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- These include the Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Student Cash Back.
- You can earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined spending in these categories each quarter (then 1%) after you activate Discover It Cashback rotation.
If you want to make the most of cash-back credit cards, there are different earning structures to be aware of. Some cards offer a flat cash-back rate for all purchases, others include extra rewards in specific categories, and a few offer increased earnings in bonus categories that rotate every quarter.
The Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Student Cash Back fall into the last category. Both earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in combined bonus categories (then 1%) that change every three months, and 1% back on all other purchases. To earn 5% cash back, you’ll first need to activate the bonus through your Discover online account, and if you enroll after the start of the quarter, the bonus will be in effect from the day you activate Discover It Cashback rotation.
Read more: Discover it Cash Back credit card review
New cardholders will also have all of their rewards matched after their first 12 months through the Discover cash back match program, which can add up quickly if you spend a lot on your card throughout the year.
Discover it cash back calendar for 2022
Discover’s bonus categories for the entire year are released well in advance, so you can plan your credit card strategy and maximize rewards each quarter. Right now you can activate the bonus for the remainder of Q4 2021 (October to December), and for Q1 2022 (January to March).
Q1: January – March
Q2: April – June
Q3: July – September
Q4: October – December
We’ve seen most of these Discover cash-back categories before, but there are two entirely new options for 2022. From January to March 2022, fitness club and gym memberships are included, and from October to December 2022, digital wallets are another new addition.
In Q2 (April to June), Target is a bonus category – and this time, it includes both in-store and online purchases. Other times (such as Q4 2021), it’s been limited to online purchases only at Target.com, so this is a nice add for those who prefer shopping in person.
How to redeem Discover cashback rewards
Discover offers more redemption options than many people realize. If you have any of its cash-back credit cards, you can apply rewards to your bill as a statement credit or request a direct deposit to your bank account, redeem them toward Amazon and PayPal purchases, or cash them in for gift cards from select retailers.
Read more: The best Discover credit cards of 2021
You can also donate your rewards to select charities, including:
- American Cancer Society
- American Red Cross
- Children’s Miracle Network
- Junior Achievement
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
- Operation Homefront
- World Wildlife Fund
Other cards with rotating categories to consider
If you like the idea of earning a bonus in categories that rotate each quarter, you should consider the Chase Freedom Flex card. Like its predecessor, the Chase Freedom® (no longer open to applicants), the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers 5% cash back in rotating categories after activation that are often different from Discover’s in the same quarter.
Read more: Chase Freedom Flex review
With the Chase Freedom Flex, you’ll earn 5% back (5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on up to $1,500 spent in combined quarterly bonus categories after activation (then 1%), 5% back on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on drugstore and dining purchases, and 1% back on everything else. Similar to Discover, you can redeem rewards from the Chase Freedom Flex for statement credits, cash back, gift cards, merchandise, and more.
If you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can turn your cash back into Chase Ultimate Rewards points and unlock more redemption options, including transferring points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners, like United Airlines and Hyatt.
Related Content Module: More Credit Card CoverageRelated Product Module: Cash Back Credit Cards
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