Maximize Discover Cashback Redemptions

I read, with interest, about the possibility of getting more than the cash value of your cashback from Discover from Miles Per Day. The method mentioned by his readers involves being a bulk seller on a certain exchange though, and I’ve just started in the world of MS about a month ago, so I’m not quite there yet.

I’ve found a method that is maybe even more lucrative. It’s more complicated and less instant though. But if you have patience, you don’t need bulk seller status. Discover Cashback also has $50 Overstock e-gift cards available for $45. Okay, so you’re looking at Giftcardwiki and seeing that you only get 75% and you paid 90%. But wait! There’s more.


You can sell these on Raise very easily for $49.50 — I’ve even made sales for the full $50. The downside is that Raise takes 15% of the sale price. So, at a sale price of $49.50, you’re getting $42.08. Okay, still losing money. But wait! Here comes the fun.


If you click through TopCashBack before you sell on Raise, they’re offering $10 cash back on gift cards listed for sale with value of $50 or more.

The math

$45 for $50 Overstock gc from Discover Cashback = -$45
$42.08 paid by Raise for selling Overstock gc for $49.50 = -$2.92
$10 paid by TopCashBack for listing gc of $50+ value = $7.08

Overall, you’re making $7.08 extra for each $45 redeemed in the Discover Cashback store. That’s about 15% more than if you took the cash. If you had $1000 in Discover Cashback to spend, you’d end up with $1150 instead. The downside is that it takes Raise about 5 weeks to pay out, and it may take a couple of weeks for your gift cards to sell on Raise. If you’re not in any hurry, this is very little extra work for a 15% boost to your bottom line!

These are my referral links for Raise and TopCashBack. Of course, you’re not at all obligated to use them, but I’m grateful if you choose to:

Raise ($5 off your first purchase)
Discover IT card application ($50 bonus cashback with first purchase)


Mystery Shopping

Note: this post contains affiliate links, and while I greatly appreciate it if you use them, you are not at all obligated to do so. Thank you for reading!

One idea for a job that comes close to an Ideal Job is mystery shopping. Here, I’ll review a couple of companies that I’ve worked for.

Ace Mystery Shopping

payment frequency: monthly via Dwolla 

Ace jobs are mostly of the “menu audit” variety. They pay $7-$14 for you to visit a cafe or casual dining restaurant and take pictures of all the menus and food items available. Highly recommended if you have errands to run nearby, or if you can do several in one go. The shops are extremely quick — snap a few photos, upload them to the Ace website, and you’re done! No purchase or conversation or evaluation needed. Payments are issued around the 20th of the month for the shops you completed the previous month.


payment frequency: per job within a week of completion via check

Bestmark jobs are more involved. You usually have to visit a business, make a purchase and review the customer service received. But for the added trouble, you are usually paid more and/or reimbursed for expenses. For example, you could be paid $45 to go to one store and shop in 3 different departments. The best opportunity with Bestmark is free auto service. There are shops where you bring your car in for an oil change or tire replacement, and you get paid $20-50 on top of being reimbursed for the actual service. Other opportunities include restaurants, hotel stays, even events like the symphony or opera.

Goodwin Hospitality

payment frequency: 60-90 days after shop completion, via PayPal

Goodwin shops are mostly quick service restaurant shops, and the pay is enough to cover your required order, but not much else. Sometimes there are bonuses so you might expect to make $10 on top of your reimbursement, but that’s still not much when compared to other companies and also in light of the detailed feedback you are required to give. I would recommend Goodwin only if you like the restaurants or were planning to eat there anyway — think of it as a free meal in exchange for feedback.


This is an app and website through which you can access jobs from multiple mystery shopping companies. Payment frequency will vary, but it’s neat to be able to access dozens of companies from one website. I’m hoping this becomes more popular with the mystery shopping companies so that one day we’ll only have to go through one website.

I’ve signed up with a few other companies, but I don’t have experience with them yet, so I’ll update this post as I learn more about each company.