Posted by Chuck on October 23, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on October 23rd, 2017 | by Chuck


PPDG/eBay and Cardcash are No Longer Earning 5x with INK+, Nor 3x with INK Preferred

[Updated and reposted 10/23/17 since we’ve now clarified all the unknowns about the change.]

As of October 17, 2017, Paypal Digital Gifts and Cardcash are no longer earning 5x when paying with the Chase INK card. It used to code as Internet/Phone (for whatever reason) and earn 5x, but no longer. It seems  that Paypal Digital Gifts and Cardcash have switched something in their coding (probably at Chase’s request) which resulted in the change.

In Brief

Does not work:

  • PPDG/eBay with INK Plus/Cash Visa card now earns 1x
  • PPDG/eBay with INK Preferred card now earns 1x
  • PPDG/direct with INK Plus/Cash Visa card now earns 1x
  • Cardcash on INK Visa cards now earns 1x

Still works:

  • INK Masterdards are still working to earn 5x on PPDG and Cardcash (e.g. INK Bold Mastercard or legacy INK Plus/Cash Mastercard)
  • Gyft via Paypal with INK Plus/Cash card still works for 5x
  • Giftcardmart via Paypal with any INK card still earns bonus: 5x for Plus/Cash/Bold, 3x for Preferred
  • Swych via Paypal with any INK card still earns bonus: 5x for Plus/Cash/Bold, 3x for Preferred


PPDG with INK Plus/Cash Visa

Here’s a screenshot from PPDG on INK Plus Visa card:

Initially, PPDG direct purchases were still earning 5x, even after eBay/PPDG stopped working, but soon-after that stopped as well.

PPDG with INK Preferred Visa

A friend of mine confirmed that INK Preferred is no longer earning 3x either.


Reddit reporters note that Cardcash is also not earning 5x anymore.


Gyft is also still working, as per reader Keith.


Giftcardmart still earns 5x with INK Plus/Cash and 3x with INK Preferred, as before.


Swych is still working too.

INK Mastercard (Bold/Cash/Plus)

Interestingly, @voyagingdoc tells me that INK Bold Mastercard is still working.

And a reader tells us that it’s working on Cardcash too.

These INK changes are not affecting Mastercard at all, only Visa. All current versions of INK are Visa, but there are a few different legacy INK versions which are Mastercard (Bold/Plus/Cash). These are still working on PPDG and Cardcash for 5x.

Final Thoughts

This is a huge hit for gift card buyers. For me, PPDG is the biggest hit.

If anyone has a data point on Swych since October 17, please let us know. Appreciate if you can send me a screenshot as well (

112 Responses to PPDG/eBay and Cardcash are No Longer Earning 5x with INK+, Nor 3x with INK Preferred

  1. Joe S says:

    RIP, this was a good one

  2. Joe W says:

    So it wasn’t a glitch? Anything to back that up? Thanks!

  3. Justin says:

    Huge loss. RIPIP

  4. ancientart says:

    The only reason to mess with CardCash was for the 5X points. Otherwise, the hassles were too great for the effort. They did this once before, taking away the 5X and it eventually came back. Not sure what happened then, but maybe it can happen again?? In the mean time, bummer.

  5. joe says:

    WOW. this is a bummer. Worse than ebay bucks being nerfed.

  6. Eduard says:

    DAAAAANG! I just ordered $670 worth of Pep Boys gift cards from ABCgiftcards on Tuesday. Was keeping an eye and saw that it only gave 1x but was hoping it would adjust. I just found got in on this 🙁

  7. Vic says:

    This marks the end of an era!

    However I am not sure it they ever coded as Utilities in the first place. Utilities was never a bonus category of Ink Plus / Cash. It was probably office supply?

    This is like churning’s Mandela effect. So many people mistakenly believed that Ink+ earned 5x on Utilities.

    • Chuck says:

      “Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year*
      At office supply stores
      On internet, cable and phone services”

      • FILTHYMIDGETS says:

        To me that doesn’t read as a definition of “utilities” though. I had initially supplanted utilities in my mind until I didn’t receive 5x on my power bill.

        • Chuck says:

          Yeah, we should be more specific to avoid such confusion, thanks for pointing out. I’ll update the post.

          • Red says:

            It shows up as “Utilities” in the transaction list but that’s just the assigned category for that Ink business expense tracker feature (I can’t remember what it used to be called). That indication doesn’t relate to MCC or bonus.

