This is crazy, nuts, ridiculous… in a good way. Similar to the Discover It Miles promotion (detailed here and here), Discover is offering new cardholders an unusual signup offer: all cash back earned in the first 12 billing periods will be doubled. Discover It was already a great card for nearly everyone to have (but not necessarily to put spend on outside of its rotating 5% cash back categories). Now it comes with a pretty awesome signup offer too. You can even get $50 in Amazon credit too if you signup through the right link.
That’s really cool, but the amazing part is that Discover is making this deal available to existing card members!
After reading about this in Doctor of Credit’s post, I called Discover to enroll. An agent happily enroll me and confirmed the following details:
- The promotion starts with my next billing cycle. Since my current billing cycle ends on June 6th, all earnings beginning June 7th will be doubled after 12 months.
- Base earnings are doubled (e.g.I’ll earn 1% cash back now and another 1% at the end of the year)
- 5% bonus categories are doubled
- Cash Back earned from the Discover Deals online shopping portal are doubled.
Why I’m so excited
Take a few minutes to go back and read an earlier post of mine: Discover extreme savings. There I showed how it’s often possible to earn 35% cash back from Sears purchases. Imagine if all of that cash back were doubled! Need new appliances? A new TV? New tires? Don’t forget that Sears will price match so buying from Sears doesn’t mean getting a bad price. And, you may want to hurry – Sears is currently at 10% cash back until June 21. If you miss this round, Discover usually increases portal rewards in the fourth quarter of each year, so it may be worth waiting if Sears drops to its usual 5% rate on June 22.
And, that’s not all…
Discover Cash Back isn’t really cash – it’s better than cash. You can redeem it for cash if you want to. Or, you can redeem it for discounted gift cards. One of my favorite options has been to redeem for National Car Rental gift cards. Each $40 gift card costs only $20 in Discover Cash Back. And, you can use up to three of these certificates per rental. The certificates aren’t perfect: you can’t combine them with other coupons, so you can’t really consider them to be “half off”. I tend to get excellent value from them, regardless. Read more here: Discover rental car discounts and upgrades.
Other examples of discount gift cards include:
- Staples: 25% off ($25 gift cards for $20: Only 5 may be used per purchase)
- Gap: 20% off
- Lands’ End: 20% off (note that these no longer work at Sears)
- Talbots: 20% off
- Toms: 20% off
- CVS: 10% off
- Game Stop: 10% off
- Hyatt: 10% off
- Neiman Marcus: 10% off
- Sears: 10% off
- Shell: 6.67% off
- Whole Foods: 6.67% off
Waiting for double
A number of people have pointed out the risk in going too big with this. Since you have to wait a full year for the extra cash back, that give’s Discover plenty of opportunity to close your account if they believe you are abusing the privilege. My guess is that you would have to really go hog wild, though, to get shut down. I guess we’ll see.
For those interested, here are the terms of the double first year cash back offer:
Double First Year Cash Back:After the first 12 consecutive billing periods that your new account is open, we will double all the cash back rewards you’ve earned and apply them to your account in the next billing cycle. You’ve earned rewards when they have posted to your account by the end of the 12th consecutive billing period. You will not receive Double Cash Back if your account is closed or no longer in the cash back reward program as of the award date. This promotional offer may not be offered in the future.
What about Discover It Miles?
A lot of readers probably signed up for the lucrative Discover It Miles card which offered a similar deal. Unfortunately, that card does not have access to the same Discover Deals offers as the regular Discover It card. Discover It Miles is still a fantastic card for non-bonus spend though (1.5% doubles to 3% in the first year). If you have a partner with a regular Discover It card, it should be possible to use their Discover sign-on info to shop through the portal even if you use your Discover It Miles card to pay.