Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Discover Deals Removes Walmart - What's the Next Best Shopping Portal to Use?

I logged into my Discover account this morning in order to make a purchase at Walmart and I noticed that was removed from Discover Deals.  This is a big hit to me.  If you are a big shopper, the combination of Discover Deals and a new Discover card meant 5% cashback on all your purchases and another 1% cashback just like any other purchase.  This would get doubled at the end of the year to 12% cashback.  Not only can you not beat that, you can't really come close!

It's worth it to note that Discover Deals was shutting down entirely at the end of the month so I needed to find a replacement anyways for walmart but I was really ramping up my purchases this month and cycling through my credit limit (Discover gives notoriously low limits on new cards) to maximize my cashback. 

I'm pretty sure I was partly responsible for the shutting down of Discover Deals so it becomes incumbent on me to find an alternative solution that we can break together ;)

Alternatives to Discover Deals

Gift Cards 

I haven't been a big fan of gift cards lately for reselling.  Yes, it's a lot of money potentially but it's also a lot of tracking and frankly I tend to lose some cards (I only realize later when I find the balance - I can't quantify the ones I've lost but haven't found).  When you take that into consideration it really knocks down the savings.  You also lose out on purchase protections and when you have returns, sometimes they put it back on the original gift card which may be gone since you used it up.  Then the fraud on second hard cards.  The accounting and tracking is enough for me to just give it up.  It was also not relevant to me for Walmart since I was going to use my Discover card for purchasing through Discover Deals (shlit"a, soon to be a"h).

Either way, if you like the gift card route, you can purchase gift cards from any of the reputable sites to increase your savings.  Check out Gift Card Wiki for the current rates but be aware that Walmart gift cards are very popular so you won't get much of a discount, think less than 1%.

Alternatively, you can purchase gift cards from office supply stores like Staples with Chase Ink or Amex Simply Cash to earn 5x Ultimate Rewards or 5% cashback.

Shopping Portals

Whether you are paying via credit card or gift card, you need to find the best shopping portal to use.  As always, you should be checking Cashback Monitor for the current rates.

Here is what you see for Walmart (I didn't put in the points column because they are woeful currently):

There are a couple of things to note. 

1) Discover Deals is still on there as of writing this post so it isn't updated immediately, not a shocker, you should always double check as it isn't perfect.

2) The current #1 overall is not on there either

3) You need to check the "up to x%" ones individually.  Usually means that different categories within the same store have different earning rates.


Upromise has a shopping portal.  It currently earns 5% cashback for all purchases at Walmart.  In general don't recommend Upromise. I have not had good success on tracking with them and speaking to others, I am not the only one but others have had consistent success as well so might be worth a try to you.  Be aware that they can be very slow to track so you likely won't get confirmation for a while even if it does track.  I have earned close to $3,000 from Upromise in the past but I stopped using them completely after hundreds of dollars of cashback stopped tracking.  It just wasn't worth it considering the alternatives.

Active Junky

I recently started using Active Junky (Referral Link - we both get $10 if you sign up spend more than $25). From speaking to others, their tracking is excellent and I have experienced that so far as well on my first couple of transactions.  Transactions tracked in a couple of days. 

Active Junky earns 4% at Walmart across the board.  Not bad but it wasn't what I used today.

LeMoney is on there as well.  Every time I've used them for Walmart it has tracked but the purchase earns $0.00!  Avoid, avoid!

Top Cashback/Ebates

When you look at Top Cashback and Ebates, they both say up to 10% cashback.  When you look at the categories, there probably isn't much a reseller is going to buy in the 10% range besides maybe baby gear (only at Ebates, not Top Cashback).  However, Toys and Home are 5% cashback from both Top Cashback and Ebates.  Keep in mind that the Toy category is going to change in 4 days on Top Cashback (and probably Ebates too).  Right now it is only 1% at Be Frugal.

Personally I prefer Top Cashback as I find their rates are better in general and they track very well.  Ebates is good at tracking but the rates aren't usually quite as good.

If you don't have an Ebates or Top Cashback account please sign up with my link and I'll get some extra money as well along with you getting something.

Credit Card

If you aren't using a gift card, which credit card should you use?  Whatever is your favorite everyday internet purchases.  That could be the Citi AT&T Thank You which earns 3x for internet purchases (only available as a product change), it could be the first year of your Discover It Miles Card (3% cashback everywhere) or Bank of America Travel Rewards with Preferred Rewards where you can earn 2.625% with no annual fee and no limits (if you have $100k parked at Bank of America or Merrill Lynch).