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Discover it® Chrome for Students review

Earn cash back with this no-annual-fee card for students.

  • Get this card if you want a student cashback card.
  • Pick something else if you have poor credit.
  • Apply with a credit score of 580 or higher. You’re welcome to apply with no credit history.
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Up to 2%

Cash back


Annual fee


Intro purchase APR

for the first 6 months (then 12.99% to 21.99% variable)


Intro balance transfer

for the first 6 months (then 12.99% to 21.99% variable)


Annual fee$0
Welcome OfferDiscover will match cash back at the end of your first card year
Rewards2% back on gas and dining up to $1,000 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
Purchase APR0% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99% to 21.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR10.99% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99% to 21.99% variable)
Recommended minimum credit score580

Review by

Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report,, Lifehacker and He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.

Expert review

Searching for your first credit card can be overwhelming. But you can rest easy with Discover it® Chrome for Students, as it’s one of the best student cards on the market.

It’s a solid choice for its rewards alone, which outpace those offered by competitors. Elevated rewards on gas and dining are a nice touch, and the card’s Good Grades Reward and first-year cashback match are also generous.

Though the card’s intro purchase APR is tempting, consider starting off on the right foot and paying off your balances in full each month to build good spending habits early.

How to apply for Discover it® Chrome for Students

  1. Go to the Discover website and click Apply now.
  2. Enter your name and pick a card design.
  3. Complete the application form with your address, contact information and income information.
  4. Continue filling out the application form with your mother’s maiden name, school information, checking and savings account information and school mailing address.

How long will it take to get my Discover it® Chrome for Students?

You’ll likely receive a decision immediately after you apply. If there are issues with your application, you may have to wait up to a few weeks for a decision. If you’re approved, expect to receive the card within seven to 10 days.

Card benefits

  • No annual fee. A $0 annual fee goes a long way for a tight budget.
  • Cashback match and Good Grades Reward. At the end of your first year, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned. And for the next five years, you’ll earn a $20 statement credit each school year you receive a 3.0 GPA or higher. These are generous additions, especially because many student cards don’t offer signup bonuses. Combine these perks and your card could pay off handsomely. To get the most value out of them, consider paying off your card balance each month to avoid accruing interest.
  • Cash back. Earn 2% cash back on gas and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% thereafter. Earn 1% cash back on everything else. Redeem cash back for electronic deposits to your bank account, charitable donations or payment for purchases. If you have at least $20 cash back, you can redeem it for instant eCertificates or gift cards from Discover partners.
  • Intro APR for purchases. Get 0% for 6 months. After that, your APR will be 12.99% to 21.99% variable. Few student cards offer intro APRs, so this is a nice benefit. It also might help if you need to make essential purchases for the school year. You’ll need to pay off the purchases eventually, and six months will end sooner than you think. That said, consider only spending an amount you’re confident you can pay off before your intro APR expires.
  • Intro APR for balance transfers. Get 10.99% variable for 6 months from the date of your first transfer. After this period expires, your balance transfer APR will revert to 12.99% to 21.99% variable. This is a much lower APR than you’d normally get with other cards. However, it isn’t a good intro rate — ideally, you’d want a 0% intro APR.
  • No foreign transaction fees. This is an excellent card to take on a summer trip or for studying abroad. You won’t pay transaction fees when you use your card abroad or on a foreign website.
  • Discover account benefits. Freeze your account any time via the Discover mobile app if you lose your card. Also, check your FICO credit score for free via your mobile app, online account or monthly statements.
  • Cardholder-friendly policies. The first time you pay late, you won’t be assessed late-fee charges. On subsequent late payments, you may be assessed fees up to $40. If you happen to spend over your credit limit, you won’t be charged an overlimit fee.

How much cashback rewards can I earn with the Discover it® Chrome for Students?

Where you spend:The amount you spend:Cash back earned:
Everything else$6,000$60

You would earn $140 per year with a budget similar to this. But for the first year, you would earn $280 with the Discover it Cashback Match — which doubles the cash back you earn during your first year.

And if your GPA is 3.0 or higher, you add $20 more to your rewards for the first five consecutive school years.

