Chase Offers enforces gift card terms (sometimes)

A few weeks ago I wrote about my plans for “Rocking Chase Offers: Staples, Lowe’s, Whole Foods.” The basic gist is this: Chase now has offers that are similar to Amex Offers, but currently only for Marriott and Slate cards.  My wife and I have four Marriott cards, combined, and so we registered all four with Chase Offers and activated offers for Whole Foods, Lowe’s, and Staples.  Then we proceeded to buy gift cards at each merchant.

The purchases at Whole Foods went well.  We received $10 back for each $25 Amazon gift card we bought in-store.

Lowe’s and Staples were another story…

The Lowe’s and Staples’ offers both had terms that excluded gift card purchases: “Not valid on gift card purchases.”  I didn’t expect it, but it seems that those terms are enforced… Sometimes.

Out of the four cards I used at Lowe’s to buy gift cards, I received a statement credit for just one of them.  With Staples I was more cautious.  I bought only one gift card online from Staples and did not receive credit.  I polled people in the Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook Group and found similar patterns: Whole Foods purchases always worked whereas Staples and Lowe’s were hit or miss.

Lesson Learned

This is simply a caution: If the Chase Offer terms state “Not valid on gift card purchases” then don’t expect the offer to work with gift card purchases.  I know, it sounds obvious, but many things in this hobby do not work that way.  That’s why, for example, we have the Frequent Miler Laboratory for testing what works with shopping portals.  The stated terms are often wrong.  In the case of Chase Offers, they’re only sometimes wrong.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. If you’re buying online, it is because the gift cards are no longer sold directly by the vendor. If you look at the URL, you will see you’re going to a third party.

  2. I think something different is going on here. These offers are organized by TrialPay, yes?

    For years TrialPay has run a promotion with Peet’s Coffee. Spend $2, get a rebate. Gift cards excluded. On Friday afternoons, Peet’s would run a promotion at my campus for $2 drinks. TrialPay would NEVER work in conjunction with this promo. When I called them out on it, they said their system was designed to reject it because it looked *exactly like* a gift card purchase.

    What would happen if you bought a variable load $51.12 gift card at Staples or Lowe’s?

    Give it a shot. Report back. Do the work.

  3. Had similar happen with Chase Pay when doing GC purchases 10X at WalMart.com and BestBuy In-store. Received the 10X on BestBuy, but didn’t receive it on the Walmart.com purchases. BustBuy purchase was two weeks prior as well. Anyone else have this issue?

  4. If the decline was not due to level 3 data, i suppose we could always argue with them to get the credit when there is no proof what was bought?

    • Yes. Works on business. However, you have to set up seaprate acounts for each Marriot card. Will only get I promo per account. I set up 2 accounts, one for each of my corporate cards (had one authorized user and one card for me). Promos worked on both cards.

  5. I got 6X (1X pus addtional 5X promo) on walmart gift cards (had already got the 5X on 1500) buying Visa GC online using Chase Pay. Also got 10X buying gift cards (not Visa GC, they don’t sell in my area) in store at Best Buy using Chase Pay. Got 10 back on 50 at Lowes buying Amazon GC in store at Lowes for 2 Marriot cards.

  6. Gift card purchases at Lowe’s and Whole Foods worked for me.

    However, I’ve yet to see my 20% back from my purchase of actual merchandise at nordstrom.com.

    Go figure.

  7. I recently received 4x UR points on a $100 Starbucks gift card purchased at Staples through the Chase INK UR portal while also receiving 5x UR points for the same purchase for using my Chase INK Cash card. But when the UR shop raised the Staples bonus to 8x points I tried several times since to buy GC and so far have not been credited by Chase for shopping through the portal. (Although I have still received the 5X points for using my INK card, which still makes it a worthwhile purchase.) I wonder if it had to do by with my increasing the size of the GC from $100 to $200. I also wonder if an actual human is examining these purchases or if the points are distributed electronically. I just made a purchase through the Chase Staples link for a $200 GC and an Amazon tablet. I am wondering if the entire purchase will earn me the 8x points or only the tablet.

    • Gift card purchases at Staples aren’t supposed to result in portal rewards but certain gift cards do anyway. Did you buy the same kind of gift card each time? If not, which ones did you buy? And were they by-mail or email? That makes a difference too.

  8. Greg, I’ve tried both email cards and cards mailed by US post. In addition to that first Starbucks card, which was mailed via US post, I’ve since ordered Bed Bath Beyond, CVC, Forever 21 and Sephora cards. I’ve also varied the amount on the card. It could be that Chase is waiting for my statement to post before crediting the miles.

  9. Greg, I will be happy to do so. I’ll wait until my statement hits so I can know for certain. If the GC points do not post I may play dumb and call Chase just to see what’s up.
    I am going to make one more purchase in the Chase Staples store (8x points) through the Chase Ink portal and pay with my INK Cash. (5x points) This will NOT be a GC. If all is working as planned this non controversial purchase should receive a total of 13x points.

  10. Worked at Whole Foods with Marriott Personal, but not with purchases as Lowes and Staples for gift cards. I think it may be system issues still because I went back to Lowes to get out Christmas tree and few other other items and still did not get a notification on that purchase. I am following up with customer service, but Chase seems much more spotty than Amex. Hope they figure it out.

  11. I will be happy to do so. I’ll wait until my statement hits so I can know for certain. If the GC points do not post I may play dumb and call Chase just to see what’s up.
    I am going to make one more purchase in the Chase Staples store (8x points) through the Chase Ink portal and pay with my INK Cash. (5x points) This will NOT be a GC. If all is working as planned this non controversial purchase should receive a total of 13x points.

  12. Hi Greg, One thing I wanted to mention for your readers. I have never NOT received the 5x points for gift cards when using the Chase Ink Cash. This is in and of itself a great deal. Especially when I can buy $500 Airbnb cards which I can then double dip on to earn Skymiles through the Delta/Airbnb portal. So the only question is whether one will earn the additional points by purchasing through a shopping portal.

    By the way, one thing I recently discovered is that not all UR shopping portals are the same. For example, the Saphire UR portal now only offers 2x points on Staples purchase, while the INK UR portal offers 4x.

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