Rewards Mall Showdown: ShopDiscover Dominates - NerdWallet
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Rewards Mall Showdown: ShopDiscover Dominates

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If you shop online but don’t use rewards malls, you’re missing out on some awesome discounts. And if you have a credit card, you’re probably already eligible to start saving. We’re not talking chump change here—bonus malls can yield up to 20% cash back. To see what deals your rewards mall entitles you to, or to decide which mall is right for you, check out our discounts tool and peruse over 10,000 different offers.

Types of rewards malls

With no shortage of options, choosing the right rewards mall can be tricky. First understand that there are two main types: 1) Malls operated by popular points programs (i.e. Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall or Delta SkyMiles) and 2) malls run by sites that direct you to their partners (i.e. or Generally, malls operated by big-name rewards programs pay you in points, while independent mall sites offer cash.

If you find yourself returning to the same stores time and time again, it doesn’t much matter which kind of mall you use—you’ll get your money’s worth either way. But if you’re more of a sporadic shopper and can’t guarantee consistent purchasing, you may benefit more from a straight cash back system.

ShopDiscover: the easy choice

On the surface, they all appear to offer worthwhile kickbacks. But if you look closely, you’ll find significant differences between malls. We chose 20 of the country’s largest retailers (Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, etc.—scroll to the bottom for a full list) and made note of the most rewarding mall for each store. For 16 of the 20 retailers (or 80%), ShopDiscover came out on top with untouchable return rates. At Best Buy, for example, you earn 10% cash back through ShopDiscover. The runner-up stood at a mere 3.6%.

Capital One Perk Central was the next best program, with the best rate at 3 stores and the second-best rate in 6. Following close behind was the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall with 2 first places and 7 second places. (These totals, by the way, don’t add up to 20 because they include ties.) was the first independent mall site on our list, earning 2 first place awards and 6 second places.

Rewards Mall Partner Stores # of 1st Place Kickback Deals from our Top 20 Store List # of 2nd Place Kickback Deals from our Top 20 Store List
ShopDiscover 229 16 0
Capital One Perk Central 527 3 6
Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall 442 2 7 1023 2 6
Citi ThankYou Bonus Center 757 1 7
Citi Bonus Cash Center 605 1 7
American Express Bonus Points Mall 722 1 6
American Airlines AAdvantage Shopping 1057 0 7
Marriott ShopMyWay Mall 450 2 2
Wells Fargo Earn More Mall 752 1 3 953 1 2
Bank of America WorldPoints Mall 1036 1 2
Choice Hotel Privileges Mall 1325 0 3
Delta SkyMiles Shopping 733 0 1
Hilton HHonors Earnings Mall 474 0 1
MasterCard MarketPlace 151 0 1
US Airways Dividend Miles Shopping Mall 723 0 1
United Mileage Plus Shopping 739 0 0

ShopDiscover credit cards

Combined with the ShopDiscover rewards mall, the Discover it®-New! Double Cash Back your first year is virtually unbeatable when it comes to shopping rewards. You earn credit card cash back at a base rate of 1%. The Discover it®-New! Double Cash Back your first year also has rotating bonus categories that earn 5%, including things like gas, groceries, restaurants and more. These categories are usually capped at $1,500 in purchases per quarter. It has an annual fee of $0 and comes with an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months and 0% on balance transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 10.99% - 22.99% Variable.

Here’s a chart of the best malls for the 20 retailers as mentioned above:

Retailer Best Mall(s) Rewards Rate
Aeropostale Shop Discover / Capital One Perk Central 5%
Apple Store ShopDiscover 5%
Barnes & Noble ShopDiscover 15%
Bed Bath and Beyond ShopDiscover 5%
Best Buy ShopDiscover 5%
Dick’s Sporting Goods ShopDiscover / Citi Bonus Cash Center / Citi ThankYou Bonus Center / Wells Fargo Earn More Mall 5%
Game Stop ShopDiscover / Capital One Perk Central 5%
JCPenny ShopDiscover 10%
Kmart ShopDiscover 15%
Kohl’s ShopDiscover / Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall 10%
Macy’s ShopDiscover / Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall 5%
PetSmart ShopDiscover 15%
Radio Shack 4%
Sears ShopDiscover 15%
Starbucks Store / Bank of America WorldPoints Mall / Marriott ShopMyWay Mall 4%
Target ShopDiscover 10%
Toys ‘R’ Us 10%
Urban Outfitters ShopDiscover / Capital One Perk Central 5%
Victoria’s Secret American Express Membership Rewards / Marriott ShopMyWay Mall 5%
Wal-Mart ShopDiscover 5%

Shop & Compare Credit Cards:

  • Matt

    That discount search tool is fantastic! Will it be updated automatically when the various discounts change from time to time (as they often do)?

