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Compare Discover credit cards

A Discover card is a strong pick if you want cash back, intro APRs and no annual fees.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked
Visa and Mastercard tend to command the lion’s share of attention, but Discover is far from a B-player. In fact, it offers a small but impressive stable of cards, especially for no-annual-fee cashback products.

Best of Discover credit cards

Discover doesn’t make its name on power-packed cards. But if you want a no-annual-fee product with solid cash back and an intro APR, Discover may be the provider for you.

Best for rotating cash back

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back logo
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5%
Cash back
Other
Welcome offer
If you can keep track of rotating reward categories, you could earn great cash back from the Discover it® Cash Back Card. You’ll also like the card’s intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Rewards: Great cash back in rotating categories. Earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 you spend on purchases each quarter in eligible rotating categories, such as at gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Earn 1% cash back after you've hit the spending cap each quarter, and on all other purchases.
  • Intro APR: 0% for 14 months following your account opening on purchases and balance transfers. After that, your purchase and balance transfer APR will be between 11.99% to 22.99% variable. This is an above-average intro APR when compared to its competitors.
  • Cashback match. Discover will match all the cash back you have earned at the end of your first year.
  • Balance transfer limitations. You must complete your balance transfers until a certain date to use the 0% intro APR period.
  • Cashback categories. You don't know what the 5% cashback categories will be until the start of each year.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 14 months (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 14 months (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable)
Welcome offer Discover will match cash back earned at the end of your first card year
Rewards 5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases

Best for travel

Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card

Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Other
Welcome offer
1.5x
Miles
The Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card is a good travel pick if you don’t want to pay an annual fee. You’ll earn 1.5x miles on everything you buy, which makes the card similar to the solid Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card.
  • Rewards: A flat rate for all purchases. Earn 1.5x miles on everything you buy. Redeem miles for statement credit.
  • Intro APR: 0% for 14 months following your account opening on purchases. After that, your purchase APR will be 11.99% to 22.99% variable. This is an above-average intro APR when compared to its competitors.
  • Mile match. Discover will match all the miles you have earned at the end of your first year.
  • No 0% APR on balance transfers. You only get 0% intro APR on purchases, but not on balance transfers.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 14 months (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable)
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer Discover will match miles earned at the end of your first card year
Rewards 1.5x miles on all purchases

Best secured card

Discover it® Secured

Discover it® Secured logo
Credit recommended (300-669)
Read review
300
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
22.99% variable
Purchase APR
From $200
Min. deposit
Expect a better secured card by Discover with cash back on all purchases — rare for this kind of card. If you spend and make payments responsibly, you could get your security deposit back as soon as eight months.
  • Rewards: Cash back on all purchases. Earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1% after. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Cashback match. Discover will match all the cash back you have earned at the end of your first year.
  • Automatic card review after eight months. Starting at eight months, Discover will review your card account monthly. If it sees you have used your card responsibly, it may return your security deposit while you continue using your card, essentially giving you an unsecured card.
  • Secured card. You must make a secured deposit to use the card.
Annual fee $0
Minimum deposit required Starting at $200
Purchase APR 22.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 10.99% intro for the first 6 months (then 22.99% variable)
Recommended minimum credit score 300

Best for gas and dining

Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurant Card

Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurant Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 2%
Cash back
Other
Welcome offer
This card offers a solid 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants. Keep in mind this rate applies only to the first $1,000 in qualifying purchases each quarter, after which you’ll earn 1%.
  • Rewards: Solid for gas and dining. Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. After that, you will earn 1%. You will also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months after account opening. After that, the APR will be 11.99% to 22.99% variable.
  • Cashback match. At the end of your first card year, Discover will match all the cash back you have earned.
  • Balance transfer limitations. You must complete your transfers until a certain date to use the 0% intro APR period.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 14 months (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 14 months (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable)
Welcome offer Discover will match cash back earned at the end of your first card year
Rewards 2% back on gas and dining up to $1,000 combined quarterly, then 1% after that and on all other purchases

Best for business

Discover it® Business Card

Discover it® Business Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 1.5%
Cash back
Other
Welcome offer
Discover’s only business card is a no-nonsense product with solid rewards. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, no matter the category. The card compares favorably with a similar business product, the Discover it® Business Card.
  • Rewards: Flat-rate cash back. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, regardless of category.
  • Intro APR: 0% on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After this, the APR will be 12.99% to 20.99% variable.
  • Cashback match. At the end of your first card year, Discover will match all the cash back you have earned.
  • No 0% APR on balance transfers. You don't get to save money with a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 12.99% to 20.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR 12.99% to 20.99% variable
Welcome offer Discover will match cash back ed at the end of your first card year
Rewards 1.5% cash back on all purchases

How we selected our best cards

We compared all cards offered by Discover, highlighting the ones that were strongest in their respective categories — including cash back, travel, secured and student. As the cards are identical in annual fee and signup bonus, rewards were a deciding factor. We also compared the cards to competitive products from other providers in deciding whether to deem them “best.”

