Posted by Chuck on December 6, 2017
Gift Card Deals

Published on December 6th, 2017 | by Chuck

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[Now Happening] Target Deactivating Gift Cards Purchased with Promo Abuse

[Update 12/6/17: Sporadic deactivations are now happening for ultra heavy hitters. I think they are basing it off the card used, so if you varied cards for each purchase you’re probably safe.]

Quick heads up: word on the street is that Target plans to deactivate some gift cards which were purchased by abusing the 10%-off deal from Sunday and refund the payment method used for purchase.

A similar thing happened last year where Target drained some gift cards for people who ‘rolled’ Target gift cards. We don’t know yet whether this time the deactivations will occur only on ‘rolled’ purchases; my gut tells me it’ll be a bit more broad this time. Even then, it’ll probably only affect those who did multiple online purchases from a single billing address or perhaps those who did more than $300-worth on a single credit card.

We’ll see…In the meantime, keep an eye out on your gift cards to make sure the balances are there. If they aren’t, double check that the refund posted properly to your credit card.



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I got 3 online. All different logins and CCs, but 2 had sane billing address, 2 were me, 1 was wife. If 1 do want cone through, no biggie. I was just going to get 3rd party GC at 10%

I’d imagine an easy way for them to thin the herd is to look for multiple orders from the same IP address.

Yea probably. I’ll keep an eye out but wouldn’t be a huge deal.

Haha hopefully. Read my post below. Wife didn’t care that I made a good chunk of change from rolling gift cards, she was not a fan of what I did.

Looking at her try to place an order on her account and watching the instant order cancellations just gained me more stink eye (all accounts at this IP were blocked).

Back in the day I had my Target account banned for hitting the eBay-target Merry go round pretty hard.

A few months ago I was able to get my account reinstated through escalating my request for a cancelled order to be fixed. Maybe playing dumb helped, who knows.

What I do know is I missed out on many orders for things I didn’t think would matter (amazon, Walmart). Getting my account back was the equivalent of putting me on probation. I’m playing it straight here on out.

Besides, the wife would’ve been really pissed at me if I got my account banned again seeing as she loves target for kids clothes and baby stuff.

Moral of the story IMO is not to mess with Target anymore. If the writing wasn’t clear enough it’s now being bolded.

For 3 I wouldn’t worry…There are people who bought 50-100k

Not so sure about that. I think this may be a case of guilty by association. It’s garnered enough attention that it wouldn’t surprise me if they preemptively had a strategy going into this year (DoC and others pointed out they fought back last year). It won’t be hard to figure out who did and didn’t circumvent the terms of the deal.

I don’t know if that kind of volume would be primary for reselling merchandise or straight up GC resell but $50K+ sounds a lot either way, the mere logistics of converting them to anything would require a lot of time. I guess if the profit margin is big enough it’d be worth doing.

It’s really easy to liquidate a $50k volume with TPM. A little time and hassle with recording card #s, pins, and photos of cards, but well worth the hourly rate.

Care to give any more details about why you find the rumor credible enough to report on? I’m not asking you to give away your source, of course.

This promo may have caused more trouble for Target than benefit (who knows unless you know the #s). Will be interesting to see if it’s back next year

They’re running it for years.

What about in-store?

Can Target retain and analyze CC numbers used for in-store purchases?

They could but I doubt they would keep CCs in their system after the whole hack episode couple of years ago.

A lot of companies depend upon other 3rd party payment processors for credit card payments. At the time of purchase Target would send CC information to payment processor who would do a $1 authorization to ensure card is valid and then make a formal purchase. They would then return a unique token, card type and last 4 card digits to Target, which Target would store in their system for returns etc. That is why when you return an item the sales associate can confirm that it would return to Amex/Visa/MC/Disc ending in XXXX, but can’t tell you any more digits other than that.

If you go to a store and they are able to pull-up your purchases using credit card (comes in handy when you don’t have the receipt but still want to return), then they are storing CCs in their system.

Last 4 digits of CC often repeat, especially with AmEx cards. It would be highly risky for Target to go after past in-store orders based on just 4 digits.

The last four digits are the same, but the *tokens* are definitely not the same, and that’s what they would use. You need to brush up on your Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, my friend.

