Discover Cash Back rewards and benefits

Discover it® Cash Back is one of the few credit cards that offer rewards in rotating categories. When you combine this card’s generous cashback features with its other benefits and perks, Discover it cashback offers great value without the annual fee.

For starters, Discover it Cash Back offers a 5 percent cashback on popular categories that rotate every quarter up to $1,500 on purchases in combo bonus categories per quarter (then 1 percent back). All other purchases receive 1% cashback. If you can maximize those 5 percent of categories each quarter, you can earn up to $300 in cash on your rotating category purchases each year.

This card also offers a unique Discover’s Cashback Match welcome bonus that doubles all cashback you earn in your first 12 months as a cardholder. So if you charge $1,500 per quarter in each of the 5 percent categories in your first year, you could earn $600 in cash.

All this makes the Discover it Cash Back card one of the best cashback cards on the market. But money back isn’t the only benefit. Here’s a guide to everything Discover it Cash Back has to offer, including how to get the most out of the Discover it Cash Back bonus category.

How to Maximize Discover Categories Cash Back 5%

If you want to maximize your Discover it Cash Back rewards, you need to know how to take advantage of your 5% Cash Back bonus categories.

Start by planning ahead. For example, if you know Target will be one of the 5% bonus categories next quarter, you can start thinking about what purchases you might want to make next quarter to make the most of your 5% cashback bonus. Maybe it’s time to stock up on paper towels, fill your freezer with groceries, or buy the camping gear you’ve been craving.

It’s also a good idea to keep track of how close you are to hitting your quarterly high of $1,500. Don’t put yourself in the situation where you think you’ll earn 5 percent cash on a big purchase, only to find that you’ve already spent $1,500 on your bonus categories this quarter.

To get the most out of your Discover it Cash Back rewards, strategize. The more you know about what 5% cashback tiers are coming, how much you have spent on your current 5% tiers, and how close you are to hitting that quarterly high of $1,500, the better off you will be.

Discover the Cash Back calendar for 2022

Discover announces its quarterly bonus tiers at the beginning of each year. The categories of the Discover it Cash Back calendar are pretty consistent from year to year. Here are the quarterly bonus categories for 2022:

Quarter Bonus Categories
Q1 (January to March)
  • Grocery stores
  • Fitness clubs
  • Gym membership
Q2 (April to June)
Q3 (July to September)
Q4 (October to December)
  • Digital Wallets

Don’t forget to enable categories

Before you can start earning 5% cash rewards, you need to activate the quarterly bonus categories. It’s easy to do. Just log in to your online account or mobile app and follow the instructions to activate it. Discover will even send you a one-click activation email with no login required to make the activation process as easy as possible.

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to start earning 5% cashback on quarterly bonus tiers until you activate them. This means that if you make a Category Purchase on January 2nd but don’t activate Quarterly Categories by January 15th, you won’t receive the 5% cashback for that Category purchase on January 1st. Instead, you will only earn 1 percent in cash. That’s why it’s so important to activate your bonus categories as soon as possible.

Best Ways to Use Discover it Cash Back Rewards

You will have many options for using Discover it Cash Back rewards. You can turn your Rewards into a credit statement, use your Rewards when you pay with or PayPal, or donate them to a good cause by making a charitable donation.

In addition, Discover now allows cardholders to automatically convert their cash rewards back into statements, so you no longer have to worry about remembering to use your rewards. Instead, Discover will automatically apply your cash rewards back to your next credit card bill. You can require Discover to always credit the full amount of your cash reward to your credit card account, or assign a specific dollar amount to be converted into a credit statement, your choice.

Take advantage of Discover it Cash Back

In addition to top-tier cashback, Discover it Cash Back offers a range of other benefits. Here’s what you need to know to take full advantage of your card’s features to build credit, reduce debt, and prevent fraud.

FICO points

If you want to check your credit score for free, Discover Credit Card offers free access to your FICO credit score, allowing you to track and improve one of the most important metrics related to your credit.

0% initial balance transfers

One of the best ways to improve your credit score is to pay off old debt, and one of the best ways to pay off old debt is to use a credit card to transfer the balance. The Discover it Cash Back card offers 15 months of 0% initial APR on purchases and balance transfers (from 14.24% to 25.24% variable APR thereafter), making it a great tool to help you pay off balances on an old credit card without worrying about interest charges. With over a year of zero interest, you can make a huge hole in your debt.

To be eligible for 0% APR Initial Funding, the balance transfer must be completed by December 10, 2022. If the balance is transferred before this date, Discover will charge you a 3 percent initial balance transfer fee, after which the balance transfer fee will increase up to 5%. Among balance transfer cards, a 3 percent fee is considered competitive. However, many cards now have a 5% fee, and on rare occasions there have been cards without a balance transfer fee. Currently, no major credit card issuer offers any credit card with a 0 percent starting annual interest rate and no balance transfer fees.

No fees

Discover it Cash Back has no transaction fees outside of the US. This card also has no penalty interest rate and Discover will automatically waive your first late payment fee (up to $41 thereafter). The card is also one of our favorite credit cards with no annual fees. Some cards offer high-level rewards while charging high annual fees, prompting consumers to wonder if they are earning enough rewards to justify the expense.

Discover it cashback also allows you to earn 5% cashback on popular shopping categories without an annual fee. And it’s definitely not worth paying an annual fee if you can find the best cash back card that offers the rewards you want without making you pay for the privilege of earning them.

Identity Freeze

Identity theft continues to be one of the most common forms of credit card fraud. Discover helps protect you from fraud by allowing you to freeze your credit account if your credit card is lost or stolen. In fact, Discover will even provide free overnight shipping to replace lost or stolen credit cards upon request.

If you lose your card, Discover’s Freeze it allows you to freeze your credit card through your online account or mobile app. Once your credit card is frozen, new transactions (including cash withdrawals and balance transfers) will not be processed, but recurring transactions such as subscription payments will still be processed. This way you can protect yourself from credit card fraud without losing any of the automatic payments you have set up. And if you end up finding your card, you can easily turn it back on.

Discover it Cash Back also has a $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee so you are never liable for unauthorized purchases made with your card.

bottom line

Discover it Cash Back offers cardholders everything from 5% cashback on daily purchases to 15-month zero interest on purchases and balance transfers (from 14.24% to 25.24% with a variable annual interest rate thereafter). When you add up all the rewards and benefits associated with Discover it cashback, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best rewarding credit cards on the market.

Editorial disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective judgment of our contributors and is not based on advertising. It was not provided or ordered by credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to our partners’ products.

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