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Activate Discover bonus categories for Q4 2022

See the latest bonus categories from Discover and get tips on how to maximize your cash back


Compared to previous years, Discover has added a few new bonus categories in 2022, including gyms, fitness clubs and digital wallets.

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Late last year, Discover announced the 2022 cash back calendar for the Discover it® Cash Back and introduced some new categories.

Most categories looked similar to what we saw in 2021, but the issuer added fitness clubs and gym memberships in Q1 and digital wallets in Q4.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we know consumers are looking forward to both in-store and online shopping and are ready to get back into their gyms and fitness routines,” says Geeta Chandan, VP of rewards and product strategy at Discover. “The evolution of this year’s categories aligns with the broader shifts in spending we’ve seen over the past year and a half.”

Starting October 1 through Dec. 31, 2022, cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back on purchases made on and via digital wallets after they activate (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter, then 1 percent).

At a glance

Here’s what you need to know:

  • You must activate the bonus each quarter to receive 5 percent back.
  • The fourth-quarter bonus categories are open for activation and will be active from Oct. 1, 2022 — or the date you activate, whichever is later — through Dec. 31, 2022.
  • The bonus is capped at $1,500 in combined spending per quarter, and then the rewards rate drops to 1 percent.
  • All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back.

Discover 5% cash back calendar 2022

Here’s a look at Discover’s cash back calendar for this year:

QuarterBonus categories
Winter (January — March)
  • Grocery stores
  • Fitness clubs
  • Gym memberships
Spring (April — June)
  • Gas stations
  • Target
Summer (July — September)
  • Restaurants
  • PayPal
Holiday (October — December)
  • Digital wallets

In Q4, digital wallets — including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Garmin Pay — will take the place of and While digital wallets are an available payment option at many online and physical store locations, Walmart isn’t one of them. Since Walmart is one of the most popular retailers, this might not be the best news for some Discover it Cash Back card holders — especially during the holiday season.

Discover’s 5% cash back calendar 2021

To compare, here’s what the Discover it Cash Back calendar looked like last year.

QuarterBonus categories
Winter (January — March)
  • Grocery stores
  • Walgreens
  • CVS
Spring (April — June)
  • Gas stations
  • Select streaming services
  • Wholesale clubs
Summer (July — September)
  • Restaurants
  • PayPal
Holiday (October — December)

Read on for everything you need to know about Discover’s current cash back bonuses, including our suggestions to maximize the 5 percent rate and how Discover’s bonus categories compare with Chase’s.

What is included in the category?

In this category, cardholders can earn bonus cash back on any purchase made via the checkout process. This includes spending on Amazon gift cards, Amazon Prime subscriptions, Amazon Fresh orders and more.

Further, shopping on Amazon Marketplace qualifies, as does shopping within physical Amazon stores (yes, that’s a thing) like Amazon Go.

What is included in the digital wallets category?

This category includes both online and in-store purchases made using the following digital wallets: Apple Pay, Garmin Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Note, you must make these purchases with a smartphone, tablet or other wearable tech.

Tips for maximizing your bonus in Q4 2022

  • Consider doing a majority of your upcoming holiday shopping on Amazon. And if you use or are interested in using Amazon Fresh, why not stock up on Thanksgiving essentials with the service?
  • If you have trouble meeting the $1,500 spending cap, consider purchasing gift cards as stocking stuffers or holidays gifts for coworkers and friends.
  • Get into the routine of using a digital wallet (such as Apple Pay) to make your purchases. This is one of the easier categories to utilize, given you can practically earn the heightened cash back rate on anything (provided you remember to make the purchase with your digital wallet).

Discover vs. Chase bonus categories

Chase also offers a 5 percent cash back bonus in categories that rotate quarterly, and from October through December of this year, Chase Freedom* and Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back on PayPal and Walmart purchases upon activation.

Chase vs. Discover cash back categories 2022

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Discover it® Cash Back
January — MarchGrocery stores and eBayGrocery stores, fitness clubs and gym memberships
April — and select streaming servicesGas stations and Target
July — SeptemberGas stations, car rentals, select entertainment and music theatresRestaurants and PayPal
October — DecemberPayPal and and digital wallets

Which card offers the better deal?

If you’re looking to apply for either card as the final cash back quarter commences, the right option for you (strictly thinking about categories) comes down to where and how you’d prefer to do a majority of your shopping through the end of the year.

Truthfully, it’s a better idea to take into account all that each card has to offer — like welcome bonuses, intro APRs and additional card perks — before making a decision to apply. Comparing historical card bonus categories is also a great way to determine which card is more likely to offer bonus categories that fit your lifestyle in the future.

*Information about the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

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The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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