The Discover® Cashback program enables to you to earn rewards that can be redeemed for gift cards or statement credits, or simply deposited into your bank account. Its Cashback program features 5% bonuses on some cards for spending in rotating categories that include Amazon.com, gas, wholesale clubs, grocery stores, and restaurants, subject to a quarterly maximum of $1,500 of spending when cardholders log in to activate their bonuses.

Discover® Cashback calendar

Discover®'s most rewarding feature is its rotating Cashback bonuses in each quarter of the calendar. The following table shows the categories in which cardholders earn bonus rewards on their spending. (Note: Not all Discover® cards earn 5% Cashback bonuses. Visit Fool.com's Discover® page to compare cards.)

Calendar Quarter

5% Bonus Category

October-December 2017

Amazon.com and Target

January-March 2018

Gas stations and wholesale clubs

April-June 2018

Grocery stores

July-September 2018

Restaurants

October-December 2018

Amazon.com and wholesale clubs

Data source: Discover.

Smart shoppers who maximize their rewards in every calendar quarter can get 5% bonus Cashback on up to $1,500 of quarterly spending, thus generating rewards worth $300 on $6,000 of spending in each calendar year. Importantly, many of its cards also offer 1% Cashback on all other spending, so bonuses aren't the only way to cash in.

New cardholders get the best deal, as the company's popular rewards cards offer a bonus Cashback Match™, which effectively doubles all the cash back you earn in the first year (regular and 5% bonus cash back).

U.S coins spill out of an overturned glass jar.

Cash back rewards can really add up fast. Image source: Getty Images.

How to redeem Discover® Cashback rewards

Low- or no-minimum redemption requirements are one of Fool.com's favorite features of the best cash back credit cards, since cardholders don't have to wait to meet an arbitrary threshold to redeem. Some cards require minimum redemptions of $25, or even $100, making cardholders wait months before they can get something from the cash back they have accumulated.

There are four ways to redeem the cash back you earn from your Discover® card, some of which have no minimum redemption options:

  • Gift cards ($20 minimum).
  • Amazon.com purchases (no minimum).
  • Statement credit or deposit into your bank account ($0.01 minimum).
  • Charity donations (options start at $0.01).

Though gift cards have the highest minimum redemption, it may be worth saving your rewards to redeem for them. Some gift cards allow you to redeem $20 of Cashback bonuses for a gift card with $25 of face value. Thus, gift cards can magnify the value of the Cashback you earn.

Other reasons to choose Discover®

In addition to high rewards rates and new cardholder bonuses, it's notable that Discover®'s bonus cash back calendar includes very practical categories in which the average household already spends heavily. It's important that the bonus categories actually align with your everyday spend, and Discover®'s categories likely do. 

Discover® also offers one of the best price-protection policies of any card issuer. Price protection is a benefit that enables cardholders to get a refund for the difference in price if an item they purchase is advertised at a lower price later. This can be really advantageous if used to match Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales prices.

Other perks include free access to your FICO® credit score, plus an all-U.S. based customer service department that is available 24 hours a day. Discover® also has the best secured credit card on the market for people who have low or no credit.

For all of these reasons, Discover® may be a good fit for cardholders looking for a new cash-back rewards card to add to their wallets.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Jordan Wathen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.