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My First Discover Deals Experience

ShopDiscover now Discover Deals

On January 8th, ShopDiscover became Discover Deals. Discover Deals also combined Discover Extra with it. My first impression was that it was a little hard to navigate in the website pages. But I will get used to it. My first purchase through Discover Deals was It’s 5% cash back now. Several days ago, it was 10%. It seems that it was a promotion for the holiday. Since sometime in 2014, ShopDiscover stopped displaying promotions clearly. It used to be like that picture below.

additional bonus at shopdiscover

You were able to see clearly that a promotion was ongoing and which merchant offers additional 5% cash back. I think Discover Deals still offer the same types of promotions, but they don’t show clearly. So, you will need to pay attention. I expect the next one will be Valentine promotion, and it will start in a few weeks.

Terms and conditions of cash back seem the same. I was worried that they would get strict about a type of payment. ShopDiscover paid cash back even when I used other credit card or merchant gift card for purchases. My first transaction after January 8th was at I used GCs, and two days later, I received email from Discover that informs I earned cash back. So, I believe that it’s OK with Discover Deals. I think that changes are only a name and design of web pages.

In fact, the statement of my Discover card, which closed on November 11th, 2014, already shows “DDEALS #% CCB – merchant name + $####.” I used merchant gift cards for all transactions, and they paid cash back anyway.

The statements of my Discover card says, “DDEALS 10% CCB – SEARS” since November. However, now you can’t find SEARS in a list of Discover Deals. Come to think of it, some merchants had “Discover Deals” tag or frame for the last few months in ShopDiscover pages. I don’t remember how they were for all merchants, but I do remember Kmart had the tag and Sears didn’t. It’s not a big problem, though. I found 5% cash back at ShopAtHome. And depending on categories you are going to purchase, TopCashback offers up to 7% cash back on Sears purchases.

One more thing. I had expected that Target would come back to the list on this occasion. But, it didn’t come back. ShopDiscover’s offer for Target was so special that I longed for its coming back. However, it seems that Target was not temporarily removed from the list but permanently.

Discover Extra was merged into Discover Deals. There are other types of deals you can browse, “Statement Credit” and “Instant Saving.” I checked all of them, but I can’t find anything interest to me. I guess these types of deals require you to use Discover card for the transactions.

It’s kind of disappointing that Sears is no longer partner. That’s about it. The changes are not much impact on me. And I hope Discover Deals will continue to offer an additional 5% cash back of a seasonal promotion. (Valentine next?)

You need to be a card holder to use Discover Deals. My card is Discover it. In addition to an access to Discover Deals, it offers 5% rotating category. Please click here to see details of Discover it card.

New Gift Cards available online at Target

When I was browsing gift cards at, I found some new gift cards.

Visa Gift Card

target visa holiday gift cardThere are two new ones. They are both named Holiday Gift Card. The denomination of GCs are $50 ($5 fee) and $100 ($6 fee). When I found them, they had been already out of stock. It may be just that the GCs hasn’t started being sold yet.

They have the same name, but the designs are very different.

For now, I don’t see any promotion on these GC’s sales. (like they offered $5 Target GC on Visa Entertainment Gift Card – $100 + $6 Fee in September.) They don’t even have details or descriptions on the pages.

I used to buy Visa GCs from and stopped buying last month. That’s because is no longer a partner of ShopDiscover. ShopDiscover used to offer 5% cash back on purchases at They paid on the purchase of gift cards except for Target GCs.

target visa holiday gift card out of stockI usually redeem Discover’s reward for 20% discounted GCs (Staples, Gap, etc.) So, 5% cash back is worth 6.25% to me. It means that Discover reward covers a $6 fee of Visa GC (and even gives me a little profit.) And I can earn a reward from credit cards used for the purchase of Visa GC. That was a perfect manufacture spending.

However, now that Target is not a partner of ShopDiscover, there is no meaning to buy Visa GCs at I can’t find other portals that offer 5% or more on gift card purchases.

Unless there is a promotion like Visa Entertainment GCs, I won’t buy them. I will check the site periodically. If there is a promotion, I’ll buy.

