Discover More Card Review With Cashback Bonus Schedule

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2011-05-3131

Discover More Credit CardI cover quite a number of outstanding cash back credit cards, and one of the more well known names happens to be the Discover More credit card. It’s a great option, as it stands out as having some of the highest cash back offers I’ve come across. Like many other credit cards, it occasionally changes its terms, particularly for new customers, so it’s good to keep tabs on it if you’re looking to pick up a new credit card.

Let’s take a look at what Discover More is currently offering:

Discover More 5% Cashback Rewards Bonus Schedule (2011 – 2012)

When it comes to rewards, how does a 5% Cashback Bonus sound? All Discover More card holders will be able to enjoy such high rewards regardless of when they sign up for this card. As an example, for a particular quarter, you can earn 5% cash back of up to a certain amount (this amount is variable per quarter) for purchases in certain spending categories. Different time periods will yield rewards for different types of purchases such that one month, you may be rewarded for spending at restaurants, while another month, you are given the 5% cash back on fashion buys. These categories change throughout the year, so your favorite categories will likely be covered at some point. In the past, the categories have included gas, travel, and home improvement. One important thing you need to remember is that you need to sign up for each 5% rewards program each time.

Here are the cashback bonus categories for Discover More for 2011 through 2012. Also watch out for those 5% cashback bonus limits, which we’ve pointed out below.

Months Applicable Cashback Category Description: 5% Cashback Up To…
October – December 2011 Fashion & Restaurants $300 spent at clothing or department stores, restaurants and dining areas.
January – March 2012 Gas & Entertainment $1,500 spent on museums, movies & fueling stations.
April – June 2012 Restaurants & Movies $1,500 applied towards movies and dining places.
July – September 2012 Gas, Summer Fun Theme parks, gas stations, movies.
October – December 2012 Holiday Shopping Toy stores, electronic stores, department stores.

Beyond these special categories, the default case is that you will earn cash back at a rate of .25% on your first $3,000 in purchases, and up to 1% in cashback bonuses after you spend above that amount. So, in reality, while Discover DOES have a 5% cashback feature, be aware that it has limitations:

#1 You are required to enroll in each cashback program cycle every time.

#2 You are subject to cashback spending categories per quarter. For some customers, this would mean planning their spending during given quarters in order to optimize their rewards.

#3 Your 5% cashback rewards are subject to a spending limit per quarter. This means that the cashback applies only to a few hundred dollars during certain quarters. So for instance, if you don’t happen to spend on clothes, outfits, garments or home decor and materials during the Spring (e.g. April – June timeframe), then you won’t be earning 5% cash back, unfortunately.

So to get the most money back from your Discover More card, you’ll need to do a little planning.

Note that this card has NO annual fee and has never sported one. It does not charge for rewards redemption or for additional cards. But if you intend to do a balance transfer into this card, there is a fee for that. It’s usually a percentage of the balance transfer amount or a fixed dollar amount ($10), whichever is higher. Also, there’s a late payment fee of $35 and you’ll pay the same amount if your payment’s returned.

Other positives about the Discover More rewards program: there is no expiration date for your rewards unless your account gets closed or is inactive for a set amount of time, or you become delinquent with your card payments.

Current Terms of the Discover More Card

Here is how to apply for specific Discover More Card types:

Discover More, 18 Month 0% Intro APR Balance Transfer
Apply for the Discover More Extended 0% Intro APR Card
Check out the Discover More card with a 0% intro APR for 6 months on purchases and 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers. Rates are at the higher end when the intro rates expire. Both the fee structure and the rewards set up are similar to that of other Discover cards.

Discover More, 15 Month 0% Intro APR
Apply for the Discover More Credit Card
Check out the Discover More that has a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. The regular interest rates are lower compared to other variants of Discover More. In addition to the 5% Cashback Bonus, you can also enjoy 20% cash back by shopping through’s online retailers.

Discover More, No Balance Transfer Fee
Apply for the Discover More $0 Balance Transfer Fee Card
Check out the Discover More card with no balance transfer fee until 7/10/2012 (subsequent transfers will cost 3% of amounts transferred). You’ll receive a 0% intro APR for one year on both purchases and balance transfers. Rewards are earned in the same manner as other Discover More cards.

One more thing to note about the Discover More card, it’s been voted #1 in customer loyalty for 15 straight years, as pegged by the 2011 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.

Shop At Discover’s Online Shopping Site For More Rewards

Want to earn more cash back? There are a lot of cash back sites out there that are competing for your dollar, and credit card companies are certainly part of that mix. To entice you to stay as a loyal customer, they give you additional rewards and deals through their exclusive shopping sites. In the case of Discover, it’s easy to earn Cashback Bonuses for your online shopping. You can do this by checking out ShopDiscover (Discover’s online retail section), which offers 5% to 20% Cashback Bonus offers from a diverse selection of merchants and services.

