Discover’s 5% Bonus Categories for Q1 2024: Restaurants, Drugstores

Kick off the year with these two popular recurring bonus categories. Remember to activate them and that online purchases may also qualify.
Jaime Hanson
By Jaime Hanson 
Published
Edited by Kenley Young

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Whether you're dining out, ordering in, or stocking up at your local pharmacy, Discover's newly announced bonus categories for the first quarter of 2024 offer up a healthy dose of savings in the new year.

From Jan. 1 through March 31, 2024, qualifying cards like the Discover it® Cash Back and the Discover it® Student Cash Back will earn 5% cash back at restaurants and drugstores, up to $1,500 in combined quarterly spending. Activation is required before you'll start earning 5% back; all other purchases will earn 1% back.

To activate the quarter's bonus categories, visit the rewards section of your Discover app, log into your account on the Discover website, or call the number on the back of your card.

What to know about Discover’s Q1 bonus categories

A fan favorite for those planning a turn-of-the-calendar health kick, drugstores are a repeated bonus category from this time last year. Restaurants, on the other hand, have shifted their place for 2024, replacing grocery stores as a Q1 bonus category.

For comparison, here’s a look at Discover’s full 2023 bonus category calendar:

Discover bonus rewards categories for 2024

Q1 (Jan. 1–March 31)

  • Restaurants.

  • Drugstores.

Q2 (April 1–June 30)

  • TBD (In 2023: Restaurants; wholesale clubs).

Q3 (July 1–Sept. 30)

  • TBD (In 2023: Gas stations; digital wallets).

Q4 (Oct. 1–Dec. 31)

  • TBD (In 2023: Amazon, Target).

So what exactly is included in each of these bonus categories? Here’s what you need to know:

🤓Nerdy Tip

You can redeem cash back from your eligible Discover card as a statement credit, direct deposit, gift card or charitable donation. Alternatively, use Discover’s Pay With Cashback Bonus program® to apply rewards directly toward purchases with select merchants.

Restaurants

Bonus rewards for the restaurant category apply to any spending at full-service restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, your favorite fast-food joints, and even eligible takeout or delivery services.

Drugstores

This category includes major drugstore chains both in store and online, but also independent drugstores and pharmacies, as well as online pharmacy orders.

Take these steps to make the most of Discover’s Q1 bonus categories for 2024

  • Log in to your Discover account to activate the 5% bonus category.

  • Add your eligible Discover card to your digital wallet for easy use at restaurants and drugstores.

  • If you frequently use a food-delivery service, set your eligible Discover card as the default payment method on that account.

  • Do you use an online pharmacy or place orders for pickup at your local drugstore? Set your qualifying Discover card as the default payment there, too. 

Discover it® Cash Back
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Details: Discover it® Cash Back

Not yet a Discover cardholder? Here’s what you should know about the issuer's flagship cash-back card to decide whether it’s right for you.

Annual fee: $0

APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%-28.24% Variable APR.

Sign-up bonus: Discover phrases it this way: INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

In addition to rotating 5% bonus categories, the Discover it® Cash Back earns 1% back on all other spending categories.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Keep an eye on your inbox for emails from this issuer. Discover sometimes sends targeted email offers for additional cash-back bonus categories to loyal cardholders. The offers vary by recipient and can be activated through the email directly from Discover, so check your email settings to ensure they aren’t lost in your spam folder.

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