I’m curious as well. The store person said I could do multiple transactions and that they “turn a blind eye”. I just did 3x $100 twice and met an Amex AU bonus with this. The cards are actually for my SOs work holiday party so might have to make sure they don’t get drained before we actually give them out.

What’s such a big deal about this? Are these really profitable to resell at 10% off?

Why would someone get 50k worth of Target Gift cards?

buy with 2% cash back card + resell at 92% face value = 11.40 per card x 170. tax free, for one day’s work, not bad.

Plus Discover was offering 5% cashback on the 270 for 1500 dollars.

How can you get 11.40 per card? And how can you do this 170 times?

He literally spells it out in his post…2% cash back…92% resell value…= $11.40 earned per card…

And you would do it 170 times by buying a $300 gift card 170 times…maybe bring a few friends…hit different registers, different targets. I did it 6 times in 10 minutes yesterday just myself so with a few friends could knock this out in a matter of hours…

Spells out what, genius? You buy a $100 gc for $90, get $1.8 in cash back and sell it for $92, so it’s $11.4 per $300 in gift cards, not per $100 as he made it sound. And who is going to give 92% for a Target gc, when did this happen?

Thanks! That makes a lot of sense. I guess unless you are in GCW or other private sale groups you will have to float the money until the resell rate goes back to normal. It is now only 80% resell value in general rate.

Surely that 92% will hold strong after all of these cards flooding the market… I just don’t get it.

Probably not in the near term, already at 91.5, but if someone can float for a while (and if they are buying over 100, i’m guessing they can), it will pay off. When overstock was 20% off on GCM in august, the market flooded and the rate dropped at least 5 percentage points, but it has recovered 4 of those. Target may recover quicker with holiday shopping ramping up.

91.5? Wishful thinking. Highest right now is in the mid 90%’s.

Im sure this info is on this site somewhere but I dont know how to search for it. Where does one find these rates? Guess im only aware of the common GC seller sites.

Buying gift cards with gift card…..

These gift cards are not active right away? So you can’t roll them.

You can roll giftcards you had prior…

There is some gray area because online it said both $300 limit “per guest” (on the main part of the website) and $300 limit “per household” (buried in the terms & conditions).

This would cause so many headaches.

I bought one in store, one online with wife’s account, another online with my account (different address). However all three paid with my discover card. The in-store one shows $300 balance, others haven’t arrived in the mail yet. I’ll post an update when I get the other two.

Tried to buy multiple in store, some old lady came over and voided the others out. I got 1 and then went to another store and got 1. Got 1 from online. All bought with the same card. Hopefully I avoid the shutdown.

Voided the others out? What do you mean? Once you’re paid, they’re yours….

I bought 1 $300 Target GC online yesterday. That’s it. Don’t understand the need to hoard tons of Target GC’s at all or “sit” on them. I don’t want all my money tied up for several months on Target GCs.

The people I know aren’t sitting on them they’ve already gone to Target and bought Disney gift cards for their next vacation or to pay dvc dues. A lot of people do that whether it’s Disney or another third party gc.

i should have bought more and done this.

Sam’s club always has them discounted in Warehouse and online. Chase freedom 5x UR buy a Walmart gc and use it at Sam’s. Or make it even easier if you have a targeted amex MR card with 5x up to 1500 points I believe. Still a few ways to get 9% + currently and they require less work (can all be done online).

Yep – this is what we are doing. 1500 bought for 1350 with discover 5% doubled for the first year = 19% discount on this money. That’s a pretty good discount for Disney and they take the gift card pretty much everywhere including tickets, hotel, and shopping at Disney Springs.

Many plan to purchase Disney gift cards to pay off vacations. I bought 1800 yesterday for our upcoming trip.

So hypothetically, when would gift card balances start getting drained? I bought “a few” physical gift cards, and most of the purchases have already posted. Given how they don’t typically store credit card numbers in their system, can they even go back and figure out if one card was used to purchase several GC’s?

This would create a big problem if they start draining phyical cards.

I assume if you paid with a regular CC you could just file a chargeback if they were drained.

Or sue the pants off them.

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