        • Vic says:

          Thanks, that’s what I meant.

          Many thought paying for water, sewage, power, gas, etc also earned 5x on Ink, which is not true.

    • Eric says:

      Yea, it wasn’t coded as utilities. It said “+ 4 Pts per $1 internt, cable, phone, ofc sply”

  8. Audrey says:

    Surprising it lasted this long, really.

  9. Chuck says:

    Added to the post that INK Preferred is dead too.

    Rumors that INK Bold is still fine. Any data points?

  10. todd says:

    i still have an ink bold

  11. projectx says:

    This. Sucks.

  12. Electroman says:

    Most of my online 5x purchases are with Gyft, and I assume this will apply to them. Well, this sucks, but too bad – easy come, easy go.

  13. Matt says:

    Bummer. I purchased many a Amazon gift card through PPDG. Anywhere else we can get Amazon gift cards at 5X?

  14. PM says:

    Not a big problem. It would take just 2 more steps to get the same.

  15. Bob says:

    what about Citi AT&T Access More 3X? still alive?

  16. Nvtech says:

    Chuck, could you please put up latest tracking page for what still works with the At&T 3x after the July update. I have made few transactions recently and I can add a Data point for them.

    • Chuck says:

      I updated our Payments Workshop with each retailer which is unclear whether there was a change or not (it was like 10 or so). I’ll update again when we have data points on whether they in fact did or did not change.
      If you have a data point, please add it to the comments on Payments Workshop so we’ll all know!

  17. vah48 says:

    Gyft from yesterday still coded as 5x

  18. VikasG says:

    can I still get 5x on buying ebay GCs thru e.g.

  19. Tyler says:

    Well it was a good run while it lasted. Now we’ll have to actually drive to office supply stores to buy our gift cards 🙂

  20. stacker says:

    This probably applies to Gift Card Mart too. Any data points?

  21. Billy bob says:

    Gift card arbitrage takes another huge hit.

  22. Steven Lee says:

    I can confirm that I will be getting 5x with Gyft since I called Chase and they told me for each $50 transaction I did with the nike promo on Oct 18th ill be receiving 250 UR per transaction which = 5x

  23. swg says:

    Someone who isn’t PPDG/CC is going to sell a lot of cards today!

    • anthonyjh21 says:

      Doubtful. What’s most likely to happen is PPDG takes a considerable hit to their sales from those of us who bought GC for personal and resale purposes. Hopefully the market will correct itself and we’ll see better discounts due to less interest/demand. Time will tell. Really sucks it had to happen in early Q4 just as the GC season was about to ramp up…

      • Audrey says:

        Although we did not see the hoped-for discounts on eBay gc after those huge changes (no eBay bucks earned, no gc used, etc).

        • anthonyjh21 says:

          Most likely due to 5x INK. I went from buying almost any deal that surfaced to being more selective and now will most likely avoid them all unless I have minimum spending requirements (other than Amex).

          I suspect I’m not alone and many others will do the same. At some point it’s just not worth the time or effort. Sadly, we may have reached that point.

  24. anthonyjh21 says:

    Looks like I’ll have to actually evaluate whether or not downgrading my INK+ to the Cash version is in my best interests. Getting 5x with PPDG and Gyft were huge, both for personal use (Amazon GC from Gyft) and resale (PPDG obviously).

    • Chuck says:

      I’m in the same boat. I’m a bit worried that if I want to upgrade in the future it won’t be possible.

      Anyone know if they are currently allowing upgrades from Cash to Plus? Can’t remember.

  25. Gabriel says:

    I assume Ink Cash is affected as well?

  26. freddy says:

    Booooo! I bought several cardcash cards for immediate online purchase and some gas cards. I’m not going through the hassle anymore. Not even close to being worth it.

  27. M says:

    Any opinions what to expect with AmEx SimplyCash and SC Plus?
    I realize that actual AmEx data points will come with a 2 months delay.

  28. Rrr says:

    As of 8/14 I received 5x on INK+ using the SWYCH app

  29. Kyle says:

    Sigh, this is sad news. 🙁 But thanks for keeping us up to date. I probably would have bought a lot more Amazon GCs from PPDG thinking I was getting 5x without knowing better…

  30. Albert H says:

    There is so far 1 DP on reddit that still codes 5x.

    I just did a $10 one, ill report back when its finish pending.

