Discover announces 5% cash back categories for 2020. Here’s what you need to know.

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If you have the Discover it® Cash Back card, get ready to plan your 2020 spending.

Discover has announced next year’s quarterly 5% cash back calendar for the Discover it® Cash Back. Here’s a breakdown of the 2020 rotating bonus cash back categories.

  • January to March: Grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS
  • April to June: Gas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubs
  • July to September: Restaurants and PayPal
  • October to December: Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com

You can activate your first-quarter cash back categories right now by logging into your Discover account. And the quarterly cap hasn’t changed — after spending $1,500 in the bonus category each quarter, your cash back earning rate drops to 1%.

Want to know more?

What’s changing in 2020?

The cash back categories available in 2020 should provide cardholders with plenty of opportunities to earn 5% cash back throughout the year.

The table below compares 2020 and 2019 cash back categories.

Discover cash back categories: 2019 vs. 2020

Q1: Jan.–March Q2: April–June Q3: July–Sept. Q4: Oct.–Dec.
2020
  • Grocery stores
  • Walgreens
  • CVS
  • Gas stations
  • Uber
  • Lyft
  • Wholesale clubs
  • Restaurants
  • PayPal
  • Amazon.com
  • Target.com
  • Walmart.com

 

2019
  • Grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Uber
  • Lyft
  • Restaurants
  • PayPal
  • Amazon.com
  • Target
  • Walmart.com

Discover’s added extra ways to earn bonus cash back in the first and second quarters of 2020. But the third and fourth quarters will remain similar to what cardholders saw in 2019.

If you were hoping to be able to use your Discover it® Cash Back card to earn 5% cash back in physical Target stores next year though, you’re out of luck — only online Target purchases will earn rewards in the fourth quarter of 2020.

And while the Discover it® Cash Back card gives you more ways to earn 5% cash back next year, remember that there’s a cap on how much you earn each quarter — you only earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent in the bonus categories. After you reach that cap, your earning rate drops to 1% on all purchases — bonus category or not.

What else should you keep in mind?

As with any credit card, it’s important not to overspend on your Discover it® Cash Back card just to earn the maximum 5% cash back each quarter.

It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re paying your entire balance on time and in full each month to avoid any late fees and interest charges. See our guide to managing debt for tips on dealing with credit card debt.