Discover it® Student Cash Back Review

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The Discover it® Student Cash Back has all the great features of the regular Discover it® credit card with some extra rewards for students, like cash credited to your statement each year you maintain a 3.0 GPA. You’ll 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. The Discover it® Student Cash Back card automatically matches all the cash-back rewards you earn at the end of the first year.

Among cash-back award cards, Discover it® Student Cash Back credit card stands out for its user-friendly features and generous rewards.

Card Annual Fee Intro Offer Credit Needed Key features
Discover it® Student Cash Back See Terms Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched. No Credit History Cash back

What we like about the Discover it® Student Cash Back Credit Card

For students, this credit card offers a number of other useful perks. Cardmembers get $20 credited to their statement each year they maintain a GPA of at least 3.0, for up to five years. Late payments won’t affect your APR. Students get to check their FICO score for free with Credit Scorecard, and they can freeze their account within seconds with an on/off switch available both on the website and the mobile app. Cardmembers can even get a $50 cash award they refer a friend for the card.

Another valuable perk of this credit card is that students can get when they shop at certain stores — up to $120 every 24 hour period. Not every merchant will allow users to take advantage of this feature, and some stores charge a small fee, but for those who need cold hard cash, the Cash Over feature lets them get it without paying an extra dime, provided the credit card is paid in full when the statement comes due.

Plus, unlike other student card options, users will actually be able to earn cash back on all their purchases. In a hectic student world where every penny counts, this is a huge incentive.

Things to consider

One potential drawback of the card is the rotating purchase categories. You must stay on top of things and activate the categories each quarter in order to earn the 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; it doesn’t happen automatically. And there is a limit on the 5% cash back award itself. Each quarter, cardmembers can only earn 5% on the first $1,500 they make in purchases. After that, you only earn 1%. You should also be aware that you will not earn cash back on balance transfers, cash advances and Cash Over transactions.

Discover it® Student Cash Back Credit Card cash back details

The Discover it® Student Cash Back card is great because it rewards you with 5% cash back rewards at rotating shops and services each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum. Just make sure you remember to activate the 5% back in your account. In all purchase outside of these categories, you’ll earn 1% cash back.

How does it compare to other student cards?

The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® card offers 1% unlimited cash back every time you make a purchase —1.25% if you pay on time for that month.

The bottom line

When used to its full advantage, the Discover it® Student Cash Back card can help college students learn how to manage credit wisely while allowing them to pocket extra cash whenever they make a purchase. It offers greater potential cash back awards than its competitors.

Please Note: Information about the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® and Discover it® Student Cash Back have been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.


Valerie Fulton
Valerie Fulton
Contributing Writer

Valerie Fulton is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance, real estate, higher education, home improvement and business copy. Her work has been published at Veros Real Estate Solutions, Bluehost, Sears, UPS, Movoto, Peak Communications and the University of Tennessee. Every summer, she travels from Austin, Texas to the coast of Maine with her two standard poodles in order to manage the vacation property she bought for a steal several years ago.