In late October, I purchased my first Apple iPhone to take advantage of the Discover Apple Pay promotion. I have been a long time Android user. When I explained my rationale to my friends why I purchased the iPhone 6s for the potential to earn $4000 back from Discover, my friend immediately retorted that I sold my soul. To turn down the potential for $4000 to me is borderline crazy. I have two Discover cards and both were registered to have double cash back.
When emails were rolling in about Discover declining gift card purchases, I knew mine were at risk and I had not received the emails yet. Then a few days ago I started to receive them:
We’re writing to let you know that your Apple Pay purchase on October xx, 2015 for $1,024.75 at ABC 123 xxxxxxxxxxx included a gift card. The gift card portion of your purchase does not qualify for the 10% Cashback Bonus® promotion.
I made sure they were random values, but the purchases were high enough for them to flag and want to see receipts. At that point, I was back to the drawing board.
For one thing, some people may see manufactured spending to beyond them in their ethics. To me, I see it as coloring in between the lines. However, the Apple Pay with Discover promotion gave me thoughts that could compromise my integrity.
I thought long and hard about the possibility of how I could maximize this promotion, but I was not going to let Apple Pay and Discover change my values. My integrity is worth more than $4000. There was one idea that I thought of executing, but a better deal came up. In this light, because there might be people executing on the idea I won’t write about it publicly until after everyone is paid out from Discover.
If we were to depict my feelings on it, I would say it was like a square. Then the thoughts and ideas I had kept evolving and landed as a circle.
A couple of ideas that surfaced and did not execute because they were non negotiable are:
- Buying product to refund
- Doctoring receipts
I never advocate buying anything just to return, whether it is for points or cash in this instance.
While I applaud Discover to give us the opportunity to contest their findings, I did not want to doctor any receipts. I do not want to make up any receipts or fudge any products. That idea feels so shady and is just wrong. While I will not do it, I can see other people doing it because why not? It’s easy and the charges went through.
Almost Gave Up
I was ready to resign to the fact that I was not going to be able to complete the $20,000 spend. Then a promotion came up and caused the wheels to turn and I was ready. And then a different promotion came in and having made friends in store I will meet the spend this weekend. The first promotion that caused the wheels to turn would have required some real spend, multiple steps, and a decent amount of work.
We still have the rest of the month of December. To maximize, my best advice is to be on the look out for deals and just resell on Amazon because that’s what I am doing.