One of the most competitive industry in the world, credit card companies are constantly trying to one up each other by offering better rates and features. The Discover It® – Double Cash Back your first year is the newly revamped cash back credit card by Discover Financial that offers 12 months 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, 5% Cashback Bonus in rotational categories. Other features will be included, but I will review those four main features above. Discover It card aims to be the most consumer-friendly card on the market with absolutely no annual fee. Click “Apply” to see rates, rewards, and free FICO® Credit Score terms and other information. Find all the best Discover Bank Bonuses!
Editor’s Note: Sign up through our Discover it® Referral link and earn a $50 bonus after first purchase. You won’t see the $50 bonus at the application page, but rest assured you will get the $50 bonus after first purchase. If you’re ready to sign up for the Discover It Cashback Match card, head over and read our quarterly updates for the Discover quarterly categories so that you can make sure that you’re earning the maximum cashback earnings on all your purchases with the Discover.
The 2018 bonus category calendar is:
- January – March 2018: Gas Stations & Wholesale Clubs (review)
- April – June 2018: Grocery Stores (review)
- July – September 2018: Restaurants (review)
- October – December 2018: Amazon.com & Wholesale Clubs (review)
Table of Contents
- 1 Discover It Miles Card Credentials
- 2 Best Travel Credit Cards for 2018
- 3 Discover It Miles Pros & Cons
- 4 Discover It Card Features
- 5 Discover It Redeeming Cash Back
- 6 Discover It Cash Back Gift Cards
- 7 Discover It Cash Back Charity
- 8 Discover It Cash Back Payment
- 9 Discover It Cash Back Benefits
- 10 Discover It FICO® Credit Scorecard
- 11 Discover It Cash at Checkout
- 12 Discover It Refer a Friend
- 13 Discover It Shopping Protections
- 14 Discover It Flight Accident & Auto Rental Insurance
- 15 Discover It Other Benefits
- 16 Discover It Cashback Info
- 17 Our Thoughts
- 18 Credit Card Comparison
- 19 Bottom Line:
Discover It Miles Card Credentials
Best Travel Credit Cards for 2018
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card offers a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
There is no minimum to redeem for cash back & your cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
This card comes with no annual fee and you'll get a free credit score that is updated weekly with Credit JourneySM.
The Chase Freedom® Card offers a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
You'll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate and an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. You cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
This card has no annual fee and you'll get a free credit score that's updated weekly with Credit JourneySM.
Discover It Miles Pros & Cons
Discover It Card Features
- 0% intro APR on purchases & balance transfers for 14 months-then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 13.49% – 24.49%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
- Exclusive offer: Double all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your 1st year-automatically.*
- 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter like gas, restaurants and more-up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up.* 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on first late payment & paying late won’t raise your APR.*
- Free FICO® Credit Score on monthly statements and online.
- 100% U.S.-based customer service available any time.
- Pay your bill up to 12:00AM EST the day it’s due by phone or online.
- Freeze It® on/off switch for your account if you’ve misplaced your credit card.
- Discover It gives you the control to freeze your account to prevent new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers on your account.
- You can freeze or unfreeze within seconds with Discover’s mobile app or website.
- Free overnight shipping for card replacement to any U.S. street address at your request.
- Paying late will not raise your APR with Discover It Cashback Match card.
- Waived late fee for your first late payment.
Discover It Redeeming Cash Back
No matter which redemption method you choose, you’ll be able to get at least $1 for every $1 in cash back that you’ve earned. The gift card option actually provides more than $1 back for every $1 you’ve earned, making it the most potentially rewarding method.
You’ll have five different options for redeeming your cash back:
- As a statement credit to reduce your balance
- Directly into a bank account of your choice
- For gift cards
- As a charitable donation
- Pay with rewards at select retailers, like Amazon.com
The easiest way to redeem your cash back is with a statement credit or direct deposit. Statement credits will lower your balance, and direct deposits will simply wind up in your bank account.
