How to Maximize the Discover It 5% Bonus for Q2 2018: Grocery Stores

The Discover It 5% cash back category for Q2  (April-June) 2018 is grocery stores. As a reminder, you need to activate the 5% promo to receive the cashback bonus. Earn up to 5% on up to $1,500 in combined category purchases when you activate.

If you're in the first year of your Discover It card, then the 5% cash back is 10% with Cashback Match. 

You can view credit card offers by going to the "Credit Card Offers" tab. Find offers for the respective cards in "Cash Back Credit Cards." You don't have to use our links, but we're grateful when you do. Thank you for supporting AskSebby!

The reason why Discover Q2 categories sound familiar is that it's the same exact category for the Chase Freedom card as well. Learn more about the Chase Freedom Q2 categories here. 

Discover It vs. Chase Freedom

If you're in the first year of your Discover card, it makes sense to take advantage of the Cashback Match.

Discover It = 5% for groceries
     = 10% if in Year 1
     = 5% if in Year x

Chase Freedom = 5x for groceries, PayPal, Chase Pay
     = 5% as a statement credit
     = 6.25% with CSP
     = 7.5% with CSR
     = 10%+ via transfer partners (CSP/CSR/CIP)

If your Discover card is not in the first year, then you have some balancing to do between the Discover and Chase Freedom cards. 

The Chase Freedom card extracts more value from Ultimate Reward points when you transfer the points to a Chase Sapphire card to redeem for travel. In the example below, if you maximize the 5x with grocery stores alone using the Chase Freedom, you'll receive more value than the Discover card.

Assumptions
Discover != Year 1
discover_max_value = 5%
freedom_max_value = range(5% to 10%)

Spend
Groceries = $1,500
PayPal = $0
Chase Pay = $0

Allocation
Groceries = $1,500
     = 100% to Chase Freedom

For most people, it depends if the merchants you shop at take Chase Pay or PayPal to earn the 5x points. 

In the example below, I use the Discover card that's in the first year to maximize the groceries category, and I use the Chase Freedom to maximize the PayPal category. 

Assumptions
Discover != Year 1
discover_max_value = 5%
freedom_max_value = range(5% to 10%)

Spend
Groceries = $1,500
PayPal = $1,500
Chase Pay = $0

Allocation
Groceries = $1,500
     = 100% to Discover
PayPal = $1,500
     = 100% to Freedom

If you're having a hard time maximizing the grocery store category near the end of the quarter, buying store-branded gift cards are always an option.