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Updated July 4, 2016

Discover It Chrome Review: Is It Good or Bad?

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
This article contains references to products from our partners. We receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You help support CreditDonkey by reading our website and using our links. (read more)

Do you eat out and drive a lot? If you want cash back rewards without having to think too much, the Discover It Chrome could be the right fit for you.

Overall Score

4.3

Rewards

4.0

Interest Rates

4.0

Fees

4.5

Benefits

4.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter
  • Intro APR
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
  • Not a Visa/MasterCard
  • No rotating cash back categories

Bottom Line

Great rewards credit card with no annual fee for people on the go

The Chrome has a simple premise: You get 2% cash back when you use it at gas stations and restaurants (on up to $1,000 worth of purchases per quarter) and 1% on everything else.

And as a promotional offer for new cardmembers, Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your 1st year - automatically.

Another big plus? Unlike similar rewards cards (including the more simply named Discover It), the Discover It Chrome does not require you to sign up for the extra cash back categories every three months.

Read this review before you apply for your next rewards credit card.

Who This Card Is Good For

  • Drivers and diners: This card is aimed at people on the go — those who commute or those who take leisurely road trips often and have to eat on the go. They will benefit the most from this card by getting 2% at gas stations and restaurants (on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter). If you want a little something back for your driving and dining purchase, this is a nice card to have.

  • People looking for a good second card: You can get a more rewarding cards elsewhere (the Discover It, for example, gives 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter on a rotating set of categories). But you may find that because of its simplicity and consistent focus on dining and gas purchases, the Chrome is a useful card to have in the second slot of your wallet.

  • Someone about to make a big purchase: The Chrome gives you 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. After that, a variable APR, currently between 11.74% and 23.74%. The introductory APR can be a helpful feature for giving you time to pay off a large purchase (you still have to pay at least your minimum balance every month).

  • Worriers: The Chrome is reassuring for cardholders who are overly worried about keeping their credit score intact and who worry about identity theft. Every month, you'll see your FICO score on your statement, and all Discover cards have a Freeze option, which you can use to immediately stop purchase, cash advances, and balance transfers from occurring on your card. Plus, this card comes with a $0 fraud liability guarantee.

Need a Cash Back Card? Why This Is a Good One

You get rewarded for purchases you make on this card, either 2% (on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each quarter) or 1% cash back everywhere else.

But that's not all. You could get more for your dollars by redeeming your cashback for a gift card through the well-known brands that have partnered with Discover or by shopping through the ShopDiscover portal (by clicking through the site to get to a retailer’s site and making a purchase with your card, you could get a significant percentage of cash back, as much as 5% to 20%).

Why You May Want to Look Elsewhere

The trade-off to all those positives? The cash back percentage is a bit lower than some other rewards cards. We'd be more in favor of this card if Discover raised the $1,000-per-quarter limit on the 2% cash back.

The lower percentage makes this card useful as a supplemental card to a more rewarding card, like the Discover It or Chase Freedom (detailed below). You could use Discover It or Chase Freedom for some purchases and then switch to the Discover It Chrome for your everyday gas and restaurant purchases.

Rewards

Eligible purchases for the 2% cash back include not just fueling up gas at gas stations but other purchases you make at gas stations, in addition to purchases at full-service and fast food restaurants as well as cafes.

There are several ways to redeem your accumulated cash back, one of which is to use it instantly at Amazon.com checkout.

Fees

There’s no annual fee to own the Discover It Chrome, nor are there any overlimit fees or foreign transaction fees. And there’s no late fee on your first late payment, but subsequent missed payment dates will result in a late payment fee of up to $37.

Balance transfers will cost you 3% of the amount transferred, and cash advances are either $10 or 5% of the advance amount — whichever is greater.

Introductory APR

New cardholders enjoy 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, after which the interest rate will be a variable APR between 11.74% and 23.74%, depending on the cardholder’s creditworthiness.

Benefits

One of the biggest perks of being a Discover cardholder is monthly access to your FICO credit score, which is printed directly on your statement each month. It’s free, and you don’t have to do anything to get it.

