- Promotional APR encourages balance transfers
- Cash-back rewards
- Great for short-term and long-term use
- Earn up to 5% cash back on everyday purchases
- Receive a 0% introductory APR on purchases
- No foreign transaction fee
- Discover isn't widely accepted overseas
- Complex rewards program
- 0% introductory APR on purchases is mediocre
Let’s be honest: Discover cards aren’t as widely accepted as cards with a Visa or Mastercard logo. However, 97% of merchants that take credit cards accept Discover cards, so it doesn’t hurt to include one in your card portfolio.
The Discover it® credit card, also called the Discover it® Cashback Match, is a popular choice for applicants who want a Discover card. You aren’t limited to travel rewards, nor do you have to be a student. The card requires good credit, but you can find out if you qualify without dinging your credit thanks to Discover’s preapproval tool.
DISCOVER IT CREDIT CARD REVIEW
Sometimes cash-back cards don’t live up to their hype. Many provide a meager 1% or 2% back for purchases, but the Discover it® credit card offers more than twice that rate. It rewards cardholders with as much as 5% cash back, making it one of the best cash-back cards available in 2018.
The downside is that you have to deal with rotating reward categories (more on that below). If you don’t mind dealing with that, then you’re likely to benefit from this card. It has no annual fee, easily attainable rewards, and indentity-protecting perks.
DISCOVER IT CREDIT CARD REWARDS AND PERKS
Few cards offer a cash-back rate that matches the Discover it® credit card. You earn 5% back for the first $1,500 spent in special rotating bonus categories each quarter. That’s $75 per quarter or $300 per year.
On top of that, you earn unlimited 1% cash back in non-bonus categories, plus 1% cash back in bonus categories that have already hit the quarterly $1,500 limit. It’s not uncommon to rack up hundreds of dollars in annual rewards from this card.
The bonus categories confuse some cardholders, though, and you aren’t automatically enrolled in them. You have to let Discover know you want to participate.
Once you’re in the quarterly program, bonus categories change every 3 months. Sometimes they include specific retailers, such as Target or Amazon.com. Other times they focus on categories, such as grocery stores or restaurants.
Rewards never expire (assuming your account remains in good standing), and it’s easy to redeem them. Once you have at least $0.01 in approved rewards, you can redeem your earnings as a statement credit, bank deposit, or charitable donation. You can also use it to pay for purchases on Amazon.com.
If you prefer to redeem for gift cards or eCertificates, you must wait until you have at least $20 in rewards.
New cardholders love the cash-back bonus. After 12 billing cycles, Discover automatically matches all of the cash-back rewards you earned. This is a one-time offer, so make the most of your first year.
DISCOVER IT CREDIT CARD BENEFITS
Discover offers a standard slew of benefits for the Discover it® credit card, including $0 liability for fraudulent purchases, theft/damage protection, and extended warranties. After that, Discover goes above and beyond to help you protect your identity with features like:
- Self-activated account freezes
- Free Credit Scorecard
- Social Security alerts
- Experian credit report alerts
- Free overnight shipping for replacement cards
If you need help, contact Discover’s US-based customer support team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
DISCOVER IT CREDIT CARD COSTS AND FEES
Many cash-back cards have an annual fee, so it’s pleasantly surprising that the Discover it® credit card does not.
There are still some regular fees, though:
- A balance transfer fee that’s 3% of each transfer amount
- A cash advance fee for $10 or 5% of each cash advance amount, whichever is greater
- Up to $37 for late payments
- Up to $37 for returned payments
The company waives your fee the first time you pay late, which is a benefit many cardholders appreciate. There’s no overlimit fee or foreign transaction fee, nor is there a penalty APR.
Enjoy a 0% promotional APR for purchases and balance transfers during your first 14 months as a cardholder. After that, the variable APR for purchases ranges from 13.74% to 24.74% depending on your credit history. The rate range is the same for balance transfers.
Cash advances have a variable APR of 26.74%.
DOES THE DISCOVER IT CREDIT CARD MAKE SENSE FOR ME?
Yes, if you want a rewards card with a high cash-back rate and no annual fee. The Discover it® credit card is ideal for organized, disciplined cardholders who won’t buy unnecessary products from bonus categories just to get 5% back. If you struggle with rotating categories, you may do better with a flat-rate cash-back card.
This card is similar to the Chase Freedom card because both offer rotating bonus categories with 5% cash-back rewards, and both cards do not charge annual fees. The Chase Freedom often runs promotional offers for new cardholders, but if you’re a big spender, you’ll earn more from Discover’s cash-back match during the first 12 months.
Application Process: Apply online and get a response within 60 seconds.
Bonus Offers: Discover will double all the cash back you earn in the first year.
Rewards: Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
APR: 0% on purchases for 6 months and 0% on balance transfers for 18 months. Then 13.49% - 24.49% variable.
Annual Fee: None.
- Rated #3 in 5 Best Balance Transfer Cards
- INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
- Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
- Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
- 100% U.S. based customer service.
- Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
- Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
- No annual fee.