Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence 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.
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 Walmart.com 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): Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com.
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 Walmart.com 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.