  31. scott says:

    Maybe this is wishful thinking on my part, but I’m a bit dubious. Happens I still have two Ink Bold accounts in the family, and we did small transactions yesterday from the ToysRUS gc deals (via Ebay/PPDG)…. Not showing up as yet via Chase/Ink transactions. (and may take several days show, as per usual) Wondering then how folks are so dmn sure already that this ended as of just two days ago…?

    • scott says:

      Alas, wishful thinking indeed. Learned too I can see my UR activity for the Ink accounts even before the transactions post:

      Date Transaction Amount Points (Pending)
      10/18 PAYPAL *PAYPALGIFTS $80.00 80 +
      10/18 PAYPAL *PAYPALGIFTS $80.00 80 –

      (Points simply being from the 1% category for “all purchases”)

      Sour Grapes. The disturbance in the force…. just in time for the Holidays.

      Still, such as it is, thanks Doc for the timely alert.

  32. Howie N says:

    Oh well. At least we still have 5x on Amex Plat for gift cards in MPX.

  33. Chris says:

    Welp, no use for this card anymore.

    • Jeff says:

      Sure there is. 5x still on GC’s at OM/OD and Staples. Buy VGC’s > MO or Serve. MS on a cashback card, too, to offset fees generated from making UR’s. It’s not the end of the world.

      • Peter says:

        Meh. ON hasn’t had a good deal in months and neither has Staples. The PPDG/eBay deals have been much more often. Relying on Staples now that they have sold to private equity and OD now that they have essentially died is not useful.

  34. James says:

    Any chance I could change my Bold and Plus back to a MasterCard? 🙁

  35. John says:

    I’m curious.
    How were you all making money buying and reselling gift cards even with a 5% discount using Chase Ink?
    Most gift cards are usually purchased by portals with at least 10% off the face value. Only stores like Walmart and Target have a 90-92% cash transfer value.

    • Jed says:

      PPDG sometimes are gift cards at a discount. I agree that it isn’t worth it at face value.

    • Ferris says:

      Most weren’t really making any profit. They were in essence “buying” UR points for cheap. UR points are valued at 1.0 – 2.2 cents each depending on how you use them. If you can buy UR points for 0.3, some people consider this a big win. GC reselling as a whole is really only useful for hitting minimum spend requirements unless you have found some gold avenue that few others have access to.

  36. John says:

    Does anyone know of a place besides cardcash to buy Costco giftcards for Ink+ 5x bonus now? It was the only option I found to occasionally stock them.

  37. red says:

    Ink plus mastercard 10/17 still earned 5% on cardcash

  38. Eric says:

    10/18 Chase Ink Cash – Gyft coded as 5x while PPDG did not

  39. Rob says:

    10/19 Ink Bold Visa PPDG did not code as 5x

    • Chuck says:

      Interesting DP. That leads to the same conclusion that it’s the Mastercards that are still working and Visa’s that are not, irrespective to the INK flavor.

      • Rob says:

        Ya, I was hoping it would work because it is the old Ink Bold, but you’re right, it seems to only work for the Mastercard Bold, not the Visa Bold.

  40. Ben says:

    Not that I’m complaining but wonder why they would leave this intact on the old mastercards… Yall think the ax is coming there as well?

  41. Chuck says:

    Giftcardmart is still earning 5x with INK Plus/Cash Visa and 3x with INK Preferred. Updated post.

  42. Smitty says:

    Swych is still working on the Ink Business Preferred Visa as of 10/20.

  43. swg says:

    Got 5x on Swych 10/19 via Ink Cash Visa

  44. JASON says:

    Received email from GiftCardMart today:

    When you pay with:

    Chase Ink Cash/Classic (Visa or Mastercard Versions): Earn 5% Cashback

    Chase Ink Bold/Plus (Visa or Mastercard Versions): Earn 5x Ultimate Rewards Chase Ink Preferred (Visa): Earn 3 x Ultimate Rewards

    Citi AT&T Access More (Mastercard): Earn 3 x Thank you points

  45. ChurnMonster says:

    Ive bought from paypal digital gifts on 10/19 and 10/24 with my chase ink cash card – both got 5x points.

  46. Zach says:

    was it on the paypal digital gifts website or on ebay using paypal? Thanks

  47. steve says:

    Tested on 10/30 with cardcash through paypal and did NOT receive the bonus earn.

  48. red says:

    cardcash removed amazon and ebay giftcard… considering there’s (almost) no discount buying new gift card, it’s (completely) useless to me

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