Is the Discover it Card worth it? - October 2018 | finder.com

Discover it® Cash Back review – October 2018

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A no-annual-fee card with high quarterly cash back rewards.

finder.com’s rating: 4.8 / 5.0

★★★★★

30-second take

  • Get this card if you want to earn cash back without paying an annual fee.
  • Pick something else if you want a card with a lower variable APR.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
Product NameDiscover it® Cash Back
Card TypeVisa
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases13.99% to 24.99% variable
Introductory Purchase APR0% for the first 14 months (then 13.99% to 24.99% variable)
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 14 months (then 13.99% to 24.99% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee3%
Cash Advance Rate26.99% variable
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $37
Returned Payment FeeUp to $37
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age
Reward Value per Dollar1% cash back
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

A cashback rate of 5% is a big deal. But here’s the catch: You only get it in categories that rotate quarterly.

From April to June, you earn higher cash back at grocery stores or gas stations. From July to September, at restaurants or for purchases made on Amazon.com, and so on.

For all other purchases that don’t have the quarterly boost, you earn a flat 1% cash back. If you don’t want to keep up with rotating categories, you might earn better rewards from other cards.

The perks

  • Cash back.

    Get 5% cash back on categories that rotate every three months. For example, you could get 5% back on purchases at gas stations and wholesale clubs during one quarter, groceries during the second quarter, restaurants during the third quarter and Amazon.com during the last quarter. All quarters have a limit of up to $1,500 made in purchases at the 5% rate, after that 1% cash back applies. For all other purchases, you earn 1% cash back.

  • Intro APR period.

    Get 0% intro APR period for balance transfers and purchases during the first 14 months months following your account opening. After that, a variable APR of 13.99% to 24.99% applies. This could be useful if you want to make a large purchase and carry your balance for a year. It could also help if you want to make a balance transfer from another account where you’re stuck with a higher rate.

  • No annual fee.

    The card comes with no annual fee.

Compare Discover it® Cash Back and Chase Freedom® credit card

How much cash back rewards can I earn with the Discover it® Cash Back?

Where you spend: The amount you spend: Cash back earned:
Dining $2,000 $80
Gas $2,000 $80
Groceries $3,000 $80
Wholesale clubs $2,000 $95
Everything else $6,000 $60
Total $18,000 $395

Annual spending similar to our example would earn $395 per year, starting from the second year. With the Discover it® Cashback Match, you would get $790 in cash back for the first year. This beats any signup bonus offered by a similar card.

You’ll also like …

  • Free FICO® credit score.

    It’s easy to keep track of your credit score with monthly updates on your statement or online at any time.

  • Cashback match.

    At the end of your first card year, Discover will match the cash rewards you’ve earned. That’s especially valuable if you regularly take advantage of the 5% cash back.

  • Late payment leniency.

    You won’t suffer fees for your first late payment, and the card has no penalty APR.

  • Card freeze.

    You have an on-off switch to freeze your account in case you lost or misplaced your card.

  • Pick your card design.

    When you apply, you can choose one of the nine available card colors. Alternatively, pick one of the 100+ card designs when you log in to your account to further personalize your plastic.

What to watch out for

  • Balance transfer limitations.

    You can use the intro APR period only for balance transfers that post to your account by January 10, 2019. For each transfer, you’ll pay a 3% fee. Keep in mind, that you can only make balance transfers that don’t exceed your credit limit.

    Once the intro APR period passes you’ll be charged interest on your remaining balance. To avoid this, you need to pay all your balances in full.

  • Low starting credit line.

    Your credit line will be at least $500, depending on your credit score and other information.

  • Potentially high APR.

    The card’s variable APR spans from 13.99% to 24.99%. A weaker credit history could mean getting settled with an interest rate toward the higher end of that range. An APR of 24.99% variable is high, considering the average is around 16%.

Consider other cards if …

  • You want higher cash back on select categories.

    Consider the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express from American Express, which allows you to earn 6% back on groceries for up to $6,000 in purchases per year, 3% back at gas stations and select US department stores up to $6,000 per year and 1% back on all other purchases. Once you reach the $6,000 cap, you get 1% cash back.

  • You want flat cash back on all purchases.

    The PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and 2% for PenFed Honors Advantage members. You can also consider the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card, which also offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

  • You want a card with a low APR.

    Consider the PenFed Gold Visa® Card. Depending on your creditworthiness, you can get an APR on balance transfers and purchases as low as 8.99% up to 17.99% variable.

    Alternatively, you may consider the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®, which offers a variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances of 10.74%. Furthermore, the card has no annual fee, no fee on balance transfers and no penalty APR.