Boost Mobile Prepaid Card (email delivery)

boost mobile prepaid card at targetThere have been Boost Mobile Prepaid Card (physical card) on their website, but you couldn’t buy online. They say, “not sold online” “in store only” and “find in a store.” But today, for the first time, I saw the word “online only” “email delivery.” I tried to purchase, but the following message appeared “Due to technical issues, you cannot add this item to your cart. Please try again later”

re boost card at targetLike Visa Holiday GCs, probably they haven’t started out for sale yet. Once it is available, I will buy it and do an experiment. If everything goes well, I will get it at least 10% discount on any gift card purchases at (except for Visa and Target GCs)

Earn 3X Rewards from Moosejaw thru Nov 2

3x rewards moosejawThrough November 2nd, Moosejaw offers 30% back in point on the purchases of regular priced items, 15% back on sales priced items. A maximum of 50,000 bonus points ($500 moosejaw credit) can be earned on the the code “3XREWARD“.  The points cannot be earned on Gift Cards, Patagonia, Western Mountaineering, GoPro, Garmin, Suunto, Kuhl, and Marmot. You can use the code only once.

In addition to bonus points, it is great time to upgrade VIP status of Moosejaw Rewards. Highest VIP status, EVEREST, offer 100% bonus on base points you earn anytime in the next year. I have already earned EVEREST. When I buy regular priced items during 3X rewards promotion, I will earn 40% back in point. Read this post for more details.

Don’t forget to visit shopping portal site. They offer relatively high cash back rate on the purchases at Moosejaw. The highest rate is 10% from ShopDiscover, or Active Junky.

$5 Target GC with Target Visa Gift Card Promotion

target visa entertainment gift cardI ordered $100 Visa Entertainment Gift Card at because I wanted to know if it includes $5 Target gift card as described in the website. (see details here)

I could have asked without buying, but I don’t really mind if there is no $5 Target GC because ShopDiscover would pay 5% cash back. Cash back from ShopDiscover and credit card’s reward would cover a purchase fee of $6 entirely.

I purchased three $100 Visa GCs. The cards arrived. There was no Target GC in an envelope. I opened individual packages of Visa GC. There was no Target GC, either.

I contacted with customer service by email. Response was quick. They sent three $5 Target GCs by email.

Now I know, there is $5 Target GC bonus come with $100 Visa GC. It’s a great bonus. So, I purchased five more Visa GCs. However, this transaction was not great at all.

First of all, I didn’t receive a confirmation email of cash back from ShopDiscover. I have purchased Visa GCs so many times. Every single time, ShopDiscover sent an email next day and posted cash back properly, but not this time. I wondered why and logged in ShopDiscover. Then I noticed that had disappeared from a list of retailers of ShopDiscover.

It’s been two weeks since I noticed this change. didn’t get back to the list. It seems that is no longer a partner of ShopDiscover.

Second, I didn’t receive $5 Target GCs either. I contacted with customer service as I did for the first order. This time, however, I received the following response,

We’re sorry to hear that the GiftCards were not as expected.

I’d be happy to help with this issue, but it would be best discussed over the phone. Please give us a call at (800) XXX-XXXX and provide the team member you speak with this reference number: XXXXXXX

We’re always working to make an even better place to shop, and your feedback is a big help. Thanks for getting in touch.

So, I called the number. After 30 minutes on hold, Rep told me that the promotion has ended, and my second order was not qualified for the promotion. I checked the website and saw a short description “include $5 Target Giftcard” removed. I told her that the website said, “include $5 Target GC” when I ordered, and it said so even when I received Visa GCs. But she kept saying the same thing. I asked when exactly the promotion ends. She didn’t (probably couldn’t) answer and just kept saying the same thing, “The promotion ended, your order isn’t qualified, thus we can’t issue Target GCs.”

Rep couldn’t answer my question because there were no terms and conditions for this promotion. No one could find any details of this promotion. All you could find was a short description “include $5 Target Gift card.” It was very vague. And I guess it exactly what they wanted. They kept it unclear so they could end the promotion anytime they wanted. It is very bad practice towards customers.

One question is still remaining.

Can I buy Visa Entertainment Gift Card with Target gift card?

