Newly launched rewards programs often haven’t thought about gamers, and as a result you earn outsized rewards on things like open loop gift cards, cash back, postage stamps, or other normally excluded items during the program’s early life. Typically these are added to an internal blocklist one-by-one until the program’s balance sheet approaches the Nash equilibrium and then designers and accountants move on to other things.

The blocklist approach often fails later in a mature rewards program though, because: SKUs change, new products are introduced, or entire software systems are replaced. These failures mean a deviation from the Nash equilibrium and an opportunity for gamers. For a real-world example, see yesterday’s GCG easter-egg laden post. Also note that our favorite infamous, parody-inducing payment processor is processing these products at a reduced fee.

The quick takeaway: Watch for the next 4x grocery rewards event and go probe!

The worlds lamest dual.