At face value, the no-annual fee Discover IT card gives 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spend in rotating categories every quarter, which works out to $75 cash back up to four times a year. It’s a boring card, and believe me I understand that sometimes it’s hard to get excited about pure cash-back plays.
That said, you’ve been able to do better than 5% cash back since July 2019 with the IT card. How? Discover gives you a 25% uplift when redeeming for Nike gift cards, and small (< $100) Nike gift cards have a high resale value at approximately 91% of face value. The math:
5% * 125% * 91% = 5.687%
America loves math, right? Don’t stress it too hard, but remember that the Discover IT card is really a ~5.7% cash back card in rotating categories with the Nike uplift. (Thanks to GC Galore’s post for reminding me to do a writeup like this)