Update: Dosh may honor Staples promo after all

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Update 4/10/20: Several readers have commented to say that cash back from Staples purchases are once again back to pending. Greg then received an email in response to his support ticket for the missing cash back:

Hello,

You may have noticed that your cashback earned at Staples was recently removed from your Dosh Wallet due to gift card purchases. After a thorough review, we identified a small number of users that were mistakenly affected. We’re diligently working to resolve this, and we will be sending out emails to those affected with corrections and next steps if needed soon.

We appreciate your understanding of the situation.

Sincerely,
Dosh Support

This is obviously still developing, but the fact that Dosh is re-considering the clawback is a very positive step indeed.

Update 4/9/20: As per many reader comments, Dosh is not honoring this deal as it was written. Many readers (and Greg) had their cash back marked “failed” today. After contacting Dosh to file a claim for the missing cash back, readers reported receiving this response:

After conducting a thorough review of your account, it would appear that you have purchased a high volume set of gift cards at Staples. This behavior violates our terms and conditions. Per our Terms of Service, “If the Company, in its sole discretion, believes that you are purchasing gift cards at a volume or denomination that is intended to abuse the Services or that appears to be consistent with manufactured spending, the Company retains the right to suspend and/or terminate your Account and claw back any DOSH received as a result of the gift card abuse.” For more information, you can reference our Terms of Service here: https://www.dosh.cash/terms-of-service/.

If you believe this is an error, please provide us with an itemized copy of your receipt. We will be able to re-evaluate this matter with the proper documentation. We appreciate your understanding of the situation.

It is very disappointing to see Dosh take this stance after not including any terms in the deal excluding gift cards for days. Dosh has been around a couple of years and has offered other past deals that have sometimes paid out on gift cards (and other times clearly excluded gift cards in the terms). Retroactively denying cash back on these purchases after including no such restrictions on the promotion page is a sure way to lose customer faith in the service. I can’t imagine that many who signed up for this deal will be eager to use Dosh on anything going forward.

All that said, it looks like the clawback happened on other portals as well. It’s possible that this was Staples-initiated. It’s still particularly disappointing to see Dosh push its site terms and conditions as the reason to deny cash back here.

Update 4/8/20: Note that the terms now indicate that gift card are excluded.

Update 4/7/20: This has dropped to 3% back with a max of $5 per day. That’s still not necessarily bad (see this comment for why not), but it’s obviously not as good as it was for a few days.

Update: This is surprisingly still alive and a great opportunity for fee-free 5x earning from home.

Stephen Pepper found a fantastic deal that he posted over on his site GC Galore: the Dosh app is offering 5% (now 3%) back at Staples.com (up to $20 (now $5) back per day) when you use a linked credit card. While this won’t make any sense for folks who would be in a hurry to liquidate, this might be really attractive for those who can float the cash. It probably won’t last, so you’ll want to get in sooner rather than later. This makes for easy fee free spend — essentially helping you generate free points. Update: As noted at the top, gift cards are now excluded according to the terms.

The Deal

  • Get 5% (now 3%) back on your purchase at Staples.com when you purchase on a card that you have linked to the Dosh app (up to a max of $20 (now $5) back per day)
  • If you’re new to Dosh, feel free to sign up using one of our referral links. It says that we’ll earn $5 if you sign up and link a credit card, but I’m not sure what incentive you get. In the past the person being referred also earned $5 after linking their first card, but I don’t know if that’s still the case.

Key Terms

  • Only valid at Staples.com
  • Max of $20 cash back per day
  • Update 4/8/20: The terms now indicate that this does not apply to gift cards.

Quick Thoughts

As we’ve said on previous gift card deals lately, let’s start off being clear: We’re not encouraging anyone to risk their health & safety or the health & safety of others by taking extra trips to the store to engage in manufactured spending (see our Manufactured Spending Complete Guide for those unfamiliar). This deal doesn’t make sense if you would need to liquidate immediately and it means that you’d be taking extra unnecessary trips to the store.

