Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on the website are from companies from which this site receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or available credit card offers.

Discover has announced all of its rotating cash back bonus categories for 2018. Between July 1 and September 30, Discover it® Cash Back cardholders can earn 5% cash back on their first $1,500 in restaurant purchases, as well as 1% cash back on all other purchases.

From October 1 to December 31, Discover it® Cash Back cardholders will earn 5% cash back on and wholesale club purchases, for up to $1,500 in combined purchases. They’ll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The bonus category is an ideal category for the holidays — and if you spent a lot of money at last holiday season, you might want to consider adding the Discover it® Cash Back card to your wallet. Here’s an overview of the card, so you can decide whether it’s right for you.

Discover it® Cash Back card benefits

Discover offers 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories with the Discover it® Cash Back credit card. This bonus is applicable on up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter. That means, if you fully utilize your bonus spending purchases, you would earn $75 cash back every three months.

In addition to the rotating bonus categories you also receive 1% cash back on everything else, this includes your bonus category purchases once you’ve reached the $1,500 quarterly cap.

Plus, Discover will match all of the cash back you earn during your first year as a cardholder, with no limit. If you maximize your bonus category purchases and earn $75 cash back per quarter for a total of $300, Discover will match that $300 — as well as any additional cash back you’ve earned from your 1% cash back purchases.

The Discover it® Cash Back card does not have an annual fee. New cardholders get a 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, followed by a 13.99% to 24.99% variable APR.

For more info about the Discover it® Cash Back card, read our detailed review.

Is this right for me?

The Discover it® Cash Back card is best for those with good or excellent credit. Its cash back bonus categories are designed to cover common spending categories (groceries, gas stations) and may be particularly attractive to families.

Here are the Discover it® cash back bonus categories for 2018:

  • January 1 – March 31: Gas stations and wholesale clubs
  • April 1 – June 30: Grocery stores
  • July 1 – September 30: Restaurants
  • October 1 – December 31: and wholesale clubs

If you don’t make $1,500 in purchases in these categories every quarter — that’s about $500 in purchases per month — the Discover it® Cash Back card might not be right for you.

If you consistently spend a lot on restaurants but very little grocery spending, you might want to consider the Discover it® Chrome card, which gives you 2% cash back on gas and restaurants for up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter. You also get 1% cash back on all other purchases, and new cardholders get their cash back rewards matched at the end of their first year.

If you do a lot of travel, check out the Discover it® Miles card, which gives you 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase. As with the other Discover it® cards, new cardholders get their miles matched at the end of their first year.

How to activate your bonus

Before you can start earning rewards on your Discover it® Cash Back bonus category purchases, you have to activate your bonus. It’s easy to activate your bonus — just log in to your Discover account and click the activation link.

Discover also sends reminder emails with a one-click activation link, so check your inbox!

You can activate your bonus categories months in advance. This is important because, unlike other bonus category cash back cards (such as the Chase Freedom card), your Discover it® 5% cash back bonus only begins the day you activate. This means that if you make a big restaurant purchase on July 1 but activate your bonus on July 2, you won’t get 5% cash back rewards for that July 1 purchase. Take advantage of your bonus categories by activating them as soon as possible.

Want to explore additional cash back rewards cards? Check out our Best Cash Back Cards of 2018.

Author: Nicole Dieker | Last Updated: October 8, 2018

Author Spotlight: Nicole Dieker is the editor of The Billfold and has five years of experience in personal finance coverage. You can find Nicole on Twitter @HelloTheFuture.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.