One of the things I love about my Discover card are the quarterly bonus categories. Every three months Discover gives 5% back in purchases (up to $1500) in a certain category or categories. They’ve already announced the whole list for 2018:
As you can see, the categories for the first three months of 2018 are Gas Stations and Wholesale Clubs.
Fortunately, we don’t have to spend a ton of money for gas. Unfortunately, the only Warehouse Club we have a membership with is Costco and they have an exclusive agreement to only take Visa cards at their stores.
I hate to leave money on the table. Getting a 5% discount on things I’m going to buy anyway is like free money. It’s also a better return than I’m going to get from most of my rewards cards with points and miles. Looking at my statements, I’ve only spent $85 in gas this quarter on the card. I’m about $1415 short of maximizing my spend and I have three days to fix that problem.
One way I can try to get some spending is to buy some gas station gift cards. I know that I’ll be buying gas for the next few months, so getting 5% off those purchases will be a nice discount. I’m no where close to needing to buy $1400 worth of gas though, so what else?
Maybe the local gas stations will have a gift card rack that looks like this.
Besides getting gift cards for gas, I could get cards to pay for eBay, restaurants and department stores. I don’t think the Toys R Us ones are worth much anymore (too soon?).
I just don’t feel like driving all over town to see which gas stations have each gift card just to save 5%. My time is worth something and I want to save money and save time.
What about my second option? Costco.com
While the Costco stores only take Visa cards, Costco.com takes Visa, Mastercard and DISCOVER!!!! W00T!
I added a $500 Costco cash card to my cart and went to checkout. Notice the forms of payment Costco.com accepts.
With The Costco cash card, I can make purchases in a Costco store, on Costco.com or purchase gas at Costco Gas stations. This is great because normally gas purchased from wholesale club gas stations, including Costco, are excluded from bonuses on gas station purchases.
So what will I do?
I plan on getting gas tomorrow at my local station and I’ll fill up and pay with my Discover. I’ll take a peek inside and see what gift cards they sell. I’ll pick up enough gas gift cards for the next few fill ups (Sharon is not a fan of switching out credit cards to pay for the same things, but will at least agree to pay with a gift card for gas as long as it’s not a different card every time) (Note from Sharon: True story!). I’ll also see if they sell any other cards that are of interest to us. If not, I’ll go to Costco.com and get a Costco gift card. I can take that to Costco and buy any of the other gift cards they sell. I’ve heard they have Disney gift cards at 5% off face value. So with my 5% off the purchase of the Costco gift card and 5% off the Disney cards, I’ll almost be saving 10%. It makes the purchase of things at Disney World seem just moderately bit overpriced instead of insanely overpriced, like a $4 bottle of water.
Have you maxed out your bonus categories on your Discover card this quarter?
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