Late last year, Discover revamped its online shopping portal and changed its name from ShopDiscover to Discover Deals. The program also rolls in Discover Extras, an in-store discount program that gave savings on certain goods purchased with a Discover card.
Here’s what to know about the Discover Deals program – and how to maximize it.
How it works
To use Discover Deals, you’ll need a rewards credit card from Discover. Log in to your account, click through to Discover Deals and look for deals with Discover’s retail partners. The program also has a mobile app, making it more convenient to browse deals when you’re out shopping.
These deals might come in the form of immediate savings at checkout or additional cash-back rewards. Some will even be targeted to your spending.
Discover Deals works online and in store
Unlike many card shopping portals (which are for online purchases only), Discover Deals can be used for both online and in-store purchases. This opens up a lot of opportunities for savings, as you can claim deals at restaurants, too.
No need to sign up for deals
As long as you pay with your Discover card before a deal expires (and follow the instructions described in the deal), you don’t have to sign up in advance. You’ll receive the discount or extra Cash Back Bonus rewards automatically.
Which retailers are participating?
Deals and participating retail partners change constantly, so you’ll need to log in to see an up-to-date list. In the past, Macy’s, ACE Hardware, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Home Depot, Orbitz, Sports Authority, Boston Market and more have participated.
Maximizing Discover Deals
In addition to the savings from the deal, you also get whatever regular rewards you’d get from making the purchase. So, if you’re shopping at a retailer that falls within that quarter’s 5 percent categories AND corresponds to a Discover Deal, your savings pile up quickly. In other words, Discover Deals allows you to double dip. If you’ve registered your Discover card for an airline dining program, you could be triple dipping as well.
Even if you’re making a purchase that falls outside Discover’s 5 percent rotating categories, see if that purchase falls under Discover Deals before using another rewards card. It’s an extra step, but a potentially lucrative one: If, for example, a department store’s deal gives you 5 percent off, you’re basically saving 6 percent, once Discover’s base rate of 1 percent cash back on all purchases is added on. That’s better than a card that gives, say, 3 percent at department stores.
Is it really a good … deal?
Discover Deals is a flexible program that can be described as a hybrid of an online shopping portal and a card-linked offers program. The ability to use it for offline purchases is a boon for those who prefer to shop in store.
There is one significant change over the old ShopDiscover program, however. In the past, by shopping through ShopDiscover, you’d get extra rewards on purchases. In fact, that’s the way most credit cards’ reward portals work.
With Discover Deals, however, some deals come in the form of an instant discount at checkout. At first glance, those things might appear to be one and the same, but it depends on how you use your rewards, as some of our forum members have pointed out. An instant discount, while nice, benefits you just once. Extra Cash Back Bonus rewards, however, can benefit you twice if you redeem them for partner gift cards, which Discover often offers for less than face value. If you frequently took advantage of this option, getting immediate savings at checkout may be less valuable to you than padding your rewards balance. And, unfortunately, you can’t choose which form you want your deal to take – the rules are the rules.
On the other hand, if you prefer to save money upfront to playing around with gift card redemption partners later, Discover Deals probably represents an improvement for you.
With Discover Deals, Discover is trying to distinguish itself from other card shopping portals. Some of the deals are targeted, for one thing, unlike the one-size-fits-all options offered by many portals (you can only buy so many flowers). The deals are also automatic if you pay with your Discover card, eliminating the log-in-click-through requirement most portals require.
However, the savings are only as good as Discover’s retail partners. There have been some rumblings in our forum that long-time ShopDiscover partners aren’t available through Discover Deals.
Interested in test-driving the Discover Deals program? Its rewards cards will get you in for no annual fee.