Discover’s Deal of the Year: Excludes gift cards

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.”

Excludes gift cards Discover Deal of the Year

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.

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.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

Leave a Reply

204 Comments on "Discover’s Deal of the Year: Excludes gift cards"

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of
trackback

[…] UPDATE 9/18/2015: Discover’s Apple Pay promotion now explicitly excludes gift cards. Please see details here. […]

trackback

[…] UPDATE 9/18/2015: Discover’s Apple Pay promotion now explicitly excludes gift cards. Please see details here. […]

Spencer
Guest

I already planned to get a new MacBook. Maybe now I’ll just ask everyone I know if they are planning on getting any Apple products and let them buy from me instead.

Steve
Guest

Can you buy Apple products with Apple Pay and thus get 20% off a computer?

Jay
Guest

Sure, the Apple Store takes Apple Pay.

Eric
Guest

Remember though, this is only 20% on the first $1,500 in specific categories each quarter. After that, it drops to (only 😉 ) 12-13% depending on if you have IT or IT miles (if I’m correct).

ShlockDoc
Guest

Ya gotta have faith!

Samir
Guest

Greg, Why to pay $5.95 in fees when walgreens have abundant onevanilla cards with $4.95 fee?

Nun
Guest

Another question is … is it worth applying for Discover IT for this promotion? (Relative to other signup bonuses)

Glenn
Guest

Well, you can get $50 (doubled to $100 in a year) for yourself if you apply. Not that that’s a lot, but hey, money…

And then of course the question is how much additional money you might earn on top of that. Will you max out the Apple Pay deal, earning yourself 11% to become 22% at year end on $10,000? If you did that’s $2,200 in your pocket. Is that better than 30K SPG points? Well, 30K points at maybe 2 cents each is about $600. Assuming cash is equivalent to potential travel value (WHICH IT ISN’T, CASH IS WORTH MORE). Then yes, yes its worth applying for this.

But we all have limited time. You may not live in an area where Apple Pay enabled stores sell VGCs or whatever. Your call.

Nun
Guest

I think you misunderstood. Yes, if you can buy gift cards and get the cashback then fine. Of course it’s worth it.

If gift cards really are excluded, or there’s a risk that Discover will clawback the money in a year, then is it still worth it? It’s a personal decision based on real spending, and there’s no way I’m spending $10k on ApplePay merchants without gift cards.

lopere
Guest

That’s very kind of you Spencer to pass along the 20% savings.

Spencer
Guest

I’d pass on (some) savings. More like 5% though. 🙂

Mike
Guest

Just as a data point, this time last year when Discover ran the targeted ‘pick your store’ bonus promotion (which included Walgreens as an option) they paid out the bonus 5% on gift cards.

Brad Meyer
Guest

Agreed, but the question here is if merchants transmit a log of WHAT you actually buy. I don’t think that was an issue with the regular cards. And that’s what has us on edge.

Mike
Guest

So you’re saying that you’re concerned they’re getting L3 data when you use Apple Pay but not when you swipe the card? If anything it’s going to be the opposite of that.

Max
Guest

I suspect that Apple is so desperate to get into payment processing specifically for the data mining benefits. So I expect that Apple (and Google) will be getting more data from your shopping, not less.

Glenn
Guest

That’s not how Apple Pay works. It just generates a token which is still used and processed through the old payment network. There is no more data flowing over the connection than before. So if say Walgreens is a Level II stores in the VISA network, then its probably still Level II using Apple Pay and Discover as well.

Joe
Guest

According to Visa, there are two types of Level 3 data: Summary Data and Line Item Detail. Only the latter provides individual item details.

Amit
Guest

Buy other stuff along with gift cards and there is now way they can distinguish charges.

Kent C
Guest

Not necessarily true. Issuers have the ability (if they want) to see Level 3 processing which provides individual item description, individual item amounts, etc.

Craig
Guest

This is only true if their POS system is set up for Level lll

Kent C
Guest

Correct. Just mentioned it because Amit appeared to be under the impression that it was impossible to see to that level.

Joe
Guest

According to Visa, there are two types of Level 3 data: Summary Data and Line Item Detail. Only the latter provides individual item details.

Mo Miles
Guest

“Surprise” – the people who work at Discover are not ignorant and were well prepared for us. I bet they read this blog and others like it to learn our methods …

BTW, the same appears to be true for American Express, who recently stopped reimbursing some fake airline incidental fee expenses. Guess where they learned how we were gaming their system 🙂

Mike
Guest

Actually it looks like they’re starting to post again from reports in the Amex forum on FlyerTalk. Amex would be fools to kill it since the Prestige credit gives an extra $50 and credits airfare purchases directly.

RK
Guest

How do you unload Vanilla visa cards. I thought Walmart doesn’t allow to load them.

