Posted by Chuck on September 9, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on September 9th, 2015 | by Chuck


22% Cashback with Discover and Apple Pay (23% with DIM, 30% at Department Stores)

We just posted about the deal of the year released by Discover which will offers a 10% cashback bonus on all in-store purchases made until years end when using your Discover card with Apple Pay.

10% + 10% = 20%

We mentioned that the 10% will likely be doubled at year’s end. This was confirmed by the Discover media team on Twitter that the cashback will be doubled at year’s end.

11% + 11% = 22%

Speculation ensued whether the 10% is in addition to the ordinary 1% or it’s instead of the 1%. We reached out to Discover again on Twitter and they clarified that the 10% is in addition to the ordinary rewards.

This is great news – we’ll get 11% immediately and another 11% at years end for up to $10,000 in purchases with Apple Pay. That’s up to $2,200 total per Discover card.

11.5% + 11.5% = 23%

If you have the Discover IT Miles card, you get 1.5% back (“miles” they call it) on all purchases which gets doubled at years end for new cardmembers. You’ll get 11.5% back on all Apple Pay purchases now and it will get doubled at year’s end.

15% + 15% = 30%

You may be able to get 30% back if you can find a store which gets 5% back for the quarterly category. You’d get 15% immediately and an additional 15% at year’s end. We hope to have a post up soon with more details.

Related Posts:

Update: Please don’t referral spam your links in the comments. I’ve removed links that provided no value apart from referral links.

77 Responses to 22% Cashback with Discover and Apple Pay (23% with DIM, 30% at Department Stores)

  1. NB says:

    if i don’t have a discover card, what is the best card to get right now in order to maximize this promo?

  2. Avi says:

    You should be able to get 30% on upto $1500 in quarterly bonus categories

    • Josh says:

      My thoughts exactly. What Dept stores sell iPhones??

      • Dan says:

        If you’re thinking about buying an iPhone to take advantage of this promotion, you’d need to already have the iPhone to pay with Apple Pay, so that won’t work…..

    • steven says:

      So in order to get the 30% for this quarter, we have to be using apple pay *in-store. The three categories for the last quarter are amazon, department stores, and clothing stores. Amazon is out.

      So what department stores/clothing stores sell vgc? I think this is the real question. anyone back me up on this thought process.

  3. Dan says:

    If I have a low credit limit with Discover, can I make a purchase, pay it off with Bill Pay, rinse and repeat multiple times in a billing cycle and still get all the cash back?

    Or is cash back only paid on the balance on the bill date?

    • Evan says:

      You get cashback on any purchase you make.

    • Johnny D. says:

      My Discover IT card only has a pathetic $1,500 limit. So if I buy 3 $500 VGCs, pay it off immediately, will I be able to buy let’s say another 3 in the same statement cycle? So effectively I’m spending $3,000 total with my card in one statement period.

      You can spend more than your limit as long as you keep paying it off and therefore having more available in the same statement right? Just kind of confused since I’ve never done something like this

  4. Runtheroad says:

    So for us non-Apple people out there, what’s the cheapest way to get an Apple Pay compatible device?

    • Arjun says:

      EITHER Apple watch plus any 5 series iPhone OR the iPhone 6 at the least

    • GLT says:

      Looks like watches should work if you have someone you can trust that you can pair it with. Phone does not have to be in range for Apple Pay after the initial sync (source: Clearly if you unpair the watch while in range, you will lose the Apple Pay ability on the phone. I can’t find any comments for sure on whether you can still use Apple Pay from the watch if you unpair after bringing the watch out of range. I plan to do this with a coworker.

      Alternatively you’ll probably minimize depreciation on the phone if you wait to buy a used 6 when the 6Ses ship.

      Would appreciate anyone using my referral link if they don’t have the card yet:

  5. gly says:

    I don’t believe discover will actually pay back 22% or even 30% of our total expenses. That is insane.

  6. Calvin says:

    I heard from slickdeals that a new discover it card holder isn’t eligible for double CB immediately after activating the credit card and needs to wait until after the 1st statement.

    Is this true and can anyone here confirm or deny?

    • Jeff says:

      I can confirm that this is true.

      • joe says:

        can you explain this further?

        • Douglas says:

          ……pretty straightforward what was just said man. use your comprehension skills

        • Ed says:

          I can also confirm this is true. To explain further, when I called the rep to ask to add it to my Discover It card, she told me that it would not be in effect until after my next statement cycle starts. I got an e-mail about my double cashback starting around the same time as the new statement cycle.

      • Calvin says:

        So if the referral bonus gets posted in the 1st month, it won’t get doubled? And I’ll have to wait till mid-October before I can get double CB for Apple Pay?This completely sucks

        • Dee says:

          I got the Discover It card a couple of months ago. My first statement closed in just a couple of weeks, not a full month. If you call to apply, they can tell you when your first statement closes.

    • Eric says:

      I see many people here confirmed this but I’m pretty sure it’s not true. This was only the case if you did a product change from More or Open Road to it. Of course that’s now moot since they don’t allow you to get the doubled cash back anymore for that.