However, if you can float the cash for a while and/or liquidate on your regular grocery trips for now, this looks like a great opportunity. As Stephen notes, here’s what you would want to do:

Note: The terms now exclude gift cards. If gift cards were to still work, you may be better off buying a single $200 or $300 gift card now that the max has decreased.

  • Order two $300 Visa Gift cards (activation fee = $8.95 per card) for a total of $617.90 and pay with a card that earns one of the best category bonuses at office supply stores)
  • Earn the max of $20 cash back for a net cost of -$2.10 (in other words, you’d be $2.10 ahead of the activation fees given the cash back earnings).
  • Earn 3,089.50 Ultimate Rewards points if using a Chase Ink Cash card (or the no-longer-available Ink Plus) or whatever your chosen card earns at Staples

That’s too good of a deal to last for long. I’d bet that within a day or two this will go away or change in some way to exclude gift card purchases. At the time of publication, there are no exclusions, but be sure to check the app before you purchase to see if they’ve added any more to the exclusions at the bottom. It now notes that gift cards are excluded.

These were the original terms:

H/T: GC Galore

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[…] and you could earn up to $20 cashback per day. They subsequently added a gift card exclusion and many people had all kinds of issues getting their cashback honored for gift card orders placed before the exclusion was added. The $20 […]

[…] Dosh app is still offering 2% cashback with a limit of $5 per day at Staples, so it’s worth paying with a card linked in the app. Gift cards are excluded and they clawed […]

[…] extremely excited when I first saw that Dosh was offering 4% cashback at Safeway and Vons, despite the recent debacle with Staples. That excitement quickly disappeared though when I realized that it was only available for online […]

John Mostenan

I wrote to them again yesterday, and I just received the following:

Hi there,

Thank you for your patience!

Your account has been flagged for having purchased a high volume set of gift cards at Staples for manufacture spend. Unfortunately, this behavior has violated our Terms of Service, which you can reference here: https://www.dosh.cash/terms-of-service/ in Section 9. Since our Terms of Service have been violated, we have clawed back the cashback that was issued on your account.

If you believe this is an error, please submit your itemized copy showing your non gift card purchases. We will be able to move forward with the proper documentation. We appreciate your understanding of the situation.
——
So I’m guessing nobody is going to get a payout from this.
Dosh is no longer safe to use on gift card purchases – time to move on.

[…] The Chase Ink Cash card offers 5X super-valuable Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent at office supply stores and for all phone, internet, and TV service spend on up to $25,000 in total purchases in 5X categories annually. The trick is to use it online at an office supply store in order to buy gift cards.  Staples.com sells a large number of merchant gift cards online.  When you pay for these gift cards with your Chase Ink Cash card, you’ll earn 5X rewards since Staples is an office supply store.  You can even buy Visa gift cards online from Staples.com.  These can be used for nearly any purchases in the United States.  And sometimes it is possible to stack deals to reduce or eliminate the Visa gift card activation fees (see this recent deal, for example). […]

Philco

Posted, taken away, posted again and gone again as of 4/14

dan

yeah, saw a few similar posts on DOC’s site; mine is still pending for now, but will see for how long…

Greg The Frequent Miler

Ugh, same for me. What a fun little roller coaster.

dan

Greg, did they give u another reason? or if u happen to follow up, wonder what their reason will be…

Greg The Frequent Miler

I didn’t ask for an explanation. I just opened the app and saw that the rewards were zeroed out. I’m going to wait a while and see if this gets corrected again.

Rich

Same with mine, they were reapplied as pending & gone again.

John Mostenan

Same thing for me – they went to pending, but they’ve all gone back to failed again.

KrisM

Mine reappeared after I sent them a complaint and have now moved from pending to transferable. Moved them to paypal immediately. Oddly I keep getting more Dosh cash (all pending) for any gift card (or presumably other purchase) I make on staples on line on my laptop even though I don’t use the Dosh app just my browser.