Max
Guest

Target / Redbird

Brad Meyer
Guest

I’ve had success in the past loading them $49 at a time. 🙁

Carl
Guest

Not at all surprised by this since every blog I read has been trumpeting this big promotion. *Somebody* has to pay the money that Discover comps out so I am sure this was brought to their attention very fast. This is the problem with telling folks about great deals and hacks. They get blown all out of proportion and trumpeted everywhere and then they die super fast. Same as with Error airfares, etc.

As far as being able to tell what you bought, I am very certain they can do this with most retailers, especially through the Apple Pay thing. I know for a fact that Amex can see a lot more of what you do than one might think.

CopperHog
Guest

To add a related-but-not-totally data point … I haven’t received portal cashback for gift card purchases through Discover Deals in the past couple of weeks.

When I got my new Discover It card a couple months ago, I had 100% success buying gc’s through Disco’s portal and receiving portal cashback (regardless of T&Cs saying gc’s weren’t valid). Since Sep 8, I’ve bought gc’s from UnderArmour and GNC, and have not received the trusty email confirmations.

That’s a small sample, but leads me to the theory that maybe Disco has beefed up their processing. If they can deny me cashback through portal purchases, maybe they can do the same to the Apple Pay purchases.

AEG
Guest

On the other hand, I’ve had no issues with CB on these kinds of purchases…. YMMV.

Carl
Guest

(Forgot to click notify)

m
Guest

this is specifically coming from the SlickDeals effect. Many MS noobs over there have called Discover asking if GC purchases will count! So Discover now feels compelled to add this disclaimer. And probably realizing what a cost it could be for them. Nonetheless, with a big enough effect from sites like that, it could end up like Chase AARP (for the same reasons), so I do think there is concern here. I think they could change things mid-stream.

m
Guest

PS- SDers are actually learning to MS via this promo. Lucky us. Thousands of calls to Discover. Think of it.

SDO
Guest

Yikes!

kishore
Guest

subcribe

kishore
Guest

subcribe..

Eric Vaandering
Guest

+1

Kate
Guest

Sub

Mini Ms
Guest

Simple question: if it was so easy to identify the gift card purchases, why aren’t the other banks/credit card companies doing this already? After all, why would they give out points/miles if they could precisely tell which transactions were used to purchase gift cards?

This gives me some hope.

Jason
Guest

Hi Everyone! I am going to be doing some Ms for the first time. I see that the picture shows the purchase from Walgreens. Walgreens sells the vanilla gift cards do we look for just the ones that are issued by meta bank? And then from there I should be able to go to Walmart and use Kate and get money orders for them correct? What has everybody had the best experience with doing?

Carl
Guest

@Jason I like your enthusiasm but you might want to do a lot more reading first. Start slow and build up. It’s easy to rush in and spend yourself into a corner and make mistakes. I have paid for mine, sure, but reading a LOT before I started and keeping up on it has saved me a lot of times as well.

Jason
Guest

Thanks for responding so quickly! I have done a lot of reading these past few weeks but everything seems to contradict each other. I didn’t opt to do the serve or Redbirds account because I’d rather not register for those kind of accounts. For me going to Walmart and doing money orders is the more logical solution. But what I’ve read is that only vanilla gift cards by a certain seller don’t work like cvs. Being that the original author posted a picture of Walgreens I assume they are buying the cards issued by meta bank. These cards would therefore work at Walmart for the money center or money order services correct? It’s just a little weird cause some blogs say yes and others say no!

AEG
Guest

Don’t use any VGCs if you’re going to WM.

NoonRadar
Guest

Jason, I don’t know what your reasoning is for not signing up for a prepaid Amex acct (Redbird/Serve/Bluebird), just make sure you’ve looked up on them enough to know about them. A prepaid Amex card is the main–and easiest/cheapest–MS venue for most people nowadays.

Jason
Guest

Now a lot I’ve read says only the vanillas cards not issued by meta bank work. Is that not correct anymore?

Brad Meyer
Guest
Mimi
Guest

That’s correct, only Vanilla Visa GCs are a pain to transfer to prepaids at WM. This is also true for buying MOs but you can still load them in increments of $49.99 or less per transaction. That is, IF you have the time and patience.

other Visa GCs issued by metabank and sunrise can be loaded up to $500 per transaction w/o problems.

Thedude
Guest

I wish I could discover the home addresses of every person who tweeted to DIscover “will the 10% back promo count towards giftcards?” If I had their addresses I would call Amex and tell them to FR that fool. If I was more aggressive I would punch them in the face, cut up all there cards, and then smash their iphone.

Brad Meyer
Guest

I’m with you on that thought!!!

Robin
Guest

Ugggg. I’ve been reading blogs for almost a year. I can’t believe the comments from some folks.

Mster
Guest

+1 Robin. Can violent comments pls be moderated?