Discover It Cash Back Gift Cards
Redeeming your cash back for gift cards at specific retailers is actually a good option with the Discover it. In every case you can get more than $1 for every $1 in cash back you redeem.
The offers will vary, but you will always get at least $5 added to each card for free. There are a wide variety of retailers to choose from, in many different categories. Some example offers include:
- Redeem $20 to get a $25 gift card for Brooks Brothers
- Redeem $45 to get a $50 gift card at Chili’s
- Redeem $45 to get a $50 gift card for iTunes
- Redeem $90 to get a $100 gift card at Sephora
Gift cards are available in both digital and physical form. Physical gift cards will take up to 4 weeks to arrive by mail.
Discover It Cash Back Charity
If you want to donate your rewards to a good cause, Discover provides an easy way to make a direct donation. You can send your rewards to any of the following organizations:
- ASPCA Children’s Miracle Network Make-A-Wish Foundation®
- American Cancer Society Junior Achievement Operation Homefront
- American Red Cross Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation World Wildlife Fund
Discover It Cash Back Payment
You’ll have an option to link your Discover account with certain retailers, like Amazon.com. This will let you pay for purchases through them directly with your cash back rewards.
We do not recommend this method because when you pay with rewards you won’t earn any cash back. This would be a mistake if you’re shopping at Amazon.com and could potentially earn 5% cash back. So, we suggest you always pay with your card to earn cash back, and then redeem your rewards through a different method.
Discover It Cash Back Benefits
The Discover it comes with a pretty good set of standard benefits, providing certain types of coverage when you shop and travel.
Discover It FICO® Credit Scorecard
Discover’s FICO® Credit Scorecard provides access to one of your free FICO credit scores online, along with alerts if it changes. Discover will use the FICO Score 8 from your TransUnion credit report.
Many issuers today will offer free access to one of your FICO credit scores, but if you don’t have another way to check your TransUnion score this card is a good option for that. Discover also includes quite a bit of advice and information about credit scores, breaking your score down by category and providing specific tips for improving it.
Discover It Cash at Checkout
When shopping at participating locations, you can get cash back immediately by charging an additional amount over your purchase. There is no extra fee and this will be counted as part of your purchase, rather than as a cash advance.
You can get a maximum of $120 every 24 hours in this way. But individual stores will have their own cash back limits and in some cases they will charge a fee. Some examples are below.
Although Safeway is listed as a participating merchant on Discover’s site, we were informed by Safeway that they no longer offer this cash at checkout service.
Here are some current cash back limits and fees:
|Retailer||Cash Back Limit||Fee|
|Dillons||$100 per purchase||$3 for any amount over $100|
|Dollar General||$40 per purchase||$1.50|
|Kroger||$100 per purchase||$3 for any amount over $100|
|Meijer||$50 per person, per day||None|
|Sam’s Club||$100 per purchase||None|
|Walmart||$100 per purchase||None|
Discover It Refer a Friend
As a cardholder, you can earn cash back for referring friends to apply for Discover credit cards. You must send them the referral link you get from Discover, and they must use that link to apply.
If your friend is approved you will earn a $50 cash back bonus. If your friend makes his first purchase within 3 months of opening the account, he will earn a $50 cash back bonus too.
You can refer a maximum of 10 friends per year, and your account must not be late on payments or over the credit limit to qualify for this benefit.
Discover It Shopping Protections
Discover provides a shopping protection when using this card: Price Protection to reimburse you for the price difference if you find an item you bought being advertised for less
Discover It Flight Accident & Auto Rental Insurance
You and your family are automatically covered for accidental death or bodily injury while at the airport and on airline flights, up to $500,000 per claim. You must pay the entire cost of the airline tickets using your Discover card to be covered by this benefit. Coverage begins as soon as the full cost of the ticket is charged to the card.
When you rent a vehicle with your Discover card this benefit provides coverage for collision damage. You must decline the car rental company’s insurance to be eligible for this benefit.
