Chase Freedom® vs. Discover it® Cash Back

Two excellent credit cards with accelerated cash back in rotating categories.

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Both of these credit cards offer 5% cash back in rotating categories — up to the typical maximum of $1,500 in combined spending each quarter, then 1%. The main difference is their bonus categories: Discover reveals them for the whole year, while Chase unveils categories by quarter. Chase’s card has historically offered a wider variety of bonus categories, such as streaming services and Apple Pay.

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

finder.com's rating
finder.com's rating

★★★★★

4.4 / 5.0

★★★★★

4.8 / 5.0
Best for
Best for
  • Long intro APR period and cash back in rotating categories
  • Rotating cash back categories with no annual fee
Welcome offer
Welcome offer

$150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Discover will match cash back earned at the end of your first card year

Rewards
Rewards

5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases

5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases

Purchase APR (annual percentage rate)
Purchase APR (annual percentage rate)

0% intro APR for 15 months, and then 16.49% to 25.24% variable

0% intro APR for 14 months, and then 13.49% to 24.49% variable

Annual fee
Annual fee $0 $0
Balance transfers
Balance transfers

APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months, then 16.49% to 25.24% variable

Fee:  $5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater ​ ​ ​

APR: 0% intro APR for 14 months, then 13.49% to 24.49% variable

Fee:  ​ ​ ​ 3% of the transaction

Cash advance
Cash advance

APR: 26.49% variable

Fee: $10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater

APR: 26.49% variable

Fee: $10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater

Foreign transaction fee
Foreign transaction fee 3% of each transaction None
Late payment fee
Late payment fee Up to $39 Up to $39
Additional cardholder fee
Additional cardholder fee $0 $0
Interest-free period
Interest-free period 21 days 25 days
Minimum interest
Minimum interest $0 $0.50
Minimum credit score
Minimum credit score 670 670
Card type
Card type Credit Credit
Rates and Fees
Rates and Fees Rates & Fees Rates & Fees
Learn more
Learn more

Which card should you choose?

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

  • Easy-to-earn cash signup bonus
  • Accelerated cash back in quarterly rotating categories and flat cash back on all other purchases
  • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers

The Chase Freedom® has an easy-to-meet signup bonus — spend $500 in the first 3 months of card membership and pocket $150. Another money grab for cardholders is the referral program. Every friend you invite to apply who gets the card scores you an extra $100 with the ability to earn up to $500. It's also equipped with purchase protection and extended warranty service to safeguard your everyday purchases.

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

  • Accelerated cash back in quarterly rotating categories
  • First year cashback match
  • Free FICO credit score
  • Ability to freeze your account

The Discover it® Cash Back is designed for the frequent credit card user who can align their spending to rotating bonus categories — this'll make the juice worth the squeeze when it comes to rewards. A huge draw is the cashback match at the end of the first year, especially if you can hit the rewards cap each quarter. This travel-friendly card comes with no foreign transaction fees, plus it'll waive your first late payment fee.

What’s next?

If you’re sure you can make good use of either cashback credit card, you may want to go ahead and apply today. Before you hop right in, make sure that you meet the basic eligibility criteria for the card you choose.

Everyone spends differently, and these cards may not quite meet what you’re looking for in benefits and features. So, if neither was in sync with the way you swipe, continue to compare cashback cards and keep your eyes peeled for your perfect plastic.

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