Unlike the other Visa GC, there is no warning description, “Card cannot be purchased with a Target GiftCard” on the page. I purchased the other Visa GC with Target GC. But only one time. Later I tried, but they cancel the orders. (see details here) What about Visa Entertainment GC?

I shop a lot at local Target store and like their products, prices and atmosphere, but customer service of both online and in-store sucks. I had only bad experiences in customer service. I have had enough problem. Nothing would hold me back from performing an experiment.

Experiment: Place an order of Visa GC with Target GC.

Result: The order is canceled.

I could place an order and receive order confirmation email. but just one minute later, I received another email of cancellation. Now, I stay away from Target Visa GCs. There may be other portals that pay cash back on gift cards purchase, but not better than ShopDiscover 5%. Without any deals, $6 fee is too expensive.

FRN Resumes 1X Rewards on American Express Gift Card

frn rewards on amex gcToday, I found “American Express Gift Card” in Online Mall of Fuel Rewards Network (FRN). They stopped offering the deal last month along with other cash back portals like Befrugal and Topcashback. And these cash back portals and some others restarted the offer at the beginning of this month. FRN didn’t have an offer until yesterday, but they do today.

If you buy a $1000 AmEx GC, you will receive $1.00/gal discount which you can redeem at participating Shell gas stations, up to 20 gallons. Thus, FRN’s “1X rewards” is equivalent to 2% cash back. (click here to see more details of Fuel Rewards Network.)

Currently, the best rate of cash back portal is 1.5%. So, FRN is the best portal right now (at least for me and for those who drives a car.)

AmEx GC has a purchase fee; it is only $3.95 per card. You may find a promo code to waive the fee, but you’d better not use it because most likely you won’t receive a reward if you use it. (Neither will you when you purchase through other portals. see details here.)

earn miles on amex gcI also found that Marriott Rewards offers 1 pt/$. I have never used this portal site. So, I don’t know how much its point is worth. And I don’t know if it is a good deal.

Anyway, these are all good signs. More and more portals resumed the American Express Gift Card offer. What’s next? Will they raise the rate of cash back or reward? Not long ago, the best offer was 4% cash back from Lucky Rewards and 2X rewards from FRN. I hope this rate will be back soon.

AmEx Gift Card Cash Back Portals are Back

I noticed today while I was surfing the internet. I saw a banner ad of Topcashback. It said that they offer 1.5% cash back on American Express gift card purchases. I jumped to the site and made sure that the deal was back. I also checked the terms. It says “Please note that the use of a American Express® Gift Cards & Business Gift Cards promotional/coupon code not posted and approved by TopCashback, may affect your eligibility for cashback.” It is slightly different from the previous one. (between the times of cash back rate reduced and right before Topcashback stopped offering cash back on AmEx GC purchases. see details here.)

1.5 percent cash back on amex gift cardEither or hasn’t update the change, but BeFrugal also resumed the offer. Unlike the term at Topcashback, BeFrugal clearly says “Cash back not valid on any order with a coupon code applied.” So, you’d better not use any coupon or promo codes even if you purchase through Topcashback.

I checked other portals with some hopes of a better cash back rate. Here are the results.

  • Big Crumbs 1.5%
  • Simply Best Coupons 0.75%

These are all I could find for now. None of portals has coupon codes. Except for BeFrugal, the terms about coupon codes are vague. However, as long as BeFrugal says “no cash back if you use coupons,” I won’t use coupons. BeFrugal is my faviorite, and I trust the most.


AmEx Gift Card Deals Dead

fuel rewards network back to school promoToday, I received Fuel Rewards Network rewards a week earlier than expected. Currently, FRN has a back-to-school promotion. Through Sep 14th, you can earn double rewards on its shopping portal. I purchased $2000 AmEx GCs on Aug 14th. A base reward is 5¢/gal discount every $50 purchase, and this gets double. So, 2000/50*5*2=$4/gal discount was posted to my FRN account. Since you can redeem FRN reward for up to 20 gallon, $4/gal is worth $80, which is like 4% cash back. This was great. I wish I could earn another one during the promotion, but AmEx GC link had disappeared on FRN online mall at the same time as other shopping portals stopped Amex GC cash back offer. (See details here)

On Sep 2nd, I made AmEx GC purchase through “Simply Best Coupons”, which offers 1% cash back and a promo code to waive a purchase fee. Since then, Simply Best Coupons had been the best portal for AmEx GC purchase, but that has been gone, too. All you can find in the website is a promo code that waives a purchase fee.

