Discover Reveals 3Q & 4Q Bonus Categories: 1 In Particular Has Potential!


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Discover 2016 Bonus Categories

Discover 2016 Bonus Categories Fully Announced

In previous years Discover has released the entire calendar for their 5% bonus categories in advance, but for some reason they were a little shy about it this year. Back in late 2015 they only released the Q1 categories (which are gas & ground transportation) and 10 days ago I covered the announcement of their fantastic 2nd quarter categories.

Thankfully it hasn’t taken long for them to finally announce the entire calendar. Today it appears that the bonus categories for the 3rd & 4th quarters are showing on Discover’s website. Here is the full list of the Discover 2016 Bonus Categories:

  • Quarter 1: Gas & Ground Transportation
  • Quarter 2: Restaurants and Movies
  • Quarter 3: Home Improvement &
  • Quarter 4: & More

Discover 2016 Bonus Categories

To be fair, they still haven’t released the full terms for each of the categories and the 4th quarter is still a little vague, but at least we know what we have to look forward to. While I would have loved to see a grocery store bonus like we see with the Freedom, it could be worse.


As I wrote about with the 2nd quarter announcement, I really like the restaurants category. What is nice is that Discover earns 5% at restaurants for the 2nd quarter and Freedom earns 5% for the 3rd quarter. This means that restaurant spend is earning 5% (or more with transfers or Double Cashback) for half of the year.

We also don’t see any overlap in the 3rd quarter with Freedom having restaurants and Discover having home improvement. Keep in mind that many stores that are considered home improvement stores sell a wide variety of gift cards. In the past stores like Sears, Lowe’s and Home Improvement have all been in this category.

Related: Which Gift Cards Are Available at Home Depot?


It is nice to have an idea of what the 5% year will look like with for Discover. You can find the calendar for the Freedom and Dividend cards here if you are interested in comparing. While I am happy about restaurants in the 2nd quarter and home improvement in the 3rd quarter, Amazon doesn’t excite me since I still have a lot of credit from last year’s Amex Offer. Hopefully we’ll get a nice companion to Amazon in the 4th quarter. We’ll just have to wait to see.

HT: Doctor of Credit

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  1. If I recall correctly, the double cash back ends sometime in July or August, depending on your statement date. Right? If so, it seems it may not be a bad idea to load up on Amazon gift cards for 5% cb + 5% DCB for 10% off.

      • Heh, I actually have 1 more open slot for a Discover IT in my name and it’s been more than 12 months since obtaining my 1st one. I’m already looking into a mini app-o-rama with Chase hotel cc’s (of which I have none). Hmmmm…

  2. Seeing for a full 6 months (3rd AND 4th quarter) is a bonanza for shoppers. The key will be if DISC can detect and disqualify gift card purchases. We will also need to watch how CHASE reacts. They bumped their Amazon rebate to 10% for part of Q4 last year which was awesome.

    • Personally, anything above 5% is where the value is. There’s many ways to get 5% back at Amazon year around with very little extra effort. My now (discontinued) Sallie Mae cc offers 5%, IIRC Amazon has their own 5% and I can also buy Amazon gift cards at merchants who are part of bonus categories or even Amex Offers. I expect that come Q4 we’ll see many options to obtain Amazon gift cards/cash back beyond 5%.

      I don’t believe they’ll disqualify gift card purchases. There is a precedence for this and its not Apple Pay promo all over again.

  3. Okay, so the obvious question… can you buy gift cards and get away with it? Or will Discover be doing the anything over $X is a gift card or includes a gift card unless you send us receipts thing again like with Apple Pay?

    • then too, when will Discover get around to posting credit for such bonuses? Will you find out even if your discover deal was recorded…… If my own past bitter-sweet experience with Discover holds, I could do business for a promo in March — and it might not post until July — and miss out on being doubled. (ah but yes, nice to contemplate the possibilities — IF — huge IF — discover would stop being the most unreliable and yes, “flaky” credit card in the business. (that is, for posting and honoring cash back deals and promos)

      • I’m still waiting on maybe 10 purchases (mid Oct-early Dec) through Discover Deals to be tracked and credited. I emailed and was told that if I hadn’t received a tracking update within 40 days to give them all of the order details and they’d look into it. Even if I do remember every order it’ll be time consuming given the benefit. Apparently all cash back can take 10 weeks to credit. Not sure if they mean it posts to my account by then or if it goes into the pending cash back on the next statement.

        I won’t sugar coat it. They’re running a shitty operation as far as Discover Deals is concerned. I’m sure they’re trying to protect themselves from abuse but every one of these orders was by the book and 100% used with a Discover cc. DD used to be great but at this point I’m avoiding it even if they’re the highest payout.

  4. I got the Discover It in Q4 last year, so I’m happy to see that I’ll be able to take advantage of double cash back in Q3 and Q4. Like you I have a fair amount of Amazon credit balance from last year but given the selection of stuff at Amazon it’s just about as easy to use as cash.

    • I don’t expect that they will, but as you say things have changed so much with Discover this past year that anything is possible. I still doubt it though since they haven’t blocked gift cards in this quarter’s category.

      • I eat at Subway, Ruby Tuesday, O’Charley’s, and Zaxby’s quite a bit and all of those cards are on Amazon. Not to mention I can also buy Xbox Live money. Jackpot!!


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