  7. Ryan R says:

    Looking for clarification on the double cash back promotion and how to get the full $1100. Wouldn’t the only way to get 10% be from doubling a rotating category that is normally 5%. Aren’t rotating categories capped so the max cash back would be $150 and with apple pay $300 since it only goes til the end of the year (12/31). What do I have wrong?

    • Chuck Sithe says:

      This is a new promo, unrelated to the quarterly categories, offering 10% cashback on purchases using Apple Pay with Discover until years end.

    • Chris says:

      I think there is some confusion with the term “Years end”. From what my offer reads:

      “Double First Year Cash Back:After the first 12 consecutive billing periods that your new account is open, we will double all the cash back rewards you’ve earned and apply them to your account in the next billing cycle. You’ve earned rewards when they have posted to your account by the end of the 12th consecutive billing period. You will not receive Double Cash Back if your account is closed or no longer in the cash back reward program as of the award date. This promotional offer may not be offered in the future. This exclusive offer is available only to new cardmembers.”

      Saying “year’s end” implies that the Cash Back comes at the end of the calendar year. In actuality, it is the end of YOUR first year with the card.

  8. David says:

    Can you use someone else’s (possibly a trusted one) iPhone and add the card to his/her Apple pay?

  9. Prashant says:

    I am getting error while trying load add my discover IT cards to apple pay. it says – “your issuer Does not yet offer support for this card” any thoughts ?
    I am using iphone 6.

  10. alen says:

    I changed my “old” discover card to DISCOVER IT in July of this year. does that disqualify me from applying for the 2nd discover card before July 2016?????

  11. Gil says:

    I’m planning on applying for a second Discover It card due to the Apple Pay promo. Every time I try to get a credit increase on my current IT card it says that they need to review my credit so I decline. If I were to apply for the new IT card and for the CLI today would the pulls likely be combined?
    I doubt anyone has any data points so I might just try it out and report back!

    • Simplysimple says:

      Alen- I did what you mentioned. I converted my original Discover to the IT, before Discover said ‘new cardholders only’, and then applied for the IT card. I was immediately approved. It’s within their rules to get a second Discover card, when you’ve already had one for a year or more.

  12. Ken says:

    What do you think about combining with this?

    “The new PayAnywhere Mobile reader accepts Apple Pay plus other contactless NFC payments, traditional magnetic stripe credit cards and is EMV-capable. PayAnywhere is also offering merchants $5,000 free in Apple Pay transaction processing with a new PayAnywhere account. The readers will sell exclusively in Apple Stores and at for $39.95 starting in September.”

  13. bellmike says:

    Can anyone confirm how specific the language is about buying cash equivalents (such as vanilla gift cards) being a no-no an unbonusable?

    I wouldn’t otherwise ask, but when you’re paying out 23% I can imagine a new level of scrutiny on what is being bought to achieve the bonuses.

  14. Anthony says:

    Do any home improvement stores or department stores sell $500 VGCs AND take Apple Pay?

  15. Adam says:

    yeah I’m curious too, what’d be the best way to max out rotating quarterly categories (short of becoming a reseller) for the 5% (dbled to 10%)… otherwise even without a referral sign up bonus that is dbled, it looks like the Miles 1.5% (dbled to 3%) on ALL purchases math works out better from a pure profit perspective.

  16. Matt says:

    How stingy is Discover regarding new applicants with recent inquiries? I just applied for 3 cards (2 Chase & BBVA) around Aug 28th. I’ve never had a Discover card and credit is pretty good around 750 (was 775 before 3 applications). Income is about 170K

  17. David says:

    Best option for me is probably get Visa and eBay gift cards at Walgreen. I can easily cash out eBay gift card by buying other gift cards at discount

  18. Carole says:

    Both my husband and I were just approved for the Discover CB card. If we use them to pay our estimated quarterly taxes, what will our cash back percentage be?

  19. Sharon K says:

    The big question is not which stores sell which gift cards – it’s which stores take Apple Pay. Despite Apple’s crowing about the “hundreds of thousands” of stores signed up for the program, it’s a mighty short list. There are NO home improvement stores, very few department stores, and the only grocery store (in my state, anyway) is Whole Foods. The only likely candidates for MS are Walgreens and the big 3 office supply stores.

    Nonetheless, I convinced myself that Walgreens would be all I needed to manufacture a couple thousand in spend – which is enough to cover the cost of the Apple Watch that I secretly wanted to buy. So I bought The Watch and have spent the last 2 days figuring out how to configure it. My plan is to buy 4 PayPal My Cash cards in September, which should pretty much cover the watch. After that, any spend I can gin up with Apple Pay is just gravy. I can shop at Whole Foods for the next 3.5 months – what fun! The 23% return will just about cover the differential between Whole Foods and the places I usually shop. Maybe I’ll do some Christmas shopping at Macy’s.

    I think that Discover figures they can afford this insane sounding return because there are so many obstacles in the way of actually making a lot of money on it. Only a dedicated MS-er is going to be able to max out the $10,000.

    p.s. I have spent the last 3 days climbing the learning curve on my new Watch. I love it!

