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Discover Announces 2021 5% Cashback Calendar

The Discover It Cash Back is one of the most popular cash back credit cards on the market. Like its now-famous competitor, the Chase Freedom Flex, Discover offers a rotating calendar of 5% cash back categories. Discover is now revealing its new 2021 5% Cashback Calendar. Here are the details.

2021 Discover 5% Cashback Calendar

The biggest news with the new Cashback Calendar from Discover is the change from Uber/Lyft to streaming services.

While Uber/Lyft was a great category (especially since the 5% back also applied towards Uber Eats food delivery), the addition of streaming services potentially adds greater value. With services such as Apple TV+, Hulu, Sling, and Netflix (as well as music services like Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify, Q2 looks to be a very lucrative one for a wider swathe of Discover It cardholders.

How Does the 2021 Discover 5% Calendar Compare to 2020?

Beyond streaming services in Q2, the Discover 5% Cashback Calendar is the same as 2020’s. For reference, here’s the 2020 Discover Calendar:

The 2020 Calendar, for its part, was a huge step forward from the 2019 edition:

2019 Discover It Cashback Calendar

  • January to March: Grocery stores
  • April to June: Gas stations, Uber, and Lyft
  • July to September: Restaurants
  • October to December: Amazon.com

The 2021 changes might not be impressive in themselves, but the 2021 Discover 5% Calendar represents excellent value in every quarter. 

Discover doesn’t wait to surprise users with quarterly categories, like Chase. Instead, Discover gives cardmembers advance notice to let them plan their quarterly spending accordingly.

One of the impressive aspects of the Discover Calendar is its durability and adaptability. Discover only made one emergency add-on to the 2020 Calendar due to the coronavirus pandemic. And while Home Depot was a nice feature, it wasn’t a game changer.

The real value with the Calendar is that the categories are broad enough to meet any challenge – especially PayPal (Q3), groceries (Q2), and Amazon (Q4).

How to Activate Cashback Categories 

Discover requires cardholders activate the 5% cashback categories before beginning to earn cash back. Discover It cardholders can visit the Discover website to log in and activate their bonus categories a few weeks before the new quarter begins.

The 5% cash back categories only apply to the first $1,500 in purchases that quarter. Once a user exceeds $1,500 in spending in the bonus categories, all other purchases earn an unlimited 1% back.

Related Article: Chase, Discover, & ABOC 5% Cash Back Calendars 2020

Featured photo by Webandi / Pixabay

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Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.