Discover It Other Benefits
These are the most interesting benefits of the Discover it card, but this list does not cover everything it offers. There are also important account management and security benefits, like fraud protection, free social Security Number alerts, and the ability to quickly freeze your account to prevent new purchases. Read more about the benefits, and check the Guide to Benefits that comes with the card to learn what you have access to.
Discover It Cashback Info
- 1st Year Match Bonus: New card members will receive a match of their combined cashback earnings at the end of their 1st year
- Cashback Earnings:
- 5% cashback on quarterly categories
- 1% cashback on all other purchases
- Annual Fee: None
- Cashback Expiration: N/A as long as your account remains open
- Foreign Transaction Fees: None
- Standard Variable Purchase APR: 13.24% – 24.24%
- Balance Transfers: 0% APR Intro for 14 Months
- Cashback Redemption Minimum Limit: None, can be redeemed as little or as much as you have earned
- Balance Transfer Fee: 3% Fee for Each Balance Transfer
The Discover it® - Cashback Match™, like other 5% rotating category credit cards, is all about how and when you use it. The standard 1% cash back offered on the non bonus categories is average among no annual fee rewards credit cards. The best value of this card resides in sticking to its 5% cash back calendar. As long as your purchases line up with the categories listed each quarter, you can earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 you spend at those category retailers in each quarter. This means a potential savings up to $75 every three months.
Discover also has a good promotion running for new applicants – they will double all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your 1st year of card membership. During that first year, Discover it® - Cashback Match™ offers the greatest savings of any other cash back card around. If you count this bonus, your effective cash back rate during that first year can be at the very least 2%. This makes the Discover it® - Cashback Match™, undeniably, one of the best rewards credit cards – for the first year, it even beats out competitors like the Citi Double Cash.
Credit Card Comparison
Here’s how the Discover It® stacks up against the Chase Freedom®, another highly recommended travel rewards credit card.
|Card||Discover It®||Chase Freedom®|
|Intro- Purchase APR||0% Intro APR for 14 months||0% Intro APR for 15 months|
|Intro- Balance Transfers APR||0% Intro APR for 14 months||0% Intro APR for 15 months|
|Purchase APR||13.49% to 24.49% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors||16.49% to 25.24% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors|
|Balance Transfers APR||13.49% to 24.49% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors||16.49% to 25.24% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||No foreign transaction fee||3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars|
|Annual Fee||$0 annual fee||$0 annual fee|
|Introductory Bonus||$50 bonus after 1st purchase and (new member only) double cash back at the end of intro-year||Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.|
|Cash Back||1.5x Miles on every dollar you spend on purchases. Redeem Miles in any amount to credit travel purchases from your statement, or get cash at any time.||Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.|
There are two benefits of the Chase Freedom® that can make it a more lucrative card however: a fixed signing bonus and network. Chase Freedom® cardholders can earn a $150 bonus for being new cardholders (after spending $500 in the first three months). The Chase Freedom® is part of the largest card network in the U.S. – VISA. This means users will have less trouble paying with the Chase Freedom® over the Discover it® - Cashback Match™. Individuals who wish to make their final decision based purely on rewards value, should consult with the rewards calendar below – to maximize rewards, you will want to select the credit card which best fits your spending schedule.
If you’re looking for a solid cash-back credit card with a chance to maximize your cash back far beyond 5%, the Discover It® with its double-cash-back bonus and Discover Deals is hard to ignore. If you want that, plus a longer balance-transfer period, go for the Discover it® – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer.
I would highly recommend the Discover It card as it comes with on annual fee, rotating 5% categories and many benefits for being a cardholder!
If, however, you’re looking to get a bonus sooner, you want a wider variety of categories to earn bonus cash on, or you prefer a flat-rate cash-back card, there are plenty of options to choose from, review our complete list of Credit Card Bonus Promotions for more details! Remember, as with all cards, terms and limitations apply.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – a $200 cash redemption value.
You'll earn 3X points for:
• eating out and ordering in
• gas stations, rideshares and transit
• travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
• on popular streaming services
• 1X points on other purchases
This card comes with no annual fee.