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

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.

Does Target Visa GC come with Free $5 Target GC?

target visa entertainment gift cardThere is new Target Visa Gift Card available online. I have seen one many times at Target stores, but there had never been ones online. Denominations and fees are the same as existing ones. At first, I thought it is just a different design. But, it seems that new ones may have great bonus.

I clicked “Visa Entertainment Gift Card – $100 + $6 Fee” and scrolled down to see details of the card, and soon a short description attracted full of my attention.

Includes: $5 Target Gift Card

Does the package have $5 Target GC? They also sell $25 and $50, but there are no description of Target GC in their pages.

I also noticed that there is no the following warning message in the pages of new ones.

“Card cannot be purchased with a Target GiftCard. “

Does it mean I can pay with Target GCs?

Today, I bought three of $100 Visa Entertainment Gift Cards though ShopDiscover link. I used to buy a lot of Target Visa GCs (existing version) until Walmart stopped accepting these GCs (along with Vanilla and OneVanilla) for reloading BlueBird and Serve. ShopDiscover paid 5% cash back on all those orders. I hope this deal is still alive.

The reason I buy Target Visa GCs now is that Family Dollar recently started a service for reloading Serve card. And they accept Vanilla, OneVanilla, and Target Visa GCs for reloading Serve.

When I buy $100 Visa Entertainment Gift Card with PayPal Extras MasterCard:

  • A Purchase fee -$6.00
  • Cash back from ShopDiscover +$5.30
  • Credit Card Reward +212pts (worth $1.66 to $2.00)
  • (?) Free $5 Target Gift Card +$5.00 (?)

When the cards arrive everything will be clear, but when I go to Target store next time, I will look for the card and see if the package describes Includes: $5 Target Gift Card.

Moosejaw Rewards and Coupons

moosejaw rewardsMoosejaw was founded in 1992 in Keego Harbor, Michigan. They sell outdoor clothes and gears. Since there are no local stores in the area I live (NY), I shop online. I have been a customer for more than three years and made many purchases. The reason I keep coming back and shop is its great loyalty rewards program, Moosejaw Rewards.


  • Earn 10 points for every dollar on regular priced items
  • Earn 5 points for every dollar on discounted priced items
  • Purchase of gift cards is not eligible for the reward

You can earn 10 points for every dollar you spend, (except for gift cards and 5 points for sales items). 1 points is worth 1 cent. Reward points can be redeemed at “”. Probably, there are a little fewer items for rewards redemption than a regular online store, but they have many items from major brand. I believe you can find what you want in Moosejaw Rewards.

moosejaw rewards vip statusVIP Status

  • Earn 5000 points in calendar year, 25% bonus on every purchase (Aconcagua)
  • Earn 10000 points in calendar year, 50% bonus on every purchase (Denali)
  • Earn 15000 points in calendar year, 75% bonus on every purchase (K2)
  • Earn 20000 points in calendar year, 100% bonus on every purchase (Everest)

If you spend $500 today, you don’t only earn 5000 points, but also obtain the first VIP status, “Aconcagua.” From your next purchase, you will earn 12.5 points for every dollar. In Moosejaw Rewards, VIP program is called “High Altitude Bonus”, and there are four VIP statuses. The highest mountain VIP status is “Everest.” 100% bonus means you will earn 20 point for every dollar you spend. Again, 1 point=1 cent, thus you get 20% back! VIP status you earn will be valid until the end of the next year.

How to Earn VIP Status Efficiently

A great offer which Moosejaw gives is not only the rewards program but also many useful coupons. One of coupons I use every time it’s available is “3XREWARD.”(it is available several times throughout the year) Literally, you can earn 3x reward points. Say, you are in VIP status “Aconcague” and make a purchase of $500. You earn 5000*3 and 25% bonus of 1250, 16250 points in total. Even if this is the first purchase of the year, you will earn VIP status of “K2″ with only one transaction!

High Rate of Cash Back from Portals

Moosejaw pays good cash back to shopping portals. The best rate is ShopDiscover 10%. During ShopDiscover’s promotion, the rate goes up 15%! If you don’t have Discover credit cards and can’t access to ShopDiscover, visit It is a free-to-join shopping portal and offers between 7% to 9% cash back.

With All Combined….

I’m in VIP status of “Everest”. When I shop with a coupon “3XREWARD” through shopping portal, ShopDiscover:

  • Earn 30% back in point with a coupon
  • Earn 10% back in point for High Altitude Bonus (100% bonus of a base point)
  • Earn 10% cash back from ShopDiscover
  • Earn 1% cash back from credit card reward

It is more than 50% off deal!


Basic Moosejaw Rewards (10% back) is already great. Plus, you can get VIP Status to earn more reward points. And obtaining VIP status is easy with “3XREWARD” coupon. ShopDiscover pays 10% cash back, and I have never had a problem with it. The “3XREWARD” coupon is available quite often. You can check currently available coupons below.

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.

Target Visa GC & ShopDiscover w/free shipping on $50+

free s&h on 50+I received an ad from Target. It seems that Target has new shipping policy, “free shipping on all orders of $50+.” I checked if this is eligible on the purchase of gift cards. I added $100 Target Visa Gift Card to a cart and chose credit card for the payment method. I made sure that it was free shipping. (Just a week ago, I did the same thing, and they charged $1.95 for shipping.)

