Effective October 1, 2007 it seems that Discover will be changing the terms of the 5% Cashback Bonus program on the Discover Open Road card. Unfortunately, these changes will be for the worse…
While Discover has always limited their rewards program such that you can only earn the full 5% on a set maximum worth of eligible purchases on your Open Road card (including gas, oil changes, etc.) per year, they’ve now tightened things down a bit further by splitting the $1200 up into 12 monthly limits of $100 each. Once you exceed this amount, your earnings revert to the standard 1% reward. And if you fall short of $100 of eligible spending in a month, too bad… That portion of your 5% earning limit is lost.
As far as I can tell, this change in the rewards program affects only the Open Road card, as the fine print on the Discover More card still states that you will earn 5% “on purchases throughout the year by participating in each Get More program” without mentioning an eligibility limit. If you’re not familiar with the Get More program, it’s a 5% rewards program where they change the categories that are eligible for the 5% bonus quarterly, such that some months you’re getting 5% off on gas, some months it’s groceries, and so on.
If you’re in the market for a reward credit card and want a more predictable reward-earning experience, then I recommend Blue Cash from American Express.
Blue Cashoffers 5% cash back with no rewards limits for “Everyday Purchases” (gas, groceries, and drugstores) and 1.5% on all else once you reach $6500 in total charges for the year. Until that point, the reward structure is 1%/0.5%.
[Hat tip: The Consumerist for pointing out the Open Road change]