Discover cashback categories April-June 2019 |

Discover cash back categories 2018 to 2019

Earn 5% cash back on gas, restaurants and groceries.

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The Discover it® Cash Back is one of the go-to cards for earning 5% cash back on rotating categories. However, you need to activate them each quarter, and you’re limited to $1,500 in combined purchases every three months. After you reach the limit each quarter, you’ll earn 1%. You’ll also earn 1% on all other purchases or on the quarterly categories if you forget to activate.

2018 to 2019 Discover cashback rewards calendar

October–December 2018January–March 2019April–June 2019July–September 2019October–December 2019 and wholesale clubsGrocery stores — excluding Target and WalmartGas stations, Uber and

Steps to activate your Discover rewards

Log in to your online account or call 800-347-2683 to activate your Discover rotating categories.

What to know

With the Discover it® Cash Back card the 5% cash back isn’t retroactive. This means if you activate the categories late in the quarter and made purchases beforehand in qualifying categories, you may not earn accelerated cash back on them. However, reach out to customer service to see if they would be willing to adjust it.

Another cashback category card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

  • Earn up to $550 cash back in the first year.
  • $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!
  • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores.
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
  • No limit on total cash back earned.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 15.99% - 25.49%
  • No annual fee
  • Great Offer from U.S. Bank, a 2019 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2019
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What counts as a 5% cashback category purchase?

Every time you make a purchase in activated categories — for up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter — you earn 5% cash back. After reaching the cap, and on all other purchases, you earn 1% back.

This means, you can earn a maximum of $300 on the 5% categories every year. For the first year, that would be $600 or 10% back thanks to Discover Cashback Match. Not bad, considering there’s no annual fee.

How can I redeem my Discover cash back?

  • Get a deposit into your bank account or use it toward your Discover bill.
  • Get gift cards with a $5 bonus added to each card.
  • Pay for purchases at checkout.
  • Donate to a charity.

Tips to maximize your Discover cash back

  • Activate your categories.
    If you fail to activate before the end of the quarter, you won’t earn accelerated cash back. You also may not receive retroactive cash back if you activate later in a quarter.
  • Cashback Match.
    Instead of a signup bonus, Discover will match the entire cash back you earn during your first year. Suppose you earn $500 in cash back, You’d get a $500 bonus for a total of $1,000 for the first year. This beats any signup bonus offered by a similar card.
  • Use at
    When purchases are part of the Discover card categories, you can buy gift cards and use them later during the year. You can also use your card to renew your Prime membership.
  • Pair it with another card.Chase Freedom® also offers 5% cash back up to 1,500 in combined purchase, and the categories rarely overlap. Combining the two cards can maximize your cash back during the entire year.

There are two other 5% cashback Discover cards

The Discover it® Student Cash Back and NHL Discover it® Card offer the same 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories, except these cards have additional perks if you’re a student or if you purchase NHL merchandise from the official online store.

Compare bonus rewards categories

Chase Freedom® is another card that offers 5% cashback. Compare its 2018 categories to see how it stacks up against Discover.

  • January to March.
    Gas stations; Internet, cable and phone services; and Apple Pay, Google Pay, Chase Pay and Samsung Pay.
  • April to June.
    Grocery stores — excluding Walmart and Target — PayPal and Chase Pay.
  • July to September.
    Gas stations, Lyft and Walgreens.
  • October to December.
    Department stores, wholesale clubs and Chase Pay.

The cards have several categories that overlap at different times of the year. However, Chase doesn’t have restaurants or purchases as any of its categories. It makes up for it with several sub categories, including three quarters of Chase Pay. With this you can earn accelerated cash back wherever Chase Pay is accepted.

Which card is better?

There’s no clear answer, as it mostly depends on your spending habits. However, you could maximize your cash back if you combine both cards and use each card for the category with the highest cash back.

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