I’ve written a lot about Discover’s current overlapping promotions: an extra 10% cash back for Apple Pay purchases, plus double all cash back for a year. You can find full details here and here. What’s new is that Discover has started telling people that gift card purchases don’t count for the Apple Pay promotion.
When you use Apple Pay with Discover, it now shows a message on your phone that says (bolding is mine): “Get 10% Cashback Bonus on up to $10K of in-store purchases using your card in Apple Pay till 12/31/15. Excludes gift cards.”
And the small text that says “Tap For Details”? When I click it, all it does is open the Discover app that’s loaded on my phone. I don’t see any relevant details there.
Will they enforce the gift card exclusion?
Now that its clear that Discover doesn’t want to pay people 10% back for buying gift cards, the question on everyone’s minds is whether or not Discover will actually enforce this exclusion. Does Discover have a way of knowing what you bought? What if you buy both a gift card and other things? Do the answers to these questions vary by store?
My bet is that this exclusion won’t be enforced. That said, I have no way of knowing that for sure… yet. There is unquestionably a real risk: you might not get a 10% bonus when buying gift cards.
Waiting is the hardest part…
My statement doesn’t close until early October, so I won’t personally be able to check what works and what doesn’t for a while. I’m sure, though, that we’ll hear reports from readers soon as their Discover statements close and they find out whether or not they’ve earned the 10% bonus.
Until we learn more, don’t forget that this is a great deal even without gift cards. You can still get over 20% back on regular purchases if you participate in both big promotions: Apple Pay 10% and Double Cashback for a year.