    • John says:

      i dont think you have to be that dedicated…seems like anyone who can find a walgreens that will take the apple pay just have to buy 20 $500 vgcs and bam, you’re done..hopefully discover realizes this would happen and wont modify the promo because of this..but i think tons of people will just max it out this way dont you

      • sharon k says:

        “i dont think you have to be that dedicated…seems like anyone who can find a walgreens that will take the apple pay just have to buy 20 $500 vgcs and bam, you’re done..hopefully discover realizes this would happen and wont modify the promo because of this..but i think tons of people will just max it out this way dont you”

        Most people don’t live that way. I doubt there are enough MS-ers to disturb Discover or Apple (which is probably funding part of the payout). However, if everybody who IS doing that piles into Walgreens, it might be enough to cause them to tighten up their gift card policy. That would be a shame.

        • Eric says:

          That will never happen because the stores only carry a certain amount of cards per day, month, etc.. I’m guessing Apple is paying out at least half of the original 10% (probably none of the doubled amount).

    • Sergio says:

      Whole Foods stores in Austin, TX (Arbor Trails and the No. 1 store downtown) are not accepting Apple Pay with Discover. The transaction never gets to Discover.

      If I select my Chase Visa card, Whole Foods will accept the Apple Pay transaction.

      I used my iPhone 6 with Apple Pay and Discover card without problems at the Firehouse Subs sandwich shop.

      The problem is only the combination of Apple Pay + Discover + Whole Foods.

      Tried multiple cash registers, multiple days, in two Whole Food stores.

      So no 22% cash back at Whole Foods.

  20. samantha says:

    If anyone still needs a discover card, would you mind using mine because I want to use it toward my loans. Thanks!

  21. allen says:

    Obviously the best way to maximize this method is to use Apple Pay at Walgreens, CVS, or Staples that will accept it.

    Please use my referral

  22. sharon k says:

    As far as I know, CVS is still on the MCX train, holding out for CurrentC and boycotting Apple Pay. So it’s pretty much Walgreens or office supply stores. Best Buy is rumored to be coming back to Apple Pay sometime “later this year.”

  23. WC says:

    So to follow up on an earlier post above, if you are a new Discover IT card holder, does the double cash back start after activation or after 1st statement ? I ask because above it wasn’t clear if the after 1st statement was for current card holders who registered for the double cash vs new card holders.


    • Matt says:

      I believe for new cardholders, it’s active at signup, but for existing cardholders, it becomes active at the following statement cycle. At least, that’s what I read on reddit.

  24. Michael says:

    I have read where newer IPADS can be used with Apple Pay. Can I set my Discover card up with my IPAD and then buy cards at Walgreen via my IPAD AND APPLE PAY.

    • Kristy says:

      Ipads can only be used in app with Apple Pay, not in store, so that won’t work. It has also been stated that in app purchases don’t count for the promo.

  25. Jason Yang says:

    Can we make sure today is the first day for the 10% cashback promotion?

  26. LWT says:

    I don’t believe we will get the 10% bonus on gift card purchases. I used Apple Pay with my Discover card today to buy a vanilla gift card, and the Apple Wallet screen said something like, “Get a 10% cash back bonus on all Apple Pay transactions with your Discover card. Gift card purchases not eligible.” When I bought the vanilla gift card, in addition to the normal receipt, the computer also produced a second receipt specifying that it was a gift card purchase.

    • Nik says:

      The 2nd receipt is something like “activation receipt”. You get it even if you pay with a regular card, and it’s not related to Discover.

  27. Nik says:

    Hi Will:

    I think the twitter posts you published confirm that Apple Pay cashback is added to Double cashback, but they never said that Apple cashback will be doubled as well. For instance, Discover meant to say that you will get 13% with Discover Miles, but not 23%.

  28. olivia says:

    If anyone still needs a discover it card, would you mind using my referral link because I want to use it to help pay off some loans. Thanks!


  29. Sergio says:

    Did anybody succeed in using Apple Pay with the Discover card at Whole Foods?

    Mine is not being accepted in the two stores I tried, one being the No. 1 store here in Austin.

    Apple Pay works at Whole Foods if I select my Chase Visa card.
    Apple Pay works at Firehouse Subs with the Discover card.

  30. Jeff says:

    Anybody having trouble getting the 10% CB when your Discover statement closes? I’ve had 2 close since this promo started – first one didn’t have any Apple 10% bonus CB and second had $0.56 when I was owed $4+. They claim that cash back takes a few cycles to post but feels like I’m not getting my full bonus here. And didn’t buy any gift cards in the purchases.

  31. Wireless Jones says:

    Discover never worked with Apple Pay at Whole Foods in 2015 despite the Whole Foods logo on the the Discover site:

    • Sergio says:

      It worked for me at the Whole Foods Huntington Beach, CA.

      It never worked at the Whole Foods stores in Austin, TX.
      I was told that the Austin stores will have their terminals updated around February 2016, and then they will accept Apple Pay with Discover.

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