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No, your Discover Cashback Bonus does not expire — even if you close your account or it is closed due to inactivity. Instead, Discover will send you a check with your earnings if your account is closed or you don't use it for 18 months. Per the Discover FAQs page:
“Rewards have no expiration. We will credit your account or send you a check with your Cashback Bonus balance if your account is closed or if you have not used it within 18 months.”
How to Earn Discover Cashback Bonus
Earning a Discover Cashback Bonus is relatively straightforward. You earn 5% cashback on select quarterly bonus categories — up to $1,500 per quarter for a maximum of $75 cashback per quarter. You earn 1% back after that and on non-bonus category spending.
To earn the 5% bonus, you need to activate it by registering. And remember that your bonus cash back only begins after registration each quarter. So if you hold the Discover it® Cash Back card, make sure you register for the bonus as early as possible each quarter.
Discover's policy differs greatly from how the Chase Freedom Flex℠ works. This card also has rotating 5% bonus categories, but the earning policy is much more generous. Once you register for the current quarter, you will earn for the whole quarter — even purchases made before you registered.
2023 Discover 5% Cashback Calendar
In 2023, the Discover 5% cashback calendar is being rolled out quarter-by-quarter. Here's what we know so far:
- Q1 (January through March): Grocery stores, drug stores, and select streaming services
- Q2 (April through June): Restaurant and wholesale clubs
- Q3 (July through September): announced June 1
- Q4 (October through December): announced September 1
A quick look at the fine print will tell you that you need to watch out when doing your grocery shopping store in Q2. Per the terms and conditions, the following do not qualify for the 5% bonus:
“Purchases of affiliated Wholesale Club services, such as delivery services, travel, and cell phone purchases, may not be eligible in this category. Individual merchants and stand-alone stores within physical Wholesale club locations, or online, may not be eligible in this category.”
With a cash back bonus that does not expire, the Discover program is a great way to maximize the return on everyday spending. Integrating the 5% bonus into your overall financial strategy is a great way to ensure that you get the most out of every dollar you spend. You just need to remember to register for your bonus at the beginning of every quarter.
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