Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card Review

  • 7 min read

The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card is a no-fee card with a lot of perks, including rotating bonus cash back categories and next-level security features. Best of all, Discover often offers promotional rates that can essentially double your cash back rewards earned during the first year of use! If you are looking for a well-rounded and accessible rewards card, then continue reading.

Benefits and Perks

We will start off by noting the excellent cash-back rewards program attached to this card. With the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card, you can earn 5-percent cash back in different categories that rotate each quarter – these include gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants, and certain online retailers, depending on the quarter. There is a quarterly maximum to these bonus rewards, but they are still a compelling offering that makes this card even more attractive.

Discover has also included their Freeze It℠ feature, which adds to card security by preventing use of the card to make new purchases or modify the account. If you lose your card, you need only trigger the Freeze It feature via your computer or mobile device.

Fees and Expenses

This Discover card has no annual fee, which makes it a smart choice right off the bat considering that many cash-back rewards cards have annual fees to offset the cost of issuing them. If you travel for work or fun you’ll be glad to know that the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card card carries no additional fees on foreign transactions.

The APR scale can tip comparatively high on this card, but of course the actual APR will depend on your creditworthiness and approval. With good credit, you can expect to get an APR as low as 14.5% with this credit card.

Exploring the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

For the average consumer, the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card brings a lot to the table. This is truly a well-rounded card that many people will enjoy using and can leverage for its excellent perks and potentially low cost of ownership.

Not only does this card carry no annual fee, but it gives cardholders the chance to earn 5% cash back when they spend at select locations which swap out each quarter. (For all other purchases, you can earn the rather customary 1%.)

The Freeze It feature from Discover adds a layer of security that is not only effective, but very convenient. If you lose your card or suspect that it has fallen into the wrong hands, you can simply use the mobile app to temporarily deactivate the card. The process takes only seconds and can mean the difference between peace of mind and dealing with the hassles of fraudulent charges.

The card also includes a FICO tracking tool, added by Discover to bring even more usefulness to the already stellar credit card. With this addition, cardholders can track their FICO score and see easy-to-understand reasons why their score may have fluctuated. This information is available on your monthly statements and online and can go a long way in helping one maintain their financial health.

What we really liked about this card is the introductory offer for doubling your cash-back rewards. With this promotion, new customers can have their cash-back rewards matched by Discover– essentially doubling their earnings – when their first twelve months of issuance is up. This promotion is only available to new customers, however.

Rewards can be redeemed easily and as-needed for cash-back credits or a selection of gift cards.

With all of these features and no annual fee, the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card is a perfect card for people who just want to have it for emergencies as well as shoppers who want to rack up the cash back rewards. This card is also a good choice for international travelers, as it carries no fees for foreign transactions.

With that in mind, this card may not be the best for those who want to earn points with specific airlines or hotels. That is best accomplished with dedicated travel cards, although they tend to carry higher fees overall. There are also better credit card choices for people who spend heavily and wish to take advantage of even greater rewards programs (although such cards typically come with an annual fee.)

How to Use the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

The best way to make use of this credit card is to use it for your everyday purchases so you can keep earning the 1% cash-back bonus. It might not seem like much in small increments, but those pennies add up over the course of a year.

This strategy is even more sound the first year of ownership since you can take advantage of Discover’s double cash back bonus as long as the promotion is still being offered.

Not only is the cash back reward a good way to put money back in your pocket, but you can also redeem your points for gift cards that add even more value. For instance, Discover gives you the opportunity to redeem $40 in rewards for a $50 gift card from certain retailers – and if you know you’re going to be shopping with them, there’s no reason not to leverage this opportunity.

Of course, if you want to turn the largest profit on your cash-back rewards, be sure to pay your bill each month so that you do not accrue interest. The value of your accumulated rewards can be reduced significantly if you carry over a balance.

If you have a large purchase in mind, you can take advantage of the 0% introductory APR that is available during the first 14 months of owning the card. You can also use this time to take care of existing debt, although there is a 3% balance transfer fee to consider if you choose to go that route.

To get the most from this card, you will want to use all the perks available. This means being sure to use the included FICO monitoring to keep track of your credit. This update is included on your monthly statement or it can be accessed online. Either way, you will want to make sure you are using this valuable tool.

All in all, the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card is a great, no-annual-fee rewards credit card that fits many consumers’ needs. If you want a credit card for use in emergencies, or you need to transfer a balance, this card is worth looking closely at. It is also fantastic for those who want to earn valuable rewards with their spending.

Find more information about the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card.

Similar Cards

Although the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card has lot to offer, there is no shortage of rewards cards for you to choose from. Comparing other rewards cards can help ensure that you are getting the credit card that best suits your individual needs and plans. Even Discover offers other options – such as the Discover it® Miles card and Discover it® chrome – although there are plenty of other issuers to look at.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of our editors’ top picks and should be accessible to roughly the same consumers as the Discover it Cashback Match. Although the double points sign up bonus is exclusive to the latter, the Chase card offers high cash back bonuses on select retail categories and other features that make it stand out from the crowd.

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is another possibility, with almost all the same features as the Discover card, but with a standard 1.5% cash back bonus on all purchases.

Christopher - BSc, MBA

With over two decades of combined Big 5 Banking and Agency experience, Christopher launched Underbanked® to cut through the noise and complexity of financial information. Christopher has an MBA degree from McMaster University and BSc. from Western University in Canada.