The First Store
I’m officially calling a deal dead and it’s cost me nearly 20% for the gift card churn. I was fully expecting a handsome portal pay out and it doesn’t look like it’s coming through. I’ve waited over 1 month and we’re approaching the second month waiting to hear back from Discover. Discover is always on top of their game and within the week after purchasing I usually receive an email of the expected cash back amount. I went in hard with a gift card deal and this one went bad, fast. I’m looking at a loss of $2000.
Prior to making the purchase, the gift card was “out of stock” then when it came back it was an entirely different SKU. My assumption, when the new SKU was put into place, systematically, no cashback is offered on the gift card.
It’s always a great reminder to everyone, seasoned or not. Make sure you test and buy small amounts before scaling! I figured past experience it would work, but alas, it did not.
I’m not sure which one is worse. Lack or portal pay out or a change in MCC/how this gift card purchase processing changed. This is important part of my plan for 5% cards which is why I now have 7 of them.
The Second Store
When I first ordered the cards, I was like hmm, that’s interesting each card has been itemized per line.
Here is a screen shot of my US Bank Cash+ card. Each quarter I choose always Grocery Stores, Department Stores, and Electronic stores. These are the best categories the best for manufactured spending offered.
Did you see that? Only 1% cash back for everything on April 20, and 5% for the MyPoints gift card purchase. Unfortunately, when I bought all the gift cards, I didn’t use my Chase or Citi card so I couldn’t tell what MCC it was. Thankfully, when I used the Barclay’s US Airways card, it explained to me in detail what it was categorized as
The store was categorized as “Combination Catalog and Retail Merchant.” Well, I just lost out on 4% extra cash back because this vendor changed the category. The only plus side to that category is using the Citi AT&T credit card where you earn bonuses in a retail store.
It bears repeating to do a few small test purchases every month so you stay abreast to everything. If you don’t, and you jump into it, it will cost you. It’s like diving into the shallow end of the pool and you heed the no diving warning signs. All said and done, after this, I can officially say I’ve lost thousands of dollars gift card churning. It’s all part of the risk when we do this type of things, so just remember not to go nuts.
I’m going to take my own advice and do a continual purchase each month to make sure the deal is still active. If I know it’s active, at least I know I can go big and it will work and not be surprised.