Discover Rewards Program Overview

By Anik Khan
Updated June 4, 2019


MaxInsights offers a numerical analysis and recommendation of how to best use this reward system.

Discover’s Cashback Bonus program offers cardholders the ability to earn cash back on every purchase: either 5% for purchases within specific categories (e.g. restaurants,, ground transportation), which rotate throughout the year, or 1% for purchases that do not fall within the category of the quarter.


Expected Value
  • MaxValue Gift Cards (2 cents per point)
  • MaxFlex Cash Back (1 cent per point)
  • Expected Value 1.25 cents per point


The Discover Cashback Bonus program works as advertised: 5% back on purchases within rotating categories (up to the quarterly maximum) and 1% back on everything else. What’s more, Discover operates an online shopping mall, Discover Deals (formerly “ShopDiscover”) that includes deals that earn cardholders up to 20% cash back.

What exactly are the points worth?

In general, you can expect to earn at least 1 cent per point with Discover’s Cashback Bonus program. With that being said, offers found through DiscoverDeals boost the value of each point earned tremendously, saving cardholders up to 20% with certain deals. With that being said, the best redemption option is likely select gift cards, as these double the value of your points (i.e. 1 point can be redeemed for 2 cents, rather than merely 1-for-1).

Redemption Examples

Redemption AlternativePointsPartner Conversion Rate (Cents Per Point)Value
Cash Back10,0001.00$100
Charity Donation10,0001.00$100
Gift Cards10,000Up to 2.00Up to $200

Gift Card Redemption Examples: Best Values

  • Cash Back
  • Charity Donation
  • Gift Card

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