Posted by William Charles on November 1, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on November 1st, 2017 | by William Charles


Discover it 5% Categories For 2018 Released

Discover has released their 5% categories for the Discover it for 2018.

  • Q1 (Jan-Mar): Gas Stations & Wholesale Clubs
  • Q2 (Apr-Jun): Grocery Stores
  • Q3 (Jul-Sep): Restaurants
  • Q4 (Oct-December): Amazon & Wholesale Clubs

Remember you’re limited to earning 5% cash back on $1,500 in those categories per quarter. Here is what they have offered in the past:

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2018 Gas Stations & Wholesale Clubs Grocery Stores Restaurants Amazon & Wholesale Clubs
2017 Gas Stations, Ground Transportation & Wholesale Clubs Home Improvement & Wholesale Clubs Restaurants. Some cardholders targeted for Amazon Amazon and Target
2016 Gas and Ground Transportation Restaurants & Movies Amazon, Home Improvement Sam’s Club, Amazon, and Department Stores
2015 Gas Stations & Ground Transportation Summer Spruce Up? Home Improvement Stores, Department Stores, and Amazon, department stores, and clothing stores
2014 Restaurants and Movies Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores and Bed Bath & Beyond Gas stations Department Stores and Online Shopping
2013 Restaurants and Movies Home Improvement Stores Gas stations Online Shopping
2012 Gas stations, Movie theaters and Museums Restaurants and Movies Gas stations, Movies and Theme parks Department Stores and Online Shopping
2011 Travel and Restaurants Home and Fashion Gas, Hotels, Movies and Theme Parks Restaurants and Fashion

Hat tip to reader Gus

29 Responses to Discover it 5% Categories For 2018 Released

  1. Evan says:

    Not too bad.

  2. Sassmonkey says:

    These are sweet. Easy MS on 3/4 quarters. I also like they released all 4 quarters at once instead of 1-2 at a time like they did in the past

  3. Mser says:

    Good. Always nice to get 5% back at Amazon and Costco

  4. artgriego says:

    Looks like I’ll be buying a Sam’s Club membership for a few weeks again…

  5. Chris says:

    Oh huh, they’re announcing things early now? For 2017 categories, you had to wait until the quarter got closer before they told you the specifics. Too bad there’s no Home Improvement or Department Stores categories here as I was thinking of purchasing some appliances soon.

    • Master Allan says:

      Same thought. Surprised they announced the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters so early. Chance of change…? Oh well, helps me plan. I’m eating down the pantry in March and the car will be running on fumes the last week of December.

    • Lauren says:

      Check out the Huntington Voice, I think one of their 3% CB options is home improvement stores.

    • Curmudgeon says:

      Does Sam’s Club sell gift cards to Home Depot or Lowes? That would be a way to get the discount.

  6. Stvr says:

    I’ll take it!

  7. anthonyjh21 says:

    Much to the disappointment to many DoC readers I’m happy to see half the year will include wholesale clubs.

  8. vj says:

    Nice… but bad that Sams stopped selling 500 vanilla gcs s:(

    • CtownBin says:

      When did that happen?

      • Justin says:

        Around October 11th. They still had them on the rack, but scanning them they come up as recalled. They’ve been replaced with variable 250s.

        at that time there were $500 amexes, but they’re a pain to liquidate so I didn’t try those.

  9. Bill says:

    Love the Grocery Store addition – so many deals with Publix that will pair perfectly! (for example – they regularly have spend 50.00 in groceries and get a $50.00 Gas Card for $40.00 – then add a 5% cash back to your total for a nice deal! 🙂

  10. Joe says:

    Can someone help me out here? I have never understood why this is appealing. If you max all 4 quarters, it has taken a year to earn a measly $300. I understand with the first year bonus this doubles to $600.

    Is that it? Or am I missing something?

    • Chucks says:

      Well it’s an annual-fee free card that pays dividends over time. You’re right that most cards with a sign up bonus will give you more. But if someone is just starting out and looking for cards they can keep and use for years (as each hard pull will have a very significant impact on their credit) this is pretty good. Someone young and not into MSing who’d otherwise have trouble hitting minimum spending would also like the card.

      I do think people exaggerate the benefits of capped 5% cards simply because it feels good to be earning 5% on a lot of transactions, even if in aggregate the cash back is less than a sign up bonus.

    • Ben says:

      Agreed, one isn’t very compelling. But I have 3 freedoms, for $225 per quarter (if taken as cash). Add a discover and a citi dividend and I’m up to $375 per quarter long term that I can do in addition to regular signup bonuses/churning. I consider it a baseline, something that I just do anyway, in addition to churning for signup bonuses.

  11. Chucks says:

    Sad that “ground transportation” got canned. If you’re in a city-dweller without a car you’re going to have a hard time using Q1 now that Uber/Lyft and public transportation is off the list.

    • You should consider US Bank Cash+; ground transportation is one of the 5% categories. I’ve been using that to buy my $174 monthly train pass since Q2 2017 when they made that category available.

  12. Mimi says:

    I’m sad that a lot of Sam’s have removed the variable $500 MCs including the OVs on their shelves and replaced them with the variable $250’s which IINM, have higher fees 🙁 I didn’t renew my membership.

  13. Doc, If you want to add historical data to the table:

    2011-Q1 Travel and Restaurants
    2011-Q2 Home and Fashion
    2011-Q3 Gas, Hotels, Movies and Theme Parks
    2011-Q4 Restaurants and Fashion

    2012-Q1 Gas stations, Movie theaters and Museums
    2012-Q2 Restaurants and Movies
    2012-Q3 Gas stations, Movies and Theme parks
    2012-Q4 Department Stores and Online Shopping

    2013-Q1 Restaurants and Movies
    2013-Q2 Home Improvement Stores
    2013-Q3 Gas stations
    2013-Q4 Online Shopping

    2014-Q1 Restaurants and Movies
    2014-Q2 Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores and Bed Bath & Beyond
    2014-Q3 Gas stations
    2014-Q4 Department Stores and Online Shopping

  14. Matt says:

    Love getting 5% back at Aldi

  15. Peter says:

    Awesome quarters!!

  16. Gus says:

    How restrictive is Discover in their “Grocery Stores” category? E.g. is Walmart included?

    • Chris says:

      In the past, Walmart and Target didn’t count for groceries as they were coded as “discount stores” instead. Usually Discover puts a disclaimer up somewhere when the quarter begins.

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