The Discover card grocery store list does not include “big-box” stores such as Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club and Costco. Discount stores, convenience stores and gas stations are not on the list, either.
The last time Discover cards included grocery store purchases as a 5% bonus category was the quarter ending March 31, 2020. Grocery stores are included once again as a bonus category in Discover’s "5% Cash Back Calendar for 2021", and more specifically, from January to March.
For those who aren’t familiar with Discover’s rotating bonus categories, this is how it works: Certain Discover cards offer a 5% cash back bonus for purchases at grocery stores and other spending categories that change every quarter. The 5% cash back bonus is limited to the first $1,500 spent in a specific quarter’s categories. Purchase amounts over the limit will earn 1% cash back. Cardholders must sign up for each new category to receive the cash back bonus.
The Discover cash back bonus pays you back a certain percentage of the money you spend as a reward. The Discover cash back bonus can be redeemed either at select merchants or for cash. More specifically, there are three types of Discover cashback bonuses:
Cashback Match: There’s a final Discover cashback bonus that all Discover cards have. With Cashback Match, Discover will match all the rewards you earn the first year your account is open. So, if you rack up $500 in rewards during the first 12 months, for example, Discover will tack on another $500 as an anniversary present.
Discover’s 2% cash back bonus and Cashback Match are fairly simple, but there are several other details you’ll need to know about the 5% bonus. To start, Discover has a cash back calendar showing when the categories rotate. And to get the 5% Discover cashback bonus, you need to “activate” it every quarter. You can easily do so by logging in to your Discover account from their cashback bonus page. You can activate the new categories on the first day of the quarter.
The Discover calendar shows what purchases qualify for Discover’s 5% cash back bonus rewards categories. Eligible cardholders can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent per quarter in the purchase categories listed on Discover’s bonus rewards calendar, when they activate.
Gas stations, Wholesale Clubs and Select Streaming Services
July – September
Restaurants and PayPal
October – December
Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com
Discover’s 5% cash back calendar applies to three Discover credit cards: Discover it® Cash Back, Discover it® Student Cash Back and NHL® Discover it®. Cardholders must activate new bonus categories by the end of each quarter for purchases to qualify for the 5% rewards rate. And the bonus rate will apply only from the date of activation through the last day of the quarter. To activate a category, click the blue “Activate Now” link on the calendar.
Just bear in mind that there are exceptions to Discover’s calendar categories. For example, purchases at restaurants inside other locations – like hotels, convenience stores and grocery stores – are not eligible. Neither are restaurant delivery purchases. PayPal purchases using tap-and-pay, virtual wallets or similar technology may not qualify, either. Each category has a bit of fine print. Be sure to read it.
Discover cards are accepted by more than 10.4 million U.S. merchants. Outside the United States, you can use Discover cards in 185 countries and territories. But there are some noticeable gaps, including Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Taiwan. You can check Discover’s international-use map to see where, exactly, your Discover credit card will work.… read full answer
Even in the countries where Discover Card is accepted, you’ll still find many merchants that only accept Mastercard and Visa. That’s a big reason why Discover ranks 7th out of the 10 largest credit card companies in WalletHub’s International Travel Credit Card Report.
Here are the regions where Discover is not accepted:
Caribbean: Cuba, Haiti
South America: Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Bolivia, Chile
Europe: Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Belarus, Moldova
Asia: Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Taiwan, North Korea
Oceania: New Caledonia, Vanatu, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Brunei
Africa: All but 7 countries
Middle East: Almost all countries
The truth is, Discover cards really can’t compare to Visa and Mastercard credit cards in terms of international acceptance. You can use a Visa or Mastercard virtually anywhere on Earth that accepts credit cards. But there are plenty of countries where Discover cards won’t work, which means you’d either need to bring a lot of cash or a different credit card.
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