Here are the today’s screenshots of and

cashbackmonitor amex gccashbackholic amex gc

80 percent cash back on amex gcThere are much fewer portals, and most of them are not famous or reputable sites. The picture on the right is the page of AmEx GC at This is obviously an error. 80% cash back is just impossible!

It seems that AmEx GC deal has been dead, and $99 I paid for Premium Shipping Plan just a few month ago will be wasted until the deal is back. It may not be going to be back forever, though.

I was using AmEx GCs for purchases where my credit cards doesn’t offer bonus cash back. For example, Costco. The only AmEx credit card I have is Blue Cash Preferred. Since Costco is not in “Grocery Stores” category but “Wholesale Clubs”category, there is no bonus. Cash back from Blue Cash Preferred is only 1%. And cash back at grocery stores is 1%, anyway because I have already spent $6000 at grocery stores this year.

AmEx GC purchased through the portals had given me around 2% to 4% discount. I can’t find a way to get 4% discount, but around 2% is easily obtained in the other ways. Here are some ways I came up with.

Apply “Citi Double Cash Card”

Earn 1% cash back when you purchase, and another 1% when you pay the bill. It is simply 2% cash back on all purchases. Since Citi Double Cash is not AmEx (Visa or MasterCard, not sure which one), I can’t use at Costco warehouses, but I can use it online to buy a Costco gift card and use it in warehouses.

Apply “Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card”

Another 2%-cash-back credit card. Since this card is AmEx, I can use it directly in Costco warehouses.

Load “AmEx for Target” with grocery-stores-bonus credit cards

I have never done this before, and it is not verified. According to Visa Supplier Locator, Target is categorized as Grocery Stores. Using Visa credit cards such as “US Bank Cash+” and “BankAmericard Cash Rewards” (both cards offer 2% cash back on grocery purchases) to load AmEx for Target may give you 2% cash back. As a rule of AmEx for Target, the maximum amount per load is $1000, and it is charged $3. If the transaction is eligible for 2% cash back, you will earn $20-$3=$17 each load. So, you get 1.7%-discounted AmEx prepaid card. This doesn’t work AmEx Blue Cash cards. That is because AmEx doesn’t consider Target as “Grocery Stores”, but “Superstores”. It is clearly stated in their website.

Currently, I don’t have any of these credit cards. Now that AmEx GCs deal is dead, I definitely need one of them, especially “Citi Double Cash Card” or “Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card”. After doing some more research, I will apply at least one of them.

Cashback Rate of ShopDiscover back to Normal Sears/Macy’s/Starbucks

Today, I noticed that ShopDiscover cashback rate of lowered from 10% to 5%. I checked other retailers, and as long as I remember the following retailers’ has been reduced by 5%.

  • Sears 10% ⇒ 5%
  • Kmart 10% ⇒ 5%
  • Lands End 10% ⇒ 5%
  • Moosejaw 15% ⇒ 10%
  • Macy’s 10% ⇒ 5%
  • Sport Authority 10% ⇒ 5%
  • Starbucks 10% ⇒ 5%

mothers day bonus shopdiscoverThey reduced, but actually the rates of these retailers got back to normal. The rates are the same as they were a month ago. (read previous post to see details) After all, it seems that it was ShopDiscover’s temporary and seasonal (maybe back-to-school?) bonus offer. Before, ShopDiscover shows bonus as pictured. And they might stop doing it for some reasons.

Despite the reduction, ShopDiscover is still one of the best cash back portals. No other portal sites beat ShopDiscover’s cashback redemption options. (See details here) And I think there is another seasonal bonus offer just around the corner.

