Posted by Chuck on December 10, 2014
Credit Cards

Published on December 10th, 2014 | by Chuck


Dissecting my Discover Statement – Update on Discover Q4; Google Wallet, Evolve, Gyft, Paypal, eBay Gift Cards, J Crew

Discover Q4

A few weeks ago we reported Bad News on Discover Q4. Turns out it’s not all that bad. In fact it’s pretty good.

We reported on GiftCardMall and Junkcard not triggering the Q4 5% category bonus for online purchases. Just yesterday, reported that the cash-back finally did post for GiftCardMall, much later than expected.

In this statement, I earned the full 5% for Google Wallet top-up, eBay e-gift card via Paypal Digital Gifts, and a gift card purchased from Gyft.

As for Junkcard, it seems to be the odd-man-out, and maybe has to do with how they code themselves.

My Statement

Here’s what my Discover statement (Nov. 5 – Dec. 4) looks like:


discect discover3


And here’s what my cash-back summary looks like:

disect discover2

My Charges

Here’s a list of the charges and cash-back:

  • $69 Paypal. This was when I purchased a $100 eBay gift card for $94. I paid $25 with a physical eBay gift card that I had, and charged the remaining $69 to Discover. It did earn 5% cash-back. Gift cards seem to trigger the 5% without a problem.
  • Two $994 payments on Evolve. I got $5 off each of those $999 payments, for a total Discover charge of $994. They did earn 1%, but did not earn 5%.
  • The next charge is $503.95 at Walgreens. I earned the full 5% cash-back at Walgreens, up to $1,000. I spent $504.95 last month, and $503.95 this month. I got the full $50 cash-back (5% of $1000 = $50) on this months statement, since Discover is slow on posting.
  • I made a $20.58 top-up to my Google Wallet account, which I subsequently withdrew from the ATM. I wanted to see if it would earn 5%. It did. I assume sending money to someone via Google Wallet (for a 2.9% fee) would also earn 5%.
  • I purchased two $100 Gap e-gift cards for $80 on eBay. I paid part with an eBay gift card and the remaining $102.58 with my Discover card. It earned 5%.
  • I purchased three $50 eBay gift cards for $45 each, $135 total. I received 5% cash-back for the purchase.
  • I bought a $15 Amazon gift card for $10 on Gyft. I received 5% cash-back from Discover for that.
  • I bought a $100 eBay gift card for $90. I received 5% for that.

You’ll also see in the above cash-back summary $50 of cash-back that I received from DiscoverDeals (a.k.a. ShopDiscover). That was from purchasing two $250 gift cards at J Crew. I hope to still make a couple more J Crew orders with Amex to get the 10% cash-back from Discover.

Final Word

It’s hard to tell from the cash-back statement exactly what did or didn’t earn 5%, because it takes them time to post the cash-back, and it often only posts on the next statement. I chatted with Discover, and they confirmed that all of my charges earned 5%, besides for Evolve. As for Evolve, you can see on my cash-back summary “Everywhere Else $20.26”, which is mostly coming from the Evolve payments.

All together, I had a balance of $239 in my Discover account. So what did I do with it? Usually, I’d just redeem it for 1¢-per-point. There’s another way of getting a value of more than 1¢-per-point by redeeming for gift cards. Some gift cards are given at a discount. For example, a $25 Staples gift card costs just 2,000 point.

I’m not planning on making any Staples purchases soon, but I redeemed $220 cash-back for $275 in Staples gift cards. I’ll resell them for at least $236.50. I usually wouldn’t bother to get the slight bump in value, unless I would use the gift card itself, but in this case I was redeeming a nice chunk in one shot, so it was worth a few minutes of my time to get another $15-or-so in value from the redemption.

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Thanks for sharing Will. Your Discover It cash back experience matches my experience. Glad your 5% cash back purchases posted timely.

William Charles

Sorry, this post is actually by Chuck who is the other main writer here. This should be clearer after today when it lists the author of exact article in the post as well as the published date.



William Charles

It now appears at the top of the post, hope you find it helpful. We might move it to the bottom, not to sure yet.


Hi, Did you tried to load Serve card with Discover and see if it earns 1% back?

Miles Whip

I can confirm you can load Serve with Discover (MAKE SURE YOUR CASH ADVANCE LIMIT IS SET TO ZERO, prior), unsure if it counts as 5% yet for online purchase category since I maxed out via AP before October 10th, But I would like to know if it does because I have another account that I would like to use the $1500 online spend via Serve or some other easy cheap MS avenue. Can anyone confirm if using Google Wallet in store to pay at Wal..(the color of money) would count towards the online spend category?


It does not work with the Discover 5% online shopping.


>Can anyone confirm if using Google Wallet in store to pay at Wal..(the color of money) would count towards the online spend category?

I can confirm that. I think I read about it here on this site and then confirmed it myself. My family members have multiple Discover cards and we maxed out on each card for the Q4 using mostly Walgreens Google Wallet purchases.

You can also buy gift cards at GiftCardZen to save 10-13% off on the card purchase and another 5% off if you use a Discover card via Paypal to buy the GCs. Their system doesn’t allow you to choose the payment source so it would default to the bank account if you have linked one. I just chose a Paypal account that only had that Discover card I wanted to use and it worked.


– Loading Serve w/ Discover gets 1%, not 5%.
– Why resell Staples GC and lose 14% instead of use them in store to buy a $200 VGC and lose less than 4%?
– If you cannot reconcile your 5% cashback, just call Discover and the CSR will calculate with you the right amount. Their CS is superb.

William Charles

Can’t buy VGC with staples GC

Mark M
Mark M

hey. great post. How did you manage to make two Evolve money payments to the same biller in one month? I thought they restrict to one up to max $1000 per biller per month.

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