Cash Back in Rotating Bonus Categories


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Amazon logo seen on phone in illustration.

From October to December 2022, Discover’s cash back categories are Amazon and digital wallets.

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  • Some Discover credit cards offer cash back bonus categories that change every three months.
  • These include the Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Student Cash Back.
  • You can earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined spending in these categories each quarter (then 1%) after you activate (from October 1 to December 31, 2022, you can earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and on digital wallets on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment, then 1%).
  • Read Insider’s guide to the best rewards credit cards.

If you want to make the most of cash-back credit cards, there are different earning structures to be aware of. Some cards offer a flat cash-back rate for all purchases, others include extra rewards in specific categories, and a few offer increased earnings in bonus categories that rotate every quarter. 

Compare the Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Student Cash Back

  • Discover it® Cash Back

  • Discover it® Student Cash Back

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Unlimited Cashback Match – Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.

Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.

The Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Student Cash Back fall into the last category. Both earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in combined bonus categories (then 1%) that change every three months, and 1% back on all other purchases. To earn 5% cash back, you’ll first need to activate the bonus through your Discover online account, and if you enroll after the start of the quarter, the bonus will be in effect from the day you activate (from October 1 to December 31, 2022, you can earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and on digital wallets on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment, then 1%). 

New cardholders will also have all of their rewards matched after their first 12 months through the Discover cash back match program, which can add up quickly if you spend a lot on your card throughout the year.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Discover it cash back calendar for 2022

Discover Discover it® Cash Back


Intro offer

Unlimited Cashback Match – Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year


Rewards

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.

Discover Discover it® Cash Back


Intro offer

Unlimited Cashback Match – Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year


Rewards

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.


Rewards

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.


Intro offer

Unlimited Cashback Match – Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Recommended credit score. Note that credit card lenders may use many different variations of credit score models when considering your application.

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Regular APR

14.99% – 25.99% Variable


Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Editor’s Rating

4.42/5

Our editor’s ratings analyze fees, bonuses, rewards, and benefits to highlight the simplest and most valuable credit cards available.

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Discover’s bonus categories for the entire year are released well in advance, so you can plan your credit card strategy and maximize rewards each quarter. Right now you can activate the bonus for the remainder of Q4 2022 (October through December).

Q1: January – March

Q2: April – June

Q3: July – September

Q4: October – December

We’ve seen most of these Discover cash-back categories before, but there are two entirely new options for 2022. From January to March 2022, fitness club and gym memberships were included, and from October to December 2022, digital wallets are another new addition.

In Q2 (April to June), Target was a bonus category — and this time, it included both in-store and online purchases. Other times (such as Q4 2021), it’s been limited to online purchases only at Target.com, so this was a nice addition for those who prefer shopping in person.

How to redeem Discover cashback rewards

Discover Discover it® Student Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back


Intro offer

Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year


Rewards

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.

Discover Discover it® Student Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back


Intro offer

Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year


Rewards

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.


Rewards

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.


Intro offer

Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year


Recommended Credit

Fair/New to Credit

Recommended credit score. Note that credit card lenders may use many different variations of credit score models when considering your application.

Show more


Regular APR

15.99% – 24.99% Variable


Intro APR

0% intro APR for 6 months on purchases

Editor’s Rating

5/5

Our editor’s ratings analyze fees, bonuses, rewards, and benefits to highlight the simplest and most valuable credit cards available.

Show more

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Discover offers more redemption options than many people realize. If you have any of its cash-back credit cards, you can apply rewards to your bill as a statement credit or request a direct deposit to your bank account, redeem them toward Amazon and PayPal purchases, or cash them in for gift cards from select retailers.

You can also donate your rewards to select charities, including:

  • American Cancer Society
  • ASPCA
  • American Red Cross
  • Carbonfund.org
  • Children’s Miracle Network
  • Junior Achievement
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Make-A-Wish
  • Operation Homefront
  • World Wildlife Fund

Other cards with rotating categories to consider

Chase Chase Freedom Flex℠


Intro offer

$200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening


Rewards

5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Chase Chase Freedom Flex℠


Intro offer

$200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening


Rewards

5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.


Rewards

5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.


Intro offer

$200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent


Regular APR

17.24% – 25.99% Variable


Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months

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If you like the idea of earning a bonus in categories that rotate each quarter, you should consider the Chase Freedom Flex℠. Like its predecessor, the Chase Freedom®
(no longer open to applicants), the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers 5% cash back in rotating categories after activation that are often different from Discover’s in the same quarter. For Q4 2022, the Chase Freedom bonus categories are Walmart and PayPal.

With the Chase Freedom Flex, you’ll earn 5% back (5x Chase Ultimate Rewards® points) on up to $1,500 spent in combined quarterly bonus categories after activation (then 1%), 5% back on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on drugstore and dining purchases, and 1% back on everything else. Similar to Discover, you can redeem rewards from the Chase Freedom Flex for statement credits, cash back, gift cards, merchandise, and more.

If you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can turn your cash back into Chase Ultimate Rewards points and unlock more redemption options, including transferring points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners, like United Airlines and Hyatt.



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