Broc Hite
Guest

I agree that it would be tough to decipher gift card transactions from others, but those that have the $4.95 or $5.95 added to $500 are probably suspect!

meathead
Guest

buy a pack of gum with your gc????

$507.42

lol

meathead
Guest

the other question remains- they may enforce $ equiv gcs but still allow 3rd party merchant gc’s.
Redbird USED to give 5% off Disney Gift cards, recently I haven’t had it work. But the Target registers were coding the Disney cards as non GC transaction so it qualified for the 5%.

I wonder if the same logic will apply here. you can’t buy a $gc, but you can go to Best Buy and stock up on netflix gc’s. Sure, it isn’t as a great a deal, but 20% off your southwest flight, netflix consumption and Red Lobster dining is still a good deal. Especially since my grocer takes appPay. I may prepay my groceries for a year….

Brad Meyer
Guest

Yes, I was wondering about that part too. Would they allow us to buy 3rd party merchant cards instead?

Carl
Guest

I wish I could do that. My grocer takes apple pay! They WERE selling all kinds of GCs. They are in Bankruptcy and now sell NO GCs, not even for their own store! No other grocers in town take Apple Pay. Sad face!

JP
Guest

The Red CARD (either debit or credit) will still get you a 5% discount on the Dis gift cards (no experience with Redbird). Try online if in store doesn’t work.

meathead
Guest

Thanks for the info JP. My point was Redbird USED to give 5% off Dis but no longer does. I’m not sure if it is POS terminal related or AMEX related as far as why it used to qualify and now doesn’t. Interesting that the Redcard still works……I may need to try the redbird again, but I’ll be in Disney soon with my Apple Pay getting 20% so I may need to wait until my NEXT vacation to Disney…..5% doesn’t cut it anymore.

NoonRadar
Guest

It was probably a loophole which they closed, rather than by design.

Redbird also would give you 5% off the entire Target purchase even if you only paid a small percentage of the purchase with Redbird; that loophole is also closed.

trackback

[…] Frequent Miler reports Apple Pay has added “excludes gift cards” to this promotion.  But I […]

trackback

[…] Frequent Miler reports Apple Pay has added “excludes gift cards” to this promotion.  But I […]

Andyandy (ThePointsNinja)
Guest

Okay, I take it back. The Discover FAQ says this:
“Earn an extra 10% Cashback Bonus on up to $10,000 of in-store purchases when you use your Discover card with Apple Pay now through 12/31/15. Excludes gift card purchases. No sign up needed.”
So, Discover would like to limit the bleeding by excluding CB for gift card purchases. The question becomes can they? As others have pointed out, it would depend on the highest level of purchase data.

Brad Meyer
Guest

That won’t be known until our statement closes.

Bryan
Guest

I made two Walgreens purchases on 9/16 with Apple Pay — one for 504.95 and one for 505.95. My statement closed 9/18. I can confirm that I did NOT receive bonus 10% cash back. Both purchases fell under the “Everything Else” category.

Brad Meyer
Guest

Oh snap! Now the question is will they post as cutback on the NEXT statement, since it claims it can take up to 2 billing cycles?

Eric
Guest

We’ll know once someone has a statement to post that has “regular” items separate from gift cards. If nothing earns 10% on that statement there’s still a chance.

JayP
Guest

Per FlyerTalk:

Today 5:32 pm by vah4883

for Discover any cashback bonuses(5% or 10%) for purchases between due date and closing date which is 5 days, will be posted on next statement.

Brad Meyer
Guest

Hmm…so if my closing date is September 26, any purchases made by the 20th should be on that statement’s cashback? Or is that any purchases that are POSTED by that date?

MelsAntiqueJewelry.com
Guest
MelsAntiqueJewelry.com

I went to several CVS stores, but none are accepting Apple Pay.

rouven69
Guest

I once had a fraud alert on Citi bought OV at CVS. Called in to clear alert. Rep said “oh you bought a giftcard. Those often tricker fraud alerts”. It was interesting that she said that right away without giving her any details. So basically they do know what you buy.

rouven69
Guest

trigger 😉

Brad Meyer
Guest

It’s just weird as I bought Visa prepaid cards on AmEx, Citi, Chase, and even Discover and never had any issue at all getting my respected cashback. Strange…

Dod
Guest

Sub

Dod
Guest

Forgot to click sub button

Will S
Guest

Ummmm, Greg…. mark this one down for your slippery ethics file. You and Shawn went gah-gah breathless over this, calling it (as you did when discover IT first did the double promotion) the “deal of the century” whatever…. Yet even quicker than the last time, fly arose in the ointment

Glad I didn’t follow the pied pipers here off the proverbial cliff and buy an I-Phone — and then get roped into the horrendously expensive cell phone plans to pay for it. Good for those of you who’ve got unlimited resources and could care less. Me, I’ll stick with my Republic & Kroger I-Wireless sub-$10 a month plans (or less) . Don’t ask, there’s no referrals in either for ya.