What to watch out for

  • It hurts to pay late. Your first late fee is waived, but making subsequent late payments will result in fees as high as $40. Returned payments come with fees as high as $40.
  • Expiration on intro APRs. Your 0% purchase APR expires after 6 months, and your 10.99% variable balance transfer APR expires 6 months after your first transfer. Consider paying off your balances before the end of your intro APR periods.
  • Higher APR for cash advances. Cash advances come with a high APR of 24.99% variable. Like balance transfers, they don’t have an interest grace period. Financial experts widely view cash advances as unwise, so avoid these transactions if you can.
  • Fees for balance transfers and cash advances. You’ll pay a 3% fee for each balance transfer. For cash advances, you’ll pay $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater.

Compare student credit cards

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card
4% cashback on Lyft and 1% cash back on all other purchases
14.99% variable
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases with this no-annual-fee student credit card.
Jasper Cash Back Mastercard®
Up to 6% cash back by referring friends. Start with 1% and get an extra 1% for a full year for every friend you bring on board
15.49% to 24.99% variable
A card for people who are new to credit in the US with 1% cash back on purchases and the opportunity to earn even more when you refer friends.
Deserve® Edu Card
1% cash back on all purchases
18.74% variable
Designed for college students to build credit history and earn rewards.

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for Discover it® Chrome for Students, you must be at least 18 years old and a US citizen or resident. You must also be a college student.

Information you’ll need

  • Full name, address and contact information
  • Total annual gross income, monthly housing payment and total available assets
  • Social Security number and mother’s maiden name
  • School information, your degree type and your expected graduation date

Getting a credit card when you’re under 21

If you’re under 21, you must prove that you have enough income to repay your credit card debt. Usually, you can only report personal income like wages and allowances, scholarships and grants. If you can’t prove sufficient income, you can ask someone over 21 if you can become an authorized user on their account.

What credit score do I need?

You’re welcome to apply for this card if you’re new to credit. Your approval odds will increase if you already have a good credit score of 670 or higher.

How does a balance transfer work with this card?

  1. Submit your application.
    When you apply for the card, you can make a balance transfer. You can also request one later.

    To initiate a balance transfer, prepare the account number of your existing balance. You’ll also need to provide information like your employment details, annual income, Social Security number and contact details.

    For each transfer, you’ll pay a fee of 3% of the transaction amount.

  2. Understand the card’s balance transfer details.
    Your intro balance transfer rate will be 10.99% variable for 6 months and after that, a normal APR of 12.99% to 21.99% variable. This rate applies only to transfers you make before the promotion end date. Check your card’s terms and conditions for the last date you may qualify for the intro balance transfer APR.

    Not sure whether your balance transfer qualifies? Contact Discover support.

  3. Keep track of your balance transfer.
    If you pay off your entire transferred balance before your intro rate expires, you’ll pay no interest on the amount. If you still have a balance after that time, it’ll start accruing interest at the normal rate of 12.99% to 21.99% variable.

Discover it® Chrome for Students reviews and complaints

Some customers say they’ve received automatic credit limit increases after several months. Happy customers also say they’ve found Discover support to be quick and helpful.

Discover has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and it’s been accredited by the agency since 1989. As of this writing, it has almost 900 customer complaints. Many of the details aren’t published because, according to the BBB, Discover has resolved or answered most of the complaints.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Download Discover Mobile app. Use the app to activate your card, make payments, check your FICO® score, freeze or unfreeze your account and more.
  • Make timely payments. Pay your card bill online at the Discover website, where you can also enroll in automatic bill pay.
  • Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 25 days to pay your balance and at least 23 days for billing periods that begin in February. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. You won’t pay a fee the first time you pay late. However, subsequent late payments come with hefty fees of up to $40. For each returned payment, you’ll pay a fee of up to $40. Balance transfers and cash advances also come with fees.
  • Customer service. If you need help, contact Discover through live chat or by calling 1-800-DISCOVER.

How do I redeem rewards from Discover it® Chrome for Students?

You can either log in to your online Discover Card account or call 800-347-2683 to redeem your Discover rewards. Your options include:

  • Gift cards with a $5 bonus
  • Pay at checkout with your rewards
  • Donate to charity
  • Deposit cash back into your bank account or use toward your Discover card bill

Bottom line

Discover it® Chrome for Students is an excellent first credit card. It’s loaded with features you’ll like as a student, including cashback rewards, healthy limited-time bonuses and lenient card terms.

To compare a few more products before making your decision, check out other student cards to find the best one for you.

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