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Credit Cards

Here's Discover's 5% cash-back calendar

Here are the bonus 5% cash-back categories for eligible Discover credit cards in 2022.

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Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers, but not all offers on Select are from affiliate partners.

Discover has released its 2022 cash-back calendar, and there are some new categories as well as some old favorites.

Below, Select reviews the Discover cash-back calendar for 2022, plus how you can use a 5% cash-back card to your advantage.

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Discover cash-back calendar for 2022

Discover revealed its full 5% cash-back calendar for 2022, so you can take a look at the bonus categories for the whole year. Once cardholders activate the offer, they can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending (then 1%).

  • January to March (closed): Grocery stores and fitness clubs & gym memberships (excludes Walmart and Target purchases)
  • April to June (closed): Gas stations and Target
  • July to September (activate now): Restaurants and PayPal
  • October to December (activate starting Aug. 1): Amazon.com and digital wallets*

*Digital wallets include Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Garmin Pay.

Discover cardholders that can benefit from 5% cash back include: Discover it® Cash Back, Discover it® Student Cash Back, NHL® Discover it® and Discover it® Balance Transfer.

How 5% cash-back credit cards work

To earn 5% cash back, you're required to activate bonus categories each quarter. After you activate bonus categories, you can start earning 5% cash back on eligible spending. Discover lets you set up email alerts and you can add reminders to your calendar so you don't forget to activate.

Earning 5% cash back isn't unlimited. Each quarter, after you spend a combined $1,500 in the bonus categories, the cash-back rate drops to 1%. This maximum spending requirement resets every quarter.

All other purchases made outside the bonus categories automatically earn unlimited 1% cash back. If you want to optimize the amount of cash back you can earn, we recommend using an alternative cash-back or rewards credit card for spending outside the bonus categories, so you earn at least 2% or 2 points per dollar spent.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card ranks as No.1 cash-back card with no annual fee and now earns cardholders 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining at restaurants (including eligible takeout and delivery services), 4.5% on drugstore purchases and 3% on all other purchases. This means cardholders are earning an extra 1.5% on everything they buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).

The Citi® Double Cash Card is the runner-up and earns cardholders an effective 2% cash back: 1% when they buy and 1% when they pay for purchases.

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Information about the NHL® Discover it® has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.

For rates and fees of the Discover it® Cash Back, click here.

For rates and fees of the Discover it® Student Cash Back, click here.

For rates and fees of the Discover it® Balance Transfer, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.