Activate Q1 Discover Bonus Categories

by John Terry | Last Updated:  December 24, 2019

Even though we write about points and miles, earning 5% cashback can still be valuable. The first quarter Discover bonus categories are grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies.

Cardholders of the Discover It Cash Back card can earn a 5% bonus in select categories each quarter. This is similar to the Chase Freedom card which can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards.

One main difference is that Discover tends to release their 5% bonus calendar before the year starts, while Chase tends to release it throughout the year.

The first quarter bonus os one of the best with grocery stores landing one of the coveted spots for the Discover bonus categories. When paired with the Chase Freedom card, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be earning less than 5% for groceries and gas.

2020 Discover bonus categories

Q1: Grocery Stores, Walgreens & CVS

Q2: Gas Stations, Uber, Lyft & Wholesale Clubs

Q3: Restaurants & PayPal

Q4:, &

Beyond the first quarter

Specifically, the first quarter bonus of grocery stores is one that can be maximized. Gas stations could prove beneficial for those with long commutes. Restaurant expenses can add up, as well. But, the fourth quarter bonuses at three online retailers right around the holiday season might be the most useful.

Remember, that Discover It cardholders must activate the 5% bonus each quarter before earning the additional cashback. There is also a limit to $75 in cashback each quarter, so be sure to not overspend and potentially miss out on other credit card bonus categories.

Breakdown: Discover bonus categories

[table id=20 /]

Activating Discover bonus categories

Before earning 5% bonus, you must activate the offer with Discover.

  1. Must activate your card with Discover.
  2. You will need to log in to your account using the link on this page.
  3. Click “Activate Now” to start earning 5% cashback

Final Thoughts

As much as I love earning points and miles, there’s real value in earning 5% cashback using the Discover It credit card. My Discover card was actually the first card I ever opened. It doesn’t have an annual fee. and I use it to get a 5% cashback bonus for quarterly categories.

Additionally, I leave it open because it continues to improve my credit score since it’s my oldest credit account.