Anyway, if indeed, gift cards no longer count, then how in good conscience can you keep hawking it as the latest “deal of the year.”??

ah, but great click bait…. keep milking it.

Les Miles
Guest

Will, I understand that you’re unhappy this deal didn’t happen but it wasn’t Greg’s fault. The gift card issue was announced much later so I take strong exception to your questioning Greg’s ethics!

In any case:

1) You don’t need to get an expensive plan to get an iPhone. For example, I purchased an unlocked iPhone a while ago and I use it with a very reasonable plan sold by Walmart.

2) The 22% discount (1% cashback + 10% when using Apple Pay, both doubled) is still something really really good if you can use it. For example, if you happen to buy groceries from a store which accepts Apple Pay you can save a lot of money from now until the end of the year. So yes, this is still an exceptional deal even if the gift cards end up not working.

meathead
Guest

This isn’t unethical at all. You’re making a valid purchase that they said would pay you 11% back on top of another promotion that will double that cashback. There was no forewarning about gift cards. Even if the gift cards don’t work, this is 4th quarter in which many of us celebrate halloween, thanksgiving and christmas which all require a great deal of spend.

Without giftcards I probably will not maximize this opportunity, but I have my local grocer on the list, the amazon route for 15% back, and a host of other viable opportunities to get some cashback. I have a five year old laptop and I’d like to get an xbox one.

I’d like an xbox one. I’d like an xbox one for 22% off even better!

Stop bashing Greg because he couldn’t get you $2200 cashback. Tell me where the unethical route is? He just cut 22% off my christmas list.

Eric
Guest

How are you going to get 15% from amazon? Is Apple Pay possible online?

meathead
Guest

Separate deal with Amazon, but Discover related. 5% back through portal. Plus 4th quarter is 5% on the Discover CB Calendar, which will be doubled at the end of the first 12 months. (5%*2)+5%= 15%

Max
Guest

May I ask which portal pays 5% back for amazon purchases?

Brad Meyer
Guest

This is a great opportunity to buy that Apple Watch I’ve been wanting and a great opportunity to shop at some places I don’t usually shop at.

trackback

[…] Frequent Miler reported yesterday that Discover has started to show a gift card warning/disclaimer when using ApplePay.  I’ve used ApplePay 3 times at Walgreens and have not seen the warning/disclaimer myself.  I think this is just a scare tactic by Discover to deter (not prevent) people from buying $10,000 of gift cards (which I’m sure some of you have already maxed out).  If Discover (or any other credit card company) had the ability to identify and not award miles/points/cash back on the purchase of gift cards, they would have done it already and the whole gift card MS space would be dead by now.  Regarding the ApplePay aspect of the transaction, I have no idea what data Apple, Walgreens (or any other merchant), or Discover are able to see.  My next Discover It Credit Card statement closes on October 1 and I should be able to view my statement a few days later.  I will report back on my findings when the statement is available. […]

Anne
Guest

sub

CLP
Guest

No gift cards. No problem. One word – reselling.

trackback

[…] reports that Discover has now added a gift card exclusion into the terms and they won’t give the […]

Jack
Guest

It would appear that it depends on how the store codes the transaction. On another blog I read they said discover disclosed that it’s up to the merchant to code it as a gift card purchase rather then a merchandise purchase.

Melanie
Guest

If I buy an item and return it for store credit would I still keep the 10% or do they notify Discover of the return even if I’m not being reimbursed?

Bryan
Guest

I don’t think the ethics of that would be any different than just buying Walgreens gift cards, which would be much easier. I can’t imagine trying to buy and return $10,000 worth of merchandise would end well. 🙂

Brad Meyer
Guest

Posts on other forms have noted that Discover seldom revokes cashback for returned items. I can confirm that I never had cashback removed for a $150 return. With that being said, haha, I’d never even attempt to return 10K worth of stuff.

raghu
Guest

sub

straightahead
Guest

Just got the two cards. Hope it works out!!

Phil
Guest

Sub

David
Guest

I bought Visa cards, Apple, eBay and PayPal all at WG. The thought process with Apple was so I would comply with the “store purchase” for the additional 10%, and then I could just order from Apple.com and avoid the iPhone 6S madness in the store. I’m in no real hurry for the iPhone, but if the gift card issue is enforced I can always return the phone I ordered online and then just buy it in the store. My thoughts were the same for eBay and PayPal as I need a lot of stuff off eBay now due to a lightning strike at home. I guess time will tell where this goes.

Joey
Guest

statement closed, 10% only posted for my real purchases and not GCs at RA, Staples, and Walgreens… show is over guys

Jay
Guest

Does that include any gift card–eg, store gift cards–purchases?

