Discover Announces All 5% Bonus Categories for 2019

The issuer adds Uber and Lyft and shuffles its lineup after a year in which its calendar was similar to Chase's.
Paul Soucy
By Paul Soucy 
Edited by Kenley Young
Discover Announces All 5% Bonus Categories for 2019

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

» This offer has expired

The offer described in this article has expired. See our best credit cards page for updated offers.

For the second straight year, Discover is showing its cards ... so to speak.

The credit card issuer has announced its 5% quarterly bonus categories for all of 2019, something it also did for 2018. In the past, the issuer would announce the categories one at a time as the designated quarter drew near. (A comparable card, the Chase Freedom®, still does it this way.)

Update: On May 1, 2019, the issuer added more bonus categories to those already announced. The additions: PayPal in Q3 and Target and in Q4.

Discover’s cash-back cards give you 5% back in bonus categories that change every three months, on up to $1,500 in combined spending per quarter, and 1% cash back on all other spending. Cardholders have to opt in, or “activate,” the bonus categories each quarter. Cards that earn 5% back include the Discover it® Cash Back, the Discover it® Balance Transfer and the Discover it® Student Cash Back.

The 2019 categories are:

  • Q1 (January - March): Grocery stores.

  • Q2 (April - June): Gas stations, Uber and Lyft.

  • Q3 (July - September): Restaurants and PayPal.

  • Q4 (October - December):, Target and

Notable changes to the calendar for 2019

  • Gas stations move to second quarter. Every year from 2015 to 2018, Discover had gas stations as a first-quarter category. In recent years, the Chase Freedom® also had gas stations as a first-quarter 5% category. That forced consumers who carry both cards to choose. Additionally, both cards had grocery stores as a second-quarter category in 2018, meaning their calendars were similar for half the year.

  • Uber and Lyft added. In past years, Discover has sometimes had a 5% category made up of gas stations and "ground transportation," which included an array of alternatives to driving. In 2019, only ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft are called out.

  • No wholesale clubs. Discover had wholesale clubs as a 5% category in two quarters in both 2017 and 2018.

  • Amazon, Target and share a category. For the first time, Discover is offering bonus cash back at all three of these mega-retailers at the same time. Target purchases in-store, online and through the retailer's app are eligible for 5% cash back; with Walmart, only online and app purchases are eligible.

Find the right credit card for you.

Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

Get Started
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.