See the latest bonus categories from Discover and get tips on how to maximize your cash back.
If you prefer to stock up on groceries in bulk – especially since many are spending more time at home – the new Discover categories can be incredibly lucrative. Discover it Cash Back cardholders can activate the second quarter bonus category here.
Here’s what you need to know at a glance:
- You must activate the bonus each quarter to receive 5% back.
- The second quarter bonus is active from April 1, 2020 – or the date on which you activate it, whichever is later – through June 30, 2020.
- The bonus is capped at $1,500 in combined spending per quarter.
- All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
Discover 5% cash back calendar 2020
|January – March|
(Activate by Mar. 31, 2020)
|April – June||July – September||October – December|
Read on for everything you need to know about Discover’s cash back bonus, including our suggestions to maximize the 5% rate and how Discover’s bonus categories compare to those of Chase.
What is included/excluded in the “wholesale clubs” category?
Wholesale club purchases, for the sake of the bonus category, include all qualifying purchases made at most major locations. Notable exceptions from the bonus include purchases of other services – like travel or phone service – via a wholesale club program. Additionally, individual merchants operating inside a wholesale club, where transactions are coded under the third-party name, will not qualify.
What is included/excluded in the “Uber” and “Lyft” categories?
For both the Uber and Lyft bonus categories, Discover limits qualifying purchases rides made in the U.S. Purchases from either ride-share service abroad will not qualify for the bonus. Additionally, purchases from Uber Eats will be excluded from the bonus rate.
What is included/excluded in the “gas stations” category?
According to the Discover website, gas stations only include merchants that primarily sell fuel. Gas pumps at supermarkets might not qualify for the bonus.
Tips for maximizing your bonus
- Use your Discover it Cash Back card for all wholesale club, gas, Uber and Lyft purchases.
- Stock up on bulk groceries, cleaning supplies and gift cards at wholesale clubs or gas stations to meet the full quarterly spend cap.
- Make your Discover it Cash Back your primary payment method on both Uber and Lyft.
- Visit Discover.com/digitalwallets for more information on which digital wallet transactions qualify for the 5% bonus, if you prefer to shop that way.
Discover vs. Chase bonus categories
Chase also offers a 5% cash back bonus in categories that rotate quarterly. From April 1 to June 30, 2020, the Chase Freedom® card is offering a bonus rate on grocery store, select streaming service and gym membership and fitness club purchases.
Chase vs. Discover cash back categories 2020
Discover it® Cash Back
|January – March||Gas stations, select streaming services and phone, cable and internet services||Grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS|
|April – June||Gym memberships, select streaming services, fitness clubs and grocery stores||Gas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubs|
|July – September||TBA||Restaurants and PayPal|
|October – December||TBA||Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com|
Which card offers the best deal?
Ultimately, it depends on your spending habits. In the second quarter of 2020, Chase is offering a better rate on grocery stores, gym memberships and select streaming services. If you spend more on these purchases than those at wholesale clubs, the Chase Freedom might make more sense for you.
However, Chase only releases bonus categories one quarter at a time. So for the rest of the year, it is impossible to predict which card will offer the better deal. Based on 2019 bonus categories, we can only speculate that Chase will offer a bonus at department stores and on mobile wallet purchases later in the year. Luckily, Discover releases its full calendar of rotating categories in advance, so you can take a look to see if they align with your spending.