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Discover it® Credit Card Review
|Miles to Memories does not have a direct relationship with the card issuing bank and this review does not include any affiliate links. If you wish to support the site, you can apply for cards by clicking through from this page.
Before applying I highly suggest reading the following post about taking it slow. You can find all of our credit card reviews here.
Similar Cards: Chase Freedom (Our Review)
The Discover it® card was launched in January of 2013 as a replacement of the Discover More card. Discover it® is now the sole card in the bank’s credit card lineup, although they do have a student version with the same name, but different features. This review is of the normal consumer Discover it® card.
Discover generally requires average to above average credit to get this card. While a number of factors will go into the decision, Credit Karma lists the average approved score at 671, with a low of 602 and a high of 740. Based on reports from others, you do not need perfect credit to get this card.
Boasting a number of unique features, the Discover it® aims to provide a lot of cardholder value for no annual fee. Among the product’s most advertised features are 5% rotating cashback categories, providing a free FICO score monthlyand no late fees for your first last payment.
- 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in select categories each quarter.
- 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Cash back never expires
- Cash back can be redeemed in any amount.
- Late payments don’t raise APR.
- No late fee on first late payment.
- Free FICO score on monthly statements.
Discover introduced a Double Cashback promotion in the summer of 2015. Anyone who signs up for the Discover it before September 30, 2015 will have all of their cashback doubled at the end of the first year. This includes cashback earned from a sign-up bonus, earned through their portal and earned through spend.
For more info on the Double Cashback promo, see: Discover Double Cashback – Everything You Need to Know
Best Offer/Sign-Up Bonus
The normal offer for the Discover it® card does not come with a cash sign-up bonus, but gives a 0% APR on balance transfers (3% fee) and purchases for 14 months. It is never a good idea to have debt, but if you do, that version may be preferable.
Historically the best offer pays a $150 bonus after spending $750 in the first three months. Unfortunately that $150 bonus offer is not currently available, but current cardholders can refer their friends and each person will receive $50. If you are enrolled in the Double Cashback promotion, that $50 will be doubled at the end of the first year.
Annual & Other Fees
When launching it, Discover eliminated a lot of fees. The card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, no penalty APR and no late payment fee on the first late payment.
While they often advertise 0% APR on balance transfers as a sign-up perk, keep in mind that they do charge a 3% balance transfer fee. You can find the terms and fees of their current public offer here. (Keep in mind promotional APRs at that link differ from the Amazon offer linked to above.)
Cash Back Redemptions
Recently Discover changed their policy to allow cardholders to redeem any amount of cashback. This means that as little as $.01 can be redeemed from your available cashback to your account. You can also redeem cashback for charity, gift cards and merchandise.
One of the best redemptions of Discover cashback is on travel related gift cards. Discover has cruise certificates available at half price along with a number of car rental certificates. For example currently you can get a $40 Enterprise car rental certificate for $20.
Discover Deals Portal
Discover Deals is the company’s shopping portal and it is one of the best around. I am big on using portals, since they represent an easy way to save tremendous amounts of money while shopping online. Discover Deals often has the best cash back rates and should be considered when formulating a shopping portal strategy.
From time to time Discover also runs other shopping related deals and bonuses for cardmembers. This targeted “Choose a Store” 5% bonus is a good example.
If you sign-up for the Discover it card before September 30, 2015 then the company will double all of the cashback you earn during the first year. This means that your normal spending will earn 2%, the 5% categories will double to 10% and even cashback earned through the Discover Deals portal will double as well. You can find out more about the promotion here.
Our Discover it® Review
The Discover it® card is one of the most underrated credit cards on the market today. I don’t personally value the no late APR or late fee benefits since I don’t use them, however I do enjoy getting my FICO score for free and having access to Discover Deals.
Discover’s 5% rotating categories are also very useful, because they make it possible to earn an additional $300 per year in cashback with minimal effort. Additionally, the card doesn’t have an annual fee, meaning it is a good card to get and keep to extend your average age of accounts.
In my opinion Discover it® is a card that a lot of people should consider. Between Discover Deals and the 5% rotating categories, the card is a moneymaker and doesn’t have an annual fee. That is a wonderful combination.
Currently the best offer only gives a $100 Amazon gift card, so if possible I would wait for the $150 bonus that comes around from time to time. If you need the card right away, then consider the Amazon deal or you can get a referral from current cardholders for a $50 cash signup bonus.
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