Note: The ShopDiscover program has been discontinued and replaced with Discover Deals. The information below is for reference purposes only.
As I’m sure you know just about every credit card company now has their own online shopping portal (like ShopDiscover) to let their cardmembers accumlate rewards.
They more or less all work the same way… you log in to your account and from there, click on the retailer with whom you wish to shop. A cookie is placed on your browser when this happens and the credit card company gets a kickback for any purchases you make on the store’s website. They then turn around and give a chunk of this money back to the cardholder. That’s how they can afford to give you such high cash back.
3 ShopDiscover Tips You Need To Know…
Being that they were among the first credit card “malls” it comes as no surprise they have one of the largest selections (the ShopDiscover retailers list is huge) and some of the highest cardholder payouts around. And if you play your cards right (literally) you can save even more money when using this program. Here are 3 tips every savvy shopper must know:
1. Use coupon codes (but exercise caution)
Sure, saving 10% at 1800Contacts.com is already a nice chunk of money, but I save even more by using a coupon code in conjunction with ShopDiscover. Of course every retailer is different and I can’t guarantee this always works, but for me it has.
However, you need to be careful and do this in the right way! Just about every coupon website places their own cookie on your browser when you click on a store’s link (or they do it through those annoying coupon copy/paste boxes). If you did this after you already entered the store through the ShopDiscover portal, the coupon website’s cookie may very well wipe out the Discover cookie… and that would mean the transactions wouldn’t count!
So gather your coupon codes ahead of time, before accessing ShopDiscover. As an added pre-caution, it may not be a bad idea to clear your cookies before entering.
2. Check the ShopDiscover retailer list often!
If you’ve been a Discover cardmember for a while, it’s easy to just assume you already know the participating retailers. However, a sizable portion of the merchants, perhaps a third – don’t remain constant. So, it only makes sense to check in from time to time to take advantage of any special promotional merchants and/or offers going on.
For example during the Christmas season a year ago, Groupon was a special participant with a whopping 20% Cashback Bonus! I didn’t find out about it until December which was really too bad, because during the month of November I had spent $45 buying 3 Groupon restaurant deals. If I would have checked ShopDiscover first and saw that, I would have been able to save an extra nine bucks!
So as a general rule of thumb, always check their website before spending money online… you never know what new participants might pop up.
3. Don’t get short-changed when you redeem!
Last but not least, how you spend your Shop Discover Cashback Bonus is also extremely important!
In order to get the maximum value for your accumulated Cashback Bonus, be careful when selecting your redemption options. If you choose direct deposit or statement credit, the rewards you get will be at face value (i.e. $100 in Cashback Bonus will equal $100). But with other options like the partner gift cards, you will be able to get a lot more for your money, since the value of the gift cards are always above the face value. Lately, Discover has started to offer more merchandise, but I still find the partner gift cards offer the most bang for your buck. So, even though getting straight cash as a statement credit might seem prudent you will be leaving value on the table going that route.
Do you have the best Discover card for 2015?
If you don’t have the brand new Discover it card, then you’re missing out! Why? Because unlike their older cards, the Discover it card gives a full 1% on non-category spending (compare that to the More card, which only gives 1/4% on the first $3,000 spent and 1% thereafter). So if you don’t have the Discover it card I would strongly recommend you apply for it – because if not – you’re largely missing out on how much cash back you could be earning.
Already have it? For other spending outside of the Shop Discover program, you may want to check out my other top cash back credit cards to make sure you are getting the maximum rewards possible.