Updated on Apr 7, 2020

Best Discover Credit Cards of 2020

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Please Note: Information about the Discover cards have been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com and may be out of date. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy. The offers are not currently available on our site.

The best Discover credit cards have some features and rewards that may surprise you, including dollar-for-dollar match on all cash back earned at the end of your first year, and lucrative rewards. Known for its outstanding customer service and creating America’s first cash back rewards program, Discover has a card for everyone. See the best credit card offers from Discover below.

Discover credit cards are a great way to earn rewards and finance new purchases. Since its inception in 1986, Discover has become one of the most recognized card issuers in the U.S.

In comparison to Discover’s largest credit card competitors, its strengths include cash rewards, and strong customer service, according to its 2018 annual report. Discover’s credit card business hones in on its reward programs and merchant acceptance to stay competitive.

As of December 2018, Discover credit cards reached a circulation of 57.1 million, an increase of 8.9%, according to the Nilson Report.

If you’re looking for a lengthy 0% APR intro period or worthwhile cash back rewards, it might be worth considering a Discover credit card. Check out the best Discover credit card offers below.

Discover it® Balance Transfer

Who should get it: If you’re looking to refine your finances and get a card with intro APR on transferred balances for 18 months, the Discover it® Balance Transfer card could help you pay down a balance.

How to use it: Transfer your highest APR balances first to stop accruing interest charges and pay down your balance as much as possible during the card’s 18-month intro period. Once you have paid off your transferred balance, you can enjoy 5% cash back (up to a quarterly maximum each time you activate) when you use it at grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. All other purchases qualify for 1% unlimited cash back.

Why you’ll love it: Who doesn’t appreciate 18 months of no interest for balance transfers? The Discover it® Balance Transfer card offers a temporary solution to accumulating credit card debt, in addition to a substantial rewards program.

Things to consider:  

  • 3% intro balance transfer fee (see terms)
  • Up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)
  • Caps on rotating bonus rewards per quarter

Pro tip: The Discover it® Balance Transfer card matches all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, plus 1% rate on everything else.

Discover it® Cash Back

Who should get it: The Discover it® Cash Back is ideal for cardholders looking for an easy-to-earn sign up bonus with no minimum spending requirement and the ability to earn cash back from rotating bonus categories.

How to use it: With the Discover it® Cash Back, you can earn up to 5% cash back each quarter at various places including grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Why you’ll love it: The Discover it® Cash Back will automatically give a dollar-for-dollar match on all cash back rewards at the end of your first year, and there’s no spending requirement. If you’re looking for a straightforward return on your spending, the Discover it Cash Back card could be a perfect match.

Things to consider:  

  • Limit on how much you can earn
  • Rotating bonus categories require activation
  • Discover isn’t as widely accepted as cards in the Visa or Mastercard network

Pro tip: With Discover it® Cash Back, your cash back never expires. Redeem your rewards in any amount at any time.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Who should get it: The Discover it® Student Cash Back credit card provides cash back rewards to students who spend in common categories like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. If you’re a student, you can use this credit card to make the most of your purchases in rotating categories and earn up to 5% cash back, and 1% on all other purchases.

How to use it: With the Discover it® Student Cash Back, take advantage of the cash back at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. You can also see where your money is going and improve your spending habits with Discover’s spending tool. Earn 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories after activation, up to the quarterly maximum, and 1% cash back on everything else – automatically.

Why you’ll love it: After using the Discover it® Student Cash Back credit card for a year, cardholders get dollar-for-dollar matching on all cash back earned at the end of the first year.

Things to consider:  

  • Activation required each quarter to earn bonus rewards
  • Lacks additional features like extended warranty or purchase protection features
  • Spending may not align with quarterly categories

Pro tip: Discover it® Student Cash Back will put an extra $20 in your account every year if your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to five years.

Discover it® Miles

Who should get it: The Discover it® Miles credit card is for users who don’t want to be held back by limited redemption options, fees or blackout dates. With a end of first-year unlimited mile match and solid rewards rate, this card offers both short-term and long-term value.

How to use it: At the end of your first year, Discover will match all the miles you’ve earned, automatically. For example, 35,000 miles turns into 70,000 miles. The more you earn, the more Discover will match it.

Why you’ll love it: You can redeem miles for cash, travel or statement credit with the Discover it® Miles card. With a flat rewards rate great for everyday purchases alongside trip expenses, this card provides value beyond a typical travel rewards card.

Things to consider:  

  • Discover isn’t used as widely as Visa or Mastercard
  • Users have to wait an entire year for bonus miles
  • Other cards offer higher rewards rate

Pro tip: Discover doesn’t have any specific travel partners, meaning no blackout dates and the ability to earn credits from any airline, hotel or rental car agency.

Discover it® Student chrome

Who should get it: The Discover it® Student chrome may be a good fit if you’re a student who’s looking for more control over the rewards you earn. This card can help you keep track of your credit score and better understand your spending habits.

How to use it: Use this card to dine out with classmates or fill up your gas tank (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter). Cardholders earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, up to $1,000 in transactions each quarter. All other purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back.

Why you’ll love it: After the end of the first year of using the Discover it® Student chrome, cardholders get all cash back matched, with no limit to how much you earn. Students can earn a $20 statement credit every year for up to five years after using the card when they have a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Things to consider:  

  • High APR after intro period
  • High APR for balance transfers
  • No fee if your payment is late the first time, up to $40 fee after that

Pro tip: No FICO history is required to apply to the Discover it® Student chrome, making it a perfect option for students wanting to build their credit.

