Sunday, October 25, 2015

SERIOUSLY, if you haven't jumped on the latest Discover deals, you should strongly consider doing so!!!

I've already written about it a couple times, but read on to learn more about some AWESOME Discover promotions that everyone should strongly consider ...

Again, I know that I've written about this a few times.  And I reserve the right to write about it a few more!  What you'll read (below) is my reply (slightly edited) to a friend who emailed me and effectively said, "Do you know how I can get a good discount on some appliances?"  Well, yes I do ...


I know this is a little bit long, but I think it's worth your while:

First step in the process ... apply for a Discover ("Discover it") card ... if you don't have one already (or maybe for your spouse if you already do?).  Here's my referral LINK (I get $50 if you sign up, and you get $50 - best publicly available offer that I'm aware of for you).  Note that the "double rewards" promo I describe below is only for new Discover cardholders (but besides the spouse sign-up route, I also think existing cardholders can have 2 Discover cards - as long as they applied for the first over 12 months ago).

Discover is currently running 2 AWESOME promos.  First, everything you buy in the first 12 months you're a cardholder earns double rewards (with the only "catch" being that the 2nd/double portion doesn't get paid to you until the end of the 12 months).  So the normal 1% (not great) you earn on everyday purchases earns 1% now and 1% at the end of a year. Then Discover has rotating 5% quarterly categories (such as gas, restaurants, etc), and this 4Q category happens to be department stores (including usually their websites - like  So you earn 5% now and 5% later on up to $1500 ($75 + $75) in spending each quarter in that category.  (FYI - the "double" promotion also applies to your $50 sign-up bonus, so you'll actually get another $50 a year from now.)

The second promo is that all purchases made IN-STORE with Apple Pay (using your Discover card) between now and year-end earn 10% (plus the normal 1% or 5%), and this 10% (plus the 1% or 5%) DOES qualify for the doubling promotion as well!!!  This is good for up to $10k in purchases (so you'd earn $2200+ in cashback, split 50/50 between right away and 12 months from now, if you spent $10k between now and year end)!!!  [The jury is still out on whether Discover will enforce some "fine print" language they have that says gift card purchases will not earn this Apple Pay bonus 10% (x 2). But if we start getting feedback from people that it works, you could spend some (or all) of the $10k you don't spend by year-end on gift card (to effectively "lock-in" 22%+ savings beyond 12/31).]

Do you know what a "shopping portal" is?  If not, I'll give you a quick explanation (and you can look up more info on my blog).  Well known portals include or  (And you can search for the best portal to use for any give retailer on any given day at  Basically, you visit an online retailer via the portal and when you buy something, the portal gets a referral fee from the retailer and then pays some or all of it back to you.  Well, Discover has a really good shopping portal (called "Discover Deals") that is only available to their cardholders, and you access it from your account website.  (Key tip for shopping portals:  Always start with a fresh browser, preferably an incognito browser, and do NOT visit the online retailer or have anything in your shopping cart ahead of time.  Portal payouts only work when they can clearly see that the portal was what brought you to the online retailer.)  Awesome part about Discover Deals portal is that earnings from it DO qualify for the Discover double-rewards promotion too!

So HERE IS THE KEY.  You can get 30% off of everything from (order your freezer or whatever online and either pick it up in-store or have them deliver) between now and year-end.  You get 10% for going through the Discover Deals shopping portal, and that will double at the end of 12 months.  So there's 20%.  Then Sears (and are part of the 5% bonus category in 4Q, and that doubles at the end of the year.  So it all adds up to 30% off on up to $1500 (so up to $450) in merchandise between now and year-end.  (Anything beyond $1500 in spending would only earn the portal bonus, doubled, so 20% at Sears.) You will also earn Sears rewards (called ShopYourWay rewards) if you sign up for their free rewards program.

Until recently, you could have got 50% (still maybe possible, but risky).  You could have done this by buying e-gift cards on (NOT physical gift cards) via the Discover shopping portal.  Shockingly, that used to pay back the 20% (or 30% with the 4Q 5% bonus category), just like buying merchandise.  Then you turn around and buy the merchandise you want via the Discover portal again, this time paying with the gift cards you just bought, and that would also pay back 20% (not the extra 5% x 2 - since you wouldn't be paying with the Discover card this time).  So you could earn 50% back, if this still worked.  But they have recently changed their terms to not allow that, although I think some people are still saying it works sometimes.  But probably not worth the risk that neither works (buying the gift cards or the merchandise).  The Discover portal has always said that you're supposed to use your Discover card when purchasing stuff via the portal, but usually paying with gift cards will still work (but maybe not at Sears anymore). Paying with the Discover card when you're using the Discover portal is safer, as it gives you a "paper trail" with Discover (but you do need to be careful using the shopping portal, as I described above).

[UPDATE:  HERE is a post from Frequent Miler about the status of the Sears "double dip" (using portals for buying gift cards and then using the gift cards.  Unfortunately, he doesn't have an definitive answer yet.  But stay tuned as it sounds like Greg at FM is getting close to figuring the situation out.]

You could also buy stuff IN-store at a retailer that takes Apple Pay (Sears stores do not, but some BestBuy's do), and earn either 11% (doubled) or 15% [up to $1500] (doubled) between now and year-end (up to $10k in purchases via Discover & Apple Pay).  The 15% would be from shopping at a department store (don't know of any other than Sears that sells big appliances?), at least up to $1500.  But even 22% off at BestBuy is pretty dang good.  Also know that BestBuy (and many other stores) will price match ... so find the best price on the same freezer (maybe at Sears or Home Depot), then have BestBuy price-match it and pay for it in-store with Apple Pay to get 22% off.

Sorry for the long reply, but hope it helps!

If you didn't get this far, you should force yourself to!!!  Even if you have to read it a few times (and/or ask me questions) to understand.

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