Eric
Guest

Did you have any transactions where you purchased “real” items mixed with gift cards? If so, that would really confirm they are enforcing it if you only received 10% on the “real” items.

Brad Meyer
Guest

How long ago were those gift cards purchased? I read somewhere that all purchases within 5 days of the closing date will not post rewards until the next statement?

KEvin
Guest

Discover representative from twitter did say that bonus is posted in 2 billing cycles. This made his comment less convincing.

Calvin
Guest

A few questions:

1.) What type of gift cards did you purchase? VGC or store gift cards?
2.) When did you make your regular purchases?
3.) When did you make your gift card purchases?

It is normal for recent cashback to not post in the next billing cycle for Discover.

Yeshu
Guest

Unless you can provide proof (screenshots to FM), people won’t believe you.

Anti-joey
Guest

statement closed, 10% posted for my real purchases and even GCs at RA, Staples, and Walgreens… show goes on

Radster
Guest

Score 1-1.

Round 3… FIGHT!!

Anti-anti-Joey
Guest

En, looks like anti-joey just making the junk out of mouth.
I do believe discover got the thing since amex knew what I got in grocery store when I did mixed purchase with GC and regular stuff.
I am waiting for my newly IT card to explore the way it is. I just moved to a very rural town, even the walmart is not 24 hr.

Calvin
Guest

Has anyone besides Joey received their 10% bonus on their statement yet?
Would be great to have a confirmation data point.

Anti-joey
Guest

Which Joey?

eric
Guest

My statement closed 9/23. No 10% for visa GC’s purchased at walgreens 9/17 or 3rd party at staples purchased 9/21.

Chris F.
Guest

Did you make any other AP transactions that did post at 10%?

eric
Guest

negative

Radster
Guest

Still alive then!

Kevin
Guest

People argue discover cannot enforce the rule because they don’t have level 3 processing data. But do they have level 2 data? if they do, they know much tax was in each transaction. Since gift cards is tax-free purchase items. you can easily tell which transaction includes GC purchases….

Eric Vaandering
Guest

Lots of places labor and food are tax free as well.

Freedomhater
Guest

One more good reason to live in Oregon! Wait, forget I said that. Don’t move to Oregon. It sucks here. Really, it’s horrible.

KevinFail
Guest

Tax free in many areas for food items. Prescriptions are not taxable in most states.

Sabarish
Guest

I made GC and regular purchase at walgreens. Didn’t see the 10% CB for both of them. Have emailed discover when will 10% will get posted.

Brad Meyer
Guest

Has anyone gotten 10% on ANYTHING with ApplePay?

Greg N
Guest

@Brad Meyer Statement closed yesterday. I made two Apple Pay purchases, one at Trader Joe’s and one with Sprouts, did not see any 10% cashback. The only two cashback categories were 5% (I made a purchase at Kolh’s) and everything else, which was 1%.

Brad Meyer
Guest

Wow. This is crazy. Thanks for that info.

Greg N
Guest

And I should have said, these were small purchases, ~$9 and $12, and not round numbers, so no chance they were mistaken for gift cards.

Brad Meyer
Guest

I should have a statement on monday. I will just eyeball it like a hawk.

Donghan
Guest

I just made $770 purchase of prescription last week in walgreens. I hope I could use Apple pay for the hospital bill as well… only if they accept AP and that counts as ‘in-store’ purchase…

Matt
Guest

Following the comments. Thank you everyone.

trackback

[…] Football season, this might at least garner a few laughs. Why Discover? Well, because of their Deal of the Year (FrequentMiler’s term) after […]

Michelle
Guest

I’ve tried small gift card purchases, both solo and mixed with other purchases. No data yet, but will update when my statement comes in.

JP
Guest

My statement was supposed to close on 9/27, but when I logged on yesterday, it has been pushed out another month (new account) to 10/27. Not sure I can take another month of waiting!!

Matt
Guest

Same! So weird.

JO
Guest

Same.

Brad Meyer
Guest

Likewise!!

Jung
Guest

I heard, there were people saying the date was suppose be the level 3 review by discover . who knows..

Jonathan
Guest

Same here.

trackback

[…] gift cards. To see if they are actually excluding those purchases, I’m following this Frequent Miler thread closely to see what happens with gift card […]

Dan
Guest

Can you have multiple Apple Pay accounts with multiple Discover IT accounts?

JP
Guest

Yes, you can have multiple Discover IT cards. You can have multiple payment methods in your “wallet” within Apple Pay. You would just have to select the appropriate card when paying.

Dan
Guest

I guess to clarify. If the limit is $10,000 in transactionas @ 10% cashback (doubled)… What would the best set up be to have multiple accounts. So I could have 2 cards/account (which I think is the limit Discover has per person.) So I could really spend up to $20,000??? Or is there more potential. Is the 10,000 limited per Apple pay account, phone etc. Can someone post a link to the 10% Apple Pay terms?