Discover it® Secured

Who should get it: The Discover it® Secured is great for people who want the best of both worlds — to build their credit and earn rewards. Unlike a prepaid or debit card, this is a real credit card that lets you build your credit history with the three major credit bureaus.

How to use it: Discover it® Secured card offers the same reward features as the Discover it® chrome card, but you have to put down a security deposit as collateral for the credit card account.

Why you’ll love it: The Discover it® Secured card puts money back in your pocket while you’re trying to build your credit. This card offers a lot — a refundable deposit and late fee forgiveness on your first late payment and impressive cash back rewards in popular spending categories.

Things to consider:  

  • Security deposit required
  • Low $2,500 maximum credit limit
  • Cash back rewards are capped each quarter

Pro tip: Starting at eight months after the account opening, Discover reviews the account to determine if the security deposit can be refunded to the customer and they graduate to an unsecured line of credit.

Discover it® chrome

Who should get it: If you spend a lot on gas and dining out, the Discover it® chrome is an excellent choice. There’s no need to worry about rotating bonus categories or complicated redemption strategies.

How to use it: The Discover it® chrome card is a simple cash back card with an excellent balance transfer option. It offers 2% cash back back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Why you’ll love it: Discover’s cash back match at the end of the first year is where this card excels, making it an ideal card for everyday purchases. For those with good to excellent credit who want a straightforward cash back card, the Discover it® chrome deserves consideration.

Things to consider:  

  • High APR after intro period
  • High APR for balance transfers
  • No fee if your payment is late the first time, up to $40 fee after that

Compare the best Discover credit cards of 2020

Card Rewards Rate Welcome Bonus
Best for balance transfers: Discover it® Balance Transfer Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases Discover will match the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year
Best for everyday spending: Discover it® Cash Back 5% cash back at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% on everything else Dollar-for-dollar match at the end of the first year
Best for college students: Discover it® Student Cash Back Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases Discover will match the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first years
Best for travel: Discover it® Miles Earn unlimited 1.5x miles for every dollar spent on all purchases – from airfare and hotels to groceries and online shopping Discover will match the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year
Discover it® Student chrome Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
Best for building credit: Discover it® Secured Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases Discover will match the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year
Best for gas and dining: Discover it® chrome Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases Discover will match the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year

Are Discover credit cards good?

Discover credit cards can be considered a good option based on the promotions available for new applicants. Discover will match the cash back that new applicants earn at the end of their 1st year of card membership.

It is worth noting that Discover credit cards are not as widely accepted as some of their leading competitors, however. Similar to American Express, Discover cards run on their own payment processing network, different from Visa and Mastercard, accepted by most vendors.

Does Discover offer 5% cash back?

Discover’s 5% Cashback Bonus program offers allow you to earn a 5% cash back bonus at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. You must activate your bonus cash back each quarter by enrolling online, through the mobile app or by calling 1-800-347-3085. When you activate, you’ll have access to detailed information about eligible purchases and cash back limits.

What credit score do I need for a Discover card?

You need a 700+ credit score to get most Discover credit cards, but there’s no minimum credit score needed for the Discover it® Secured card or the Discover it® Student Cash Back and Discover it® Student chrome credit cards. You can qualify for the Discover it® Secured Card with a credit score below 640. And college students don’t need a credit score, or credit experience, to get one of Discover’s two student credit cards, Discover it® Chrome for Students and Discover it® Student Cash Back. However, you do need good or excellent credit for all the other offers, including Discover it® Miles and Discover it® Cash Back, two of the most popular options.

How is Discover cash back calculated?

Discover calculates your cash back at the end of billing periods. This calculation involves multiplying your Program Purchases by 5% (.05). These rewards will add on to your Cashback Bonus account within two billing periods.

How do I redeem my Discover cash back?

Just follow these steps to redeem a Cashback Bonus:

  1. Log in to your Account Center
  2. Select the Rewards option in the navigation bar and then select “See All” from the drop-down menu.
  3. After you choose “See All,” you will see the redemption page, which will tell you how much Cashback Bonus you are eligible to redeem.
  4. Redemption options include:
  5. Gift cards with $5 free on each card
  6. Donating to charity
  7. Depositing into your bank account or applying amounts to a Discover bill
  8. Once you decide what to redeem your Cashback Bonus for, choose an option and place it on your order.
  9. Once you have chosen your options, view your order, confirm, and submit it.

Does my Discover credit card cover rental car insurance?

If you’re renting a car on your next trip, you may be eligible for rental car insurance with your Discover credit card. This benefit removes the added expense of secondary rental insurance by using built-in car rental coverage from your card. If you rent a car with your credit card, you may be eligible for collision coverage. Although, coverage types vary, and limitations could apply. Be sure to check out your issuer’s policies.

Your Discover credit card can offer you a host of other savings benefits as well. You’ll match your rewards or earn cash back by booking your travel with your credit card. Find out if your credit card offers an online shopping portal or rewards mall. With this feature, you’ll find exclusive deals and discounts on airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises. You may also be eligible for flight accident insurance for you and your family when you purchase your airline tickets using your credit card.

Please Note: Information about the Discover cards have been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

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