You’ll encounter favorites like Best Buy, Orbitz, and Sephora. Since you’ll find more than 150 popular merchants and services, you’re likely to find a cash back deal that suits you. Some of the partners sweeten their deals with free shipping, so check ShopDiscover often to catch the best offers. I explored it a bit and found that one of my favorite retailers, where I buy all my house-related materials (Bed Bath and Beyond), is on the list — so on top of those Bed Bath and Beyond coupons I already use, I’m thinking I could get the stuff I buy there further discounted by using a Discover card.

What are your choices when you want to redeem your Cashback Bonuses? You can redeem rewards for cash, merchandise, gift cards, or for donations to charity. Note that you can increase or double your rewards if you redeem your card rewards for gift cards through Discover’s retail partners. But watch out for those events that can trigger the loss of your cash back rewards. It’s possible to lose your rewards if you fail to make payments (ie. twice in a row), if your account status becomes inactive, or if your account gets closed.

For those interested in more information, you may want to take a look at:

Created August 15, 2008. Updated May 31, 2011. Copyright © 2011 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruth February 21, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Can someone who has this card give me a little information on the 5% bonus categories? Do they have a fixed rotation on the categories paying 5% or is it a random rotation, and what are the actual categories? This card might work for me, if the categories for the bonus cash back are something I would be able to use. Thanks.

Silicon Valley Blogger February 24, 2008 at 2:46 pm


The information on Discover More says this:

2008 Calendar for the 5% Cashback Bonus:

January – March 2008: Airlines, Cruises, Hotels, Car Rentals

April – June 2008: Home, Fashion

July – September 2008: Gas, Hotels

October – December 2008: Grocery Stores, Restaurants, Movies

The categories ARE always subject to change, but are typically the most popular spending categories people spend on. We will always keep this post updated with the latest information on the calendar.

Silicon Valley Blogger February 25, 2008 at 10:47 pm

I’d like to keep track of the Cashback Categories and Bonus Calendar for Discover More here. I’ll keep a historical record of these rotating categories among the topmost comments on this page. Here are the details for 2011:

Cashback Category Months Applicable (2011) Description: 5% Cashback Up To…
Dining, Restaurants, Travel January through March $800 spent on the road (vacations, travel).
Fashion, Clothing, Home Improvement April through June $400 applied towards department stores and home improvement.
Groceries, Drug Stores June $200 spent at drug and grocery stores.
Movies, Amusement Parks, Hotels & Gas/Fuel July through September $300 forked out at fuel stations, theme parks, movies and hotels. You get a break if you’re spending on fun and entertainment.
Fashion & Restaurants October through December $300 spent at clothing or department stores, restaurants and dining areas.

If you compare these categories with the current ones in our article, you can see that each year, these categories are different and are constantly updated.

EN August 15, 2008 at 7:42 pm

A few months ago, I found out about the consumer More card and signed up for it due to the good benefits you listed above. At the time, I had no clue that the card had any type of promotion attached to it. Lo and behold, when I got my first statement a month later, I saw that my cashback account was credited with a bonus $100 (I guess the promotion was better a few months ago).

Anyhow, it was pure coincidence but I was ecstatic to see it in my account. I love getting money when I least expect it! 😉

Phoebe August 15, 2008 at 9:11 pm

It sounds pretty good (better than the flat 1% card i have now.) Is there a yearly maximum on the cash back amount?

Silicon Valley Blogger August 16, 2008 at 7:01 am

I usually limit my use of cards and I only carry 3 max, but this card is highly tempting. I actually have a Upromise card and I like it for the convenience it allows: it invests your rewards automatically into your 529 account(s). But there are limits to the rewards and I only seem to be receiving 1% in rewards in general. The Discover More has a 5% cash back bonus calendar that targets spending categories throughout the year that you can save on, on top of the 1% rewards for “everything else”. I am also currently researching gas cards, so I’d like to compare this card to gas cards I find out about.

@Chocolate Fetus
You’ll like this because the rewards are unlimited (I gather they are not capped, like the Upromise card rewards that I have) and the rewards never expire, according to their FAQ. Here’s what they say: “if your account is closed, is in default or is inactive for longer than three years, you may forfeit some or all of your rewards.”

pasty squid August 16, 2008 at 7:12 am

Pay per post is so lame 🙁 . Can’t you find some other way to make a dime off this blog?

Silicon Valley Blogger August 16, 2008 at 7:33 am

@Pasty Squid,
Actually, this is not a pay per post article (I don’t do paid reviews), and technically, I don’t get paid (directly) to write about stuff like this, but let me qualify. I’ll be upfront and state that if I think a product looks like it has value, is worth your while, and may actually benefit most readers of this site, then I will mention it and probably do a review. In some cases, if someone signs up for the product, I will be compensated for the mention. You get the deal, I get a small bonus out of it, and that’s it.

If you look around, most financial sites will be offering you possible products for consideration — even the most mundane product, such as a book, will provide whoever mentions it, a small “commission” if you buy it. So what’s the big deal?

Those of us who write about a product, stand behind it and believe others will be interested in it and can benefit from it. If you aren’t interested, then ignore it. No biggie, right? Each to his own.

Just for the record, I do a lot of reviews of companies and web sites that do not compensate me. I’ve covered many Web 2.0 companies and startups that I’ve encountered, that were interesting and could be something you may find useful.

