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Home » Discover it® Cash Back: 5% on categories + double rewards in the first year

Discover it® Cash Back: 5% on categories + double rewards in the first year

Discover it® Cash Back card art
Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back is the original credit card offering 5% cash back rewards on spending in rotating categories. The card offers new cardmembers double cash back rewards in the first year and has an annual fee of $0.

The card’s rewards structure is relatively simple. Each quarter, Discover publishes the Discover it® Cash Back bonus categories. Spending in these categories earns 5% cash back, on up to $1,500 in spending during the quarter. All other spending earns 1% cash back.

Unfortunately, Discover eliminated most of the additional benefits on its cards, so the Discover it® Cash Back card has no notable additional benefits.

Discover It Cash Back welcome bonus:

Get a $100 statement credit when you’re approved and use the card within the first three months. Plus, get all of your cash back doubled in your first year of having the card.

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Getting double cash back for a year on a card with 5% rotating categories is a great deal. You’ll only get the $100 statement credit if you apply through a referral link. We know of no higher offer available on this card.

The link above is a referral link. Someone on our team may earn points if you apply and are approved to the link above. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Discover it® Cash Back card art

Discover It Cash Back highlights:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% on quarterly cash back categories when you activate. 1% on all other purchases. Plus, get a dollar-for-dollar cashback match in your first year.

Discover it® Cash Back at a glance

Here’s what you need to know about the Discover it® Cash Back.

Rewards

The Discover it® Cash Back card offers 5% cash back rewards in Discover’s rotating cash back categories and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

See below or our article on Discover’s 5% cash back categories for more.

Benefits

Reward benefits
All new Discover it® Cash Back cardmembers receive a dollar-for-dollar cash back match in their first year of card membership.

Other important terms

Annual fee: $0
Foreign transaction fee: None

My take on the Discover it® Cash Back card

I use my Discover it® Cash Back exclusively for its 5% rotating bonus categories. Discover’s rotating bonus categories have historically included useful categories like grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, wholesale clubs, Target, Amazon.com, select pharmacies, and digital wallet payments. This card complements other 5% rotating category cards cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Citi Dividend Card.

Outside of the card’s rotating bonus categories, the card doesn’t get much use. While you will get your cashback rewards (including your 5% rewards) doubled at the end of your first year of being a cardmember, after the first year, a 2% cash back card offers better rewards on general purchases. Unfortunately, the card doesn’t offer and extended warranty, purchase protection, or travel insurance benefits, so there isn’t a compelling reason to use it outside of its bonus categories.

Should you get the Discover it® Cash Back card? If you enjoy a bit of the gamification of credit card rewards, adding the card to your wallet can increase the total rewards you earn and you can have some fun chasing 5% categories. But I wouldn’t use the card as your go-to card for everyday spending.

Welcome bonus

Discover It Cash Back welcome bonus:

Get a $100 statement credit when you’re approved and use the card within the first three months. Plus, get all of your cash back doubled in your first year of having the card.

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Getting double cash back for a year on a card with 5% rotating categories is a great deal. You’ll only get the $100 statement credit if you apply through a referral link. We know of no higher offer available on this card.

The link above is a referral link. Someone on our team may earn points if you apply and are approved to the link above. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Discover it® Cash Back card art

Discover It Cash Back highlights:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% on quarterly cash back categories when you activate. 1% on all other purchases. Plus, get a dollar-for-dollar cashback match in your first year.

Discover it® Cash Back rewards

The Discover it Cash Back Card is the original “rotating category” card that offers 5% rewards in up to $1,500 of spending in categories that change quarterly.

2024 Discover it cash back category overview

Q1 2024
January – March
Q2 2024
April – June
Q3 2024
July – September
Q4 2024
October – December
Not yet announcedNot yet announced
Drugstores and RestaurantsGas stations, electric vehicle charging stations, home improvement stores, and public transitNot yet announcedNot yet announced
2024 quarterly categories of the Discover It Cash Back card

All other purchases: 1% cash back

In addition to the cash back you earn from the welcome bonus and spending, Discover doubles the rewards you earn in the first year. This includes any welcome bonus you earn with the card. These doubled rewards are awarded at the end of your cardmember anniversary year.

