Discover’s 2022 Cashback Bonus Calendar Includes Exciting Changes

You’re surely just as shocked as I am that it is somehow already November. Not that I’m complaining, but this year has really flown by. And, as the new year approaches, Discover has released its 5% Cashback Bonus Calendar for 2022, featuring a few changes from this year’s category line-up.

For those unfamiliar, select Discover credit cards like the Discover It include rotating 5% bonus categories. Each quarter, cardholders can earn that 5% rate on up to $1,500 in purchases across select categories in order to earn up to $75 cashback. However, in order to unlock these bonuses, customers will need to activate these offers — although Discover does a good job of reminding cardholders to do so.

Before we get to my thoughts on the 2022 calendar, let’s take a look at how it shakes out:

  • January-March 2022: Grocery Stores (excluding Walmart and Target) and Fitness Club & Gym Memberships
  • April-June 2022: Gas Stations and Target
  • July-September 2022: Restaurants and Paypal
  • October-December 2022: Amazon.com and Digital Wallets

For comparison, here’s what this year’s calendar looked like:

  • January-March 2021: Grocery Stores (excluding Walmart and Target), Walgreens, and CVS
  • April-June 2021: Gas Stations, Wholesale Clubs, and Select Streaming Services
  • July-September 2021: Restaurants and Paypal
  • October-December 2021: Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com

To me, there are a few interesting things here. The first is the inclusion of Target in Q2. Previously, the retailer has continually been excluded from the grocery category (alongside Walmart) as many card issuers do but was also featured on the Q4 calendar in years past. That said, for the past couple of years, it was only the online version of Target that qualified, so it’s good to see physical store purchases not only return but also move to another part of the calendar.

Elsewhere, perhaps the most exciting addition in my eyes is the Digital Wallets category. Considering how ubiquitous Apple Pay is becoming, this is practically a “5% back anywhere” category at this point. This coupled with the longtime Amazon category from October to December 2022 should make for a strong holiday quarter.

As for disappointments, as a Sam’s Club member, I’m a bit sad to see that there’s no Warehouse Clubs category this time around. I know this won’t be the case for most but I’d actually rather have Warehouse Clubs for Q3 over Restaurants. Of course, that’s purely because the 4x my Amex Gold earns on dining (or 3x the Capital One SavorOne earns) is good enough, while none of my current cards offer enhancements for Warehouse Club spend and even specifically exclude them from Grocery categories.

All in all, I think Discover’s 2022 Cashback Calendar is pretty strong. In my eyes, the bank has continually found a good balance between keeping things that customers like and keeping things fresh — which they’ve pulled off once again. Thus, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the calendar next year to ensure I make the most of my Discover It card each quarter.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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