Discover it® Cash Back – Card Review

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If you’ve been looking for a no-fee credit card with plenty of perks, look no further than the Discover it® Cash Back card. Not only does this card offer 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate, but it also offers other perks such as FICO® Credit Scores for free on statements and online, a Freeze It℠ on/off switch lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers on misplaced cards in seconds by mobile app & online, and no foreign transaction fees.

Even better, a current Cashback Match™ promotion promises to match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year — automatically. That’s right; after 12 months of card ownership, your rewards will be matched. It’s important to note that the cash back match promotion is only available to new customers, however. If you already have the card, you aren’t eligible.

A new FICO-tracking tool Discover announced this summer also adds to the overall value of this offer. As of late 2015, Discover launched a service that allows cardholders to track their FICO scores. Further, this new feature provides key reasons from FICO behind each score in one easy-to-read chart on monthly statements and online, making it easier than ever to understand fluctuations in your score.

Here are some additional details and key stats:

Discover it® Cash Back

Apply Now on Discover's secure website

Highlights
Card Highlights Provided by Discover:
  • INTRO OFFER: 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.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.

Because the Discover it® Cash Back charges no annual fee, it’s the perfect card for any type of consumer. Those who want to use credit for emergencies only will benefit from the fact that the card offers no ongoing fees for membership. Meanwhile, those who want to earn rewards can benefit from earning 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases. Even people who travel for work or leisure can benefit from the Discover it® Cash Back card since it doesn’t charge fees on foreign transactions.

Tips for Using Discover it® Cash Back

Take advantage of the 5% cash back: Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.

Rewards are matched at the end of the year for new customers only: Using your card for all purchases and paying it off each month is a great way to grow your point balance throughout the year. Thanks to Discover’s current promotion, those rewards will be matched at the end of your first 12 months of card ownership.

Redeem your rewards as needed: With the card, you can redeem rewards as it suits you. Exchange some or all of your cash back for statement credits or gift cards.

Who This Card Is Best For:

  • Casual credit card users who don’t want to pay an annual fee
  • Anyone who travels overseas and doesn’t want to pay foreign transaction fees on their purchases abroad

Who This Card Isn’t Good For:

  • Big spenders who might benefit more from one of the top rewards cards
  • Anyone who wants to earn rewards for a specific airline or hotel loyalty program

Best Ways to Use the Discover it® Cash Back

Although there is no “wrong way” to use your Discover it® Cash Back card — except for not paying off your bill each month and racking up debt, of course — certain strategies will help you get the most out of it. Here are a few tips that can help you maximize the card’s rewards and perks with minimal hassle and expense on your part:

Use your card for everyday purchases: Earning a steady 1% cash back on all purchases can lead to a healthy sum of money by the end of the year. This is especially true since Discover is currently matching your cash-back reward at the end of your first 12 months of card ownership.

Pay your card in full each month: In order to maximize rewards, you should always pay your balance in full each month. Log in and pay your bill multiple times per month if you have to. Remember, your rewards will be severely diminished or completely negated if you end up paying interest on your purchases.

Use your Discover it® Cash Back for a balance transfer or a large purchase: Upon signing up for the Discover it® Cash Back, you’ll qualify for 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfer for the first 14 months and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% – 24.99% Variable APR. You can use the 0% intro APR promotional period to pay off a large purchase over time or pay down debt. *A balance transfer fee of 3% applies.

Use your free FICO score to monitor your credit over time: Since the Discover it® Cash Back offers a free FICO score on your monthly statement and online, you can use that information to track changes and improvements in your credit score.

Redeem your cash back for gift cards you know you’ll use: You can redeem the cash back you’ve earned for a statement credit at any time, but you can stretch it a bit farther by exchanging it for gift cards. For example, $45 in rewards cash will get you a $50 gift card at places you might shop at regularly, such as CVS Pharmacy or Lowe’s — a 10% bonus. Other retailers offer even more generous redemption rates: $40 in cash-back rewards can score you $50 in gift cards at back-to-school standbys such as Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Old Navy.

Discover it® Cash Back Overview

The bottom line is this: the Discover it® Cash Back card is a versatile rewards card that could benefit anyone who needs a credit card for emergencies, plans to travel overseas, needs to transfer a balance, or hopes to earn rewards. The best part is, all of this comes without any type of annual fee. According to a recent Discover it® Cash Back press release, the card also promises to be:

  • Fair: No annual fee, over-the-limit fee, pay-by-phone fee, or foreign transaction fee. And no fee for your first late payment. Plus Discover won’t raise a cardmember’s APR for paying late.*
  • Safe: Discover ranks among the industry’s best in identity fraud resolution, according to the Javelin Strategy & Research Eighth Annual Card Issuer’s Safety Scorecard Report (June 2012). Plus, Discover’s $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee means cardmembers are never responsible for unauthorized charges on their account.
  • Generous: Cardmembers can earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.
  • Flexible: Cardmembers can choose their own due dates and pay until midnight (ET) online or by phone. Free online management tools, mobile apps and email reminders keep cardmembers on top of their accounts.
  • Human: Cardmembers have the option of immediately being connected to a live, U.S. based customer service representative to discuss their accounts at any time. If cardmembers lose their jobs, Discover will find a way to help.

Other Choices to Consider

Although the Discover it® Cash Back card offers many attractive features, there are a slew of other excellent rewards cards to consider — it never hurts to compare some of the other rewards cards out there as well. If you’ve got your mind set on a Discover card in particular, you can research other Discover options like the Discover it® Miles card and Discover it® chrome.

Since Discover is not as widely accepted as Visa or MasterCard, it might also be wise to have at least one excellent rewards cards from each issuer. That way, your bases are covered no matter what.

If you want to compare the Discover it® Cash Back to other cash-back cards, this directory can help:

Cash Back Credit Card Directory

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