There are two types of Discover cashback bonuses. The first is Discover’s first year Cashback Match, which all “Discover it” credit cards currently offer. As you might be able to guess, 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. The other type of Discover cashback bonus is a 5% bonus rate that a few “it” cards offer on the first $1,500 that you spend in designated purchase categories every three months. So you can earn as much as $75 in bonus Discover cashback each quarter – $300 per year – from one of the cards offering this deal: the regular Discover it, NHL Discover it and Discover it for Students. All other purchases earn just 1% cash back.
Although the Discover cashback bonus is pretty simple, you need to “activate” it every quarter to get that 5% rate. You can easily do so by logging into your Discover account from their cashback bonus page. You can activate the new categories on the first day of the quarter, and I’d definitely recommend doing it at soon as possible so you don’t miss out on any savings.
Here’s the Discover cashback bonus calendar:
January – March 2019: Grocery Stores
April – June 2019: Gas Stations, Uber, and Lyft
July – September 2019: Restaurants
October – December 2019: Amazon.com
So you can see up to a year ahead what categories are offered. If you don’t yet have one of the eligible credit cards, this should make the decision for whether to get one easier. If you don’t think you’ll spend much at these places, I’d suggest getting a Discover it card with a flat cashback rate instead, like Discover it Chrome. And no matter which Discover it card you get, they all come with Cashback Match, so you can look forward to those doubled rewards during your first year.