It’s time for the quarterly “you really need a Discover Card” thread. Discover offers some of the most versatile cards out there, with such benefits as excellent customer service and no foreign transaction fees, two features that don’t seem to matter until you need them. They matter. Best of all, Discover pulls it off without an annual fee.
Second Quarter Bonus Categories
One of the reasons that I like this company so much is that it is one of the few that manages to merge strong hard and soft benefits.* You’ll get cash back (which they sometimes call “miles” but is really cash), the rotating categories and, for most of the cards (excluding the miles cards), access to a special cash back shopping area. The cash back shopping is really the hidden gem, with merchants offering at least a 5% rebate. Added bonus: All your rewards are doubled the first year. There is some really big upside here.
Each quarter, the “Discover It” cards offer 5% back in a particular category. The category rotates, but it’s usually one that involves a lot of spending. This quarter (April through June), it’s home improvement stores and wholesale clubs. As we head into spring, those will both be areas in which it is, unfortunately, easy to spend a lot of money. You’ll receive 5% back in those categories up to $1,500 in spend, or $75 cash back. By playing the rotating categories, it’s easy to earn an extra $300 per year.
All credit cards can be found through the banners on the bottom of the “credit cards for charity” page.
Beginner’s Hint: You’ll often hear the term “hard” and “soft” benefits. When it comes to rewards programs, the terms tend to be moving targets, but think of them this way: A hard benefit is something measurable that you earn directly, such as 2% cash back or rotating bonus categories. A soft benefit is one that affects your experience but can’t be measured, such as great customer service.
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And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!