How to play the amazing $2,200 Discover Cash Back promotion

I find it fascinating how the ‘Miles & Points’ game has evolved over the years. The latest ‘mega offer’ is actually not for miles at all but for plain old cash back.

However using the same techniques we have all mastered during the last years Discover offers a stunning $2,200 cash back until the end of the year.

Airline Credit Cards

Here is the recipe how to cook your own $2,200 cash back – potentially several times!

UPDATE: Discover has now excluded the purchase of gift cards from the terms and conditions of the promotion. How this is being enforced remains to be seen since it does not show on my retailers CC transaction but this may invalidate the deal!

The recipe for the $2,200 Discover Cash Back promotion

Discover has been running several promotions this year. They launched the Discover It card earlier this year and eventually ran a Double Cash Back promotion. This was initially supposed to end by July, then September and has now been extended until the end of the year for all new Discover card members.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.41.00 PM

Discover wasn’t part of Apple Pay when it launched but has just been added with the latest update yesterday (iOS 9). To spur card usage Discover added another 10% Cash Back promotion.

What are the details for the 10% Cashback Bonus® promotion?
Cashback Bonus:

Earn an extra 10% Cashback Bonus on up to $10,000 of in-store purchases when you use your Discover card with Apple Pay now through December 31, 2015. Rewards earned are in addition to your standard rewards and are added to your Cashback Bonus account within 2 billing periods. See Cashback Bonus Program Terms and Conditions for more information.

Miles:

Earn an extra 10 miles per dollar on up to $10,000 of in-store purchases when you use your Discover card with Apple Pay now through December 31, 2015 now through 12/31/15. Rewards earned are in addition to your standard rewards and are added to your Miles account within 2 billing periods. See Miles Program Terms and Conditions for more information.

Ingredients for the $2,200 Discover Cash Back promotion

Apple iPhone 6 or 6S

Apple Pay with Discover only works on an iPhone 6 (if updated to iOS 9) or 6S (once it ships).

Just add your card to your ‘Wallet’ that’s what Apple Pay is called on the phone.

I still have the iPhone 5 myself. So what are the options?

Apple Pay does work with multiple account holders. So you can either make your trusted friend and Authorized User or just add the card under your name to his/her Apple Wallet. This should work unless a store asks for ID.

Airline Credit Cards

You can also get an iPhone from the Apple Store and return it after 14 days. I have done that before and my local store had no trouble giving me a full refund even given the fact that I obviously used the phone (but not scratched it).

ATT Cit Card

ATT and Citi have a credit card that offers $650 purchase credit if you buy a phone on the ATT website.

This requires $3,000 in spend and the whole operation takes a bit of time but might be worth it!

Discover Cards

You also need a discover card to get started – doh! If you have an existing one you can get up to $1,100 in Cash Back (Miles). But you always apply for an additional one – even two if you bring up a valid reason why you need two cards in q 3 months time frame.

I just applied and got approved after talking to reconsideration on Monday.

Find an Apple Pay enabled Retail Store

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.53.48 PM

This can be a bit of a daunting task. We want to find a merchant that sells gift cards and we can pay via Apple Pay.

Mastercard has a Nearby App that has suggestions and Apple itself lists these chains. In the end you need to get ‘out there’ and try.

Liquidating Gift Cards

Gift Cards (that have a debit function) can still be liquidated at selected Walmarts (machines are better than tellers) and using the Target Redbird or Amex for Target.

This won’t be free but you will be hard pressed to spend more than $200 on all the fees.

That is still $2,000 in ‘free money’ from Discover – per card!

Amazing!