Can’t Find Cash Back Portals for American Express Gift Card

amex gc cash back comparisonRecently, the rate of cash back for the purchase of American Express Gift Cards got lower. (see details here) But now I found it worse than ever. In the last few months, the cash back rate for AmEx GCs were between 2% and 3%. Last night, before buying AmEx GC, I went to to see which portal offer the best rate. As you see, 2.1% from Befrugal was the best. I was hoping for a better rate, but there was no choice. The amount of the previous AmEx GC was nearly zero. And although 2.1% was not really great deal, but I could still save money with it.

However, there was a problem. I couldn’t find a page of AmEx GCs at Then I went to TopCashBack, that offers 2.0% (according to cashbackmonitor). Same here, there was no page or link at TopCashBack. I checked some other portals. I didn’t check all of them, but I could manage to find a few portals that offered cash back, Simply Best Coupons, Ebates, and Mr. Rebates. The rate was merely 1%. The only consolation was that Simply Best Coupons had a promo code to waive a purchase fee of $3.95.

In July and August, I purchased four AmEx GCs with a promo code which is not posted on the portal site. As a result, all pending cash back ($175.50 in total) was cancelled. (see details here)

amex gc cash back portalsToday, I checked cashbackmonitor. As you see, all travel reward portals have gone, and there are only seven cash back portals. 1% is the highest, and promo code to waive a purchase fee can be found ONLY at Simply Best Coupons.

Is 1% cash back still worthwhile? It depends on face value of AmEx GC you buy. Say you buy $1000 AmEx GC with AmEx Blue Cash credit card. You can waive a purchase fee of $3.95 at Simply Best Coupons.

  • Purchase fee $0
  • Shipping -$8.95
  • 1% cash back from credit card +$10.09
  • 1% cash back from portal +$10.00
  • Total profit is $11.14

The profit is only 1.11% of $1000. This isn’t great. However, if you buy $5000 AmEx GC, total profit is $91.14. It’s 1.82% of $5000. Not bad. If you enroll in Premium Shipping Plan (see details here), shipping cost may be calculated less. So, you can manage to get close to 2% discount.

Just a few months ago, I had already enrolled in Premium Shipping Plan. I usually order 3 or 4 AmEx GCs per month. So, shipping cost is calculated less than $3 each order. After considering all of these calculations, I placed an order of $2000 AmEx GC. Simply Best Coupons already posted a pending cash back.

I hope Befrugal or TopCashBack offer cash back for AmEx GCs again, but for now Simply Best Coupons with a promo code is the best option for purchasing American Express Gift Cards. Click here to visit Simply Best Coupons and don’t forget to use promo code when you purchase AmEx GCs.

Use Coupon No Cash Back from BeFrugal on AmEx Gift Cards

Today, I logged in my BeFrugal account and noticed that my Total Balance got significantly lower than yesterday. I checked Cash Back Activity and found out that all pending cash back on AmEx gift cards looked cancelled. I made three orders in July, and one of orders was actually cancelled by American Express. Because I tried to use AmEx Serve for the purchase of the gift card. BeFrugal shows this transaction like this (picture below).

cash back on amex gc cancelled

But today, I got the same one on the other two orders, which weren’t cancelled. The orders had completed. I received the cards and used up already. I remembered that BeFrugal described the following in terms of AmEx GC.

If you choose to apply a coupon or deal that is not posted on, we are unable to guarantee that you will receive cash back on your purchase.

I used a coupon code to waive a purchase fee on all orders. Although I read terms, I assumed that I would earn cash back because other retailers paid before even when I used a coupon that was not on BeFrugal. And today, the terms have updated like this

Cash back not valid on any order with a coupon code applied

is befrugal going to cancel this order tooI made an order a few days ago in August. Cash Back is pending now, and I don’t see the sign of cancel. But I guess  it will be cancelled later. Now that terms is very clear, I won’t use the code that waives a purchase fee of only $3.95. Pay a purchase fee and I will earn cash back which is guaranteed by BeFrugal. This is still a good deal, and I feel comfortable because there is no need to worry about cancellation of cash back.

I wish BeFrugal updated terms eariler, but I can’t blame them. Last month, they said “we are unable to guarantee that you will receive cash back” and they had to cancel my cash back. Nothing is wrong with them. It is all my fault. Befrugal describes terms on every merchants in a detailed way. This is why I continue to use Befrugal, and it is my favorite free online shopping portal!