KrisM

I use the Hawaiian Airlines portal for gift cards on staples.com. I get HA miles about half the time even though GCs are excluded.

Brad Meyer

The only useful offers I ever had on Dosh was at Kroger…and a few times at Wendy’s and Pizza Hut…other than that, pretty useless.

Andres

DOSH finally responded and extended me the courtesy of honoring the cash back on the Staples GC purchases, still admonishing me and reminding me that it was against their policies. At least they owned up to their initial offer. Good luck to all the rest in the same boat. I scooped up my cash back immediately just in case they change their mind again !

Steve

I got the “claw back” email and then the “apology” email less than an hour later this afternoon, so I wound up opening both at the same time. I guess it saved some annoyance. We’ll see how much is ultimately restored. I did buy other items at Staples, not sure if that made a difference. Just signed up for Dosh with this promotion. In the future would not count on getting any of the bonus they advertise. Had checked each morning to make sure there was no mention of gift cards exclusion before ordering.

Andres

I was disappointed and impulsively closed my DOSH account after the initial denials of the offer. I have re-sent all documentation of my purchases. Waiting to see…

Mark W

In light of the latest update that Dosh is now reconsidering, would it be possible for Greg to share approximately what he wrote in his support ticket?

“After a thorough review, we identified a small number of users that were mistakenly affected.” makes me think that admitting upfront that these were gift card purchases may not be conducive to a favorable review.

Mark W

Never mind. I just got the exact same email from Dosh quoted in the latest update and I never opened a support ticket; so it appears they’re just fixing this for everyone now.

Ben

Mine still says Failed

Mark W

Mine still says Failed in the app as well, but I got the email quoted in the 4/10 update above, so maybe there’s some lag time before the app reflects the cashback being reapplied?

Ben

I got a different email:

Hi there,

After conducting a thorough review of your account, it would appear that you have purchased a high volume set of gift cards at Staples. This behavior violates our terms and conditions.

Per our Terms of Service, “If the Company, in its sole discretion, believes that you are purchasing gift cards at a volume or denomination that is intended to abuse the Services or that appears to be consistent with manufactured spending, the Company retains the right to suspend and/or terminate your Account and claw back any DOSH received as a result of the gift card abuse.” For more information, you can reference our Terms of Service here: https://www.dosh.cash/terms-of-service/.

We have taken action to claw back the cash associated with your gift card purchase(s). If you believe this is an error, please provide us with an itemized copy of your receipt. We will be able to re-evaluate this matter with the proper documentation. We appreciate your understanding of the situation.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our support team here: https://doshsupport.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new.

Sincerely!

The Dosh Team

For the record, I bought 2x $200 VGCs for 3 days (each day the promo without the GC language was available).

So anyone who’s getting their cashback — seems like you’re getting lucky, rather than Dosh finding religion.

We all know how this works, and this is just one time I lost. But ever thinking about using Dosh again (for me or anyone else here) is a “Fool me, ain’t gonna get fooled again!” situation.

[…] Nevertheless it appears like Dosh is not going to pay out on present card buy at Staples at all, even for purchases that had been made when there have been no exclusions. That is is what Dosh customers are being informed concerning the lacking cashback as per Frequent Miler: […]

Check inbox for new email.. 2 @$300s per day*4 days qualified for “high volume set”

“Hi there,
After conducting a thorough review of your account, it would appear that you have purchased a high volume set of gift cards at Staples. This behavior violates our terms and conditions.”

Larry

Slightly OT but I did several hotel bookings using DOSH travel when they were having bonuses. Had to cancel due to Corona. DOSH was impossibe to deal with. Very hard to get through and when I finally did- in spite of the properties having explicit 100% refund waivers in effect, DOSH kept $20 per booking as an admin fee. Will dispute w credit card and never use them again.

Derek

If you have a lot of MS on that credit card, I wouldn’t contest it over only $20. Depending on the card issuer, it could lead to a shutdown (happened to me with CapitalOne).

