to the head” …… it’s not far off.

  54. mammalpants says:

    it makes me want to sign up because it looks so professional!

  55. zibby says:

    I hope that soda is cold so that applicants can chug it with gusto to celebrate their potential credit line at Sears. But it probably isn’t.

  56. azzy says:

    I love this site – nowhere else on the internet would this be posted, but as soon as I got in the store and saw this table I thought ‘Hey, Consumerist!’

    That said, the K-Mart where I found this was remodeled and is pretty decent. The people shopping there… not quite so much.

  57. karmaghost says:

    You know I bet it works to.

  58. eirrom says:

    I just realized you get your choice of the soda or candy, not both! Wow, that is even more pathetic.

  59. EndlessMike says:

    Sweet, looks like I.P. Freely, SS# 999-99-9999, at 123 Fake St. is getting a new credit card!

  60. doglover1 says:

    What an embarrassing tactic to get new customers. Sad sad sad

  61. u1itn0w2day says:

    Let’s see,free bottle of soda for my social security number,drivers license number,home address,date of birth and more points on my credit score.Hmmm….What do they do-turn up the heat so you’re thirsty or what?

  62. Keat says:

    At least they aren’t giving out crappy t-shirts like they do on college campuses.

  63. hevensxj says:

    it should be a 2 litter not a 20 ounce i work at a kmart