Discover More Rotating Categories For 2012


Discover More has announced their rotating categories for 2012. There are some significant changes and we will highlight those versus the categories from previous years.

Below is the 2012 rotating categories:

January-March: Gas, Museums, Movies (cap of $1500 in spending in these categories)
April-June: Restaurants and Movies (cap of $1500 in spending in these categories)
July-September: Gas, Movies, Theme Parks (cap not announced yet)
October-December: Department Stores, Electronics Stores, Toy Stores (cap not announced yet)

The first observation is that Discover has completely removed the “travel categories” of airline, hotel, car rental and cruises for 2012. In 2011, these categories were available in the first quarter. Groceries, drugstore and home improvement categories are also no longer available. For 2012, the movie and gasoline categories appear for two quarters. For gasoline, you can earn 5% in the first and third quarter. For the movie category, you can earn 5% rebates in the first and second quarter. This makes it a very good gasoline card since there are hardly any cards that pay 5% cash back on gas these days. The fourth quarter category looks like it is geared up for the holiday shopping season with department stores, electronic stores and toy stores all earning 5% cash back.

Overall, I would say that Discover has taken away some categories (negative), and extended a couple of existing categories for two quarters (positive). What is not clear is why were certain categories removed. Were they not popular or was it too popular?

Discover Rotating Categories for 2011

January – March 2011: Airlines, car rentals, hotels, cruises, restaurants. Sign up now for your January through March rewards.
Also in March 2011: Grocery and drug stores.
April – June 2011: Home improvement, department stores, clothing stores.
Also in June 2011: Gasoline.
July – September 2011: Gas, hotels, movies, theme parks.
October-December: Restaurants and fashion, department stores

The 2011 rotating categories for Discover is slightly different from 2010. Firstly, the first quarter categories are changed to include mainly travel categories. In 2010, the first quarter categories were grocery and drugstores, which is only available as a 5% category in March 2011. The second quarter categories resembled those of 2010 with home improvement being the most prominent category (since most home improvement starts in spring!). The third quarter categories are also almost the same as 2010 except that they have added the theme parks. So for those who love to go to theme parks during the summer break will enjoy a 5% rebate (which is equivalent to a discount). Finally, the fourth quarter is essentially unchanged from 2010, though they added department stores in the last minute.

Discover Rotating Categories For 2010

Jan-March 2010: 5% cash back on purchases at grocery stores and drug stores.
April-June 2010: 5% cash back on home and fashion. This includes home improvement stores, department stores, and clothing stores.
July-Sept 2010: 5% cash back on gas, hotels, and movies. This includes purchases at gas stations, hotels, movie theaters, and on movie rentals.
Oct-Dec 2010: 5% cash back on restaurants and fashion. This includes purchases at restaurants, department stores, and clothing stores.

Discover in 2010 added what we would term a 5% rotating category to their cash back rewards. What this means for card holders is that you can earn 5% when you use the card at stores which belong to these categories. Bear in mind that they change every three months. But having 5% categories that change every three months allow Discover to continue to pay 5% rebates for cardholders. In contrast, there are hardly any cash back cards today paying 5% rebates on a category for the whole year round.

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