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Discover Card Rewards Catalog

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Discover Card Network LogoToday we’ll be taking a look at the Discover Card rewards catalog, the final in our series of reward catalog reviews. The reason I kept Discover for last was because it’s less widely accepted and because their rewards catalog is very simple. Until taking a look today, I didn’t even know they had a rewards catalog because I always converted my cash back rewards into statement credits. When Citi converts points into cash at 0.69¢ and American Express does it at 0.60¢, I’ll take the full value 1¢ every single day.

However, there are instances where you may not want cash.

Discover Rewards Catalog

Discover is the least sophisticated of the reward catalogs but one of the most rewarded. On most of their cards, you don’t accumulate points, you accumulate cash back. You can always convert the cash back directly into cash but you are given the opportunity to get a bonus if you convert it into something else such as some products, gift cards, or charity donations.

Discover’s product catalog is significantly smaller than other reward catalogs. As of this writing there were only 27 products, seven of which were different varieties of Apple iPod nanos, shuffles, and touches. It’s hard to say how their gift card selection compares, since it’s fairly sized and at least on par with other reward catalogs.

The Best Rewards

The best reward in the Discover catalog is, of course, cash. Since you accumulate your rewards in “cash,” the conversion is simple – you get a penny for each penny of cash back you’ve acquired. This gives values each penny at 1¢, which is far better than the 0.69¢ at Citi and 0.60¢ at American Express. One limitation of requesting cash or a statement credit is that the minimum redemption amount is $50.

Products

I looked at a bunch of products and none of them offered a good deal. Since your rewards are valued as cash, the decision is simple. If you can buy it cheaper on the street, it makes no sense to redeem your cash back for it in the catalog. In every case I looked at, I found the product cheaper by Googling the product name and picking a reputable vendor that appeared.

Gift Cards

However there are certain gift cards in the catalog that will give you a better than $20 to $20 gift card conversion. If you look through the catalog at restaurants, you will usually see a conversion rate better than 1¢. Sometimes they offer a $25 gift card for $20 in cash back rewards (Ace Hardware, Men’s Wearhouse, etc.) , sometimes it’s a $50 gift card for $45 (Chili’s, Olive Garden, Red Robin, etc.), and in rare cases it was doubled, a $40 gift card for $20 (Alamo Rent A Car, Princess Cruises, etc.). Fortunately you can see the rewards based on value (Double Your Reward, $30 for $20, $25 for $20, $50 for $45, etc.)

If you regularly shop at these places, it might be worth your while to redeeming your cash back rewards as a gift card as it values it at greater than 1¢ a piece!

The Best Value Rewards System

In terms of value per reward point, in this case it’s already cash back, you can’t beat Discover Card. In every other catalog, you had to convert points to a $100 gift card before you could get a penny a point in value. With Discover, you start at a penny a point and work your way up to as high as 2¢ in value at the Double Your Reward merchant gift cards.

What’s nice about starting at 1¢ is that you know your 1% or 5% in cash back rewards is actually 1% or 5%. If you have a Citi card, you have to discount it by 30% so 1% in points is actually worth only 0.7% in cash. If you have an American Express card, 1% is only 0.6% in cash rewards. No need with Discover.

Now we just need more places to accept it!

(Photo: thetruthabout)

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16 Responses to “Discover Card Rewards Catalog”

  1. Julio says:

    Discover Card is actually the only other card my wife and I use for cash back, and we use it exclusively for the 5% categories. What is nice about the 5% categories is that they are not tiered like the rest of their cash back program. We each have a card and are authorized users on each other’s account, so when we reach the cap on one account, we switch to the other to maximize our rewards. We then use the cash back to get the gift cards, which effectively increases the 5% earned. They also have exclusive 5% promotions throughout the year and are usually by invitation only, that increases your cash back potential. This year we had 5% at Sam’s Club with $400 caps. That was $40 on both accounts that was converted to $50 gift cards. Not bad for doing things we normally do anyway.

  2. zapeta says:

    I didn’t even know that Discover had a rewards program other than cash. Still, looks like there are some good value rewards from their program.

  3. emiliosic says:

    If you happen to have a baby or toddler in day care, KinderCare (perhaps the largest provider in the country) only accepts Discover or checks via their online payment system.
    With an infant and a toddler in day care, this accounts for more than my mortgage, so Discover’s reward program is a welcome 1% relief.

  4. eric says:

    Yup I like Discover’s program. I tend to get the gift cards that add the extra bit of value.

  5. Debra says:

    Another Discover benefit, which I haven’t used in awhile but assume they still have: if you’re an internet shopper go to discover.com and check out their retail partners. They have a long list of stores of a wide variety where you get discounts (varying percentages)off internet purchases made w/the card by accessing the store’s site through the Discover Card site.
    Also check out their Secure Online Account Numbers system where Discover assigns a different account number each time you use your card on-line. These are linked to your main account number and the charges show up on your regular statement, but it saves you from ever having to use your actual account number on the internet. I’ve used this feature a lot & think it’s a great security measure.

  6. SavingEverything says:

    YES, Discover Card’s online shopping website allows you to get cashback bonus awards depending on who the merchant/retailer is. I never used it; but it looks good as most retailers offer 5% cashback when you use Discover Card and the site. However, you may or may not get a better deal with Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Mall, AMEX’s bonus points mall (most 3x ponts only), Citibank’s shopping thankyoupoints, Bank of America Add It Up program, Sovereign Bank, Citizens Bank, and many others.

    • emiliosic says:

      Since I’m also enrolled in miles programs from several airlines, and I don’t fly for work as much anymore, I usually use the online mall feature on most if not all airlines to keep the miles from expiring.
      Also UPromise has a similar program

  7. theora55 says:

    Discover offers increased cashback on certain types of purchases for specified times. For a few months, I got 5% back on gas. I used my Discover cashback on Lowe’s giftcards to get a 20% discount on supplies for a home project.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I really appreciate discover card. I store up points and then go for the stores like barnes and noble or ace and get 25 for 20. Discover card will call if some odd purchase shows up on my account just to check to see if its okay. They are always patient and friendly.

  9. Joe Septa says:

    I used the Discover card and it was excellent for a number of years, then I noticed my rewards shrinking. They changed the terms to reflect 1% reward for purchased over $300 (it may have been $500) and a lesser amount for purchases of over $100 and a lesser amount for purchases under $100. I stopped using it years ago

  10. janet rice says:

    How do I get into the rewards to use for NCL. where do I find this? thank you

  11. TOM BOYLEN says:

    I HAVE A AT & T PLATINUM MASTERCARD THAT I HAVE HAD SINCE 1991. I AM INTERESTED IN GETTING A DISCOVER CASH REWARDS CARD. ARE THESE CARDS STILL AVAILABLE? PLEASE LET ME KNOW AND ALSO HOW TO GO ABOUT GETTING ONE. I PAY MY ACCOUNTS ON TIME AND IN FULL AT THE END OF THE MONTH WHEN I RECEIVE A BILL. THANK YOU……..TOM BOYLEN

  12. pat garrett says:

    Whatmust I do to get a Platinum card?

  13. YVONNE says:

    WHERE CAN I SEE A REWARDS CATALOG?

  14. Henry Owen says:

    Can anybody tell me how I can cash in my points, (Either in a purchase, presumably via catalog or in cash)

    Henry

  15. Charles Ham says:

    Please send me an electronic list of gift card partners with whom I might exchange reward points for gift certificates. I am especially interested in restaurant gift certificates to be redeemed for points. Thank you.


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