I’d like to call posts like these as “product awareness” posts. I may have been late to the game as I haven’t checked up on credit cards lately, being one who owns but a few older cards. With some research, I just realized my cards are out of date and no longer measure up to some great card deals that exist out there, including this one on Discover More. So as part of my financial education, I hoped to share my finds with others as well. Hope this explanation helps!

Steward August 16, 2008 at 11:47 am

@ SVB – I wonder if you might be able to contact the people that you have your cards with to see if you can get the more recent (and better) deals on your current account? It might be better than applying for a new card or it could be exactly the same in terms of credit checks and such. I don’t know, but it may be worth a shot.

Silicon Valley Blogger August 16, 2008 at 11:56 am


That’s a great idea actually. I don’t just want to open card accounts willy nilly as I like to keep my accounts as simple as possible. I’m already suffering from investment account overload, which I need to consolidate and clean up. So I’ll try that route and see if I can get a better deal from the credit card companies I already do business with.

If I’m unable to secure a better deal, I am strongly considering “replacing” them with more generous rewards cards. I am thus doing some research and reviews on them right now… I hope to let you know what I find.

I just realized that rewards cards aren’t as “one-size fits all” as I used to think. If you want to benefit from the best rebates and deals, you’d want to do some comparisons across the board…well, just like with any other product!

EN August 17, 2008 at 2:23 pm


I completely agree with you about keeping only a small amount of CC. My personal max is 4 cards and I currently have 3 including the Discover More. Currently the bonus categories for More are gas and hotels so the card has been doubling up as a gas card for me too. Good luck updating your cards! There are a lot of great choices out there!

Mark Jerard August 17, 2008 at 11:59 pm

Cash back credit cards are most profitable if we pay our card balance in full every month. If we intend to keep a balance on our card, we might prefer instead to find one that offers a low interest rate.

Suz August 18, 2008 at 8:36 am

I’ve been reading your card reviews with great interest as I prepare to get my first new card since paying off all my debit. I know that I probably won’t qualify for one of these great cash back offers, but it’s something to shoot for with my credit score.

Ruth August 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm

@SVB – thanks for the info. Going to have to look at my records to see if this will do any better for me than my current card, but I suspect it won’t. I appreciate your help!

Lauren August 25, 2008 at 10:07 am

I have a checking/savings account and credit card with Citi. They have a pretty cool rewards program that lets you earn points whenever you use your debit or credit card (around 2 points for each dollar spent).

They also gives you monthly points for each “product” you have ie. a checking, money market account, etc. I’m usually able to cash in my points for a $50 check a few times a year.

It’s not much, but hey – it’s free money.

Paul Contris November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm

I hold a Discover card and is one of the best deals. The 5% cash back is a very strong incentive. These days, you need all the incentive you can get. There are so many sham card deals out there.

nhevets January 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I love Discover More Card too! its easy to use and is really beneficial if used properly. Just remember to “spend within your limits” and pay your bills on time.

Dan - BankVibe November 19, 2010 at 5:20 am

This is a solid card to do the majority of your Christmas shopping with because you can also Double the value of rebates that you have earned if you redeem them for select gift cards (over 100 partners)…

JWizzle January 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm

My recent mailers from Discover have come with a 0% APR for 6-12 months, but a 5% BT fee. Not good enough. 🙁

KP January 11, 2011 at 9:12 am

Discover is my favorite credit card, PERIOD. Who would’ve thought it could get even better? Discover has great opportunities for those looking to pay off their debt at a lower APR. Thanks for sharing!

Silicon Valley Blogger January 11, 2011 at 11:07 am

Well, I’ve had no qualms with Chase or Citi either — they’re accepted more widely so I’m all for that as well!

Anyacreate January 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I know I am behind the times — I have a credit card that doesn’t give miles. Can anyone suggest a card with no yearly fee and low APR? Thanks!

Silicon Valley Blogger January 11, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Check out this list of low APR credit cards. You can also check more options in this list of 0% APR cards. Most cards here have no annual fee.

Steve Sildon January 13, 2011 at 2:23 am

Undoubtedly, these are some of the best balance transfer deals that I’ve seen in over 10 years. Pretty sweet.

thehouseflipguy June 1, 2011 at 5:18 am

My only problem with Discover is their acceptance, especially in some of the type of stores I frequent.

However, Diners bought them out a few years ago and they are trying to get a footprint outside the USA. So if you travel outside the USA you might see some places to use your Discover card.

Mario June 1, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Cash back credit cards are profitable if we pay our card balance in full every month. If we intend to keep a balance on our card, we might prefer instead to find one that offers a low interest rate.

John Rowe October 13, 2011 at 11:55 am

I agree that Discover More is a good card. If you’re serious about doing away with your debt once and for all, you need a balance transfer card with fantastic terms though — if you can get one without a balance transfer fee, then so much the better. Discover More used to have a card with NO balance transfer fee, but they seem to have done away with it. At any rate, such a card would come in handy for consolidating debt, although if you’ve got more than one balance to transfer, then would the NO balance transfer fee (from that no fee card) still apply to all those card balances? Can you transfer multiple balances?

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