Discover It Cash Back Credit Card Review

If you love rewards and cash back, the Discover It Cash Back Credit Card is the perfect card for you. Maximum rewards for every dollar you spend, this card is jam-packed with perks.

Written by : Updated On: January 31
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The basics

Reward Rate:

Groceries

Different categories

5%
Groceries

All other spends

1%

5% cash back by quarter:

  • January – March: Grocery stores and gym/fitness club memberships
  • April – June: Gas stations and target
  • July – September: Restaurants and PayPal
  • October – December: Amazon.com and Digital Wallets

 

5% back up to $1500 in purchases.

Unlimited 1% back on all other purchases

Receive a dollar-for-dollar cash back at the end of your first year. The more you spend, the more you earn, which then gets doubled.

 

Key Features:

Annual Fee

No annual fee

Intro APR

0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Regular APR

16.99%-27.99% APR based on creditworthiness

Signup Bonus

signup-bonus

Cashback match – dollar-for-dollar match of cash back earned through your first year.

Redemption ways

signup-bonus

Account credit, bank deposit, charity donation, cashback bonus payment at select merchants.

Our Verdict

The Discover It Card does cash back better than most. You do not have to pick the categories where you save, as Discover has automatically picked them for you. This helps you plan when to make big purchases or which card to use at checkout. There is a spending cap on the 5% back. At $1500 per quarter, that can be easy to reach, so monitor how much you have spent. When you reach that cap, you will want to start using a different card that offers more than 1% back so you get the most benefits.

The card packs a lot in with no annual fee to worry about but you do need good credit to qualify.

Best Suited for:

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Foodie

If there is a new restaurant opening, you are there. You are all about the latest food fusion trend no one has heard of and putting it on the map. You love finding the best new restaurant but also like to go to your old standbys and earning cash back for all. And when you aren’t finding the best new restaurant, you are experimenting with recipes at home, so you also need a good card for reaping the rewards of grocery shopping.

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Social Butterfly

You are a person of the people and love to hang out with your friends whether it is a beautiful meal out, attending a sporting event or rocking out at a live concert. If something fun is happening, you want to be there and get rewarded for it.

ProsCons
No annual fee5% cash back is limited every quarter
Good for people who want to earn high cash back for everyday purchasesNo travel rewards
Easy online bankingPenalty APR
No foreign transaction feeLow 1% base reward rate

Hidden perks

A great benefit to this card is that it includes superstores like Target in their rotating categories. Many cash back cards omit places like Target, Walmart, and wholesale stores from earning cash back, so this is a huge plus.

Comparing Discover it® Cash Back with a similar card

Discover it® Cash Back

Reward rate1% - 5%
Reward detailsEarn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.
Intro Bonus:Equal to the cashback you earn in first year Annual fee$0
Regular APR16.49% - 27.49%
Read full review

Citi® Double Cash

Reward rate2.00%
Reward detailsEarn cash back on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases
Intro Bonus:NA Annual fee$0
Regular APR18.99% - 28.99%
Read full review

Beyond the basics

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% APR for 15 months

Cash Advance APR

29.99%

Foreign Transaction Fees

None

Loan APR

None

Late Payment fee

No fee on first late payment— up to$41 thereafter

Penalty APR

No imposed penalty APR on first late payment—balance will accumulate interest at the card’s regular APR thereafter

Credit Score Required

670+

What we like about this card

The Discover it Cash Back Credit Card appeals to users through its lucrative cash back rewards, introductory APR, lack of annual fees, security features, and customer-centric services:

1. Generous Cash Back Rewards: One of the standout features of the Discover it Cash Back Credit Card is its rewarding cash back program. Earn 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories, such as gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when activated. Enjoy 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

2. Cashback Match for the First Year: A unique and appealing aspect is the Cashback Match program, Discover automatically matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, doubling your rewards without any caps or limits. This perk significantly enhances the card’s value, especially for new cardholders.

3. Introductory APR: The card offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 14 months. This feature is beneficial for those looking to make significant purchases and pay them off over time without incurring interest charges.

4. No Annual Fee or Foreign Transaction Fees: The absence of an annual fee makes the Discover it Cash Back Credit Card an attractive option for budget-conscious individuals, and no foreign transaction fee is appealing for frequent travelers.

5. Redeem Cash Back Anytime: Unlike some cards with strict redemption rules, the Discover it Cash Back allows users to redeem their cash back at any time, in any amount. Redemption options include direct deposits, statement credits, and gift cards, providing flexibility and convenience.

6. Exceptional Customer Service: Discover is renowned for its customer service. Cardholders appreciate the responsive and helpful customer support, contributing to an overall positive experience with the card.

7. Innovative Mobile App: The Discover mobile app is user-friendly and feature-rich. It allows cardholders to manage their accounts, track expenses, redeem rewards, and even activate the 5% cash back categories seamlessly.

