Discover Announces 5% Bonus Categories for Second Quarter of 2023

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What happened

Discover revealed next quarter's 5% bonus categories yesterday in an update to its cash back calendar. From April 1 through June 30, 2023, eligible Discover cards will earn 5% cash back at restaurants and wholesale clubs on up to $1,500 in purchases after you activate those categories. Activation is now open, and the Discover credit cards that earn 5% back are:

So what

Rotating bonus categories are one of the most valuable benefits if you have an eligible Discover card. If you max out your bonus categories by activating them and spending the full $1,500 in purchases, you'll earn $75 in cash back per quarter and $300 per year. Considering these are no annual fee cards, that's quite a bit of savings.

However, you only earn 5% cash back after activating the bonus categories on your credit card. If you forget to activate, you'll earn the standard rate of 1%.

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It's also important to note that the bonus rate doesn't apply retroactively if you activate your categories after the quarter has started. The terms on Discover's site clarify that you earn 5% starting April 1, 2023 "or the date on which you activate 5%, whichever is later." If you activate on May 1, then your restaurant and wholesale club purchases in April will earn 1%, and you'll earn 5% in May and June.

Now what

You can now activate bonus categories for the second quarter of 2023 with Discover. To avoid missing out, it's a good idea to activate ASAP. Discover lets you do this in your online account, the Discover mobile app, or by calling 1-800-DISCOVER. Here's how to activate in your online account:

  1. Go to the Discover website.
  2. Log in to your account.
  3. Click "Activate" next to the months of the quarter you want to activate.

A box will pop up with an "Activate" button. Once you click that, the bonus categories are activated.

After that, just make sure to use your Discover card at restaurants and wholesale clubs from April through June. Restaurant purchases include all types of dining, such as cafes, fast food, and restaurant delivery services, according to the terms on the Discover website.

Not all wholesale clubs accept Discover, with Costco being the most notable store that doesn't. There is a workaround, though. accepts Discover. You could buy a Costco gift card there using your Discover card, earn 5% back, and use the gift card at Costco stores and gas stations.

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