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How to Benefit with Discover it® Cashback Bonus Cards in 2019

[Friday, May 10th, 2019]

Owners of the Discover it® Cash Back, the Discover it® Balance Transfer, the Discover it® Student Cash Back and the NHL® Discover it® credit cards surely appreciate the 5% cashback bonus on purchases at its true value. We would remind you that it applies to purchases up to $1,500 per quarter in certain categories rotating quarterly and is available after activation.

Discover 5% Cash Back Calendar

Traditionally, in November Discover introduces their higher percentage categories for the next year. Last year was no exception. The issuer represented four 5% categories for each quarter. Most of the categories turned out to be similar to the beloved 2018’s ones. Here is what was announced in November:

  • 1st quarter (January 1, 2019–March 31, 2019): Grocery stores.
  • 2nd quarter (April 1, 2019–June 30, 2019): Gas stations, Uber and Lyft.
  • 3rd quarter (July 1, 2019–September 30, 2019): Restaurants.
  • 4th quarter (October 1, 2019–December 31, 2019):

Now the second quarter is in full play and It’s time to activate the next category. Shortly before this, Discover made their cardholders a gift adding some new locations to 3rd and 4th quarter categories. Let’s take a look at the updated calendar for the rest of the year.

  • 2nd quarter: Gas stations, Uber and Lyft. Activation is in progress.
  • 3rd quarter: Restaurants, PayPal. Activation is in progress.
  • 4th quarter: Target, Activate from August 1.

What is Important

The main thing you should remember is to activate the next category each quarter. As you see, Discover gives the opportunity to do it beforehand. So, you can already be through with the third quarter. You just need to log into the Discover website or call the customer service. Discover also usually sends reminder e-mails with an activation link. Without this simple action, you will get only minimum 1%. However, if you once forget to activate on time, you will still be able to do it as long as the category is in use.

5% cash back can be earned until you reach $1,500 in purchases. Anyway, the unlimited 1% cash back is available after coming up to the maximum and is accrued for all other purchases permanently without activation.

You shouldn’t expect to see the earned bonus instantly, it is typically posted to your account within two billing periods. A huge plus is that the cash back will never expire and may be redeemed in any amount any time. You may choose to deposit it to your bank account or Discover bill, to redeem for gift cards with $5 free added to each card, starting at $20, purchases at or a charitable donation.

More Perks from Discover

In addition to 5% categories, Discover also offers some free but worthwhile benefits that you should definitely pay attention to:

  • Cashback Match. Discover undertakes to match all cash back you earn for the first year without any limitations. This sign-up bonus is available for all new cardmembers and lays down no indispensable conditions to complete.
  • Free FICO credit scores. You can easily view your FICO score from TransUnion for free.
  • Identity Alerts. Discover monitors Dark Web sites protecting you from Social Security number theft and unauthorized purchases.
  • Freeze it®. This free option gives the opportunity to temporarily “freeze” an account using the mobile app in case you suppose your card or ID was stolen. From that moment Discover will stop authorizing new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers.
  • US.-based customer service. Discover is always ready to help you with any issue offering fast mobile and online service.

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