Discover Announces 5% Cash-Back Quarterly Categories for 2019

Nov 2, 2018

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It’s already time to start planning your spend for next year. Discover it® Cash Back cardmembers get 5% cash-back on rotating categories that change every quarter, and now Discover has announced all four categories for 2019.

The categories and their corresponding dates are as follows :

    • January – March 2019: 5% back at grocery stores
    • April – June 2019: 5% back at gas stations, Uber and Lyft
    • July – September 2019: 5% back at Restaurants
    • October – December 2019: 5% back at

It’s nice to see most of the categories, many of which are similar to 2018’s, are pretty broad-based making it easier to maximize your rewards. Note that you can only earn 5% in each quarter upon enrollment, on up to $1,500 in purchases, you’ll earn 1% back after hitting the $1,500 limit and 1% back on all other purchases.

What makes the Discover it Cash Back enticing is that in the first year after signing up for the card, Discover will match your cash-back you earned over the previous 12 months. So if you can max out each category in each quarter, you can potential earn 10% back on $6,000 — for a total of $600. That’s not too shabby for a no-annual fee cash-back card.

Remember that Discover requires you to activate each category every quarter, which you can do here. However, Discover does make it pretty easy to redeem your cash-back.

If you’re interested in other cards with rotating bonus categories, the Chase Freedom offers 5% back in a similar fashion to the Discover it Cash Back. Additionally, if you have an Ultimate Rewards earning card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you can earn 5x Ultimate Rewards with the Freedom.

Or if you want a straight cash-back card, the Discover it® Miles earns 1.5 miles (equivalent to 1.5% cash-back) on all purchases and Discover will match your cash-back at the end of your first cardmember year — meaning you’re earning 3% cash-back on all purchases for the first 12 months of card membership.

Featured image by The Points Guy staff.

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CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
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