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When you hear a friend talking about getting a Discover credit card, they most likely mean the Discover it® Cash Back card. You can earn up to 5% back on purchases and can enjoy several other benefits as you will see in this Discover it review.
The Discover it card lineup doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Discover may also waive the late payment fee on your first missed payment. Big spenders can also benefit from the Discover it signup bonus that matches your purchase rewards for the first 12 months.
In-Depth Discover it Review
Like what you see so far? Here’s a closer look at everything the Discover it offers.
Discover it Cash Back
The Discover it Cash Back is a tiered cash rewards credit card. You earn 5% back on the first $1500 spent on rotating quarterly bonus categories. All non-bonus spending earns an unlimited 1% back.
There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
5% Back on Purchases
Two of the best-known cash back credit cards that earn 5% back are the Discover it and Chase Freedom. Both cards earn 5% back on the first $1500 in quarterly bonus purchases and 1% on all non-bonus spend.
These are the Discover it bonus categories for 2019:
- January through March: Grocery stores
- April through June: Gas stations, Uber and Lyft
- July through September: Restaurants and PayPal
- October through December: Amazon.com, Target (in-store, app, and online) and Walmart.com
The Chase Freedom bonus categories are similar but (as there should be) there are some differences. For example, only the Discover it earns 5% back at Amazon. Even though the cards have overlapping bonus categories, they usually offer bonuses in different quarters.
In most instances, you can own both the Discover it and Chase Freedom to earn 5% back for two quarters on bonus purchases like grocery stores and gas stations.
Discover has a unique signup bonus for their credit cards. You get an unlimited match on all your purchase rewards for the first 12 months. So if you earn $400 in the first 12 months, Discover gives you $400 bonus cash so you actually earn $800 cashback.
You can redeem your points for cash rewards in any amount. Your points are also redeemable for Amazon.com shopping credit. With either option, your rewards are worth the same.
This is good for consumers. Other credit cards make your points worth less when redeeming for shopping rewards instead of cash rewards. Although it’s easy to redeem your rewards, your balance never expires.
Discover it Review — Extra Benefits
The Discover it Cash Back and the other Discover credit cards offer several additional benefits like credit score monitoring. These extra perks help give you extra peace of mind. Like some of the other best cash back credit cards 2019, you won’t see fancy perks like dining credits or travel benefits that travel rewards cards offer.
First Late Payment Fee Waived
Your first late payment fee is waived. This event can still impact your credit score, but you avoid the $39 fee.
Free FICO Credit Score
Discover provides you with a free FICO credit score from TransUnion. Other credit card companies offer free credit scores, but this is usually your VantageScore. The FICO score is your official credit score that banks use to approve or decline your credit card or personal loan application.
Social Security Number Monitoring
Get text message alerts when Discover detects your Social Security on “Dark Web sites” or when new account openings hit your Experian credit report.
Free Overnight Shipping for Replacement Cards
If you lose your Discover it, your replacement card arrives overnight to any U.S. street address. This perk isn’t available for P.O. boxes or foreign addresses.
Credit Score Needed for Discover it
It is best to have a 670 credit score to get the Discover it. This score is the start of “good credit”. A 740 credit score means you have excellent credit which further boosts your approval odds.
You might be able to get approved with a credit score in the low to mid-600s. Before applying, you can see if you prequalify by going directly to Discover. If you’re still unsure about the Discover it, using a credit card comparison tool like CardMatch which will perform a soft inquiry and provide a list of which credit cards you have the best approval odds for sure.
If your credit score doesn’t pass muster yet, consider the Discover it® Secured. The card still earns 2% back at gas stations and restaurants (on the first $1,000 each quarter) and unlimited 1% back for everything else. After 8 months, Discover reviews your account to determine if you can upgrade to an unsecured Discover it credit card.
Discover it Review Pros and Cons
- Earn up to 5% back on purchases in rotating categories
- All purchase rewards matched for the first year
- Redeem cash or Amazon.com rewards in any amount
- First late payment fee is waived
- No annual fee
- Spending habits may not match 5% bonus categories
- Small spenders may not benefit from the bonus offer match
- Not every merchant accepts Discover
Other Discover it Cards
This Discover it review wouldn’t be complete without listing the other Discover it credit cards available. While the Discover it Cash Back receives the most coverage, there are several other Discover it credit cards for travel rewards and college students.
Discover it Miles
The Discover it® Miles earns unlimited 1.5 miles per $1 spent. Your miles are redeemable for travel statement credits, booking upcoming travel, and cash rewards. This can be a better option if you prefer earning a flat-rate rewards instead of timing your spending around the 5% quarterly bonus categories.
Like the Discover it Cash Back, all your purchase rewards are matched for the first year.
This card is a competitive option for some of the best no annual fee travel credit cards.
Discover it Chrome for Students
There are two different student credit cards from Discover. One is the Discover it® Student Cash Back credit card which has the same 5% bonus categories as the adult-version Discover it Cash Back.
Students may also appreciate the Discover it® Student chrome. You get 2% back at gas stations and restaurants on the first $1,000 in quarterly purchases. All non-bonus purchases earn an unlimited 1% back.
Both cards offer a first-year cash back match and you can get a $20 statement credit by maintaining a minimum 3.0-grade point average. These cards are comparable to some of the other best travel credit cards for students.
Discover it Chrome Gas & Restaurants
The information for the Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurants has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurants earns 2% back at gas stations and restaurants on the first $1,000 spent each quarter. Plus, you get 1% back on all non-bonus purchases.
Your cashback is matched for the first 12 months and your rewards are redeemable for cash or Amazon.com rewards.
Related: See our picks for the best credit cards for restaurants and dining.
Summary of the Discover it Review
The Discover it is a good option if you can maximize the 5% bonus categories or the first-year match. This card is also a good option if you want a cash back credit card with no annual fee and you like the extra benefits like free FICO credit score monitoring.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.