Discover Cashback Match: how does it work?

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Discover Cashback Match is a benefit for new Discover it Cash Back Card members and Discover it Chrome cardholders that doubles a new cardholder’s cash back rewards in their first year of membership à la carte. While some credit cards offer an all-or-nothing bonus to new cardholders who spend a minimum amount with the card during a given introductory period, Discover allows all new cardholders to earn a bonus. With Discover Cashback Match, there are no minimum purchase requirements and a new cardholder has 12 months to earn matching rewards.

cardholders have the opportunity to earn 5% cash back on bonus rewards category purchases each quarter and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Learn about Chrome Cardholder rewards with 2% cash back on eligible restaurant and gas purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

With either card’s rewards program, a new Discover cardholder can earn significant cash back after their first year by using their card for everyday purchases. Here’s what potential and new Discover cardholders need to know about how Discover Cashback Match works and how reward points are earned to maximize Year One Cashback Match.

How does Discover Cashback Match work?

Discover Cashback Match is available to all new Discover it Cash Back and Discover it Chrome cardholders, including those with Discover it Student Cash Back, Secured Credit, Student Chrome Card and others.

Discover is all cash back rewards a new cardholder earns from the day an account is approved through the first 365 days or 12 consecutive billing periods, whichever is longer. Discover does not limit the Cashback Match a cardholder can earn. If a cardholder earns $300 in cash back within the first year of account opening, Discover will reward the cardholder with an additional $300, giving them a total of $600 in cash back.

At the end of the first year, Discover will add the Cashback Match to the cardholder’s cash back balance in both billing periods. Cashback Match rewards never expire and can be redeemed like other cash back earned.

Cashback Match is a unique bonus. Discover does not match any rewards processed after the initial 12 month period or rewards transferred from other Discover accounts.

How to Earn Discover Cash Back Rewards

Discover it Cash Back cardholders and Discover it Chrome cardholders earn 1% cash back on all purchases and can earn higher cash back rewards as follows:

  • Every quarter, Chrome cardholders can earn 2% cash back on eligible gas and restaurant purchases up to $1,000 in combined purchases.
    • Once the $1,000 purchase limit is reached, cardholders earn 1% cash back on additional gas and restaurant purchases.
  • Find out Cash Back cardholders can earn 5% cash back on qualifying bonus category purchases each quarter, combined up to $1,500.
    • Bonus purchase categories vary each quarter and must be activated for cardholders to earn the 5% cash back instead of the standard 1%.
    • All quarterly bonus category purchases that exceed the $1,500 purchase limit earn 1% cash back.

Find out Cash Back Bonus Categories for 2022

The following table shows Discover’s 5% bonus categories for 2022. Discover it cardholders must activate the categories quarterly to receive 5% cash back on qualifying bonus purchases.

Trimester 5% Cash Back Bonus Categories
January 1 to March 31 Fitness club and gym memberships and grocery stores, excluding purchases at Walmart and Target
April 1 to June 30 Target purchases and eligible gas station purchases
July 1 to September 30 PayPal and restaurant purchases, including restaurant delivery service purchases
October 1 to December 31 Amazon.com purchases and digital wallet, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Garmin Pay

Ways to Redeem Discover Match Cashback Rewards

A Discover Cardholder may redeem Cash Back, including Matching Rewards, in the following ways:

  • As a statement credit
  • In the form of an electronic deposit into an eligible designated checking or savings account
  • To purchases from certain merchants, such as Amazon and PayPal
  • To gift card purchases
  • As a donation to selected charities.

Discover the introductory offer for new cardholders

New Discover it Cash Back Cardholders and Discover it Chrome Cardholders receive an additional introductory benefit beyond the Discover Cashback Match. Discover has an attractive introductory bonus offer of 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Both cards have a APR after the end of the introductory APR of 0%, which is determined by the creditworthiness of the cardholder.

Neither card has an annual fee, but both have a 3% fee for balance transfers. Balance transfers do not earn cash back and therefore do not count towards the Cashback Match.

Carry

Discover’s 0% APR introductory purchase offer means a cardholder doesn’t have to worry about racking up interest charges during the first 15 months of card use. However, neither credit card rewards nor a 0% APR should be an incentive to overspend, as after the first 15 months rates are .

The best way for a new cardholder to maximize their cash back rewards and earn the Discover Cashback Match is to use the card for as many monthly purchases as possible up to the amount they can pay in full each month. Carrying a high balance beyond the initial APR introductory period means that a cardholder could negate any cash back earned with the interest earned by carrying a balance at the higher APR rates.

Discover the Cashback Match FAQ

Here are quick answers to common questions about Discover Cashback Match.

  • Does Discover really match the cash back every year?
    • Discover does not match cash back every year. It only corresponds to the cash back earned during the first 12 months after opening a new account. After the first year, Discover pays Cash Back as stated in its card terms, but does not match any Cash Back earned.
  • How is Discover Cash Back calculated?
    • For the Discover it Cash Back Rewards card, Discover calculates cash back by multiplying qualifying bonus category purchases by 5% and all other qualifying purchases by 1%. Cardholders must activate quarterly bonus categories for Discover to calculate these purchases at 5% rather than 1%. Discover has a purchase limit for quarterly bonus purchases that earn 5%. Any bonus category purchases over the limit are calculated at 1%.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise specified, prices are updated periodically. All other account information is accurate as of August 26, 2022.

Editorial note: This content is not provided by any entity covered by this article. Any opinions, analyses, criticisms, evaluations, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

About the Author

Andrea Norris has worked in the web publishing industry for 15 years, both as a content contributor and editor specializing in topics related to personal finance, frugal living, home and automotive. She writes short and long content and is well trained in SEO keyword research and writing.


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