Discover Not Honoring Gift Card Purchases for 10% Bonus Cashback

Last month I introduced you to a potential opportunity to earn as much as $2,000 by taking advantage of an Apple Pay promotion by Discover.

I mentioned that it seemed too good to be true, but over the past few weeks I came to think that it might actually work.

As of this morning it appears that I was proven wrong after I (and hundreds of my readers) received this email from Discover.

Discover Cashback Deal Dead

Checking my email this morning looked a little something like this.


After browsing the usual forums and talking to some of my insiders this morning it appears that Discover is enforcing this rule manually. A number of people received the same emails for purchases that were entirely legitimate.

They’re simply challenging every high-dollar purchase and asking the customer to prove that it wasn’t a gift card.

Terrible customer service? Absolutely.

But there really isn’t much that we can do to counter it.

Data is somewhat limited at the moment but here is what we know so far:

  • Discover appears to only be challenging purchases made in the first week of the promotion (so far). So if you bought gift cards after 9/25 and didn’t receive an email about them it doesn’t mean you are out of the woods yet. I expect we will see more in the coming days.
  • Discover seems to be honoring gift card purchases made before 9/18. This is likely because the initial T&C’s said nothing about a gift card exclusion
  • We have confirmed that purchases from Staples, Walgreens, and Office Depot have been excluded. I do not have data excluding other stores who accept Apple Pay and sell gift cards.
  • Dozens of legitimate purchases have been challenged by Discover as well. So keep your receipts if you will be making any high-dollar purchases in the coming days.

It’s not entirely over yet. I’ll continue to test different stores and gift card amounts to see if anything slides through the cracks.

But it doesn’t look good.

On a happier note, this promotion will still save you 10-20% on legitimate purchases made using your Discover card with Apple Pay. So if you plan on doing any Christmas shopping at places like the Apple Store, Toys R Us, American Eagle, or any of the dozens of stores on this list you can still save quite a bit of money.

You also probably received a $50 signup bonus if you used the link from my original post. Which doubles for new customers to become $100.

As for the gift cards, stay tuned for updates.

Happy Travels,



P.S. I am receiving a ton of email traffic this morning regarding this update. Apologies in advance for the delay in getting back to you.

P.P. S. Here is a reaction video of Clark Griswold receiving his email from Discover this morning.

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