Larry

I have zero MS on any credit card. Just saying I think DOSH is a crap company based on how they handled bookings in ths crisis. Worst of any I dealt with.

Derek

Oddly enough, 4 of my 6 orders (2-player mode) are back to “pending” this morning.

Greg The Frequent Miler

Same here. 2 out of 3 are now pending.

Eyesonthepoints

3 out of 4 for me are now back in pending status.

Derek

Maybe there is hope that these will come back to pending after they ship. 4 of our 6 orders shipped on 4/8, and the other 2 shipped 4/9. Maybe tomorrow we’ll wake up and the others will be Pending in DOSH as well.

Mike

3 out of 4 orders placed back to “pending” on 4/11. Is anyone getting all orders back to pending? or is everyone getting partials? I haven’t seen anyone saying 2/2 or 3/3.

Derek

Yes — I’m back to 3/3 and so is my wife. They switched back to pending 48 hours after the shipping notification email.

John Mostenan

I submitted a support ticket to Dosh yesterday when this blew up. Besides the screen shot of the offer, I also included copies of my email order confirms.
This morning, 2 of my 4 transactions and 3 of my wife’s 4 transactions have posted again as pending – so a partial success. Now debating whether I should push my luck and ask again for the 3 transactions that still display as failed.

Jeff

I am a churner and manufactured spender for decades. Read this one and thought I would sit it out. Glad I did. Sorry for those that hit it. Good luck to us all on the next one.

Lukas

I only placed one order and it’s still pending.

Tom

Uninstalled Dosh

Jan W

Disingenuous at best. Not impressed.

Mark W

So what’s the best play now for those who had cashback clawed back (which is presumably everyone)? Refuse delivery of the gift cards with USPS? Do we know how Staples will handle that?

Parts Unknown

Eat the loss and move on.

Barry

I would just keep the VGCs. Assuming that you used a Chase Ink Cash card, the points are still worth more than the $8.95 activation fee on the $300 card.

Jeff

I filed a claim after getting cash back from 4 orders (1 each day) clawed back. This was the response I just received. BS.

After conducting a thorough review of your account, it would appear that you have purchased a high volume set of gift cards at Staples. This behavior violates our terms and conditions. Per our Terms of Service, “If the Company, in its sole discretion, believes that you are purchasing gift cards at a volume or denomination that is intended to abuse the Services or that appears to be consistent with manufactured spending, the Company retains the right to suspend and/or terminate your Account and claw back any DOSH received as a result of the gift card abuse.” For more information, you can reference our Terms of Service here: https://www.dosh.cash/terms-of-service/.

If you believe this is an error, please provide us with an itemized copy of your receipt. We will be able to re-evaluate this matter with the proper documentation. We appreciate your understanding of the situation.

Ben

Dosh just cancelled my 5% back. I bought GCs, but at the time the terms did not exclude GCs (I took a screenshot). Opening a case with Dosh help now.

Check your cashback status!

dan

Ben, same here darn it! will submit a case as well

dan

$20 is now back to pending; hope dosh will change mind to make it right

Barry

Same thing happened to me. All of my cash back was cancelled. Glad I didn’t go too crazy on this promotion.

Jeff

Same happened to me. I didn’t take a screenshot before they changed the offer. Would you mind sharing so I can use when I open the case?

Ben

Don’t think I can upload an image to the comments. Reyes – any good way to share this with everyone?

dan

Ben, if a link / image (screenshot) can’t be pasted, can u copy the text / wording & paste it on here? thx

although not sure whether Dosh will make it right, at least we have a screenshot to support the dispute

dan

thx Nick

Demetrius

I purchased mine on Apr 05 and the $20 was pending this whole time. Today it said “failed” How do I appeal this because GC wasn’t excluded at the time of my purchases?

John Mostenan

Nick,
Thank you for the screenshot!
I just submitted support requests for both me and my wife – we’ll see what happens.

philco

Yep also clawed back here. All purchases were made prior to the change in terms.