What’s changed in 2020

Most of the list stayed the same, as Discover offers a focused stable of credit cards. We did restructure the list, however, to highlight the issuer’s two flagship cashback cards and how they differ from the student products. We also added Discover’s business card, which is a solid, simple alternative to other business products on the market.

Compare Discover credit cards

If you need a closer look at Discover’s card options, select your credit score below and click “Show cards” to compare cards side-by-side.

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Discover it® Cash Back
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 14 months (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable)
$0
Earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories every quarter you activate, then 1% thereafter. Earn 1% back on all other purchases.
Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card
1.5x miles on all purchases
0% intro for the first 14 months (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable)
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5x miles on all purchases - from airfare and hotels to groceries and online shopping.
Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurant Card
2% back on gas and dining up to $1,000 combined quarterly, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 14 months (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable)
$0
Earn 2% cash back on gas and dining on your first $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. After that earn 1% in these categories and on all other purchases.
Discover it® Secured
2% back on gas and dining up to $1,000 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
22.99% variable
$0
2% cashback at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus 1% cash back on all other credit card purchases.
Discover it® Chrome for Students
2% back on gas and dining up to $1,000 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99% to 21.99% variable)
$0
Earn 2% cash back on gas and dining on your first $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. After that earn 1% in these categories and on all other purchases.
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How to apply for a Discover card

Visit the Discover site and click Apply now on the credit card page. Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and have the required information on hand.

Eligibility criteria

  • You need to be at least 18 years old.

Information you’ll need

To complete the application, you’ll need to provide information that includes:

  • Your name and residential address.
  • Your Social Security number and date of birth.
  • Your email address and phone number.
  • Financial information like your annual income and income source.

How to prequalify for a Discover card

Application restrictions

After you’re approved for your first Discover card, wait at least one year to apply for a second card. There’s an unwritten rule that says your applications will likely be denied if you apply sooner. However, some readers report that they were approved for a second card before one year was up.

How many Discover cards can I have?

You can have a maximum of two Discover credit cards at one time.

How can you redeem rewards?

To redeem rewards, log in to your credit card account on the Discover website. Then click Rewards in the navigation bar.

How much are rewards worth?

Discover miles are worth 1 cent apiece, which is the industry standard.

How to choose the best Discover credit card

If you need help choosing the best Discover credit card for you, here are a few questions to consider:

  • Where do you spend most? Since most Discover cards offer some form of cash back, a big part of choosing the right one involves picking the card that enables you to earn the most cash back over time in categories you spend most in.
  • Do you want flat-rate travel rewards? The Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card is a simple travel product that’s solid all around.
  • Are you a student? Consider the Discover it® Student Cash Back or Discover it® Chrome Credit Card for Students.
  • Do you need to build or rebuild your credit? The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is aimed at those who have damaged or no credit, and it can help you build a strong FICO score.
  • Are you a business owner? The Discover it® Business Card might be the right fit for you. If you’re not sure you need a business credit card at all, consider one of the personal cards, which you can also use for business purchases.

Types of Discover cards

Cashback credit cards

What’s fascinating about Discover’s credit cards is that all but one are cashback cards. You can earn cash back even with Discover’s credit-building cards, which is a rare perk among this type of card.

Credit cardsBenefits
Discover it® Cash Back
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on rotating categories each quarter (then 1%)
  • Earn 1% cash back on everything else
  • No annual fee
Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurant Card
  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1%)
  • Earn 1% cash back on everything else
  • No annual fee
NHL Discover it® Card
  • Earn 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter on up to $1,500 in combined purchases (then 1%)
  • Earn 1% cash back on everything else
  • No annual fee
Discover it® Business Card
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • No annual fee

Credit-building cards

You’ll find two student credit cards and one secured card for building credit. This may not seem like a lot, but these three cards are among the best on the market.

