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.
Current Discover card promotions include a dollar-for-dollar rewards match at the end of the first year, up to 5% cash back on purchases, 0% APRs for up to 18 months and even $20 for good grades on student credit cards. None of Discover’s credit cards charge annual fees or foreign transaction fees, either.… read full answer
There are plenty of other perks, too, such as free credit scores. And together, all these Discover card promotions form a portfolio that can meet any cardholder’s financial needs.
Here are the latest Discover Card promotions:
Double rewards the first year: Available on all Discover cards. Discover will match all the cash back you've earned (or miles on the Discover it Miles card) at the end of the first year. Offer only for new customers.
5% cash back: The Discover it Cash Back and Discover it chrome cards offer 5% cash back on the first $1,500 you spend each quarter in rotating bonus categories. You must activate the bonus each quarter by clicking “Activate Now” and logging in to your Discover account. You also receive unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
No annual fees or foreign transaction fees: Discover cards do not charge annual fees or foreign transaction fees. There are no penalty APRs for late payments, and Discover waives the fee for your first late payment. You could be charged up to $37 for subsequent late payments. There’s a 5% fee for cash advances (minimum $10) and a 3% balance transfer fee.
18-month balance transfer offer: Available only on the Discover it Balance Transfer card, which charges a 3% balance transfer fee and gives 0% for 6 months on purchases. Other Discover cards offer shorter balance transfer periods, ranging from 6-14 months of reduced or 0% interest.
14-month 0% purchase intro APR: Available on the Discover it Cash Back, Discover it chrome, Discover it Miles and NHL Discover it cards. Discover it Student Cash Back and Student chrome offer 0% for 6 months on purchases.
$20 per year for good grades: Discover it Student Cash Back and Discover it Student chrome give you a $20 statement credit for each school year that your GPA is 3.0 or higher, for up to five years. You just have to log into your Discover account and enter your GPA. Discover may request documentation.
As you can see, there’s a lot to like about Discover card promotions. The one thing you won’t see on any current Discover cards, though, is an initial bonus for spending a certain amount after you get the card. But Discover makes up for that by matching the first year’s rewards on all their cards.
There used to be another Discover card promotion called “Discover Deals,” where you could get extra discounts or bonus points for shopping with over 200 retailers in Discover’s online mall. Unfortunately, that program ended on October 31, 2018.
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