Why does Discover Card warn me about selecting certain payment due dates?

The date I would like to use for my payment due date in the future on my Discover Card account warns me with a tooltip:

Selecting this date will reduce the number of days in the current anniversary year and may impact your Rewards earnings.

Nothing in their contextual help or payments FAQ tells me what that means. What’s an “anniversary year”, and should I worry about this?

2 thoughts on “Why does Discover Card warn me about selecting certain payment due dates?

  1. xiaomy

    It would still affect Reward earnings for new cardmembers in their first year.

    Discover currently has the double cashback promotion for new card member, effective for the first 12 billing cycles. Change due dates could shorten (or lengthen) the number of effective days of this promotion.

  2. dgw

    No, there’s no reason to worry.

    I called Discover’s customer service line about this and got a great explanation from Alex in Salt Lake City. To paraphrase/summarize:

    The website shows that warning because not all Discover cards earn Cashback Bonus in the same way. Your Discover itĀ® card always earns 1% (plus more for rotating bonus categories), but the older Discover MoreĀ® card rewards program earned only 0.25% for the first $3,000 in purchases every year, then bumped the percentage up (but still excluded certain discount stores like Walmart). Reducing the number of days in the “anniversary year” means that the period during which the More card earned 1% would be reduced due to when the statements close.

    So, the warning might not apply to your card type, but the website still shows the warning to avoid even the possibility of affecting your rewards without knowing it.

    This was a fascinating bit of historical trivia for me, since I had no idea that older Discover cards had such complicated reward structures. Every card I’ve ever held (starting in 2008) has had a base reward rate not dependent on spending, so I was unaware of spending tiers and how billing dates might affect them.

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