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The Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card is a cash back credit card designed for people who don't mind a little bit of effort to earn 5% cash back. Discover has a number of categories each quarter that you can choose from. Rotating categories include grocery stores, gas stations, Target, restaurants, and Amazon. The 5% rewards are capped at $1,500 per quarter. What you'll do is choose from what's offered, activate your category and then enjoy 5% cash back. You do need to remember to choose a category and activate it every quarter. If you forget, you'll earn just 1% cash back.
This card also offers a 0% introductory APR rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months months. We dive into the details and your approval odds in this Discover It review.
Unlimited Cashback Match the first year
0% on Purchases
1% - 5%
0% on Balance Transfers
Features & Benefits
|Security||EMV Chip Enabled, Fraud Monitoring, Zero Liability, Alerts, Identity theft protection, Card Lock|
|Contactless Payments||Tap to Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay|
|Benefits||Free credit score access, 24/7 customer service|
Interest Rates & Fees
|Foreign Transaction Fee||None|
|Regular APR||17.24% to 28.24% (V) APR|
|Balance Transfers||0% Intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers, then 17.24% to 28.24%(V) APR after that.|
|Balance Transfer Fee||Intro fee of 3% of the amount of each transfer for transfers that post to your account by December 10, 2023 with the 0% intro APR balance transfer offer described above. After that, 5% of the amount of each transfer.|
|Purchases||0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases, then 17.24% to 28.24% (V) APR after that.|
What Credit Score Is Required to Get the Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card
The following credit score data are based on publicly available information we have collected from various forums. We have no way to confirm the accuracy of this data. In addition, keep in mind that credit card issuers use a number of factors in their underwriting process, and these factors can change at any time.
|App Status||Date||Credit Score||Bureau||Credit Limit|
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
- Up to 5% cash back
- No welcome bonus
- Requires good credit
What Are the Best Alternatives?
Chase Freedom Flex(SM)
1% - 5%
Citi Custom Cash® Card
1% - 5%
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
- Wells Fargo Active Cash Card vs. Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card
- Citi® Double Cash Card – 18-month BT offer vs. Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card
- Citi Custom Cash(SM) Card vs. Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card
I’ve carried the Discover card for longer than I can remember. Originally called the Discover More Card, it’s now known as the Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card. It’s one of my favorite cash back credit cards.
Historically, Discover is known for two things: (1) excellent cash back rewards, and (2) excellent 0% APR introductory rate offers on balance transfers. And based on my review, it doesn’t disappoint in either category.
Discover also offers cardholders free access to their FICO credit score. First, let’s look at the cash back rewards.
Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card Rewards
The cash back rewards are similar to Discover’s previous cards, with a couple of exceptions.
First, the familiar 5% cash back on categories of purchases that change throughout the year is a feature of the card. These categories change each quarter. The five percent is capped at $1,500 in purchases each quarter. Thus, its potential value is $75 every three months.
Second, the Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card pays 1% on all other purchases. Back in the day, Discover paid just 0.25% until you spent $3,000 on the card. That limitation is now gone. You earn 1% on all purchases right from the start.
Third, Discover doubles the cash back you earn at the end of the first year. Earn $1,000 in cash back the first year, for example, and Discover will match it. We’ll come back to this feature in a minute.
Finally, you have many options on how to redeem your cash back rewards. You can, of course, use the rewards as a statement credit (which is what I do) or get a direct deposit of the cash back directly to your bank account. But you can also use your rewards to get gift cards.
What’s the Value of the Cash Rewards
How much you can earn depends entirely on how much you spend. To give you an idea, however, we’ve taken spending data for an average family from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Spending Category||Spending Amount||Cash Back %||Cash Back Rewards|
|Other Transportation Expenses||$845||1%||$8.45|
|U.S. Department Stores||$1,945||1%||$19.45|
So far we’ve earned $255.69 in cash back. Now we also assumed that these purchases will also earn the 5% rotating category bonus each quarter. That adds an additional 4% cash back (on top of the 1% reflected in the table), on a total of $6,000 in purchases ($1,500 each quarter). That adds another $240 in cash back, bringing our total to $495.69.
But we aren’t done. For the first year only, Discover matches our cash back. The match brings our grand total in year one to $991.38. Not bad for a no-annual-fee credit card.
Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card 0% Intro APR
The Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card offers 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers and for 15 months on purchases. Then, a variable apr of 17.24% to 28.24%. There is a balance transfer fee of: Intro fee of 3% of the amount of each transfer for transfers that post to your account by December 10, 2023 with the 0% intro APR balance transfer offer described above. After that, 5% of the amount of each transfer.
Free FICO® Score Offer
Discover is the first major credit card issuer to offer free access to FICO® scores. Each month cardholders will see their FICO® score on their monthly credit card statement. The score will be based on data from TransUnion.
Beyond cash back and the no-interest features of the card, Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card also offers some lessor known features. Particularly in the area of fees, the card really shines.
- No annual fee
- No late fee for your first late payment
- No foreign transaction fee
- 100% U.S.-based customer service available at any time
- Paying late won’t increase your APR
- Pay your bill by midnight (ET) the day it’s due by phone or online
- Choose your payment due date online or by phone
- Automatic expedited delivery of your new card
It’s perhaps for the above reasons that Discover has been ranked #1 in customer loyalty, according to the 2023 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index Report.
Discover Spend Analyzer
The Discover mobile app offers what it calls the Spend Analyzer. This feature looks at the charges to your card over the past one, three, six, 12, or 24 months and analyzes your spending by category. With a click of the mouse, you can drill down into any spending category to understand exactly where your money is going.
As with anything, there are always some features that could be better. In the case of Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card there’s not much room for improvement. Discover could offer a bonus cash reward for new card members. But beyond that, the card is competitive in every respect.
All-in-all the Discover It® Cash Back Credit Card is an excellent option. I’ve carried a Discover card for a long time and have been very happy with it. The website is extremely easy to use, redeeming cash back rewards is a snap, and Discover gives you a ton of options when it comes to paying your bill.