Home > Credit Cards > 4 Ways to Get Max Value From Discover Cash Back Rewards

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There are a lot of cashback rewards programs out there, so it is important to compare them and have a full understanding of what they each offer to make sure you find the one that is right for you.

With that in mind, we thought we would break down what the Discover Cash Back Rewards program entails and give you some insight into a few ways that cardmembers can use the Discover cashback program, so you get the most for your rewards. We will also mention some of the Discover credit cards that offer this particular rewards program.

1. Cash or Statement Credit

Redeeming for cash or a statement credit is one of the easiest ways a cardholder can attain value through the Discover cashback program. There is no threshold for how much you have to earn before you cash out. Meaning, if you have only earned $5 as the cardholder, then you can either cash out for $5, or you can wait until you have $100. You can apply the funds to your next statement, or transfer them to a bank account of your choice.

The Discover Cashback Program is a good way to earn back a percentage of the money you have been spending on the credit card. You can redeem cash back in one of several different ways with Discover. You can earn cash back through a bank deposit, a statement credit, gift card, or a charitable donation.

However, keep in mind that even though you may have cashback rewards, this is not an okay for you to spend substantial amounts of money or spend above your means. You want to avoid falling too much into debt because you will also be risking the high-interest rates for the excess charges that are being made. With that being said, it is also important to pay the bills on time every single month and pay as much as you possibly can to continue to avoid higher interest charges.

2. Gift Cards

One of the more interesting ways to use your cashback rewards from Discover is to receive gift cards. These gift cards can be from retail establishments, such as grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations. But what makes this an interesting option is that you receive $5 added to each gift card for free.

While you might redeem $40 in cashback rewards, you could receive a gift card worth $45. Most of the gift cards come in the form of a physical card, which means you may have to wait up to 10 days before your card arrives. However, you can also elect to receive eCertificates.

An eCertificate can be downloaded to your computer or onto the Discover mobile app and can then be used immediately. Your rewards will never expire, and your account will be credited with the amount of the Cashback Bonus balance if the account is closed, or you have not used the rewards within eighteen months of receiving them.

3. Pay With Points

Discover has a relationship with Amazon that allows consumers to make purchases on Amazon.com and use their cash back to help cover the cost. It’s important to note that there is no value added when using your cashback rewards on Amazon.

One dollar in cashback equals one dollar on Amazon. Because of this, it may make more sense to pay for your Amazon purchase with a credit card, earn the additional rewards, and then apply a statement credit toward the expense.

Discover also announced an agreement with PayPal allowing cardholders to use cashback rewards on any purchase where PayPal is used.

4. Donate to Charity

While you will not earn anything extra, value wise, you have the option to help others and donate your cashback rewards to charity. Partners include the American Cancer Society, World Wildlife Fund, and the American Red Cross.

Donating your cashback rewards to a charity can be a good option if you are looking to donate money to one of these charities anyway, or if you are simply in the giving spirit.

Discover Giving is a partnership with the organization, JustGive, and this organization provides Discover cardmembers access to over one million different charities. Donating via this option also allows you to set up a one time or recurring donation through Discover Giving and you also have the option to decide how the donation is used.

Keep in mind that there may be a minimum donation required, so you will want to be sure you have enough in Cash Back Rewards to make the donation. The average minimum donation amount to expect will be approximately $10 to $25 which also comes out to be between 1000 and 2500 reward points.

Additionally, when you donate through Discover Giving, you are also eligible to receive additional rewards such as automatically earning an additional cashback bonus for every dollar that is being donated.

Earning Discover Cash Back Rewards

There a few cards that let you earn Discover cashback rewards. Let’s take a look at some of them. (Note: Most of the cards listed below require fair credit to qualify. Before you apply, you can check two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com so you can get an idea of if you will be eligible for the card you are considering or not.) It is important that you read through the terms and conditions to fully understand and take advantage of the cashback rewards programs that Discover offers.

