Q3 Rotating Bonuses – Chase Freedom & Discover IT

New quarter, new bonuses! These bonuses will run through September 30, 2015.

Chase Freedom

Activate here. Most gas stations have gift card racks so this should be an easy $1,500 to spend this quarter.

  • Gas stations
  • Kohl’s

Discover IT

Activate here. This is a very easy one to max out ($1,500 also). Combined with enrolling in the double cash back offer for a year, the Discover IT card will get some serious burn for me going forward. Look at Sears in the Discover Deals portal to compound the bonus.

  • Home improvement stores
  • Department stores*
  • Amazon.com

 

Evolve Money Changes Terms for Discover Cards

There have been a lot of changes going on with Evolve Money lately. First, I wrote about how they were a great way to pay for bills or loans that you can’t normally pay for with credit or gift cards.

Then, they announced great news that we could use Discover credit cards to pay via Evolve.

Then the other day, shortly after making that Discover card announcement, Evolve dropped a bombshell.

Beginning December 18, 2014, you will no longer be able to use Discover credit cards to pay mortgages, car payments, 529 savings accounts, retail store cards, and student loans. However, you can continue to pay these bills for free using Discover, VISA and MasterCard debit cards, as well as cash packs.

You will still be able to pay ALL other bills that are not from lenders, including utilities, cable, phone, internet, insurance and more for free with your Discover credit card.

Well, that was short-lived and, frankly, kind of lame.

Now, the only use I have for Evolve is to pay my utility bill because if I pay directly on their site, I incur a credit/debit card processing fee – not so with Evolve. The uses stop there.

The “good news” from Evolve in that same email is that you will be able to use Vanilla Reload cards to pay bills come January 2015. However, for us manufactured spenders, that doesn’t mean a thing because you can no longer purchase them with a credit card.

Hopefully, the next announcement from Evolve will bring some better news.

Follow Up: Evolve Money + Discover Card

This is a follow up to my post over the weekend about Evolve Money’s newest developments.

It looks like all is well just like Evolve said!

Evolve payment posting as a purchase on Discover

Evolve payment posting as a purchase on Discover

The payment has posted to my Discover account as a regular payment & I already see the Evolve payments posting to my utility company as well as my student loan company.

This isn’t huge news but look at it as another tool in the toolbox. It’s an easy way to earn some miles from the comfort of your own home or on the go with their handy mobile apps.

Evolve Money Now Takes Discover Cards

I just received an email from Evolve Money about a new feature – they now accept Discover credit cards as payment sources!

Previously, they only accepted debit cards or gift cards as payment sources to pay bills. This opens up a nice avenue to earn some decent cashback through Discover.

Evolve Money has been a steady source of paying for things that normally aren’t able to be paid with a credit card – utility bills, student loans, mortgage, etc.

When I execute my strategy of buying gift cards from Staples with my Chase Ink Plus card to earn 5x UR points, I am obviously stuck with hundreds of dollars in gift cards. Evolve Money is one of the primary ways I liquidate these cards to ensure I don’t have too much money floating around.

If this is the first time you’re hearing of it or you need a refresher on how it works, please refer to my original Evolve post.

I just wanted  to give this quick update on a great source of miles & points. Hopefully, you can blow the dust off that Discover and earn some cashback. In fact, this quarter’s bonus is 5% on “online purchases.”

And as an added teaser from Evolve, they also mentioned this in the email:

Coming in 2015, payment by VISA and MasterCard credit cards!

Using Other Credit Cards with ShopDiscover Portal

After reading that Visa gift cards were being sold on Staples.com, I decided to break out my Chase Ink Plus and earn a few easy bonus points.

This post isn’t about buying gift cards from office supply stores with your Chase Ink cards for the 5x points; that should already be part of your points-earning strategy. This post is about the ability to leverage the ShopDiscover shopping portal without paying with your Discover card.

ShopDiscover currently boasts the best cashback/points offer on purchases made on Staples.com – 5% cashback. Even the popular Chase Ultimate Rewards only offers 2 points per dollar spent.

It’s an unwritten rule that (most of the time) you’ll get credit for the portal purchase even if it’s paid with a different credit card. I decided I wanted to find out for myself so I clicked through to Staples from the ShopDiscover portal, put $500 worth of Visa gift cards in my cart, and checked out with my Chase Ink Plus (instead of my Discover IT card).

I just received an email confirming the cashback earned from that purchase.

ShopDiscover discover

What’s even better is that I earned cashback on the total purchase price, including gift card fees.

The final tally from that order of gift cards was:

  • Total price: $534.75 ($500 worth of gift cards + $34.75 in fees)
  • 5x Ultimate Rewards points: 2,674
  • 5% Discover cashback: $26.74
  • Total “cost”: $8.01 for 2,674 UR points + $500 in Visa gift cards – a cool $0.003 per point!

So there you have it, another viable option when it comes to shopping and earning points online. I’ll add it to my regular rotation which includes Chase Ultimate Rewards, Barclay’s Rewards Boost, and a plethora of cashback portals (Big Crumbs, Ebates, & Mr. Rebates).

I know this isn’t breaking news, but I’m glad I could confirm it myself for my readers.