Credit cardsBenefits
Discover it® Student Cash Back
  • Earn 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter on up to $1,500 in combined purchases (then 1%)
  • Earn 1% cash back on everything else
  • No annual fee
Discover it® Chrome for Students
  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1%)
  • Earn 1% cash back on everything else
  • No annual fee
Discover it® Secured
  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1%)
  • Earn 1% cash back on everything else
  • No annual fee

Travel credit cards

Although you can use any Discover card abroad and you won’t pay foreign transaction fees, there is one specific card for travel that you may find useful.

Credit cardsBenefits
Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card
  • Earn 1.5x miles on all purchases
  • No annual fee

Student credit cards

Discover’s student cards are very similar versions of the Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurant Card. Which one is better for you depends on what kind of rewards you prefer. The student versions offer these perks:

  • Each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher, Discover will give you a $20 statement credit.
  • You’ll find a shorter intro APR — and there’s no promotional interest rate on balance transfers.

Typical card features and benefits of a Discover card

  • No annual fee. All Discover cards have no annual fee.
  • Cash back. Almost every Discover card offers cash back. The exception is the provider’s travel card, which offers miles.
  • Intro APR. Many of Discover’s cards offer 0% intro APR for 14 months following your account opening on purchases and balance transfers. Even the student cards have intro APRs. Compare Discover’s balance transfer cards if that’s a feature you’re looking for.
  • Rewards match. In lieu of traditional signup bonuses, Discover offers a cashback or mile match at the end of your first card year.
  • First late-payment fee waived. After your first late payment, you’ll be charged up to $40 per late payment.
  • Reasonable ongoing APR. Depending on your credit score, you might get an APR slightly below the average credit card APR of 16%.

Alternatives to Discover credit cards

Discover is a fine choice for no-annual-fee cards with solid rewards. However, you might want rewards for different categories or more high-powered benefits you can’t get with the network.

For great alternatives, consider products at our list of 2020‘s best credit cards. You’ll find cards for balance transfers, rewards, travel, no annual fees and more. These products, furthermore, come from various networks — such as Visa, Mastercard and Amex — as well as different issuers such as Citi and Bank of America.

How does Discover keep my credit card information secure?

All Discover cards are embedded with chip technology, which makes them more secure than traditional magnetic-stripe cards. Discover offers several tools to enhance your account security, such as Social Security number alerts and a tool to freeze your account quickly.

Discover has a US-based fraud team that investigates suspicious transactions on your card account. If there is fraudulent activity on your account, Discover deactivates your card and sends you a replacement card. It offers a $0 fraud liability, so you won’t be on the hook for unauthorized transactions.

Discover rewards program

Almost all Discover cards offer cash back. For the provider’s travel card, you’ll earn miles.

If you earn cash back, you can redeem it for rewards that include:

  • Gift cards.
  • Instant eCertificates.
  • Charitable donations.
  • Statement credits.
  • Electronic deposits into an account of your choice.
  • Pay with Cashback Bonus at eligible merchants.

You can redeem miles for electronic deposits into your bank account or for travel statement credits.

Full list of Discover credit cards

Bottom line

Discover offers a great suite of credit cards, especially if you’re looking for a cashback, secured or student product. You’ll find great perks like no annual fees, intro APRs and reward matches. Learn how Discover compares with Visa, Amex and Mastercard, or if you’re not sure if Discover products are right for you, compare credit cards from other providers.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SGallegosFebruary 26, 2018

    Which Discover card can be used when travelling to China?

    • Default Gravatar
      johndeguzmanMarch 10, 2018

      Hi,

      Thank you for contacting finder.

      I understand that you have a question about which card is better to use when travelling to China.

      Please be advised that all discover cards can be used globally. Although the best option is to use the Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card because this card gives you 1.5x miles or more for every dollar you spend on purchases.

      Thanks.

      John

  2. Default Gravatar
    mattFebruary 15, 2018

    Hello I’m traveling to mazatlan mexico I have a discover card I want to use not sure if it would be accepted at places there ?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      According to Discover’s website, Mexico has “moderate acceptance” of their card. Moreover, your card is accepted if you see the logo “Discover” and “Diners International.”

      I would suggest, Matt that you get in touch with Discover to double check with them. This will not just save you from any trouble, but also be able to notify them that you are going overseas and prevent them from mistaking your foreign credit card use as unauthorized.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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