Now that shipping cost is free, there is nothing for me to stop purchasing Target Visa GC. I used “Discover it” card, and most importantly I entered through ShopDiscover. I received thanks-for-your-order email, and there is no cancellation email (please read the posts: Target Visa Gift Card and ShopDiscover 1&2). The next day, I received an email from ShopDiscover. The card arrived a week later.

target visa gc w free s&h

It proved that Target kept cancelling my orders because I used Target GCs as a payment method. I don’t know why they accepted the first order (I used Target GCs for the purchase of Target Visa GC.) Anyway, I won’t do that again. It is not comfortable to receive an email of cancellation right after a check-out.

In this transaction:

  • I paid a purchase fee (-$6.00)
  • I earned 5% cash back from ShopDiscover (+$5.30)
  • I earned 1% cash back from Discover (+$1.06)
  • Total +$0.36 profit

This isn’t a lot, but I always redeem Discover’s reward for 20% discounted gift cards, so $6.36 will be worth $7.95 for me. I get $1.95 profit.

Target accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and PayPal. You can convert AmEx GCs into $100 Target Visa GCs for 70¢ per card. AmEx GCs have fewer features than Visa GCs. They don’t have PINs so you can’t get cash back at registers. Once you get Visa GCs, you can load BlueBird/Serve at Walmart and get cash back at registers depending on the stores. Visa GCs are easier to be converted into cash than AmEx GCs.

As I mentioned in the earlier posts, it is a great money maker when it is on 4th quarter of Discover’s promotion (rotating category: online shopping). And if ShopDiscover’s seasonal promotions give additional 5% cash back on purchases at, that would be so great. Because cash back from ShopDiscover is unlimited, while cash back from rotating categories are capped at $1500 of purchases. And if this happens in 4th quarter, you will get total 15% cash back!!! However, I’m not sure that the cash back rate of is raised up by 5% in the past. I have never paid attention to it. I will need to keep an eye on the cash back rate of

Please note that it seems that Walmart kiosk no longer accepts Target Visa GCs for reloading BlueBird/Serve, read this post for the details.

Target Visa Gift Card and ShopDiscover 2/2

I have received the second email from ShopDiscover. Now for sure, cash back is available for the purchase of Target Visa GCs. I added one Target Visa GC and tried to check out with Discover it card. Then I knew I was completely unaware of shipping cost. It is eligible of free shipping  when you purchase with REDcard, and when checking out with Target GCs they didn’t charge shipping cost, either. Anyway, they charge $1.95 for shipping, if I buy (1) $100 Target Visa GC with Discover it card:

  • Pay a purchase fee (-$6.00)
  • Pay shipping cost (-$1.95)
  • 5% cash back from ShopDiscover ($5.30 <– $106 x 0.05 not applied for shipping)
  • 1% cash back from Discover ($1.08)
  • Total $1.57 loss

Shipping cost is the same, $1.95 if you order five gift cards. But still, the total of cash back doesn’t cover purchase fee and shipping cost. It is not worth a try. Now my choice is to give up or find a way to buy Target Visa GCs with Target GCs. Why did the first transaction go through? Why did the second and third attempts also go through, but cancel a minute later? The following I can come up with:

  • My account is blocked because of the first purchase made with Target GCs
  • The second purchase is too close from the day of the first one
  • I clicked ShopDiscover’s link

Maybe my account is blocked. I had the same experience on Sears purchases. I ordered and checked out something at They cancelled my orders right after sending thank-you-for-your-order emails. My Sears account was blocked becasue I used SYW Max program, which is free shipping on almost all items for $79 a year, for my eBay business. I dropshipped tons of items to customers on eBay for more than 6 months. Sears detected and blocked my account.

But. what I bought at is only $100 gift card. I don’t think it is a big problem. The first purchase is 2 weeks ago. Again, it is only one $100 gift card I bought. The details on the page of  Target Visa GC says “Limit on number of cards purchased.” It can’t be you can buy only one gift card a month.

The emails telling me that the order was cancelled is exactly one minute after a check-out. It seems to be automated. They don’t want to give cash back on the purchase of gift cards, so maybe they set to cancel the orders checked out through ShopDiscover. This may be the cause of cancellation. To find the answer, I made another attempt. I clicked a link on and checked out (1) $100 Target Visa GC with Target GCs.

It wouldn’t go through. Just like previous two orders, I received a confirmation email and then cancellation email. This time, however, things got worse. The refund are almost instanly come back to my gift cards on previous orders, but it didn’t on this order. What’s more, I couldn’t see the balance of gift cards, either. There was an error message when I tried to check the balance of gift cards.

The next day, it was available to get access to the balance of gift cards and I confirmed money was refunded. The series of incident scares me. I will no longer try to buy Visa GCs with Target GCs. The reason of cancellations hasn’t been clear yet, but I don’t want to risk losing money of Target GCs.

What I got from the experience is ShopDiscover will probably pay out  on the purchase of Target Visa GCs. You can make profit when ShopDiscover has a promotion. During the promotion, some retailers cash back rate are added up by 5%.  I’m not sure if there is a promotion that cash back rate of goes up to 10%. So, I will need to check every time ShopDiscover has a promotion. And using 4th quarter of Discover it card promotion, 5% cash back on all online shopping, will also make profit. (This promotion is limited on the total purchase of $1500, so it is better to use it for somewhere else, though)

Updated in June, 2014, Target introduced new shipping policy. All orders of $50 or more are eligible free shipping. With this new offer, I finally purchased Target Visa Gift Card with a credit card.