My Game Plan for Discover It Card’s 5% 2nd Quarter Categories

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How I Plan to Maximize Discover It Card's 5% Categories

How I Plan to Maximize Discover It Card’s 5% Categories

Yesterday I went over how I planned on maximizing Chase Freedom’s 2nd quarter 5% categories.  Today I thought I would do the same thing for the Discover It card.  If you haven’t signed up for the quarter yet you can find all of the details and links to the sign up pages HERE for the Chase Freedom, Discover It, and Citi Dividend card.

There will be some overlap with the Discover card and Freedom card’s 2nd quarter since they both have grocery as a category.

RELATED: A Useful But Little Known Discover Card Trick to Use While Traveling

How I Plan to Maximize Discover It Card's 5% Categories

Discover It 2nd Quarter Categories

There is only one category for the Discover It card this quarter but it is a good one:

  • Grocery Stores

This is an easy target to hit and you should be able to max out the $1500 in spend and pocket $75 in cash.  I wanted to go over some of the best options for this quarter.  You could obviously just buy your groceries for the next 3 months and see where you end up but I like to manufacture rewards with my 5X earning cards.

Visa Gift Cards

Going to start today off the same as yesterday.  Buying $500 reloadable Visa gift cards is a great option for this quarter for the Discover It and Chase Freedom cards.  It isn’t the number one option because of the costs involved.  I am more likely to overlook the costs when dealing with cash since it isn’t “paying for points”.  Cash rewards are an important part of the hobby.  They allow you to offset annual fees and other costs associated with earning points.

The cards will cost you between $5.95 and $6.95 a piece with a liquidation cost of at least $1.40 for the 3 cards.  That takes around a $20 bite out of your $75 profit.

Maximizing Gift Card Sales 

This one ties in with Visa gift cards but it is a more patient approach.  There are the people out there who want to get this done right away and knock out the spend.  I get that…it is easier to move onto new things vs risking forgetting about it down the line.

But it may make sense to wait and strike when there is opportunity.  Kroger, Meijer, and Stop & Shop all have recently had or currently have Visa gift card sales ongoing.  Even if you don’t feel comfortable liquidating Visa gift cards these deals make the cards a negative cost.  So you are profiting and earning 5% on the purchase.  You can then use the cards for regular spend.

These deals come around somewhat frequently and I think there is a good chance they will return in the next 3 months if you can’t take advantage of the ones currently active.  The $500 Visa cards will always be there so there is no harm in waiting in an attempt to increase your profits.

3rd Party Gift Card Sales

Grocery stores also have 3rd party gift card sales from time to time that can be profitable.  You can stack these purchases with fuel rewards promos as well.  There is currently a promotion going on for 4X fuel points at Kroger.

If you have any regular purchases coming up for say Target or Amazon you could load up on gift cards from the grocery store for those purchases as well.

This is the approach I will be taking. I will wait and see if any opportunities present itself before going the $500 variable load route.  Some of these deals have really paid off in the past!


Hopefully this gives you a few ideas on how to max out this quarter.  It would be awesome if we get some good deals coming our way.

What is your game plan? Do you plan to get the spending done quickly or are you waiting for the right opportunity to strike?

Another thing to remember is to check the gift cards offered by Discover when redeeming your earnings.  They often have discounted gift cards for sale that can increase your profits even further.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Here’s my plan – I just signed up for the Discover IT card where the first year’s points get doubled. I will have a month to charge $1500 at the grocery store. This is certainly more than what my family would spend in a month, but the plan is to buy extra store gift cards to get up to $1500 so that I get the 5x points which will get doubled. Also part of the plan – whatever the 5% category is for April through June next year – max it out at the beginning of the period – that will maximize the rewards that will get doubled.

  2. There’s also the Citi Dividend MasterCard. I fear that the card will eventually get “enhanced” to the Citi garbage can/history books. Already, they have asked me to convert to Thank You points. The Citi Dividend MasterCard dates to 2005 or slightly earlier. Like the Discover It and Chase Freedom, it has 5% bonus categories but is otherwise a 1% card. For the third quarter 2018, airlines and movies will be the 5% bonus.

    I think that the minimum redemption is $25 so I’ve been afraid that if I am under $25 and the card is “enhanced” by being discontinued, I will lost the accumulated rewards. (If you convert to a Thank You points card, they ask you to redeem your leftover Dividend rewards or they will be forfeited and lost when switching to Thank You points). Luckily, the 3rd quarter will be airlines, which will push me over $25. They also announced 4th quarter 2018 categories, which is department stores and Best Buy so it’s likely that any “enhancement” won’t happen before 2019.

  3. I live in Pittsburgh. Hubby and I buy Giant Eagle gift cards that we use for gas, groceries and 3rd party gift cards. In the first quarter, we buy Giant Eagle gift cards at GetGo (the Giant Eagle gas station). Last year, the cards form the first two quarters (both Discover and Freedom) lasted us until the end of the year.


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