Discover it Cash Back

Anyone looking for a generous cashback credit card, without an annual fee, may want to have this card on their list of considerations. With this credit card, you can earn 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter. One quarter it might be at gas stations and movie theaters, and the next it might be restaurants and grocery stores.

These categories do have to be activated each quarter, and there is a limit of $1,500 in purchases each quarter that earn 5% back. All other purchases made with the card receive 1% back. Plus, Discover matches everything the cardholder earns with this credit card for the first 12 billing cycles. That means if you earn $200 in cashback rewards, you actually receive $400.

The Discover it Cash Back credit card comes with an introductory 0% for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers. Afterward, the APR rises to 13.74% - 24.74% Variable on purchases & balance transfers.

With this credit card, your bonus cashback will never expire, and you can redeem your rewards at any time you want, and at whatever amount you want.

Discover it® Cash Back

Apply Now
on Discover's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:
0% for 14 months on purchases

Ongoing Apr:
13.74% - 24.74% Variable on purchases & balance transfers

Balance Transfer:
Intro: 0% for 14 months

Annual Fee:
$0

Credit Needed:
Excellent-Good-Fair
Snapshot of Card Features
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.

Card Details +

Discover it Chrome

If a lot of your monthly spending is focused on gas and restaurants, then the no-annual-fee Discover it Chrome credit card may be a good option. With this credit card, cardmembers can earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 each quarter on combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants.

All other purchases made will receive 1% back. Discover also matches all of a cardmembers earnings during the first year as a cardholder. This credit card also offers an introductory 0% for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers. Afterward, the APR becomes 13.74% - 24.74% Variable on purchases & balance transfers.

Discover it® chrome

Apply Now
on Discover's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:
0% for 14 months on purchases

Ongoing Apr:
13.74% - 24.74% Variable on purchases & balance transfers

Balance Transfer:
Intro: 0% for 14 months

Annual Fee:
$0

Credit Needed:
Excellent-Good-Fair
Snapshot of Card Features
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.

Card Details +

Discover it Student Cash Back

With this card, the cardholder can earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter. Plus, all other purchases earn 1% back, with Discover matching your earnings during the first year. With this credit card, students get rewarded for earning good grades.

Each year you earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher, you will receive a $20 statement credit. The Discover it Student credit card also comes with no annual fee and has an introductory 0% for 6 months on purchases. After the introductory period, the APR becomes 14.74% - 23.74% Variable on purchases & balance transfers.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Apply Now
on Discover's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:
0% for 6 months on purchases

Ongoing Apr:
14.74% - 23.74% Variable on purchases & balance transfers

Balance Transfer:
Intro: 10.99% for 6 months

Annual Fee:
$0

Credit Needed:
Excellent-Good-Fair
Snapshot of Card Features
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants or Amazon.com up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 14.74% - 23.74%.

Card Details +

Discover it Secured

If you are attempting to rebuild your credit, or are new to the world of credit entirely, the Discover it Secured credit card might be an option worth considering. This card is a little different than most secured cards because it allows you to earn cash back while you build a better credit history.

You earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations each quarter. All other purchases earn 1% back. Plus, like all other Discover cards, Discover matches your earnings the first year. There is no annual fee for this card. The APR is 24.74% Variable on purchases & balance transfers. (You can learn more about secured credit cards here.)

Secured credit cards may come with a lower limit that unsecured cards and they may also put a cap on how much you are able to spend with this card. By doing so, they can help you control the amount you are spending, which can help teach you how to manage your debt without hurting your credit score.

Discover it® Secured

Apply Now
on Discover's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:
N/A

Ongoing Apr:
24.74% Variable on purchases & balance transfers

Balance Transfer:
Intro: 10.99% for 6 months

Annual Fee:
$0

Credit Needed:
Poor-Bad-No Credit
Snapshot of Card Features
  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • Your Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line. You will need to provide your bank information when submitting your security deposit.
  • We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.

Card Details +

Note: At publishing time, the Discover it Cash Back, Discover it, Discover it Chrome and Discover it Student Cash Back are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

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