BACK

AzriSuratmin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Products

Activate Discover cash back categories for Q4 2019 now

Cardholders can activate the fourth quarter bonus – Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com – now

Summary

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

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Discover’s fourth quarter bonus categories – Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com – are live as of Oct. 1, 2019. Through the end of the year, eligible cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in these categories, after enrollment.

With holiday season around the corner, cardholders can take advantage of online shopping at Amazon.com or Walmart.com to stockpile gifts. Plus, the Target category also includes in-store purchases, providing even more flexibility to get your holiday shopping done this year.

Discover it Cash Back cardholders must activate the fourth quarter bonus category by Dec, 31, 2019, here.

Here’s what you need to know at a glance:

  • You must activate the bonus each quarter to receive 5 percent back.
  • The fourth quarter bonus is active from Oct. 1, 2019 – or the date on which you activate it, whichever is later – through Dec. 31, 2019.
  • The bonus is capped at $1,500 per quarter.
  • All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back.

Read on for everything you need to know about Discover’s cash back bonus, including the full 2019 calendar, our suggestions to maximize the 5-percent rate and how Discover’s bonus categories compare to those of Chase.

Discover 5 percent cash back calendar 2019

WinterSpringSummerHoliday
January – MarchApril – JuneJuly – SeptemberOctober – December
(Activate by Dec. 31, 2019)
  • Grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Uber
  • Lyft
  • Restaurants
  • PayPal
  • Amazon.com
  • Target
  • Walmart.com

While several of Discover’s 2019 categories are the same as those from 2018, the major item that stands out is the absence of wholesale clubs – which Discover offered during the first and fourth quarters of 2018. Luckily, there are still some great ways to earn significant cash back.

What is included/excluded in the “Amazon.com” category?

According to Discover’s website, Amazon.com purchases include all those made on the website, including digital downloads, gift cards and Amazon Fresh orders. Your Amazon Prime subscription can also qualify for the bonus.

What is included/excluded in the “Target” category?

This category includes purchases made on the Target website, app and in-store. Keep in mind that individual merchants within Target might not qualify for the bonus, depending on how the transaction appears on your statement.

What is included/excluded in the “Walmart.com” category?

On the Discover website, Walmart.com purchases are classified as all those made on the store’s website or app – including grocery pickup. Unfortunately, in-store purchases will not qualify for the bonus.

Tips for maximizing your bonus

  • Use your Discover it Cash Back card for all Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com purchases.
  • Consider doing holiday shopping with a participating merchant.
  • Check Discover’s shopping portal for opportunities to stack your rewards.
  • Visit Discover.com/digitalwallets for more information on which digital wallet transactions qualify for the 5 percent bonus, if you prefer to shop that way.

Discover vs. Chase bonus categories

Chase also offers a 5 percent cash back bonus in categories that rotate quarterly. From Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019, Chase Freedom cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 at department stores and on Chase Pay and PayPal purchases.

Chase vs. Discover cash back categories 2019

Discover
Discover it® Cash Back
Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom®
January – MarchGrocery storesGas stations, drugstores and tolls
April – JuneGas stations, Uber and LyftGrocery stores and home improvement stores
July – SeptemberRestaurants and PayPalGas stations and select streaming services
October – DecemberAmazon.com, Target and Walmart.comDepartment stores, PayPal and Chase Pay

Which card offers the best deal?

Ultimately, it depends on your spending habits. Coming into holiday season, the best category for you depends widely on how you prefer to do your shopping. If you favor online purchases from big merchants like Amazon.com, the Discover category can benefit you. For those who still prefer brick-and-mortar department stores for their holiday shopping, the Chase category might be more lucrative.

Going into the new year, though, that can change drastically. Neither Chase nor Discover have yet announced their categories for 2020, so it remains to be seen which card provides more potential value next year.

See related: Activate Chase cash back category for Q4 2019 now, Credit card special offers and limited-time promotions

What’s up next?

In Products

American Express to launch new benefits on Delta SkyMiles cards next year

Next year, American Express will refresh its suite of co-branded Delta SkyMiles credit cards. Expanded rewards and benefits will be coupled with increased annual fees.

Published: September 30, 2019

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: October 16th, 2019
Business
15.18%
Airline
17.11%
Cash Back
17.25%
Reward
17.13%
Student
17.29%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.