Aasim Jukaku
Guest

so is the “second” closing statement where we could see definitive proof at the end of october for everyone?

tom
Guest

I did about 2k….waiting till there is some sorta confirmation before doing the whole 10k. These cards are a little annoying to cash out so might not be worth it, if it isnt for sure.

Shawn
Guest

Vanilla VGCs?

Scott
Guest

How do you cash the cards out? My Target doesnt have the prepaid Redcard, so i don’t have that option available.

NoonRadar
Guest

Most Target stores don’t have the temporary Redbird card but let you load the permanent one. If you can’t find the temporary Redbird nearby you can buy one online from people who activate and sell them. I’m one of them and I have an online store set up at NoonRadar.com where you can buy it instantly. There’s an FAQ page there also about it and the entire process.

Otherwise you can liquidate the pin-based gift cards at Walmart via Serve or Bluebird or money orders, or at Family Dollar via Serve, if they would let you do so. As with anything MS, YMMV about all these stores, including Target. FYI, Walmart doesn’t eat Vanilla type cards over $49.

tom
Guest

using targets old amex card…loading it on there and going to costco…laborious but worth it if this deal works

avis
Guest

+1

Mark
Guest

Sub!

Ty all. I’ve made nonGC AP, GC only AP and mixed so will report data when I get any.

Bob
Guest

Just had first stmt post. AP GC only purchases, and AP non-GC purchases (did not have GC and non-GC mixed on one trans). Also had non-AP trans. NO BONUS for anything.
The dream is still alive…

Brad Meyer
Guest

This is crazy…

ACSLATERBRO
Guest

I got 1% back for all the gift cards I purchased but also 1% for AP. So yes this dream seems very alive!

Eric
Guest

What do you mean you received 1% for AP? You should have either gotten 0% or 10%.

Chris F.
Guest

1% for general cashback (all spending) posts on the next statement. Bonus cashback, whether quarterly or whatever, takes a bit longer.

Eric
Guest

Chris F., did you read the person’s post before mine? He/she wrote about receiving 1% on AP in addition the normal 1% on the last statement. You are basically agreeing with me that it doesn’t make sense, correct?

Chris F.
Guest

I misread that quickly when responding to you, and looking at it now, no, it doesn’t make sense — sorry for the confusion!

Eric
Guest

When they said “also” they meant “as well as” and not “in addition to.” They meant 1% for both and not 1% more (=2%) for AP.

Eric
Guest

I don’t think you’re right. Wouldn’t the gift cards have been purchased using AP? Otherwise the comment wouldn’t even relate to this discussion. Obviously only that person can know what he/she actually meant. I think we can all agree that it was a very confusing way of communicating.

Jeremy Hockenstein
Guest

Appreciate guidance here as I’m not an expert:

Vanilla reload cards specify that they are “NOT GIFT CARDS” so I assume they wouldn’t be excluded from this promotion?

What would be the best way to use those?
– Could they be loaded to Serve (or a Vanilla card) and then used on Plastiq?
– Is there a way they can be loaded to a debit card which would qualify for no fees on Plastiq? “0% Plastiq service fee for Visa & MasterCard debit cards (US Only)”

EE
Guest

+1

Nick
Guest

My first statement just posted with my new Discover IT card. I used Apple Pay for both VGC at Walgreen’s and my regular supermarket trips. I only got 1% for all of my Apple Pay purchases. So I expect the 10% bonus would come on the next statement.

meathead
Guest

this is semi good news. I have a small loan expiring this month at 0%. I can buy a couple of $500 VGCs with a 1% fee then roll those through Redbird and extend the loan. The 1% CB offsets the 1% fee. The 10% is gravy. My Discover offer came with 0% for 12 months. This will help my cash flow immensely through the holidays. Now if we can just get 10%…..

meathead
Guest

question on Level 3 data- is it on the merchant to provide it to Discover? Or is it on Discover to pay for it?

I’m just wondering- does it vary by Merchant. I.E. You have two retailers that both sell GC’s. Is it more advantageous to go to one vs the other because they may not pay for Level III data or is that all on discovers end?

Jonathan
Guest

My understanding is it’s merchant specific. The incentive is a reduced processing fee but it’s usually only done for corporate or government transactions. Consumer purchases are usually level 1.

Trell
Guest

Has anyone received their Oct statement from Discover yet to determine if gift cards are excluded from extra bonus? Speak now.

Brad Meyer
Guest

I have a card with a closing date of today, which means the statement will probably not post until Monday and then my other card posts on the 26th. Will update ASAP.

Brad Meyer
Guest

My Discover More October 16th statement does NOT have any of the 10% ApplePAy bonuses posted. Starting to wonder if this is just a big scam?

