Discover’s 2020 Categories Mostly the Same as 2019’s

The issuer adds 5% cash back at Walgreens and CVS in the first quarter and wholesale clubs in the second quarter.

Paul SoucyNovember 1, 2019

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.

Discover has announced its 5% bonus cash-back categories for all of 2020. They're mostly the same as 2019's categories, with a few tweaks.

Several Discover credit cards earn 5% cash back in categories that change every three months. Once you activate categories online, you get that rate on up to $1,500 in category purchases in the quarter. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.

Here are the 2020 categories, with the 2019 categories for comparison:

2020 categories

2019 categories

Q1 (January to March)

• Grocery stores • CVS • Walgreens

• Grocery stores

Q2 (April to June)

• Gas stations • Uber and Lyft • Wholesale clubs

• Gas stations • Uber and Lyft

Q3 (July to September)

• Restaurants • PayPal

• Restaurants • PayPal

Q4 (October to December)

• • •

• • • Target (in-store and online)

Key changes in 2020:

  • The nation's two largest drugstore chains, CVS and Walgreens, join grocery stores as bonus merchants in the first quarter.

  • Wholesale clubs, such as Sam's Club and BJ's, have been added to the second quarter. (Costco's stores do not take Discover, although you can use Discover for online purchases at

  • In the fourth quarter, Target purchases will earn 5% only if they are made online or in the Target app. In-store purchases won't qualify as they did in 2019.

Discover cards that earn 5% cash back include the Discover it® Cash Back and the Discover it® Student Cash Back.

Two other issuers have cards with similar bonus category rewards programs — the Chase Freedom® and the Citi® Dividend Card. As of Nov. 1, 2019, neither of those cards had announced any categories for 2020.

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.