Here’s a deal I’m extremely surprised to see return: at select shopping malls around the U.S., you can show $200 in shopping mall receipts at the information desk and get a free $20 Discover gift card. This deal has been offered for at least the last couple of holiday seasons, and I hopped in on it last year.
You can earn up to five totally free gift cards by redeeming $1,000 worth of shopping mall receipts. Here’s how to get your $100 worth of gift cards in three easy steps.
- Spend $1,000 on stuff at participating malls with your Discover card. Feel free to buy something for me since I’m letting you in on this awesome deal. Be sure to hang on to your receipts.
- Get thee to the information desk. Some malls call them “customer service desks.” Whatever it’s called, get there with your receipts in hand. (If I recall correctly, you may also need your state-issued ID.)
- Show your receipts. The lady behind the desk (yes, it’s always a lady, except when it’s a man, but that never happens) will examine your receipts, log your name in an official-looking binder, stamp your receipts (to prevent multiple redemptions), and give you your five free $20 Discover gift cards. You’ll also get your receipts back.
This deal runs from November 1st through December 31st, or while supplies last.
The reason I was surprised that this deal returned for Fall 2007 is that some people last year included a slightly evil fourth step:
4. Return all the merchandise, keep the gift cards.
Indeed, there’s nothing stopping you from buying $1,000 worth of merchandise at the shopping mall, getting your free gift cards, and then returning your purchases. I’m not going to condone that sort of behavior, but I’ll tell you how to make it really easy to do: purchase a small, expensive electronic (like a super-powered digital camera) from a department store with a friendly return policy. Use a credit card, get your gift cards, and immediately return the item so you’re never even billed for it.
Wait, am I automatically condoning something by telling you how to do it easier?