Discover Reveals Short-Term Plan for Its Rewards Cards

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Today, Discover answered questions about the future of their credit cards.

Discover plans to continue the popular “Cashback Match” through at least the rest of this quarter.  And it was implied this promotion might continue even further into 2016.  I’ll explain how it works in a moment!

It sounds like Discover will NOT attempt to compete with other banks by offering big sign-up bonuses.  And they will not offer lucrative bonuses in partnership with airlines and hotels.

Discover Reveals Short Term Plan For Its Rewards Cards

For New Applicants, You’ll Still Be Able to Profit From Discover It Doubling Your Cash Back. They Will Extend the Promotion Through at Least the End of This Quarter

I’ll let you know more about Discover’s plans and how the Cashback Match Promotion puts extra money in your pocket.

Discover Is Delighted to Double Your Cash and Miles

Link:   Discover It®

Link:   Discover it® Miles

You can currently earn $50 cash back when you apply for the Discover it and make a purchase within the first 3 months of opening your account.

The Double Promotion for Discover It® is that new cardholders get their cash back doubled after the 12th billing cycle.

And for new cardholders of Discover it® Miles, the miles you’ve earned are doubled at the end of your first 12 billing cycles.  There is no sign-up bonus.

Discover says the promotion has been very effective for them.  To me, that sounds like it’s going to stick around awhile!

That’s good news for those of y’all who signed-up within the last year (or those who will sign-up during the promotion) and like to spend in the rotating 5X categories.

Because the 5% cash back is doubled at the end of your first 12 billing cycles!

Another Amazing Apple Pay Promotion Later This Year?

Discover hinted they may have special promotions later this year.  But Discover did NOT indicate whether or not they plan to have the very lucrative Apple Pay promotion again.

Discover’s upcoming promotions could be for balance transfers or something other than a big sign-up bonus.  But I’m hoping it’s Apple Pay or something similar. 🙂

Competing With Freedom

Link:   Chase Freedom

Discover expressed that they’re happy with the Discover it model of 5% cash back on purchases in rotating categories along with 1% cash back on other purchases.

The Chase Freedom has a similar rewards model.  But the Freedom currently offers 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $150 cash back) when you spend $500 in the first 3 months of opening your account.  This is much better than the $50 sign-up bonus from Discover it (or $0 for Discover it Miles)!

What’s more, is that when you pair the Freedom card with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold, you can transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you’ve earned to Chase’s terrific partners like United Airlines, Hyatt, and Southwest.

Discover doesn’t seem to have plans to offer this kind Big Travel potential.

Innovative Perks

Aside from promotions, Discover feels they can compete by offering helpful tools.  They cited their online “Freeze it” option.  This can help you eliminate fraud when you lose your card by immediately disallowing the use of all your cards.

They also used free FICO scores as an example.

I’m not overly excited about either because other cards offer similar perks.  But…perhaps Discover has something new in the works that will set their cards apart.

Bottom Line

Discover let folks know they plan to continue the current Cashback Match promotion through at least the end of this quarter.

When you sign-up for a new Discover it card, you’ll have the cash back you’ve earned doubled at the end of your first 12 billing cycles.  And when you sign-up for a new Discover it Miles card, they will double your miles at the end of your first 12 billing cycles.

Discover also said they have NO plans to offer a big sign-up bonus.  Drat!

Discover it is a good card for cash back.  But I greatly prefer the Chase Freedom because it has a $150 welcome bonus after you meet the minimum spending.  And you can pair it with the Chase Sapphire Preferred to transfer points to travel partners for Big Travel with Small Money.

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13 responses to “Discover Reveals Short-Term Plan for Its Rewards Cards

  1. Nothing here to interest me. Without a signup bonus, they’re not in the running for my business.

  2. What other cards offer the “freeze” option?

    (It’s not a reason to sign up for the card, but I’m glad the card has it.)

