At a Glance

Selecting the right credit card as a student is crucial for building credit and maximizing benefits. Discover offers two popular choices tailored for students: the Discover It Student Cash Back and Discover It Student Chrome cards. Let’s delve into the details to help you decide which aligns best with your spending habits and financial goals.

In this article, you’ll learn:


Discover it® Miles

Reward rate1.50%
Reward details1.5X Miles on every dollar of every purchase
Intro Bonus:Equal to the cashback you earn in first year Annual fee$0
Regular APR16.24% - 27.24%
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Bank of America® Travel Rewards

Reward rate1.5x
Reward detailsEarn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time
Intro Bonus:25,000 Points Annual fee$0
Regular APR17.99% - 27.99%


Why should you consider Discover It® Student Cash Back Card?

When looking at the Discover it Student Chrome vs. Cash Back, the first question that’s likely to pop into your head is why to choose one over the other. Starting with the Discover it Student Cash Back card, there are a few standout features that make it appealing to some:

Additional benefits

The Discover It Student Cash Back card offers an attractive rewards program. It provides 5% cash back on rotating categories, such as grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, or purchases (up to the quarterly maximum upon activation). Plus, you’ll earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Redemption options

Redeeming rewards is flexible with this card. You can convert your cashback rewards into statement credits, opt for direct deposits into your bank account, or use them for purchases on This flexibility gives you various options to maximize your rewards.

Credit score needed

The nice thing about the Student Cash Back card by Discover is that it requires no credit score to apply or to be approved. The company understands that students likely don’t have an extensive history with credit and do not require a score as such.

Why should you consider Discover It® Student Chrome?

On the other side of the Discover it Chrome vs. Cash Back Student card debate, the Student Chrome is also a viable choice. The following benefits make it one of the most commonly seen cards within student wallets around the world:

Additional benefits

The Discover It Student Chrome card appeals to those who frequently spend on gas and dining. It offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants throughout the year (up to the quarterly maximum). Additionally, you’ll earn 1% cash back on other purchases, making it a consistent option for certain spending categories.

Redemption options

Similar to its counterpart, this card allows for flexible redemption options. You can redeem your cashback rewards for statement credits, direct deposits into your bank account, or use them for purchases on or through PayPal, providing versatility in utilizing your earned rewards. This means that when considering the Discover it Student Chrome vs. Discover it Student Cash Back, there is not much difference in redemption options.

Credit score needed

Just like the Discover It Student Cash Back card, there is no credit score required to qualify for this card given that the company gears the card towards students who likely have limited credit history.

Which card should one get?

Navigating whether or not the Discover it Student Cash Back vs. Chrome card is right for you can seem daunting. Fortunately, determining which is the right option can be done by looking at a few key factors:

If you have a budget

Students on a budget might find the Discover It Student Cash Back card more beneficial. Its diverse rotating categories enable you to maximize cash back on various expenses, potentially yielding higher returns.

If you spend more on gas and restaurants

For students who primarily spend on gas and dining, the Discover It Student Cash Back card can be more rewarding due to its consistent 5% cash back in these categories. There is also no cap on the student cash back card which makes it great for those with frequent gas and food purchases.

When you want to maximize rotating categories

Opting for the Discover It Student Cash Back card allows you to take advantage of the higher 5% cash back in rotating categories. If you can align your spending with these categories, you may earn significant rewards.

When you want to increase your ongoing value

The Discover It Student Chrome card offers consistent 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, which could be more appealing for those seeking ongoing value without rotating categories. In addition to this, 1% cash back is earned on all other purchases, which means you’ll be earning even after the 2% categories are maxed out.

When should you not consider both cards?

Maximizing year-round category spending

If your spending habits don’t align with the bonus categories offered by these cards or if you’re seeking rewards in other specific categories, neither card may fully cater to your needs. This point becomes especially true if you intend to max out your year-round category spending early on in the year.

Earning maximum out of purchase value

If you have specific reward preferences beyond cash back, such as travel points, or if you aim to maximize benefits for purchases beyond the categories covered, exploring other cards might better suit your objectives.


While both cards fall under the Discover umbrella, they differ in their rewards structures and targeted spending categories, catering to different consumer preferences.

Discover Student Chrome specifically focuses on cash back rewards for gas and dining purchases, appealing to students with frequent expenses in these categories.

The ‘better’ choice depends on individual spending habits and preferences. Each card has distinct benefits, making one more suitable than the other based on personal financial habits.

Both cards belong to the Discover family and cater specifically to students. However, they offer different rewards and benefits tailored to student needs. This means that one student may enjoy the benefits of one card over the other.

Given their student-friendly features and rewards, either Discover It Student Cash Back or Discover It Student Chrome could serve as valuable financial tools for students aiming to build credit and earn rewards. Just be sure you can handle the financial responsibility that comes with owning a credit card.