If you opt for the Discover It Chrome, you’ll also enjoy the following perks:

  • Access to U.S.-based customer service 24/7
  • Paying late won’t automatically raise your APR
  • The $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee protects cardholders against unauthorized purchases on their card by not holding them responsible for any of those charges

Pros

  • Simple reward structure
  • 14-month introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Access to FICO credit score directly on statement

Cons

  • Discover credit cards are accepted by fewer merchants than Visa and MasterCard
  • Purchases eligible for 2% cash back top off at $1,000 per quarter
  • Does not have rotating bonus categories

How It Compares

Discover It Chrome vs Discover It:

 

Discover it® chrome

Discover it® Cashback Match™

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 14 months0% introductory APR for 14 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 14 months0% introductory APR for 14 months
Purchase APR11.74% to 23.74% Variable* based on your creditworthiness and other factors11.74% to 23.74% Variable* based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR11.74% to 23.74% Variable* based on your creditworthiness and other factors11.74% to 23.74% Variable* based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Cash BackIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers).Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers).
Cash Back RewardsCash Back Rewards: 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter-no sign-ups needed.* 1% cash back on all your other purchases.Cash Back Rewards: 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Bonus Cash Back Bonus Cash Back: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in rotating categories that change each quarter (requires free and easy sign-up for 5% Cashback Bonus)*
Limitations apply*. See issuer's website for additional program details.
Bonus Categories for 2016:
January - March 2016: 5% on up to $1,500 in purchases at Gas Stations and for Ground Transportation
April - June 2016: 5% on up to $1,500 in purchases at Restaurants and Movies
July - September 2016: 5% on up to $1,500 in purchases at Home Improvement Stores and Amazon.com
October - December 2016: 5% on up to $1,500 in purchases at Amazon.com, Department Stores and Sam's Club
Bonus Categories for 2017:
January - March 2017: 5% on up to $1,500 in purchases at Gas Stations, Ground Transportation & Wholesale Clubs
April - June 2017: 5% on up to $1,500 in purchases at Home Improvement Stores and Wholesale Clubs
Gas RewardsGas Rewards: 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter - no signups needed*. 
Dining RewardsDining Rewards: 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter - no signups needed*. 

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Discover it Chrome: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees were obtained on April 3, 2017 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Discover It: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees were obtained on April 3, 2017 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Discover it® chrome and Discover it® Cashback Match™ have been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Discover It is similar to the It Chrome in cardholder perks and fee structure, but has a different reward structure:

  • Extra cash back potential with Discover It: Users of the regular It card get 5% cash back when they spend in certain bonus categories that change every quarter, on up to $1,500 in purchases. Everything else earns 1%. For the Chrome, you get the same 1% baseline rate, but the higher cash back percentage is just 2% and the categories never change (you earn that higher amount on gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 per quarter).

    Participation in the regular It's bonus categories requires quarterly signup, and cardholders need to stay informed about which types of spending earn the higher cash back percentage (and when); however they have the potential to earn more in the long run.

Discover It Chrome vs Chase Freedom:

 

Discover it Chrome

Chase Freedom

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 14 months0% introductory APR for 15 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 14 months0% introductory APR for 15 months
Purchase APR11.74% to 23.74% Variable* based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.74% to 24.49% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR11.74% to 23.74% Variable* based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.74% to 24.49% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers).Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter-no sign-ups needed.* 1% cash back on all your other purchases.Cash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Bonus Cash Back Bonus Cash Back: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Bonus Categories for 2017:
Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2017): Gas stations and local commuter transportation (not including parking, tolls, and Amtrak® purchases)
Q2 (April 1 - June 30, 2017): Grocery stores (not including Walmart® and Target® purchases)
Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2017): TBA
Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2017): TBA
GasGas Rewards: 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter - no signups needed*. 
RestaurantDining Rewards: 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter - no signups needed*. 

Discover it Chrome: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees were obtained on April 3, 2017 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Chase Freedom: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees were obtained on April 13, 2017 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Discover it® chrome and Chase Freedom have been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Chase Freedom rewards structure is similar to that of the non-Chrome Discover It card: 1% on all purchases with 5% on rotating bonus spending categories up to a quarterly maximum. The Freedom comes with two very generous introductory offers: earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening, and an introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases.

Why you may opt for the Chrome: Unlike the Discover cards, the Freedom does have a foreign transaction fee (3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars). And this card doesn’t include your FICO score with your monthly statement.

Bottom Line

The Discover it Chrome's cash back structure is simple and easy to understand. This is a great supplemental rewards card for anyone who is often on the go.

Leah Norris is a research analyst at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Write to Leah Norris at leah@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped consumers make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Discover. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Discover.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on April 1, 2015. This content may have been updated on July 4, 2016. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Discover website for updated information.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Discover it® chrome, Chase Freedom, and Discover it® Cashback Match™ have been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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Compare Discover it Chrome to:

Compare Discover it Chrome vs Blue Cash Everyday
Apply for Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • $100 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 13.74% to 24.74%.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Cash BackCash Back RewardsGas RewardsGrocery RewardsCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance $0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% on Purchases for 12 months
0% on Balance Transfers for 12 months
13.74% - 24.74% Variable
$0

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Discover It Review

With bonus cash back, low interest rate and no annual fee, Discover It is a good card for many. Is it right for you? Read on for the pros and cons.
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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.