For the fourth quarter of 2017 the Discover-it bonus 5% cash back category has been Target and Amazon. For those who don’t know that means after registering via the account homepage on discover.com or via the Discover smartphone app I earn 5% cash back on all purchases at those designated stores up to $1,500 in spend. Since I am still in the first year of that card account and Discover doubles all* the cash back earned within the first year of membership that means the 5% cash back is really 5% cash back on my next statement plus another 5% cash back on my 13th account statement (1-month after my first year account anniversary) effectively making it 10% cash back at Target and Amazon for me for the entire 4th quarter of 2017.
I certainly spend money at Amazon and I can easily shift some of my grocery store spend to Target during the quarter but I usually don’t spend $1,500 at those places in that time span. BUT Target sells gift cards and one place where I regularly (i.e. predictably and reliably) spend money is Starbucks. I don’t spend $1,500 at Starbucks in 4-months either but I do spend money there frequently enough that I can buy gift cards at Target and use them within a couple weeks without tying up my money in advance purchase gift cards for an unknown amount of time until I cash them out.
Once I max out the $1,500 – I’m within about $75 of maxing it out for this quarter – I will use my older Discover card and “settle” for getting just 5% cash back on all purchases at Target and Amazon and thus at Starbucks, too. Once 2018 arrives the Discover 5% category switches to Gas Stations and Wholesale clubs for the first quarter and then grocery stores for the second quarter of 2018 so in addition to using my new Discover card for gas and at grocery stores in the respective quarters I’ll buy immediate use gift cards at to keep the 10%-cash-back-at-Starbucks train rolling.
Oh, and I frequently use their online shopping portal Discover Deals to purchase items we were going to purchase anyways and get 5% cash back while doing so and of course that will also be doubled at the end of my first year. This is great for wedding/baby registries, clothing stores, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc. as it’s a year-round 10% cash back and I can still use each individual store’s coupons, discount codes, free shipping deals etc. I’ll even try clothes on at my nearby store and then return home to purchase them online after click through from the Discover Deals portal if the cost of shipping isn’t more expensive than the cash back earned.
So, if you don’t yet have a Discover card or have only one and haven’t gotten one in over a year then go ahead and apply for a new Discover card now so that you can get a $50 statement credit and grab 10% cash back at Amazon & Target and even Starbucks before the year is over and be prepared for next year’s great line-up of 5% categories, too.
It’s a no annual fee card and Discover has the best customer service of any of my many credit cards. Best of all, I’ll get about $1,000 of benefit from the sign-up bonus, which is doubling all cash back earned in the first year of card membership. That’s simply unbeatable for a no annual fee card!
Of course, if you have fewer than 5 new card approvals in the past 24 months you probably want to read through my post on The First Cards to Get before jumping on this great Discover opportunity.
If you choose to apply for this card then I’d be super appreciative if you used my direct link to the offer where you’ll get a $50 sign-up bonus and all cash back from the first year doubled after your first card anniversary. In the interest of full disclosure, like all current cardholders, I’m eligible to earn $50 for each (up to 10) of my referrals that get approved after using my link. We’d both get a $50 bonus! Like I said, I’d certainly be appreciative if you click through using my link for the Discover Card that’ll get you a $50 bonus and a year of cash back doubled.