Demetrius

I just submitted my dispute ticket. Will they credit them? I’m a little concerned… I only made two transactions on Apr 05+07 and it was during the original terms.

Ben

Response from Dosh:

After conducting a thorough review of your account, it would appear that you have purchased a high volume set of gift cards at Staples. This behavior violates our terms and conditions. Per our Terms of Service Section 9, “If the Company, in its sole discretion, believes that you are purchasing gift cards at a volume or denomination that is intended to abuse the Services or that appears to be consistent with manufactured spending, the Company retains the right to suspend and/or terminate your Account and claw back any DOSH received as a result of the gift card abuse.” For more information, you can reference our Terms of Service here: https://www.dosh.cash/terms-of-service/.

I sent the screenshot which did not mention gift cards, but they claim the service terms of service override that.

Dosh’s business model is to harvest the data from your linked cards, whether they give you cashback on each transaction or not. So to get back at these rats, I’d recommend everyone remove all their cards, and FM stop sharing deals from them.

Tony

Saying gift cards are excluding now.

John Mostenan

Thanks for alerting us to this offer.

In the past, in-store gift card purchases have worked even though gift cards were specifically excluded, so we can hope that it will still work for online GCs this time now that the terms have changed.

Also, I’m trying to stack this with Honey Gold which is a discount coupon/shopping portal now owned by PayPal. Does anyone have any data points on whether or not this actually works?

Bizarrely, I’ve gotten 1%, 2% or 3% back on my different GC purchases over the past several days, including different amounts for identical GC purchases made the same day (I’m in 2 player mode). These are all pending, and it says it takes 45-60 days before it actually posts. Payout is through 3rd party gift cards. This would be incredible if it actually works.

Dan C

I did this several days in a row and just went to check on my order status and it appears that Staples has cancelled all of my orders. I did not get a cancellation email but the order information is now listed as cancelled. Are others having the same issue?

Greg The Frequent Miler

Not me. Two orders say “shipped” and one says “processing”

Dan C

Lucky you. They cancelled 4 of my orders over the last 3 days, even orders that included more than gift cards.

andy

same for my 3 orders, 2 shipped, on in process

Derek

I’m going to feel better when the $ is confirmed in Dosh. I have screenshots from a friend’s mobile app showing that past purchases from Staples don’t always post, and are sometimes rejected by Dosh. Let’s hope!

Mark W

This appears to be dead. At least for me, Dosh is now showing 3% back at Staples.com with a daily max cap of $5. Better than nothing, but no longer a negative cost proposition.

Greg The Frequent Miler

Same for me. Now we have to decide if it’s worth buying one $300 card per day:
Pay $308.95 get $5 back = $303.95
Earn 309 x 5 = 1545 Ultimate Rewards points
Point price = $3.95 / 1545 = 0.25 cents each
Or redeem 395 points for cash to wipe out the card fee and get 1150 points for “free”. It then becomes a 3.8X everywhere card.

Barry

The price per point is less if you buy a $200 card per day.
Pay $206.95 get $5 back = $201.95
Earn 206.95 x 5 = 1035 Ultimate Rewards
Point price = $1.95 / 1035 = .188 cents each

philco

Note the terms also now seem to exclude GCs. That doesn’t mean it is enforced but it raises the risk of the deal somewhat.

Jan W

Just placed my second order thru app at Staples (36 hours after first) for GCs. This time got three emails: one saying $19.90 was in pending, then two indicating $0.05 was pending. Strange. Just sharing as DP.

Mark W

It’s because Staples performs a $1 authorization charge each time you use a new card before charging you for the order. So far unclear how this will affect Dosh cashback.

Jan W

Thanks. Yes, I did use a different CC. Number of good Staples deals right now… (Edit: I now have the full $20 CB)

THEsocalledfan

I know this is heathen talk, but I supposed we could just use these for regular spend and get 5X on everything…I know that is crazy talk…. but these are no ordinary times!

