8 Ways To Maximize Discover Card Cash Rewards

Posted by Madison on February 8, 2011

Lately, my Discover More card has been getting a lot more use, with all of their current promotions.

You can make out pretty well and earn a significant amount of cash back by mixing and matching all of their various bonus rewards programs right now.

Here’s a summary of how I’m navigating the Discover card reward structure to maximize all of the possible rewards.

From figuring out the spending tiers to maximizing the quarterly cash back, here’s what I’m doing:

How to Maximize Discover More Cash Rewards

  1. No Fee Balance Transfer. Obviously, if you’re just getting the Discover More this month, the first money maker is to utilize the no fee 0% balance transfer for 12 months.
  2. Crush First Spending Tier. After you’ve used your balance transfer, which I have, it’s time to break through the first spending tier. I quickly charge the $3,000 in January each year so I don’t have to worry about the cash back tiers for the rest of the year. Don’t have $3,000 in purchases to make? A fast, easy way to do this for free is by purchasing U.S. Mint dollar coins.
  3. Quarterly 5% Cash Back. Each quarter, I’ve been maximizing the 5% Rotating cash back. Getting 5% cashback on restaurants and travel this quarter is nice, and I’m looking forward to the March cashback for 5% on grocery and drugstores!
  4. Double Cash Back Birthday Bonus. Jill’s new find of the Discover Double Cashback Birthday Bonus will come in handy when my birthday rolls around this spring.
  5. Cashback Mail Offers. Discover More sent me an offer in the mail to get a $500 cashback bonus if you spend $3,000 each month from February until June. My husband received a $150 cashback offer for $1,000 purchases each month. If you tossed out your mail already, you can try calling the signup number at 1-866-645-1436 to see if they sent you one. I always try to enroll in these just in case I’ll hit the spending levels; if I want to make sure I’ll hit it, I’ll order some additional dollar coins each month. These mail offers are on top of the regular cash back bonuses, so now you can see where the cash back is really starting to add up.
  6. Shop Discover. During the holidays, I can’t believe how many times I used the ShopDiscover cash back program over Ebates and Mr. Rebates. It seems like they are really trying to compete by offering the highest cash back at many of the stores I shop at. Now, it’s one of the first places I check before making an online purchase.
  7. 20% cash back at Groupon. One of my friends is hooked on Groupon right now. You can make it an even better deal by going through your ShopDiscover program to access Groupon and you’ll get 20% cash back.
  8. Redemption Bonuses. Once you’ve racked up all the Discover cash back above it’s time to cash out your cash back. If you redeem your cash back for gift cards (like Lowes, Sears, etc.) you’re cash back will go even further.

A Lot of Cash Back

I’ve been working on computing the actual cash back percentage I’m earning. But to be honest, it’s like a moving target. The mail offer is an extra 3.33% on top of the quarterly 5% or standard 1% (or 2% in your birthday month), then if you compound the ShopDiscover program and redemption bonuses…. well, I think you see my point.

I’ve wasted a lot of time building a spreadsheet to calculate it for each category and store, but each time I think I have zeroed in on my earnings, they add another bonus program! (Bonus points if you want to finalize the math on this one for me.)

For now, we’re just going to assume that if you take advantage of all of these programs together, it’s going to be the best cash back rewards right now.

Obviously, I’m loving my Discover More card again!

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Comments to 8 Ways To Maximize Discover Card Cash Rewards

  1. Madison, you’re a genius.


  2. Seems like a lot of effort, especially buying dollar coins. I just use a 2% cashback card for regular purchases and rotate in the Discover card during the 5% quarterly spending events (which doesn’t amount to much…usually a cap of 200-800 per quarter).


    • Hi,

      I was wondering how the 20% cash back deal with Groupon works more specifically?



      • You have to use the Discover.com site to portal through to the retialer. Login to your discover site account and go to ShopDiscover link. Find Groupon in the listing of retailers and click on the links to take you to the Groupon site. Then continue to make your purchase using your Discover card. Once the transaction posts to your account, you’ll receive a cashback bonus amount in whatever % offered at that time for the amount of the purchase. It may take a few days for the cashback bonus to post.


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