    • nerdwallet

      Thanks Matt! Yes, we'll do our best to keep it updated, but if you catch us slacking, please let us know!

  • Darlene Lane

    Can I loose my casback rewards if I don’t use it within a certain time?

    • NerdWallet

      With Discover, the cashback rewards don’t expire. But if you’re account is inactive for 18 months, or if you don’t pay your minimum balance for two sequential months, then you will forfeit your rewards.

      Chase Ultimate Rewards also don’t expire, but can be forfeited if your account is “in default” as defined by your cardholder agreement.

  • unabnats

    I’m surprised that you provode this service. Happily so. Shows a certain respect for your customers, and pride in your program to be so upfront about your competitors. I’ve always liked your program, your rewards, your shopping mall and wspecially your bonus program. The one criticism I have is your 2 tier set-up. Chase, Citi, and others don’t do this, although they all used to several years back. This system forces me to only use Discover for the Bonus catagories, and other cards for everything else. There really is no advantage at all for me to do anything else.
    I have always been a responsible customer, and have received very good customer service from you. I also sometimes will stay with a certain company despite a few points difference on a single item or two due to loyalty, and convience. I’d use your card in such a way if not for the tier system. I wish you’d consider ending this out of date and inconvient system even if you may have to be a little less generous here and there on your otherwise great shopping mall. Thank you.

  • AmexUser

    Hey Guys – You really didn’t do your homework on this story. I’ve got an American Express card (as well as a Discover card) and use it a lot on . They have way more than 38 store partners. Check out for the full list. I do agree that the Discover program is tops, with great percentages and true cash back, but it is not exactly a legitimate chart when there are such factual errors.

    • NerdWallet

      Good catch, AmexUser, thanks!

      We clearly made a mistake with the Amex Bonus Points Mall numbers, so I’ve just updated them. Unfortunately, it makes almost no difference to the rankings, and as you point out – ShopDiscover still reigns supreme.

  • D

    guys, there are a TON of other cashback/points sites… BigCrumbs, Mr. Rebates, Extrabux, FatWallet, Upromise, Best Buy Reward Zone Mall, Speedy Rewards Mall, etc. etc. can’t believe you missed all these!

  • D
    • Phyllismata

      I just keep getting confused on trying to tier some of these things. I am older and need some help. I use upromise, mrrebates,mypoints. How would I get a bonus using your referral links?

  • Guy Cocannouer

    I will stick with Discover. I have enjoyed many a meal at Red Lobster with my pay backs.
    thank you Discover.

  • yamile

    you guys forgot the perk central from capital one. i have the journey card for students which is great because gives you 1.25% on everything and they have a lot of partners, I got 15% cashback on to get my contact lenses, that’s a huge saving and I’ve seen stores with over 20% bonus cashback, definitely worth taking a look

    • Tim

      Thanks for the note yamile, we’re actually in the process of re-working and re-vamping the analysis here, and updating our discount search tool, so we’ll definitely take that into consideration!

  • Alan3262

    The problem with the Discover Card shopping is that you have to pay for your purchase with your Discover Card, at least that’s what it says on their mall. So if you’re only getting 0.25% cash back on your Discover Card, you have to factor that in as well. With the Chase rewards, I can pay for it with any credit card (at least it has worked so far), so I can use my best rewards card (which pays 2%) and still get the online mall rewards.

  • fanninf_mail

    I see an inappropriate/misspelled word in your Escape by Discover descriptive ad–“it goes have a $60 annual fee” I believe should read “it does have a $60 annual fee”?? Hope this helps.

    • NerdWallet

      Thanks so much for pointing this out! We’ll fix it asap.

  • Nick Gannon

    I loved the information and update on competition. One problem with Discover–they sometimes add perks like vacation packages but don’t say any more than a short description so what are we getting into… Don’t get me wrong, I love my Discovercard but I want to buy that “juicy” vacation package so my family will enjoy there time and not worry about where they should chase down their next meal or does it include entertainment as a couple of examples… Help me to stay informed!

  • Pelican703

    the purchase caps for the discover more card 5% program has recently changed to $1500 instead of a few hundred

    • NerdWallet

      Good catch! It’s been updated to 2012 numbers.

  • Asdfasdf

    The absolute best thing about Shop Discover Mall I’m surprised wasn’t mentioned is the whopping 15% back on Groupon! I use it all the time for that..! And you should pick large online retailers as opposed to retailers in general – stores like Newegg are huge online and I’m sure would beat some of those places up there (I imagine, at least, why would you shop at Radio Shack over Newegg anyways? Newegg is known for being one of the most reputable and customer service oriented web sites in existence).

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