Free Money Charged to Your Credit Card? Top Cash Back Offers 100% Back at GiftCard.com

Reader Jake emails that TopCashBack is offering 100% casb back at GiftCard.com.

When you click through there’s a potential caveat, suggesting that there’s a ‘Visa Gift Card sale’ with the 100% listed next to that.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, as it’s hard to imagine that they intend to let you buy gift cards by credit card and give you all the money you’ve spent back — free money, essentially.

  • While I have not had any problems getting paid by TopCashBack, several readers have reported difficulty getting credit for transactions there.
  • Since the website flags this as a ‘Visa Gift Card sale’ I would not assume this applies to all purchases at GiftCard.com
  • It is possible that the 100% rebate will be applied to the purchase fee only and not to the amount of the gift card itself
  • And also possible that 100% is simply a mistake, that he site will seek not to honor

A short-term deal for sure if honored, and will be interested to see how this unfolds.


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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. well I went ahead and ordered one gift card. I seriously doubt I’ll really get 100% back, but it will be fun to see how this plays out.

  2. Hey Gary,

    I really appreciate your site but this post I believe is simply over-the-top fraud. You can rationalize it by saying “it’s hard to imagine someone giving away free money,” but it’s actually impossible to believe.

    Now, I’m fine with random people posting stuff like this on the Internet, but call it what it is: an error or omission by that company, and an attempt to profit on a blatant error. You’ve got a brand to manage here, and this has no part in it.

    Anyway, I think there’s a bright ethical line and you normally handle it quite well: analyze the reasonable terms and conditions and exploit the edges. Even posting $5 fares to Hong Kong is legitimate: they were published, fair and square.

    In this case, however, no normal human could think “hey, free money” was intended. It’s not a loop-hole to get 50,000 miles by buying candy bars: it’s a “get free cash.” Borderline criminal, and certainly unethical.

    Put another way, you’ve got a thriving business writing about gaming the system at the edges, legitimately. Why sully it posting obviously unethical get-rich-quick scams that have nothing to do with travel?

  3. @bode – as I say they may just be referring to cash back on the purchase fees, which in and of itself is a good deal (lots of people were excited when chase started waiving purchase fees) as it allows you to time-shift spending into the present for future expenses.

  4. This article shows that what kind of person you are! You got it from flyertalk and it is obvious a mistake. Just like you posted lifemiles deal last year. The only thing you do is to waste your reader’s time.

  5. Perphaps a summer intern having fun….
    I would allost never say this, but this is the rare case where I recommend contacting TCB about this issue and let them correct it rather than speculate on your blog and let your readers potentially waste their time or get into an unnecessary conflict with TCB. This is an exception to all the other mistake fares etc. it will never be honored at 100%. Go ahead flame me!

  6. @bode, I disagree. There is no “fraud” here on Gary’s part. It is the TCB website at fault. It could be a typo: a rebate of 10% (instead of 100%) of the purchase price. This would not be an unreasonable rebate, as Vayama was giving $15- on each airline ticket I purchase (ebates and other sites give $1 or $2), and HotelClub was rebating a whopping 14% on all hotel rooms purchased through TCB. I’m trying (grrrr!) to teach my daughter, a college student, to PLEASE take the time to read and review important documents, before she hits the “send” button. Nowadays there are too many people making careless mistakes. This leads to the question, where does personal/corporate responsibility end? Corporations can weasel out of product mislabeling by calling something a “typo” when in fact the typo was intended to deceive, or an intentional omission to drum up sales.

  7. @christina scotts – “You got it from flyertalk and it is obvious a mistake. Just like you posted lifemiles deal last year. The only thing you do is to waste your reader’s time.”

    1) does that mean you think flyertalk is a waste of time?
    2) it was emailed to me by a reader, so i credited that reader
    3) many folks got the miles from the lifemiles shopping portal deal

  8. They also offer a 100% cash back deal on the Overstock Club O membership of $19.95. I’m pretty sure it’s for the $5.95 purchase fee on the Visa giftcard, but that’s still a good deal considering you can design your own card. JMO…

  9. I feel certain it’s a 100% of the $5.95 Visa fee for the card. That’s still pretty good. They also offer 100% back on the price of the Overstock Club O membership, which is even better at $19.95.

  10. Jeez, what a bunch of whiny brats. He clearly said it’s probably just for the fee for the cards (which in itself is a badass deal since the chase GCs can only be purchased with Chase CCs – this opens up free mfd spend to all your other CCs!).

    There is no “ethical line that was passed” – he passed along an email he got and said it’s most likely for the fee or won’t be honored at all. Get over yourselves.

  11. Couple notes:

    1) Flyertalk is great. But poor signal to noise: lots of work for some nuggets of use. That’s why I am here: someone else can do that work.

    2) I guess this is all about SEO and not reality: this post was about “Free money.” That was the title. Sure, then it backed off: well maybe it’s not a free lunch. Well, then don’t call it that!

    Anyway, sorry for wasting your time: but this one wasted my time. Free money? Uh, sure, no problem Nigeria. I’m sure when I sue I’ll get my free money. This was an error, of course a typo, so why bother? If the real offer is so OMFG awesome like everyone says, then they meant to do it. Otherwise, it’s all just a short-term fraud.

  12. Update for other readers–early on I clicked through the TopCashBack website link to GiftCard.com and purchased a GC, charged it to my Visa. I did not expect 100% “free money” but I did expect some kind of rebate, i.e. the service charge or whatever. Today, looking at my TCB account I see NOTHING in the way of a pending or rebate, not even for the GC fee of $5.95. I did take screenshots of everything and I am sure I will have to spend great amounts of time to resolve this 🙁

  13. I also placed an order knowing the 100% free money wouldn’t work, but figured no-fee GCs would be sweet. Strangely, I got a call from giftcard.com CS asking me if I had placed the order through any third party websites, and when I told them I had clicked through TCB, they offered the option to cancel the order since “they had never authorized topcashback to link to them”…sounds a little strange to me, almost as if giftcard.com knows something they’re not saying and hoping orders are cancelled to avoid giving up the GC fees. Going to email TCB support and see what they have to say about it.

  14. They called the day after I placed my order to confirm the purchase. No mention of topcashback. A few days later they left me a message asking me to call back to answer a few questions about my order. I never called back or heard from them again, so I assumed my order was cancelled. But my card showed up today. I didn’t get anything at all from topcashback. Oh well. I’m not going to worry to much about it; hopefully this thing is easy to liquidate at Walmart.

  15. I wasn’t able to assign a PIN to it, so no luck loading it to bluebird 🙁

    Oh well, I just used it to fund a Kiva loan. I guess I’ll get my money back in a few months.

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