Discover reveals 5 percent cash-back categories for Q1 2017

Discover q1 2017In the new year, the Discover it card will continue the warehouse-club trend and will again offer bonus cash back on certain transportation costs.

The 5 percent cash-back categories for Q1 2017 (Jan. 1 – March 31) will be:

  • Gas stations (stand-alone stations only)
  • Ground transportation: local and suburban commuter transit (including ferries, passenger railways, taxis, limos and charter/tour bus lines)
  • Wholesale clubs

You’ll earn 5 percent back in these categories on up to $1,500 in combined spending. That means a possible total of $75 bonus cash back.

Enrollment starts Dec. 1, 2016. Remember, Discover does not retroactively offer bonus cashback earned before enrollment. So, to maximize all your transportation and wholesale-club purchases, log in to your account and enroll Dec. 1.

Gas and ground transit is a category that’s popped up on rotating-category cards for some time now. Warehouse clubs are a somewhat new category trend that cards have incorporated in a big way this year. Chase’s Freedom card, for example, offered warehouse clubs as a bonus category in quarters 2-4 in 2016. And the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa started including warehouse clubs in its 2 percent cash-back categories in June 2016.

This is the first time Discover has offered a broad warehouse-club category; in Q4 2016, it included only Sam’s Club purchases.

If you think you’ll blow through $1,500 in bonus-category spending quickly and need a back-up card — or if you’re not at all excited about these bonus categories — consider a no-annual-fee card that offers a solid 1.5 percent return on all spending. We have a list of 1.5 percent cash-back cards here.

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