  3. Can you have more than one Discover card at a time?

    I like Discover – great for redeeming on everyday things (like gift cards as presents to friends & family, etc), and the 5x bonus helps too – course, its not really a travel supercard, but it may be useful for other folks out there too

  4. You can have 2 discover cards.

  5. If you consider the Double Cash Back as the signup bonus as well as the 5% categories, I find this card to be far more valuable, especially in its first year, than any other. By the end of my first year, I’ll have accumulated roughly $800 in cash back, which will be doubled to $1,600. No other card’s signup bonus can compete with that. Even the mighty CSP’s signup bonus is “only” worth $625, and that’s only if you use it for travel through their portal, and it has a $95 fee after the first year. With the Discover It card, it’s straight cash back to you that you can use for anything.

    Add in offers of up to 20% cash back for online shopping through the Discover Deals portal, and you get even more cash back that once again doubles after the first year.

  6. @ G C – Based on my math, to earn $800 in cash back you would have to spend $56,0000! I think the 5% categories are limited to $1,500…so you could earn $75 per quarter on $6,000 and then you’d need to spend another $50,000…(obviously this could potentially be smaller if you take advantage of portal deals etc., but still a huge number on the spend). Doubled to $1,600 that works out to be less than a 3% return. Heck, you’re only beating the Citi Double Cash by about $480 on those numbers.

    On the other hand…Sign up for CSP…transfer to Southwest Points…Worth over $800…which is a 20% return on just $4,000 in spend. There’s plenty of other cards available which end up working out to up to a 40% return on your minimum spend.

    IF I could spend $56k in a year I’d much prefer to earn signup bonuses on 10-20 cards and walk away with something in the neighborhood of $10,000 – $15,000 vs. $1,600.

  7. I’m still fighting with Discover trying to get the last of my Apple Pay miles. They refuse to do the math correctly and constantly give me the run around. I’ve been at it for three months now with about 30 messages back and forth. All this over less over less than 6K miles. I’ve spent well in excess of $40K on the card since getting it in June 2015 but there is no way they’ll keep me after my promotion is up.

  8. I got the Discover card a year ago because I planned a trip to China. This may seem a bit odd, but the Discover card is the MOST WIDELY ACCEPTED card in China. It turns out that Discover has a deal with China Union Pay, which is the Chinese payment network. The Discover card worked where my Visa and Mastercard would not work. There is no foreign transaction fee. A win/win situation. Then I scored with the Apple pay deal during Q4 of last year. This is a card I keep in my wallet.

  9. By using Apple Pay and their online shopping portal I’m at around $2500 cash back over the last almost year which will double at my anniversary.

    Can’t beat the promotions on their shopping portal – most recently advance auto parts for 20% cash back on a purchase up to $250!

  10. I have the Discover It miles card, and I think you’re mistaken about a few details over here. One of them is, all purchases are actually 1.5 miles per dollar, equaling 1.5 cents per dollar, which they will deposit into bank account. Which means that by the end of this year I will have spent approximately $30,000 on this card, and will get back $0.03 per dollar. Also, I believe that during the first year, since they are doubling all your Rewards, the bonus categories do not work

  11. Tim,
    You’re correct that the Discover Deals shopping portal played a role in my cash back, where there are deals offering up to 20% cash back. I haven’t spent anything close to $50k on the card. But that reinforces my point that the double cash back combined with the shopping portal makes this card very valuable for first-year use.

    The Apple Pay was another hugely valuable promotion, but unfortunately it wasn’t compatible with my iPhone 5.

  12. @DAVID is correct about the Discover it Miles card. However, I am having a big issue with them right now because they are saying that my miles will not be doubled after one year, I called to find out the date that my year ends and they said in May. But they are also saying that the double mile program did not start until June and that I got my card too early which is BS because I printed out everything when I applied for it. No one at Discover is being helpful or responding anymore to my email even after I sent copies proving I was eligible for the double miles. It is the only reason I applied for the card!

  13. Pingback: About that 250,000 point sign-up bonus… | DEM Flyers

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