Redeeming Discover it® Cash Back rewards

The easiest way to redeem your Discover it® Cash Back is for cash back redemptions through the Discover website, but you can increase the value of your cash back rewards by redeeming your rewards for gift cards. Discover offers a selection of gift cards that you can get using your rewards and they’ll give you 5% – 20% additional value when you redeem for gift cards

How to redeem your cash back rewards

Here’s how to redeem your Discover cash back rewards from the website or mobile app.

On the Discover website, hover over the “Rewards” menu at the top of the screen and select “Redeem Cashback Bonus.” You’ll be taken to a screen that shows you your options for redeeming your Cashback rewards.

On the mobile app, you can find the option to redeem your rewards by tapping the “Rewards” button on the app main screen. The next screen will have a button that says “Redeem” at the top of the screen. Click on “Redeem” to see your redemption options.

Redeeming for gift cards – Get more value from your rewards

Discover Cashback gift card redemption options showing several brand options and increased cash back value for some options. Amazon gift cards offer 5% added cash back value. American Eagle gift cards offer 15% cash back value.
Discover cashback gift card redemption options

You’ll get $1 of value per $1 of rewards with most redemption options, but one way to increase the value of your Discover Cashback rewards is to redeem for gift cards. When you redeem for gift cards, you’ll get additional value for your rewards. For example, if you redeem for Amazon gift cards, you get get 5% additional value. Speciality merchants like Bath & Body Works, Nike, and Domino’s Pizza sometimes offer as much as 20% additional value.

When I checked, I found several useful options for gift cards, including Amazon, Best Buy, The Home Depot, Lowes, Lululemon, Staples, Starbucks, and Walmart.

Automatically redeem your Discover it® rewards

Discover offers you the ability to redeem you rewards automatically through its website. Since the rewards on the Discover it® card come as cash back rewards, you should set up automatic reward redemptions. There’s no reason to keep a stash of unredeemed Discover cash back rewards, since cash back rewards are the highest-value redemption available.

Benefits of the Discover it® Cash Back card

The value offered by the Discover it Cash Back Card is its quarterly cash back bonus; the card offers no additional notable benefits.

How to apply for the Discover it® Cash Back card:

Discover It Cash Back welcome bonus:

Get a $100 statement credit when you’re approved and use the card within the first three months. Plus, get all of your cash back doubled in your first year of having the card.

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Getting double cash back for a year on a card with 5% rotating categories is a great deal. You’ll only get the $100 statement credit if you apply through a referral link. We know of no higher offer available on this card.

The link above is a referral link. Someone on our team may earn points if you apply and are approved to the link above. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Discover it® Cash Back card art

Discover It Cash Back highlights:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% on quarterly cash back categories when you activate. 1% on all other purchases. Plus, get a dollar-for-dollar cashback match in your first year.

A few notes on applying for Discover credit cards

  • You can have as most two credit cards issued by Discover at the same time. You can have only one student card.
  • Your first account must be opened for a year before Discover will issue you a second credit card.
  • You can get welcome bonuses for Discover cards if you have had the same card in the past.
  • Discover reports business credit cards to the personal credit bureaus. Keep this in mind if you are trying to stay under 5/24 for Chase applications.
  • You can check the application status of your Discover card application online, at Discover’s website.

Frequently asked questions

How much cash back can I get from Discover?

With the Discover it® Cash Back card, you earn 5% rewards in rotating categories on up to $1,500 in category spending per quarter, plus 1% cash back on other purchases. If you maximize two cash back categories during the year and spend another $500 per month on the card, you’ll earn $210 cash back.

Can I get cash from a Discover card?

You can get cash from your Discover card at checkout when you make a purchase at many merchants. The cash you take out gets charged as a purchase and is subject to your purchase APR if you carry a balance month-to-month. Cash taken out at a register does not earn rewards.

Is Discover it® a good credit card for everyday purchases?

The Discover it® card won’t earn you as much on your everyday purchases as a 2% rewards credit card will, and it doesn’t have features like extended warranty protection or purchase protection. The best use of the card is to maximize its bonus categories and use another card for your daily spending.

Can I get increased value from my Discover cash back rewards?

Yes. Redeeming your rewards for gift cards can get you 5%-20% increased value from your cash back rewards.