Posted by Chuck on November 9, 2014
Manufactured Spending

Published on November 9th, 2014 | by Chuck


Update on Discover 1% & 5% Cashback on Evolve

Evolve Update

A few days ago , we reported that Evolve now accepts Discover cards.

The big question remained: What will be with the 1% cashback?  Will it earn cashback, or will it be specifically coded not to?

Additionally, many wondered whether it will work to trigger the 5% cashback Discover Q4 which is online purchases. Amazon Payments worked, will Evolve?

The questions seem to be put to rest now. Someone on Flyertalk asked these questions directly to Discover. They replied that it will earn 1%, but it won’t earn 5%.

Here’s the exact wording that Discover used:

flyertalk discover evolve


In IT, things usually take time to work out all the kinks, so there is a slight possibility that it will earn 5%. For now, we should assume that it won’t until we hear such a report.

Visa and Mastercard

Beginning in 2015, Evolve will begin accepting Visa and Mastercard as well.

We can now ponder: will those be coded as regular purchases as well, or will they code as cash advances? If it will code as a regular purchase, will Evolve charge for Visa and Mastercard payments?

If Discover earn cashback, is that a sign that Visa and Mastercard will? I don’t think so. Discover clearly entered into a sort of partnership with Evolve; it doesn’t seem likely that Visa and Mastercard will too.

My personal guess is that it will code as a regular purchase, but there’ll be a fee to use Visa and Mastercard.

What will the fee be?

We’ll have to wait and see…

Our Verdict

The 5% is disappointing since I was hoping it would be an easy, free way of cashing out Discover Q4. That being said, there are other ways of cashing out Q4 by buying giftcards at GiftCardMall or, among other options [Update: Grant reports that GiftCardMall does not code at 5%.]

But I’m super-excited that Discover officially states that the 1% will be paid out. I have two bills I pay with Evolve, so it will be a steady $19.98 per month profit for me.

It seems surprising that Discover is willing to pay-out 1% for people to pay off their mortgage, card loans, and store credit cards. Since Evolve is limited to once a month payments, it’s a sustainable thing, so I’d guess it will last for a while.


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Almost all the people on CC blog sites, miles & points blog sites own home or have new car payments? Cos I have been reading about how cool and how useful and good Evolve money is .

If I don’t have mortgage payment, car loan payments or store bills, EM is not for me?
I rent an apartment and pay lease, i have credit card bills. Can I use it on those?
Any other way to take advantage of EM? I can add my discover card and pay rent without being charged any CA fees?
Thanks for your answer


I think that EM is used for billis that cannot traditionally be paid by a credit or debit card. Yes to mortgages, card payments, credit cards bills. But also yes to rent, some utility bills, student loans etc. I think that any bill you have that needs a checking account for payment can be substituted with EM or even Amex RedCard from Target (if you are lucky enough to live near a Target store that sells the cards).


I can load Discover card or gift cards and pay up to $1k a month without any fees?
Can pay my chase, Citi CREDIT CARD BILLS? rent? that would be cool.

William Charles

No major card issuers can be paid with EV. You used to be able to add yourself as a biller on their system, but this was abused massively and shut down.


Will, I have no inside info on Discover or Evolve Money, but here are a few thoughts: on the Discover announcement page on Evolve Money’s website, there is an offer to apply for the Didcover It Credit Card. I’m sure Evolve Money earns a decent credit card commission on approvals, enough to cover the credit card processing fees for their bill payments. I’m not sure if Discover reached out to Evolve Money to promote the Discover It Credit Card and generate some new card users or if Evolve Money reached out to Discover to earn some credit card affiliate income.

Evolve Money: hey everyone, you can now pay bills with a credit card! Unfortunately, you must use a Discover credit card, but hey, we have a Discover It Credit Card sign up link below. Sign up today and start paying your bills!

As for Visa and MasterCard bill payments in 2015, I wonder if they will have a similar offer. Use your Chase Freedom Credit Card to pay bills. Will all Visa credit cards offer fee free bill payments? That’s yet to be determined. What do you think?

William Charles

Think it’s more likely to be a loss leader product for them, affiliate commissions won’t work out long term when covering credit card processing fees. I think they have a special deal with Discover at the moment (Discover can offer almost no card processing fees, because they are the card issuer & payment processor so no interchange fees) where they promote the card for free and get no processing fees in exchange but who knows.

Will be interesting to see how it plays out in 2015. There is a lot of competition in the bill pay market, which means better outcomes for consumers in general. Let’s hope the competition intensifies.

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