Update: Dosh may honor Staples promo after all

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Update 4/10/20: Several readers have commented to say that cash back from Staples purchases are once again back to pending. Greg then received an email in response to his support ticket for the missing cash back:

Hello,

You may have noticed that your cashback earned at Staples was recently removed from your Dosh Wallet due to gift card purchases. After a thorough review, we identified a small number of users that were mistakenly affected. We’re diligently working to resolve this, and we will be sending out emails to those affected with corrections and next steps if needed soon.

We appreciate your understanding of the situation.

Sincerely,
Dosh Support

This is obviously still developing, but the fact that Dosh is re-considering the clawback is a very positive step indeed.

Update 4/9/20: As per many reader comments, Dosh is not honoring this deal as it was written. Many readers (and Greg) had their cash back marked “failed” today. After contacting Dosh to file a claim for the missing cash back, readers reported receiving this response:

After conducting a thorough review of your account, it would appear that you have purchased a high volume set of gift cards at Staples. This behavior violates our terms and conditions. Per our Terms of Service, “If the Company, in its sole discretion, believes that you are purchasing gift cards at a volume or denomination that is intended to abuse the Services or that appears to be consistent with manufactured spending, the Company retains the right to suspend and/or terminate your Account and claw back any DOSH received as a result of the gift card abuse.” For more information, you can reference our Terms of Service here: https://www.dosh.cash/terms-of-service/.

If you believe this is an error, please provide us with an itemized copy of your receipt. We will be able to re-evaluate this matter with the proper documentation. We appreciate your understanding of the situation.

It is very disappointing to see Dosh take this stance after not including any terms in the deal excluding gift cards for days. Dosh has been around a couple of years and has offered other past deals that have sometimes paid out on gift cards (and other times clearly excluded gift cards in the terms). Retroactively denying cash back on these purchases after including no such restrictions on the promotion page is a sure way to lose customer faith in the service. I can’t imagine that many who signed up for this deal will be eager to use Dosh on anything going forward.

All that said, it looks like the clawback happened on other portals as well. It’s possible that this was Staples-initiated. It’s still particularly disappointing to see Dosh push its site terms and conditions as the reason to deny cash back here.

Update 4/8/20: Note that the terms now indicate that gift card are excluded.

Update 4/7/20: This has dropped to 3% back with a max of $5 per day. That’s still not necessarily bad (see this comment for why not), but it’s obviously not as good as it was for a few days.

Update: This is surprisingly still alive and a great opportunity for fee-free 5x earning from home.

Stephen Pepper found a fantastic deal that he posted over on his site GC Galore: the Dosh app is offering 5% (now 3%) back at Staples.com (up to $20 (now $5) back per day) when you use a linked credit card. While this won’t make any sense for folks who would be in a hurry to liquidate, this might be really attractive for those who can float the cash. It probably won’t last, so you’ll want to get in sooner rather than later. This makes for easy fee free spend — essentially helping you generate free points. Update: As noted at the top, gift cards are now excluded according to the terms.

The Deal

  • Get 5% (now 3%) back on your purchase at Staples.com when you purchase on a card that you have linked to the Dosh app (up to a max of $20 (now $5) back per day)
  • If you’re new to Dosh, feel free to sign up using one of our referral links. It says that we’ll earn $5 if you sign up and link a credit card, but I’m not sure what incentive you get. In the past the person being referred also earned $5 after linking their first card, but I don’t know if that’s still the case.

Key Terms

  • Only valid at Staples.com
  • Max of $20 cash back per day
  • Update 4/8/20: The terms now indicate that this does not apply to gift cards.

Quick Thoughts

As we’ve said on previous gift card deals lately, let’s start off being clear: We’re not encouraging anyone to risk their health & safety or the health & safety of others by taking extra trips to the store to engage in manufactured spending (see our Manufactured Spending Complete Guide for those unfamiliar). This deal doesn’t make sense if you would need to liquidate immediately and it means that you’d be taking extra unnecessary trips to the store.

However, if you can float the cash for a while and/or liquidate on your regular grocery trips for now, this looks like a great opportunity. As Stephen notes, here’s what you would want to do:

Note: The terms now exclude gift cards. If gift cards were to still work, you may be better off buying a single $200 or $300 gift card now that the max has decreased.

  • Order two $300 Visa Gift cards (activation fee = $8.95 per card) for a total of $617.90 and pay with a card that earns one of the best category bonuses at office supply stores)
  • Earn the max of $20 cash back for a net cost of -$2.10 (in other words, you’d be $2.10 ahead of the activation fees given the cash back earnings).
  • Earn 3,089.50 Ultimate Rewards points if using a Chase Ink Cash card (or the no-longer-available Ink Plus) or whatever your chosen card earns at Staples

That’s too good of a deal to last for long. I’d bet that within a day or two this will go away or change in some way to exclude gift card purchases. At the time of publication, there are no exclusions, but be sure to check the app before you purchase to see if they’ve added any more to the exclusions at the bottom. It now notes that gift cards are excluded.

These were the original terms:

H/T: GC Galore

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