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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.
Nov. 1, 2018
Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Promos
Discover Announces All 5% Bonus Categories for 2019
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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.)

Discover’s cash-back cards give you 5% back in bonus categories that change every three months, on up to $1,500 in 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.
  • Q4 (October – December): Amazon.com.

» MORE: Current and past 5% categories for Discover, Chase

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.

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