Four Great Ways Credit Cards Define Your Style
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because who doesn't want to save some money?
By Nick Fouriezos
Money isn’t just paper. It carries with it dreams and responsibilities, the freedom to do what you want and to become who you hope to be. And with the right tools at your side, you can make that money — and those dreams — stretch further. Carefully managing my money, and finding the right partners along the way, has made it possible for me to travel to all 50 states and six continents, and allowed me to have adventures that range from swimming with Indonesian whale sharks to flying in a private biplane over Yellowstone.
This year, I’m determined to dream bigger than ever … and I’m using the Discover credit card to get there. With 5% cash back on a rotating selection of everyday purchases, plus 1% back on every purchase, the rewards can quickly add up. Even better, Discover matches your cash back for the year, doubling your value. Plus, there’s no risk in trying it out, thanks to 0% APR for the first 14 months. And since there are no international transaction fees, you’re covered wherever life’s adventures take you. Let’s consider the possibilities, together.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve tried to bring into the credit card point game — only to see them get rejected because some cards require sky-high credit scores to qualify for perks. Luckily, Discover understands that some of us are just beginning our credit journey, which makes this the best card for beginners.
Whether you’re in college, still building credit or just need to boost your credit score, the Discover card is the perfect daily spender. Every purchase earns you points, and if you happen to spend in one of the card’s rotating categories — from grocery stores and gas stations to restaurants and online retailers — you earn 5% back on your first $1,500 of qualified purchases each quarter. And with Discover’s cash-back match for the year, make that 10% in your first 12 months, which, frankly, is unmatched.
I’ll admit it: I’ve been eating too much delivery — filling my refrigerator hasn’t been at the top of my list lately, following a recent move. Thankfully, grocery stores (including Walmart grocery pickup) are on Discover’s list from January to March, giving me the incentive I need to stock up on healthy fruits and veggies. Plus, Walgreens and CVS are also eligible for 5% cash back, just as America’s two largest pharmaceutical chains started distributing COVID vaccines — making it a great time to stock up on vitamins and medicine for the rest of the year.
- Average household grocery costs per quarter: $1,668
- Average prescription drug costs per quarter: $300
Just by using my Discover Card, I could have earned nearly $160 on purchases I was already making, and that’s without counting points earned from those chocolate bars I grab at the checkout.
Stock Up, Drive Off and Stream In
This spring-cleaning season, top up on supplies for giving your place a fresh look — before summer hits and you set off for outdoor adventures. Wholesale clubs, from BJ’s to Costco, qualify for 5% cash back — as do gas stations. After the year we’ve had, I’ll definitely be taking to the open road when it warms up. In the meantime, I plan to tackle a few home projects. So I’ll snag a bunch of paper towels and cleaning products. And since many streaming services also qualify for Discover cash back, from Hulu and Netflix to Apple Music and Spotify, being home a bit longer won’t be a chore.
- Average wholesale club spending per quarter: $375
- Average streaming service costs per quarter: $181
- Average gas costs per quarter: $750
- Average home projects costs per quarter: $1,890
Yes, it’s a fair bit of spending, but I’m getting back more than $180, which is enough to buy more camping equipment or sign up for even more streaming services.
Eat Out, Eat Often
Seems I’m always hungry and, like I said, too often the fridge is empty. So while the average American household spends roughly $250 per month eating out, my tally tends to ring a bit higher. With Discover adding restaurants to its rewards list, there’s no better time to enjoy dining outside during the glorious summer months — and I can treat myself guilt-free.
- My eating out spending per quarter: $1,500
That translates to another $150 in free money from the Discover money tree.
Get Everything Online
Discover really saves the best for last, with all purchases from Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com earning that sweet 5% back from September to December. And since those sites sell pretty much everything — from essentials (toilet paper) to indulgences (organic dark chocolate) — that means nearly all your regular purchases will qualify.
- Online retailer spending per quarter: $3,000
By buying (just about) everything online for three months, I could save $180 — not to mention the time and gas it takes to drive to brick-and-mortar stores.
That all adds up to $670 back in my first year, simply by buying in the 5% cash-back categories I’d be spending on anyway. And that reflects less than $10,000 of my annual spending, which means we aren’t even counting the 1% that I get back on the rest of my purchases. With the average U.S. household spending more than $60,000 per year, the average earner could make back at least an additional $1,000. That’s enough to turn dreams into realities. And for nothing more than a swipe of your Discover card.