Eric
Guest

Thanks but can you specify whether you had only gift card purchases or if you also had other purchases on it?

Brad Meyer
Guest

NO gift card purchases.

Brad Meyer
Guest

This one had ZERO gift card purchases on it.

Andy Blanchard
Guest

Mine didn’t show either, though the promotion FAQ does say “Rewards earned are in addition to your standard rewards and are added to your Cashback Bonus account within 2 billing periods.” That said…my Apple Pay purchases (non-gift card) aren’t even showing the usual 1% cash back as being posted. I figure I’ll give them a month or 2, then contact them if it hasn’t shown up.

Andreas
Guest

I spoke with Discover and they said it could take up to 2 billing periods.

Eric Vaandering
Guest

Statement closed the 19th. No extra cash back for any Apple Pay transactions, either with gift cards included or only merchandise. (Got the 1% on non-home store transactions, of course.)

I wonder if the whole bonus won’t be credited after December 31 so no one knows what the rules really are until after it’s too late.

Dennis
Guest

That’s what I would do if I were them. I thought that maybe they would do something like that to discourage others by not confirming whether it would work or not. I think it will work, hence I continue to buy the cards. I’m pretty close to the 10K mark.

Laurie Jackson
Guest

This makes perfect sense – use the old Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt approach … Either that or they need more time to fine-tune their database mining procedures to detect the transactions which include buying gift cards.

JP
Guest

Just read on another site that this is EXACTLY what Discover just told a customer. Not paying out bonuses until after 12/31. Interesting. Guess we’ll see . . .

Brad Meyer
Guest

NOT COOL!!!!!

Max
Guest

Hmm, fudging their books for the annual report?
In a related problem, I have not been able to redeem points from Discover Miles for over a month. It’s not possible to do it online, and the phone reps give me one excuse after another. The points were promptly deducted from my DM account, but never arrive in any receiving accounts they tried or as a paper check.

Andreas
Guest

I spoke with Discover today and they said it could take up to 2 billing periods.

EE
Guest

FWIW, last quarter when they had the 5% CB bonus at home improvement stores, my wife and I were at Lowe’s and bought about $50 worth of planting stuff. At the same time, I also bought a $500 eBay GC and based on the CB I earned, I must’ve gotten the bonus on that purchase, too. Maybe this is common knowledge already, but it seems pretty indicative to me that it should work, *especially* if you buy other items with the GC(s).

Eric
Guest

I don’t think that’s a fair assumption. Discover never said that you won’t earn the 5% quarterly bonus on gift cards.

EE
Guest

Good point, I forgot they added the exception for AP after the deal was announced.

Brad Meyer
Guest

Yeah, I’ve never had any issues getting Cashback on gift cards in the quarterly bonus category.

Jason
Guest

Yeah I am trying this approach. Unless they are notified on the purchase I am making sure that the dollars are not just gift card purchases. I am still not trying my luck at offices stores. I am ok with a guarantee 5% with chase ink.

Eric
Guest

My 2nd statement closed yesterday and no bonus cash back. Bought GC’s on 9/17, so no cash back on September or October statements. Also bought a bunch more last month that weren’t on it.

Brad Meyer
Guest

That is two billing statements. Time to contact them or wait it out?

Brad Meyer
Guest

October statement just posted. ZERO ApplePay bonuses on this statement.

Siddhesh
Guest

I contacted Discover, since my account didnt show any Apple Pay bonuses either, they said it will take them another month or so to process it.. They may actually end up giving the cash back after Dec 31st..

Jung
Guest

Bad news , just received several emails on gc Apple Pay from Walgreen

We’re writing to let you know that your Apple Pay purchase on September 23, 2015 for $504.95 at Walgreens #9808 included a gift card. The gift card portion of your purchase does not qualify for the 10 Miles per dollar spent promotion.

As a reminder, now through December 31, 2015, you’ll earn an extra 10 Miles per dollar spent on up to $10,000 in purchases when you shop in stores and use your Discover card with Apple Pay, excluding gift card purchases.

If you disagree with our finding and contend that your purchase did not include a gift card or a portion of your purchase qualifies per the terms of the promotion, let us know with supporting documentation in the next 21 days. Documentation can include store receipts or invoices, but cannot include your Discover card statement. You can send documentation via email:

Radster
Guest

I suspected this would how Discover would play it. Estimate which transactions included GCs, deny the claim and move the burden of proof to the cardholder.

Jung
Guest

My in box was spammed with all the ones from Walgreen gc purchasing , I suspect they haven’t yet check staples or office max ones, will report once those spam comes in.

Someone
Guest

Mine was a little more generous!

