Month: July 2015

A result of Q2 Discover Cash Back


discover itI enrolled in Discover’s “Double All Cash Back” promotion last month. It’s a great promo they literally double all cash back you earn for twelve statement cycle. My promotion started on 6/12. Since then, I’ve been using their shopping portal (Discover Deals) more often. And it will be no problem to earn a full of Q3 category bonus. The bonus offers cash back for up to $1500 spent at home improvement, department stores, or I regularly spend more than $1500 at home improvement stores. Even if I don’t spend that much, I can buy third-party GCs at Lowes or VGCs at Sears to get a full of category bonus.

Last Quarter, however, wasn’t easy to earn. Q2 category bonus was restaurant and movie. First of all, I don’t spend very much on these categories. Second, if I seriously wanted to save more money, I would have bought GCs from GCs resellers with more discount. There are 10% or even 20+% off GCs for restaurants and movies. Thus, I used my Discover card only a few times at restaurants when I enrolled in “Double All Cash Back” promotion.

The promotion will give you another 5% cash back. So, I thought there might be a way to earn a full of bonus cash back effectively. After some research, I found Fandango might be used for this purpose. And I bought $50 e-gift card as a test.

Earn Cash Back on Discover 2nd Rotating Category 2015

I made some mistakes. I assume that Save ya accepts Fandango e-gift cards, but they don’t. And I couldn’t tell from recent activity at Discover website whether or not cash back would post. But I thought cash back from DD would most likely post because I received a confirmation email. So, I bought five $100 physical GCs. Since physical GCs took longer to arrive than I expected, I couldn’t buy more GCs in Q2.

Discover Double All Cash Back and Q2 Bonus Category


Now that statement closed, I can see the result.


I spent $559.75 in total. Shipping cost and purchase fee ($9.75) is not eligible for cash back of DD. $55 came from $550 spent. It’s easy to confirm. As for 5% category bonus, $28.07*0.05=$27.99. It posted a little more because I spent a few dollars at a coffee shop. So, both of 5% category bonus and DD have been posted without a problem.

Lastly, It’s off-topic, but I wonder why they still use SHOPDISCOVER for some merchants in a statement while some of them are written as DDEALS in a statement.detailed rewars activity

Chime is not dead, $3 back on amazon purchase thru July 16th

Several months ago, Chime stopped offering any rewards. There had been no offers in my account until last week. All of sudden, it came back and added new offers a couple days ago. And today, I saw my favorite offer available. It’s for, $3 instant cash back, no minimum requirement. If you don’t know about this card, please click here to see details.

chime offer

You can get $3 cash back by purchasing the exact same amount of e-gift card (not a physical GC because a minimum denomination of physical GCs is $10), or reloading your balance.

chime instant cash back

It ends tomorrow, July 16th. But, limited quantities are available. I believe it will be gone quickly. You’d better redeem right now!

Use Sears Credit Card and Gift Card for in-store purchase


I went to Sears to buy an item that is eligible for VIP Choice Benefit coupon. (Click here to see details. It’s 2nd coupon in the post.) I have made lots of online purchases, but not in-store purchases. When I order something online, I know what to do to get a maximum discount or SYWR points. There are several methods. Using Sears credit card is one of them. Some items sold at Sears are eligible for 5% instant discount, especially items in Tools category. Paying with the credit card will give you 5% instant discount, but you don’t have actually to use it. You can pay a whole amount (which is 5% off) with gift cards or even SYWR points. (Click here to see how to do it.)

The item for VIP Choice Benefit coupon is eligible for 5% discount. Here is a screenshot of an online transaction of the final step.

5 percent off with sears card

As you see, you will get $8.50 discount. You can go ahead and pay with gift cards. The discount won’t disappear. The problem is that my account is blocked from online orders. So, I need to go to the store to use this coupon.

My Plan

I bring gift cards and the credit card to the store. And then I pay with gift cards for the most of the charge and pay with the credit card for the rest. I bought (1) $100 GC and (2) $50 GCs, total $200 in case the price was higher than the online price.

The Result

5 percent off with sears card

I didn’t get 5% discount. An instant discount of $10 is from Craftsman Club. 1600 pts is a base point. 222 pts is Sears credit card bonus. (Extra 1% point. excluding tax.). And 158390 pts is from VIP Choice Benefit coupon. (158390+1600=15990, 100% back in points) I don’t know about 20,000 pts. I think some coupon was automatically loaded and redeemed.

