As part of the Discover Mall Holiday promotion, they are offering $20 for each $200 spent. However, there was no mention of what would happen if you returned the items after you “spent” the money. Since credit card companies are usually masters of the fine print, I figured they had some sort of mechanism in place to prevent this. Nope.
As posted by commenter Chris and confirmed by the five $20 gift cards that you see on my desk right now, there appears to be nothing to prevent you from simply returning the items and keeping the gift cards. I must note that while I bought the items initially at a participating mall, I returned my items at another branch at another mall that I went to later that day after finding it cheaper elsewhere.
1. Go to a participating mall.
2. Buy $1000 worth of goods from a national retailer with a good return policy.
3. Get $100 in free gift cards from the mall.
4. Return the item at the same store (or another store at a non-participating mall to be less conspicuous).
5. Keep the $100.
The only catch I can find is that this offer is good only until supplies last, and they could run out of gift cards. They will stamp your receipt, but that’s just to make sure that you don’t get multiple gift cards for the same purchase.