Future gift card purchases will not earn extra rewards

Dear ###,

We’re writing to let you know that your gift card purchase made with Apple Pay at Rite Aid Store – #### for $#,###.## on September ##, 2015 will be rewarded 10% Cashback Bonus® as a one-time courtesy. Gift card purchases are not currently included in this promotion, and any future gift card purchases will not qualify.

As a reminder, now through December 31, 2015, you’ll get an extra 10% Cashback Bonus® on up to $10,000 in purchases when you shop in stores and use your Discover card with Apple Pay, excluding gift card purchases.

Sincerely,

Discover Card Customer Service

Mark
Guest

I got the same email that gave me my first purchase of $505 for gift card for the courteous one time deal and then an email saying that future gift cards are not included in the fall fo I got the same email that gave me my first purchase of $505 for gift card for the courteous one time deal and then an email saying that future gift cards are not included in this offer. I posted my emails but my post is under moderation.

Mark
Guest

Two emails from Apple about this…

#1;
Important info about extra rewards with Apple Pay
Dear Mark X XXX,

We’re writing to let you know that your gift card purchase made with Apple Pay at Walgreens #9751 for $504.40 on September 23, 2015 will be rewarded 10% Cashback Bonus® as a one-time courtesy. Gift card purchases are not currently included in this promotion, and any future gift card purchases will not qualify.

As a reminder, now through December 31, 2015, you’ll get an extra 10% Cashback Bonus® on up to $10,000 in purchases when you shop in stores and use your Discover card with Apple Pay, excluding gift card purchases.

Sincerely,
Discover Card Customer Service

#2;
Important info about extra rewards with Apple Pay
Gift card purchases will not earn extra rewards
Dear Mark X XXX,

We’re writing to let you know that your Apple Pay purchase on September 21, 2015 for $521.59 at Walgreens #9751 included a gift card. The gift card portion of your purchase does not qualify for the 10% Cashback Bonus® promotion.

As a reminder, now through December 31, 2015, you’ll earn an extra 10% Cashback Bonus® on up to $10,000 in purchases when you shop in stores and use your Discover card with Apple Pay, excluding gift card purchases.

If you disagree with our finding and contend that your purchase did not include a gift card or a portion of your purchase qualifies per the terms of the promotion, let us know with supporting documentation in the next 21 days. Documentation can include store receipts or invoices, but cannot include your Discover card statement. You can send documentation via email:

•Scan and then e-mail to promoverification@discover.com

Sincerely,
Discover Card Customer Service

EE
Guest

Has anyone tried buying smaller denomination GCs at places where spending a larger amount of money is presumably more normal than drug stores? Like Whole Foods, for instance. If you buy a $100-200 GC from there that doesn’t seem as out-of-line in terms of a purchase amount than at say, Rite-Aid, and maybe less likely to get flagged.

It doesn’t do anything for MSing, but it does help to at least capitalize on the discount if it’s somewhere you’ll ultimately spend the money anyway.

Brad Meyer
Guest

I purchased a $50 VGC from Office Depot during the 1st days of the promotion. Haven’t heard anything about it since. Will post any updates here.

trackback

[…] September 18, Frequent Miler wrote Discover’s Deal of the Year: Excludes gift cards.  Has anyone received an email from Discover showing a gift card purchase was honored on or after […]

trackback

[…] of September 18, the gift card exclusion was in there. On the 16th and probably the 17th (or part of the 17th) it […]

trackback

[…] people were attempting to get cash back on gift card purchases, which seems like a great idea. Frequent Miler shared a while back that Discover wised up and started warning customers that they would not be […]

Brad Meyer
Guest

Thanks for the heads-up. I purchases ONE Visa Gift Card and one one merchant gift card so far. I’ll update my info here when, and IF, I get an e-mail like that.

trackback

[…] has been a lot of hype about Discover’s deal of the year and up until now I’ve only been looking at it from the gift card angle so I decided to just […]

Trell
Guest

Hey Mark, I received the same similar message from Discover this weekend. I guess they are actively monitoring gift card purchases and removing them.

Eli C
Guest

Data point: just received first email warning from Discover for a $245 purchase – except that the purchase did NOT include any gift cards (I have the receipt to prove it)!

It seems obvious to me Discover is simply flagging purchases over a certain amount, but does NOT have level 3 meta data (or whatever it’s called).

EricV
Guest

I finally got my first chunk of Apple Pay bonus. It seems to correspond roughly to my first billing cycle (ending Oct 19) with Apple Pay charges, but it’s about $9 short. There is an obvious $75 gift card purchase at a drug store, but I have never received a mail telling me they were excluding something.

Two questions: 1) is this consistent with what other people are seeing? Cash back lagging a couple of months behind purchases? 2) Is there any way I can see which purchases qualified for which bonuses so I know if I have to dispute something?

trackback

[…] Frequent Miler reports Apple Pay has added “excludes gift cards” to this promotion.  But I […]