What should I do to apply 5% discount?

This time it wasn’t successful, but the other day, it worked. At that time, I was asked “How would you like to pay?” and I said, “Sears credit card, but I’d like to redeem all SYWR points I have.” Then a clerk pressed a key on a register and continued to check out. But I turned out that I had enough points to cover a whole expense. And a receipt was printed out without using the credit card and showed 5% discount applied.

From these experiences, a requirement for getting 5% discount would be:

  • Have a certain key on a register pressed by a cashier? That’s it?
  • Have a certain key on a register pressed by a cashier and pay a WHOLE payment with either GCs or SYWR points?


  • Multiple coupons and discount caused the discount wasn’t applied?

As for online orders, they are always successful. It doesn’t matter if you pay GCs or SYWR points, fully or partially. Since my account is blocked from making online orders, I need to go to the store to redeem the points I just earned. I will try another approach to get the discount then.

Chime Card offers are back

I got notification of Chime app on my cell phone today. I opened the app and checked it. It turns out to be for the transaction I made several days ago. Soon, I noticed that the app looked different. It looks more stylish and newer than before. (It may be just my imagination. I haven’t opened the app for a month or two.) I checked “Rewards” and found some offers are available.

As long as I remember, all offers disappeared on some day in March. The page of Rewards had been blank on both full website and mobile app since then. The following offers are available in my account. (I can only see the offers in the mobile app. The full website is still blank.)

chime offers are back

….well. None of them interests me. But I hope they will continue to update new offers as they used to. Anyway, I’m glad that Chime is still active.

If you don’t know about Chime card, please click here.

My First Cash Back Rewards from PayPal Prepaid MasterCard

paypal prepaid mastercardI have PayPal Prepaid MasterCard for a year, but I have never earned cash back rewards. That’s because the offers I had received were not really good. (If you don’t know about PayPal Prepaid MasterCard, please click here to see details.)

Many of the offers I had received were the same as shopping portals offers. You need to click a link on the website to redeem the offer. Besides, you can find the better rates of cash back in other portal sites. A kind of offers I wanted was like Amex Offers. Amex Offers don’t provide a link. All you need to do is to add the offers to your card and use that card. You can click a link on any portal site you like or buy 3rd party gift cards in store. If you don’t know about PayPal Prepaid MasterCard, please click here to see details.

A week ago, I noticed this kind of offers had appeared in my account. They were for Sears and Kmart.

There are so many reasons to come back to Sears, including stocking up on the latest essentials for Summer including outdoor furniture, grills, major home appliances, and Summer fashions. Plus when you are a Shop Your Way(R)* member you always get more! It?s FREE and easy to join in-store or at

Earn 10% Cash Back on your Sears purchase, with a $20.00 Cash Back maximum! Payment must be made on or before offer expiration date. Offer valid one time only. If layaway** purchase, offer only valid on initial payment. Offer expires 7/5/2015.
*Members earn points on qualifying purchases, excluding sales taxes and other fees. Subject to full program terms available at
**Requires down and biweekly payments. All fees nonrefundable. Cancellation fees apply. No cancellation fee in Ohio. Not available at all Sears stores. Exclusions apply. See store for further details.

Get more this Memorial Day at Kmart. We’ve got an amazing selection of patio furniture, grills and decor. Dress up with our summer apparel collections for the whole family. Don’t forget to check out our great array of footwear, too! And, Shop Your Way® members always get more. Join today, it’s free in-store or at

Visit Kmart online to find a location near you.

Earn 15% Cash Back on your Kmart purchase, with a $20.00 Cash Back maximum!Offer not valid online.Payment must be made on or before offer expiration date. Offer valid one time only. Offer expires 7/5/2015.

Both offers expires on July 5th. So, they must have been available in my account for a while. It’s just that I didn’t log in and check for a long time.

For Sears’ offer, it’s valid for both in-store and online purchase. 10% cash back, $20 max. So, they offer cash back for up to $200 purchase. The first thing I came up with is to buy $200 Visa gift card. Although $200VGC charge $6.95 as a purchase fee, I thought it was the easiest way to earn and deal with the item (liquidating $200VGC by using Amex Serve.) I went to the store and checked all GC racks. Then I couldn’t find $200VGCs or any other useful gift cards. So, I ended up with buying $200 MasterCard gift card.

