I have been a Discover Card customer since 2001 and I’ve been using it as my primary credit card for almost all purchases for the past 4 years. Since I don’t really carry any balances on my credit cards and don’t take advantage of cash advance features, there is only one thing I look for when I choose a credit card: rewards. I believe Discover Card offers one of the best rewards to their cardholders when they use their Discover credit card.
Cash Back Rewards Program
As you can see, I have accumulated over $300 in cash rewards by using my Discover Card for my purchases. You can find your Cashback Bonus Summary located inside your monthly statement. It tells you your balance amount and the newly earned cash back bonus from the billing period. In one of my months, I redeemed $300 of my bonus to help me pay for my HDTV.
ShopDiscover, Discover Card’s online shopping portal, was first launched in 2006 and since has helped Discover gain market share in credit card online shopping rewards, as they compete with ShopAmex of American Express and Ultimate Rewards of Chase Freedom. Other credit card companies are slowly launching their own online shopping portal to offer rewards incentives to customers. When card holders use their Discover Card to make purchases through ShopDiscover, they can earn additional cash back rewards, of up to 20% cash back.
How It Works
Every time you use your Discover Card to make purchases online or from a brick and mortar merchant, you get cash back bonus. No catch, no membership fees, no nothing. There are no additional steps you need to take. You are automatically signed up to receive the bonus. However, these default bonuses are only 1% of your total purchase price. So, if you spend $1000 in the billing cycle, you will earn $10. The balance will continue to accumulate month after month until you decide to redeem it. There is no expiration date. It’s not much, but it’s something and they do add up. However, if you put in just a little more effort, you can earn even more bonuses. ShopDiscover is one way to help you earn additional bonuses. ShopDiscover is Discover Card’s online shopping portal where if you make a purchase through one of their affiliated online merchants found at discovercard.com, you will receive additional cash back bonus. These bonuses can range from 5% to 20%, depending on the merchant.
For a complete list of participating merchants, you can click here.
After signing up for your very own Discover Card, log onto your Discover Card account and simply click on Rewards tab on the home page to discover current promotion they’re running. Each month, information for promotions from various merchants will be provided, so it’s wise to check your account online on a regular basis.
Extra Cash Back Bonus
Every couple months or so, Discover Card offers Extra Cash Back Bonus on top of what you already earn from regular purchases. For instance, for the months of April – June, you will receive 5% cash back bonus when you make your purchases using your Discover Card at home improvement stores, department stores, and clothing stores. Next month, it’ll be something entirely different. But make sure you sign up for it or you’ll miss out on big savings. One thing I’m not a big fan of is they put a cap on how much you can earn on these Extra Cash Back Bonuses. The most you can earn is 5% of purchases of up to $200 in the given time period. If you spend over $200, you will receive only 1% of the purchases made since the $200 cap. However, the cap refreshes when the given time period expires.
What To Do With Extra Money Saved?
So if you would like to save additional money to help you buy an HDTV like I did, sign up for Discover Card and enjoy their full range of their cash back rewards programs such as ShopDiscover. If you’re not currently in the market for a new tv, open up an online savings account, such as HSBC, to earn even more money. HSBC is a highly reputable bank that offers high yield interest rate through their online savings account. Their interest rate is typically 4x the national statement average so you know you are getting the most out of your money. By putting your money in a high yield interest online savings account such as HSBC, you’ll be earning money from basically free money.