By Adam Jusko, ProudMoney.com, adam@proudmoney.com

Holders of the Discover It credit card will be happy today as Discover is surprisingly enhancing its 5% cash back calendar and will now also be offering 5% cash back on purchases at Walmart.com, Target, and PayPal in the second half of 2019.

Specifically:

  • In the third quarter (July 1 – September 30), Discover It cardholders will get 5% back on purchases via PayPal in addition to the 5% rebate on restaurant purchases previously announced.
  • In the fourth quarter (October 1 – December 31), cardholders can 5% back on purchases at Walmart.com and Target (in store and online), in addition to the 5% rebate on Amazon.com purchases already announced.

Makes Maxing Out Much Easier

As always, cardholders can get the 5% rebates on up to $1500 in spending in those categories during the quarter. These changes should make it much easier to achieve the full $1500 spend in order to get that maximum rebate, something that can be difficult in calendar quarters where the 5% categories don’t easily lend themselves to an average of $500 in purchases every month.

Walmart.com not Walmart Stores

Be sure to note that the 5% rebates on Walmart purchases in Quarter 4 are only on Walmart.com purchases. Specifically this means (according to the Discover 5% Calendar page):

“Walmart.com purchases include those made at Walmart.com and when shopping through the Walmart app (including Grocery Pick Up and Instore Pick Up). Purchases made in store at Walmart Stores, Walmart Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Walmart Pay are excluded from this promotion.”

Walmart has really been pushing Walmart.com, somewhat at the expense of its physical stores, as it tries to position its website as being on an equal level with Amazon.com. (Walmart’s own credit card gives 3% cash back on Walmart.com but only 1% at Walmart stores.) In this case, it seems apparent Walmart must have made an agreement with Discover to be featured in this promotion, with money probably changing hands (or Walmart at least paying for a portion of the rebates to be given).

Your Move, Chase

Making changes to a cash-back calendar once it’s been announced is a rare event (I actually can’t remember it happening previously at all), so Discover’s surprise additions not only will make its cardholders happy, but may also put some pressure on Chase with its similar 5% rebate card, the Chase Freedom Card. Chase does not announce its categories as far in advance as Discover, so we won’t know if Chase responds directly to the enhanced Discover offering, but if their offers are especially strong in Quarter 3 and Quarter 4, that will be a clue that Discover’s surprise move forced Chase to offer something greater as well.