Next, I went to Kmart. For Kmart offer, the terms clearly describe that it’s not valid for online purchase. 15% cash back, $20 max. So, you need to spend $134 or more to earn maximum cash back of $20. Kmart has a better selection of gift cards than Sears. On that day, I saw eBay gift cards at Kmart for the first time. I bought some eBay and gas gift cards.

A few days later, cash back appeared in my account. They will be credited on the end of the following month. Because of a miscalculation, I spent only $125 at Kmart, and I couldn’t earn maximum cash back of $20.

paypal prepaid reward earned

I have another PayPal Prepaid MasterCard. This account is six-month-old. There is Kmart offer as well. (but, there is no Sears.) I went Kmart yesterday and bought the same GCs (gas and eBay) and the same amount. This time, however, I asked a cashier to give me $10 cash back. The total is $135. $20/$135=0.1481, it’s almost 15% cash back deal. I did it yesterday. So, a earned reward hasn’t shown up in my account. But I think it will be no problem because I don’t see anything about what I did in the transaction history of PayPal Prepaid.

paypal prepaid gc purchase and cash back

I learned that asking cash back at a cashier is useful when you want to adjust the total spending and maximize the rewards. I haven’t logged in my account for a few months. I might have missed good offers during that time. From now on, I will check the offers more often.

If you want to know the basics about the card, please click here.

You may already have a card, but you can open up to 3 accounts of PayPal Prepaid MasterCard. If you want to open 2nd and/or 3rd account, please sign up through my referral link to get $5 bonus.

New SYW VIP Choice Benefit is available now!

There are new offers (VIP Choice Benefit) for Shop Your Way VIP members. I’d redeemed two offers per account this year. New offers became available in the first month of each quarter. So, I believe there will be other offers in October, too. If you don’t know about Shop Your Way Reward program, click here to see details.

shop your way vip choice benefit

VIP Choice Benefit for my account#1

This time, I chose the following:

At Kmart in store and online, members get 75% back in points when you purchase a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0″ Tablet w/ 16GB Memory and Android 5.0 – Smoky Titanium

After you choose the offer at, you will receive a confirmation email. You can print out the coupon or load to your SYW account by clicking a link in the email. For an in-store purchase, it’s better to take a printout to a store with you and show it to a cashier at checkout. For online, you can redeem it by applying a coupon. After you load to your account by clicking a link in the email, you will see the coupon with other regular coupons. You can apply it during a checkout.

I already bought the item. It costs $199 at With the offer I just chose, I will earn $150-worth SYW points. And, I clicked through DD shopping portal. It offers 5% cash back. Plus, the current promotion of Discover credit cards (Double-All-Cash-Back) will give me back another 5%. I used Kmart gift cards as payment, which I had bought on eBay with 5x eBay Bucks promotion (10% back in eBay Bucks.) At checkout on eBay, I used eBay gift cards that I had bought at, paid with Chase ink that offer 5x category bonus for office supply store purchases. When I consider all cash back and reward points, the item is almost free.

And here are the other offers. You can choose only one offer. After I had chosen the offer, all other offers became Not Eligible.

shop your way vip choice benefit platinum

VIP Choice Benefit for my account#2

Next, I logged in to my other SYW account. I have two accounts now. Last year, I had only one account and used it with SYW Max (a free shipping program for online orders) for a drop-shipping business. After about six months of use, they spotted. At first, I thought my account was shut down. Then I opened a brand new account. But the previous account has been active whole time. The only problem is they are blocking me from online orders. I can still earn and redeem SYW points as long as I purchase in a store. They even send me coupons, surprise points, etc from time to time. So, I keep this account and use it only when surprise points and high-valued coupons are available. Now, VIP Choice Benefit offer is available on this account, too. A status of this account is Gold, and the first one is Platinum. The offers are a lot different from Platinum.

shop your way vip choice benefit gold

I chose this offer,

At Sears, in store and online, members get 100% back in points when you purchase a Craftsman C3 19.2-Volt 4-Piece Lithium Combo Kit

Before I chose the offer, I had to check availability in my local stores. The item I chose for the last time wasn’t available at my local stores. Since they block me from online orders, I had to drive 30+ miles to buy the item and redeem the offer. I learned a lesson from it. This time, I made sure that the item was in stock at my local store that is only 2 miles away before choosing the offer. I will go and buy the item this weekend. And also I’d like to carry an experiment at checkout.