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Getting the maximum amount of cash back you can per purchase is basically a virtue here on FFL. One way to do this when online shopping is by using what are called cash back portals.
These portals provide you with affiliate links to thousands of different online retailers. In short, when you use one of their links, they earn a small percentage of the price you paid for the product in the form of commission. A portion of this is given to you, the shopper.
While it may seem unfair that they’re getting all of the money, it’s a quick and easy way to save some cash. On average – depending on the portal – you can expect to save roughly 7%.
Some portals are better than others, offering different types of cash back for different retailers. Discover has done a great job in offering savings through their shopping portal called Discover Deals. It’s one of the best out there for a couple of reasons:
- You get your cash back bonus plus the cash back from your credit card
- It’s the only portal that offers 5% back at the Apple Store
- Discover has excellent customer service
- You can use this cash immediately to lower your current card balance
Note: If you’re still confused on what shopping portals are, you can read this article here for a more in-depth explanation.
What Is Discover Deals?
As mentioned above, the specific name of Discover’s Cash Back Portal is called Discover Deals. In order to receive cash back on your purchase, you must use your Discover Card on checkout. All cash back is rewarded within 8 weeks of purchase, and I’ve always received mine.
Discover Deals can be found by logging-in to your Discover account. Once you are in, click on the “Rewards” tab at the top of the page and view the scroll-down menu that appears. From there click on “Discover Deals.”
There you can view all of their stores they have partnered with and the amount of cash back you can receive. Let’s get into some deal comparisons.
How do we compare?
The best way to compare quickly and accurate who has the highest cash back at a specific retailer is by using a resource called CashBackMonitor. This website quickly takes into account shopping portals from all around the web and figures out the cash back percentage that they offer.
Here is a list of all the available portals that they monitor:
There are a few more, but I don’t recommend using them as they tend to not be reliable from personal experience. The only one that I don’t see on the list that is a good one is ExtraBux.
1. Apple Store.
Type in “Apple Store” in the monitor and we’ll see that Discover has the highest cash back. (You can’t see Discover directly on the front page, so you need to click on the Apple Store link to view all comparisons). In fact, Discover is the only portal that offers cash back.
3. Men’s Warehouse.
If we manually check on the Discover Deals webpage, we quickly find that we can save 40% on everything purchased at Men’s Warehouse.
When Calculating Cash Back For Discover Deals, Double It
Let’s say you find a portal that offers a higher percentage in cash back than Discover Deals. Before going with another portal, double the amount of cash back you get using Discover.
That’s because they are currently holding a promotion where you can double all of your cash back earned when signing-up for the Discover It Card. Instead of 5% off at the Apple Store, you’re actually getting 10% off.
The promotion is only available to new members, but a quick phone call on the back of your Discover It Card and asking them politely will make them change their mind. If you have to, mention that you are interested in canceling your account because you can’t have to promotion to convince them.
To read more about the Double Cash Back Promotion, we cover it all in this article here.
A Word Of Caution… Don’t Forget About Gift Cards
While Discover is great for portals, sometimes they just aren’t the best option to go with, especially if we can find other ways to get cash back. One way by doing this is by purchasing gift cards at an extreme discount.
When you go through Discover Deals, you must use your Discover Card. Instead, why not use a Gift Card purchased at a discount and a portal? Let’s take a look at an example below.
Discover Deals currently offers 5% off on all purchases made on Walmart. That’s pretty good. If we use the Double Cash Back Promotion, we’re essentially getting 10% off. It’s going to be hard to beat that number… or is it?
In fact, we’ve already written an article on how to get 12.5% off All items at Walmart. We’re going to summarize it quickly in 3 steps:
1. Get a cash back credit card. We recommend the Citi Double Cash Card. It gives you 2% cash back on all purchases, 1% when you buy something and 1% when you pay your bill.
2. Purchase a discounted gift card and go through a portal. Many gift card resellers buy gift cards at a discount from those who don’t want them and then resell them at a higher price to consumers. Sometimes you can get them for up to 80% off or more.
For Walmart, the best deal we could find is by going through Cardpool, and then using a portal through Cardpool. The BeFrugal portal offers 2% off for all purchases made on Cardpool, and Cardpool sells Walmart gift cards for 3.5% off.
Use your Citi Double Cash Card for purchasing the gift card and you get another 2% off. Add these all up and you’re at 7.5% off so far.
3. Go through a portal again. Before making your Walmart purchase, go through a portal again. UPromise offers 5% cash back on all purchases through Walmart. Use their link and just use the gift card you purchased on checkout.
By doing all these steps, you saved a total of 12.5% on your Walmart purchase. This is 2.5% better than going through Discover Deals. Sometimes it might be best to look around first. While 2.5% isn’t a large difference, if you’re buying an expensive item it can be.
Caution: I want to urge that when you use a gift card on your purchase, you don’t get the purchase protection on a credit card. Furthermore, if you return the product, you get the money back in the form of a gift card, not cash. For electronics, I recommend just sticking with your Discover Credit Card.
You can read the full review on how to save 12.5% at Walmart here.
What Credit Card Do You Recommend?
The card that I recommend for using Discover Deals is the Discover It Card. With their current promotion, you can get double cash back on all purchases (which means the minimum will be 2% instead of 1%), and they have categories that give you 5% cash back which rotate quarterly.
Here’s a quick glance of the card below:
- 5% cash back on categories that rotate quarterly
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- No annual fee
- Online shopping portal allows you to get up to 40% cash back
- First late payment waived
- Free FICO credit score shown on monthly statement
- Free overnight shipping for replacement card
Since there’s no annual fee with this card, you can’t go wrong.
The Discover It Card is particularly powerful when it comes to getting cash back. Just don’t forget to rule it out when using online shopping portals. Even if you don’t see it listed on CashBackMonitor, check Discover Deals since sometimes it’s not accurate.
Since they’re holding the promotion of doubling your cash back on all purchases, instead of getting 40% cash back at Men’s Warehouse you’re actually getting 80%! That’s almost close to free.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!
My name is Jason Wuerch and I'm currently located in Madrid, Spain running a personal finance blog called Frugal For Less. My goal is to help everyone and anyone willing to make and save money through easy and simple ways that don't require much effort. Just because you're frugal doesn't mean you have to give up life's luxuries.