Do you spend more than $500 on gas every month?

Consider the Ducks Unlimited credit card where you earn uncapped 5% on gas during the entire year.

Compare cash back credit cards

Name Product Credit Score Min. Annual Fee Intro Balance Transfer APR Reward Value per Dollar Secured or Unsecured Annual Fee APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer
680
0%
1.5
Unsecured
$0
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn up to $250 back. Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 back after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months. You will receive the cash back in the form of a statement credit. Rates & Fees
680
0%
1
Unsecured
$0
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
680
95
0%
1
Unsecured
$95
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
680
99
1
Unsecured
$0 to $99
19.74% to 25.74% variable
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase, terms apply.
720
0%
1
Unsecured
$0
15.24% to 25.24% variable
0% for the first 18 months (then 15.24% to 25.24% variable)
Earn 1% cash back for payments on purchases, on top of the 1% cash back on purchases. No annual fee.
720
0%
1
Unsecured
$0
15.24% to 25.24% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 15.24% to 25.24% variable)
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
680
1
Unsecured
$0
16.99%, 22.74% or 25.74% variable
Get 4 points back on dining, 3 on travel, 2 on Uber rides and online shopping and 1 on other purchases, and redeem points for Uber credits, gift cards or cash back.

Compare up to 4 providers

How does a balance transfer work with this card?

To use the 0% intro APR period of 14 months following your account opening, your balance transfers must post to your account until January 10, 2019. After the intro period is up, a variable APR of 13.99% to 24.99% will apply.

For each transfer you make, you’ll pay a balance transfer fee equal to 3% of the transaction. Keep in mind that if you request a balance transfer that exceeds your credit limit, Discover may transfer a partial amount or decline the transfer.

After the intro APR period passes, you’ll be charged interest on purchases for any balance transfers you make. To avoid this, pay your balances in full before its due.

If you change your mind, call 1-800-347-3085 to cancel your balance transfer at any time before it processes.

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the card, you must be at least 18 years old and a US resident.

As with any credit card, there are some personal details you’ll need to provide, such as:

  • Your full name and contact information.
  • Your residential status.
  • Your annual income, education level and employment information.
  • Your Social Security number.

At this stage, you can choose your credit card design color.

What credit score do I need?

You have a better chance of application approval with a credit score of 680 or higher. With a better credit history, you’ll get a higher credit limit and a lower APR.

What do customers say about the Discover it® Cash Back?

The Better Business Bureau accredited Discover and rated the card issuer with an A+.

Most customer reviews complain about the high APR of the card, and some even complained that the company lowered their credit line without prior notice. Others, on the other hand, claim they received credit line increases after paying their balance on time, and most of the customers love the cashback rates.

How to apply for the Discover it® Cash Back

  1. Go to Discover’s website. From the list of credit cards, select Discover it® Cash Back, then click Apply now.
  2. Complete the application with your personal details.
  3. Review your application and submit it.

How long will it take to get my Discover it® Cash Back?

You’ll likely receive a decision almost immediately after you apply. If there are issues with your application, you may have to wait a few business days up to a few weeks for a decision.

Once approved, expect to receive the card by mail within 7 to 10 days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Download Discover Mobile app. Use the app to make payments, check your FICO® score, find ATMs and more.
  • Avoid fees. Discover waives your first late payment fee. Subsequent late payments come with fees of up to $37, and balance transfers and cash advances also come with fees.
  • Customer service. Call 1-800-347-2683 or chat with a representative online if you have any questions.

How do I redeem rewards from Discover it® Cash Back?

Log in to your online Discover Card account and browse your redemption options. These include:

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

If you don’t have an online account, call 1-800-DISCOVER (1-800-347-2683) to redeem your Discover rewards.

Bottom line

If you spend within the rotating quarterly 5% cash back categories, the no-fee Discover it® Cash Back could be well worth your time.

However, if you want a flat cash back on all purchases or higher cash back on certain categories, consider another cash back card.

Frequently asked questions

Cashback card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.

We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for finder.com. When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    donnaSeptember 19, 2017

    can i transfer card debt for a family member onto my discover card?

    • finder Customer Care
      MariaSeptember 19, 2017Staff

      Hey Donna,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      It may be possible to have the credit card debt of a family member balance transferred onto your discover card.
      However, you need to meet the eligibility criteria before you’re approved for the balance transfer.

      You may want to read about it on this page on Balance Transfers for Someone Else’s Debt.

      As finder is a financial comparison website providing general information, we do not represent Discover or any of the companies that we feature on our pages.

      It would be best to confirm this information directly with them.

      I hope this helps.

      Best,
      Maria

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