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Discover All The Rules Before You Apply

A reader recently posted an irate comment that accused Discover of lying about the reward program for its More credit card.

We don’t think that’s the case.

All of the rules are spelled out on the card’s Web site.

But we understand why he’s angry because Discover has made its reward system needlessly complicated and confusing.

The rebates it promotes to new customers – 1% on everything you buy and a 5% bonus rebate on some types of purchases – come with too many strings attached.

So let’s grab a magnifying glass and take a look at the fine print:

You’ll actually earn 0.25% cash back, not 1%, on the first $3,000 in non-bonus purchases each year.

That’s because you must charge $3,000 before the 1% rebate kicks in.

Each year, on the anniversary of your account, you’ve got to start all over and charge another $3,000 before you begin earning your 1% rebate.

Discover publishes a calendar of categories that will earn 5% each quarter of the year.

From October through December, for example, cardholders earn 5% on restaurant bills and clothing purchased at department and specialty stores.

You don’t earn that 5% automatically. You must register each quarter on the Discover Web site.

You start earning the full bonus immediately, even if you haven’t reached the $3,000 minimum required to trigger the 1% general rebate.

Unfortunately, that 5% rebate is capped at anywhere from $200 to $800 in purchases, which limits your bonus on those types of purchases from $10 or $40 a quarter.

Purchases within those categories that exceed the limit go back to earning 0.25%, unless you’ve spent enough to qualify for the 1% rebate. In that case, you’ll receive 1% cash back.

Got that?

Discover urges customers to “See how it all adds up.”

Unfortunately you’ll need some patience and a calculator to do that.

Comments (3)
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3 Existing Comments
  1. Mick said:
    on September 20th at 10:36 am

    They’re really going to make us work for this, aren’t they? Plastic used to be straightforward — now, you need an accounting degree to figure out if you’re really getting anything for your rewards. And then you have to beg for them. Bah.

  2. barry said:
    on September 20th at 03:32 pm

    Discover is the WORST credit card to have, mainly due to their ridiculous reward programs and ever changing categories. I had 3 discover cards up untill 2 years ago when i figured out they are a ripoff!!.Ther GAS and AUTO card is a total ripoff– IIT’s capped at $100.00 per month of all gas and auto expenses. So you get $5.00 per month rebate on gas and you must get $20.00 in order to redeem, but wait, the $20.00 takes 4 months to get (5.00 x4 = 20.00)and you must redeem for merchandise certificate!! They prey on the uneducated. I do much better (and you will to) with PenFed.org account. You join for $5.00 forever. What you get is 1) 5% on gas unlimited/ 2% on supermarkets and 1.5% on everything else. The beauty of this!!! They credit your account with rewards cash the following month. I spent 320.00 on gas last month and got a credit on my bill of $16.00 plus all the 2% at supermarkets and the other places for a total credit of 31.50 this month. Discover can shove it. Also AMEX has a similar card for small business and they

  3. Stanley said:
    on September 21st at 03:06 pm

    Merchants tend not to like Discover because they charge them more for a swipe.