Discover’s 4Q Bonus Categories Announced & It’s Not Good – Goodbye Online Shopping!

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discover 4q 2015 categories

Discover’s 4Q Categories Look Familiar!

Discover has released the exact details of which categories will earn 5% in the 4th quarter of 2015. Unfortunately, unlike in past years, online shopping is not one of them. In fact, the 4th quarter categories look very very familiar.

The 4Q Categories

discover 4q 2015 categories

  • Department Stores
  • Clothing Stores

In case it isn’t obvious, the 4Q categories are almost identical to the 3Q categories. The only difference is that home improvement stores have been replaced with clothing stores. Is this a sign that Discover is already seeing too much financial commitment with Double Cashback?

The Loss of Online Shopping

While I don’t know for sure, having them keep the categories almost the same seems to be an indication that perhaps Discover hopes people won’t maximize the same categories two quarters in a row. The online shopping category was among the easiest to max out, so I am a little disappointed. At the very least they could have mixed things up a bit, but my guess is the category stagnation is calculated.


Since department stores are still on the list, there is definitely opportunity with purchasing Sears gift cards and then merchandise through the Discover Deals portal (and even perhaps $200 Visas in-store), but I would still prefer to have online shopping as a 4Q category. This 4th quarter it may not pay to Discover. Nah, who am I kidding? Double Cashback still rocks!

HT: Doctor of Credit

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  1. The money right now is in the 10% cash back Discover Deals. I just logged in and saw that juicy rate for Sears (and K Mart), Nordstroms, Saks, Sports Authority, GNC and others. 20% (10 now, 10 next summer)? Yes please!

  2. Here’s something interesting about the department stores category: many Macy’s stores have an upscale “vending” machine that sells electronic items such as iPads, iPods, etc. plus the accessories that go with them. I have used Macy’s gift cards to make these purchases in the past. Getting 10% (5 now, 5 later) off these items as a Q4 category isn’t a bad deal either. And, as for the rest of the store, there’s the opportunity to earn Plenti points which can be lucrative IF you use your Discover card AND buy items that are eligible for a much higher Plenti earnings rate activated on the Plenti website.

      • Plenti is an absolutely dismal rewards program. I bought a $60 pair of shoes at Macys and earned, as I recall, a fraction of a cent! The ONLY way to make money thru Plenti is via a specific activated promotion. Any additional non-promotional shopping would most accurately include the Plenti component factored in at close to zero.

  3. Yea. Probably doesnt make sense financially. Online shopping as a Q4 category is too much and too broad w/ Double Cashback. They dont need to be that generous to retain customers. Already an incredible card w/ no annual fee like the Chase Freedom. They should make a new customer signup bonus that provides the online shopping as a Q4 category. That would get people signing up.

  4. I think they are. I logged into my discover deals and noticed almost all the cashback promos are gone. The ones left are just discounts (I.e. 15% off).


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