John Mostenan

This is working great for me – thanks!

I’ve noticed something interesting about this deal. I have the “honey” extension installed in my web browser. Honey (now owned by PayPal) is basically an add-on that automatically applies coupon codes when you check out during online shopping. Unfortunately, none of these codes appears to work on the purchase of GCs at Staples.

However, they also have a cash-back program called Honey Gold that can be cashed out for 3rd party gift cards once you’ve earned at least 1000 points ($10). I started getting emails saying I was earning points for all of my Staples GC purchases. What’s strange is that I’ve gotten 1%, 2% and 3% back for different purchases even though they were all for the same Visa GCs. All of these points are currently pending, and they apparently won’t post for 45-60 days. So I have no way of knowing whether I’ll actually receive them, but hey, it’s worth a shot.

Honey Gold might be worth a future post. Using their coupons via the browser add-on appears to invalidate other shopping portals, although the add-on now seems to turn itself off if it detects that you’ve clicked through from another portal.

Mike

Do you have to wait 24hrs to get the $20 discount or can you make a purchase say at 10pm and get the $20 againwith another purchase at midnight?

Marty

My credits are not posting. I’m not new to dosh, but I’ve yet to have any earning post on my dosh account or player 2. Verified that my card was on file and had not expired. I’ve been using safari on my iPhone. Anybody else having problems?

I emailed dosh support yesterday, sent them my screenshots, but didn’t show the items purchased, just the pertinent info….I didn’t hear anything, but since everything is scaled down it could just be a delay in getting a response. I also don’t want to draw attention to this deal and end it.

Derek

Guys — love the blog and the podcast. That said, there’s no need to send out a second notification about this deal. It’s only going to kill it faster. Also, I’ve seen multiple DP’s showing that Dosh doesn’t always track/confirm the cash back at Staples. We won’t know until the cash becomes available. Thanks

Josh

where have you seen those DP’s?

Derek

screenshots from friends’ mobile apps. Staples purchases historically haven’t always credited to Dosh once they review it. Some do, some don’t. Haven’t figured out the pattern.

Jan W

Used Stephen’s link to sign up, received the $1 for adding a credit card and $20 for $617.90 Staples order as outlined above. Rinse, repeat, and thanks!

Nathan

Can P2 link the same card? Or needs a different card?

Josh

I believe it needs to be a different card

Dodd

most likely different card

Dodd

Make sure p2 also signs up for Dosh, hit it twice!

TripleNNN

Thanks for the heads up. Not familiar with DOSH. Does the 5% rebate show up at checkout when buying the product at Staples or does it show up in your DOSH account at a later date?

Greg The Frequent Miler

You receive an email shortly after purchase. My email states:

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PURCHASE AT STAPLES

$20.00 is now pending in your Dosh Wallet. Check the app for offers.

TripleNNN

Thanks Greg. Worked for me.

the other Sam

I think we get $1 for linking a credit card. No payouts until you hit $25.

Rajat

Thank you FM! You guys rock

Yuri

I don’t see this offer in my Dosh app.

Matt

How do you guys get these? I have never had a useful offer come up on dosh.

Matt

Nope still nothing. Though they seem to think I might like 4% back at shoe carnival for some reason. Thanks for the response though. I’ve had ~$10 cash back sitting is this app for like 2 years and have not been able to find a useful offer to get me up to the $25 cash out threshold. IDK why this app has been so useless for me but a gold mine for others, just bad luck i guess

veeRob

I’m in the same boat. No Staples on my Dosh offers. 🙁

confirmed targeted, though it seems many more are targeted than not.

Marty

I’m also not seeing it in my dosh app, (not found in featured section, doesn’t come up in searches within the app), went ahead and made the purchase anyway, fingers crossed. 48 hours later, no payout, no confirmation emails. Looks like I may be out of luck on this one.

Jacob

Sweet, excited to use this one time before it gets pulled tomorrow

Skaner

Just ordered and 5 min later got the cha-ching message on my phone.