 

Drawbacks and considerations

While the Discover it Cash Back Credit Card offers compelling rewards and features, it’s important for potential cardholders to be aware of its drawbacks and consider whether these align with their spending habits and preferences:

1. Rotating Categories Require Activation: While the 5% cash back in rotating categories is a great feature, cardholders need to remember to activate these categories each quarter to maximize rewards. Forgetting to activate may result in earning the standard 1% cash back on all purchases.

2. Quarterly Maximum for 5% Cash Back: The 5% cash back is subject to a quarterly maximum. Once the spending cap is reached in the activated category, cardholders earn only 1% cash back, limiting the overall potential rewards.

3. Not Widely Accepted Internationally: Although the card has no foreign transaction fees, Discover is not as widely accepted globally as some other credit card networks like Visa or Mastercard.

4. Potential High APR After Introductory Period: While the card offers a 0% APR on purchases for the first 14 months, it’s important to consider the variable APR that applies after this period. Individuals who carry a balance beyond the introductory period may face relatively high-interest rates.

5. Credit Score Dependency: While the card is accessible to those with average credit, individuals with lower credit scores may have difficulty qualifying.

6. May Not Suit High Spenders: For individuals who spend significantly in categories not covered by the 5% cash back, or those who spend beyond the quarterly maximum, the card’s overall cash back potential might be lower compared to flat-rate cash back cards.

7. No Travel-Specific Benefits: The card lacks travel-specific perks, such as travel insurance, airport lounge access, or other benefits typically associated with travel rewards cards. Individuals seeking a credit card primarily for travel-related benefits might find other options more suitable.

Other Offers

You are never held responsible for unauthorized purchases made on your account.

If you cannot find your card, easily freeze it to prevent new purchases, cash advances, or transfers. If you cannot find it, you get free overnight shipping to replace the card.

Receive an alert if your SSN is found on the dark web.

Track and redeem rewards, view your FICO score, manage your account, and message a representative right from your phone.

How to decide if this card is right for you

Deciding if the Discover it Cash Back Credit Card is right for you involves a careful consideration of your spending habits, financial goals, and preferences. Here’s a guide to help you determine if this card aligns with your needs:

1. Evaluate Your Spending Habits: Consider your typical expenses and where you spend the most. The 5% cash back in rotating categories can be lucrative if they align with your regular purchases. If your spending doesn’t match the quarterly categories, or you prefer simplicity, a flat-rate cash back card might be a better fit.

2. Assess Your Interest in Activation: The card’s 5% cash back categories require quarterly activation. Assess whether you are willing to actively engage in this process to maximize rewards. If you prefer a set-it-and-forget-it approach, a card with a consistent cash back rate might be more suitable.

3. Determine the Sign-Up Bonus Importance: The Discover it Cash Back Credit Card doesn’t have a traditional sign-up bonus, but the Cashback Match for the first year can be substantial. If you prioritize immediate rewards, consider if the Cashback Match compensates for the absence of a fixed sign-up bonus.

4. Consider Your Credit Score: While the card is accessible to those with average credit, ensure that your credit score aligns with the card’s requirements. If you have a lower credit score, explore other options that might be more attainable.

5. Analyze Your Travel and International Spending: If you frequently travel internationally, be mindful that Discover is not as widely accepted as other card networks. If travel benefits are crucial, a travel rewards card from a more globally accepted network might be a better fit.

6. Assess Your Interest in APR Promotions: If you plan on making significant purchases and want a period of interest-free payments, the 0% APR on purchases for the first 14 months can be advantageous. If APR promotions are not a priority or if you plan to carry a balance, compare the card’s post-promotional APR with other options.

7. Consider Your Overall Financial Goals: Reflect on your broader financial objectives. If you are looking to maximize cash back and enjoy a year of doubled rewards with Cashback Match, the Discover it Cash Back Credit Card is appealing. If your goals involve travel, building credit, or specific perks, explore cards tailored to those objectives.

 

Pair this card with:

Citi® Double Cash Card

citi-Premier

For maximum saving potential, pair this card with Citi Double Cash Card. For any purchases that do not fall into a bonus category, use Citi’s flat-rate credit card so you can earn more than 1.5% cash back on those purchases. You will receive 2% cash back—1% when you buy and 1% when your purchases are paid off.

Apply now: Citi® Double Cash Card

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FAQs

As a Discover card member, you can have two different credit cards from Discover, but you cannot have more than two Discover cards open at the same time.

No, there is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.

Ultimately, the Discover it Cash Back card is worth considering if you can maximize the 5% cash back categories, take advantage of the Cashback Match in the first year, and appreciate the absence of an annual fee. However, if you prefer a straightforward cash back structure without quarterly activations or if you have specific travel-related needs, other credit cards might better suit your preferences. It’s crucial to assess your spending patterns and financial goals to determine if the card aligns with your overall financial strategy.