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Updated October 1, 2014

Discover It Card Review: Cash Back Rewards and Balance Transfer Promotion

Read more about Discover it® from Discover, a CreditDonkey advertiser

This article has references or links to products from our partners. We receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You support CreditDonkey by using our links. (read more)


A generous cash back and 18-month balance transfer offer makes the Discover It Card the go-to card to keep more money in your pocket. When you consider the rewards, low fees, and good customer service, it’s pretty easy to see why Discover It is one of the most popular cash back credit cards available.

Discover it
Apply for Discover it
At Discover's Secure Site
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months - then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%.
  • Over 5,000 cardmembers rated 4.8 out of 5 stars* and now Discover "Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Credit Card Companies in a Tie" by J.D. Power*.
  • 5% cash back for online shopping and department store purchases on up to $1,500 - Oct. through Dec. 2014 when you sign up*. 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Free FICO® Credit Score online and on monthly statements*.
  • No annual fee, no late fee for your first late payment - APR won't go up for paying late, no overlimit fee and no foreign transaction fee*.
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized Discover card purchases.
  • *+See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms and other info by clicking "Apply."
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Cash Back RewardsBonus Cash BackNo Limits on RewardsExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn Protection$0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 6 months
0% for 18 months
10.99% - 22.99% Variable*
$0

Overall Score

4.4

Rewards

4.5

Interest Rates

4.0

Fees

4.5

Benefits

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

Pros and Cons

  • 5% bonus rotating categories
  • Full 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
  • Some merchants don't accept Discover

Bottom Line

Excellent cash back credit card with no annual fee and low interest rate

Cash Back Program

Every time you buy something on the Discover It card, you earn cash back. This card earns an unlimited 1% on all regular purchases. It also has rotating bonus categories that earn extra cash back. For example, the bonus categories for October through December 2014 is online shopping and department stores. For each period, you earn 5% cash back (instead of 1%) on up to $1,500 of purchases in the bonus categories (requires free & easy activation), a maximum of $75 cash back. Once you hit this $1,500 limit, the cash back percentage drops back down to 1%.

The 2013 bonus category calendar was as follows:

  • January - March 2013: Restaurants and Movies
  • April - June 2013: Home Improvement
  • July - September 2013: Gas Stations
  • October - December 2013: Online Shopping

The 2014 bonus category calendar is:

  • January - March 2014: Restaurants and Movie
  • April - June 2014: Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores and Bed Bath & Beyond®
  • July - September 2014: Gas Stations
  • October - December 2014: Online Shopping and Department Stores

Once you’ve earned at least $50 worth of cash back, you can take out the money as a deposit in your bank or as a credit against your card purchases. You can also redeem your cash back for merchandise or gift cards from a variety of vendors. When redeeming rewards for gift cards, some offer additional value; for example, you can redeem $40 in rewards for a $50 gift card for some retailers.

An added bonus for Discover cardholders is ShopDiscover, which offers another opportunity to earn 5% to 20% cash back on online purchases. Just visit ShopDiscover.com to register and then you can login with your user ID and password to access cash back bonuses at hundreds of stores. Participating vendors have a link to their site alongside the cash back percentage they offer. Click through the ShopDiscover link to visit the retailer's site and you'll earn the specified percentage of cash back on all purchases you make on the site with your Discover card.

Introductory APR

This card offers an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers (18 months) and purchases (6 months) to welcome new cardholders. Then, the variable purchase APR applies, which is currently 10.99% to 22.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.

0% Balance Transfer Promotion
Enjoy 18 months of 0% APR on balance transfers as a new cardholder- an excellent opportunity to pay down existing debt. There is a 3% balance transfer fee, but it's usually much lower than the cost of letting month after month of interest build by leaving the balance on another credit card.

Low Fees

There are very few fees associated with the Discover It card. There's no annual fee, which can save you quite a bit of money each year compared to what you could be paying elsewhere. In addition, many of the annoying usage fees charged by other credit cards don't apply to the Discover It- there are no overlimit fees, pay by phone fees, or foreign transaction fees.

Late Payment Leniency
If you ever miss a payment on the card, Discover is quite lenient. You don’t owe a late fee on your first late payment and Discover never increases your card APR because of late payments.

Warranties and Protection

Discover offers a number of warranties and protections to cardholders:

  • Purchase protection: Eligible purchases are protected from theft and damagefor 90 days and up to $500
  • Price protection: Find a lower price on an eligible item you purchased within 90 days of the purchase date and Discover will cover the difference.
  • Extended warranties: Extend the manufacturer’s warranty by up to 1 year on eligible purchases.
  • Return Guarantee: Regardless of the store’s policy, Discover will refund the cost of eligible items up to $500 if you decide to return it within 90 days.
  • Fraud protection: Rest assured knowing Discover has a $0 fraud liability policy and that you won’t be accountable for unauthorized purchases on your account.
  • Travel insurance: A variety of types of travel insurance are available to Discover cardholders including flight accident insurance, auto rental insurance, and baggage delay insurance.

US Customer Service

Discover prides itself on delivering great customer service for its cardholders. This card offers 24-hour live customer support - a rare feature in today’s computerized economy. Customer service representatives are trained to help you maximize your rewards. When you call in, you can explain what you want to do with your rewards and the representative will find the best possible deal for you.

Pros

  • Earns 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories throughout the year.
  • Earns full 1% cash back rewards on all other purchases.
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Some merchants don't accept Discover
  • No signup bonus deal
  • 5% bonus rate only applies to $1,500 of purchases per period.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to save money and avoid fees, the Discover It Card is hard to beat. It combines a fantastic cash back program with a simple and lenient fee structure which make this card overall a great deal. Unfortunately, since some merchants don't accept Discover, we suggest you also have another card in your wallet.

Next Step: View the issuer's official application, terms, and details

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Follow @CreditDonkey or write to David R at davidr@creditdonkey.com
David R is a financial writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped families 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. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on January 11, 2013. This content may have been updated on October 1, 2014. 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.

More Articles in Reviews

Discover it
Apply for Discover it
At Discover's Secure Site
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months - then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%.
  • Over 5,000 cardmembers rated 4.8 out of 5 stars* and now Discover "Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Credit Card Companies in a Tie" by J.D. Power*.
  • 5% cash back for online shopping and department store purchases on up to $1,500 - Oct. through Dec. 2014 when you sign up*. 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Free FICO® Credit Score online and on monthly statements*.
  • No annual fee, no late fee for your first late payment - APR won't go up for paying late, no overlimit fee and no foreign transaction fee*.
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized Discover card purchases.
  • *+See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms and other info by clicking "Apply."
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Cash Back RewardsBonus Cash BackNo Limits on RewardsExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn Protection$0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 6 months
0% for 18 months
10.99% - 22.99% Variable*
$0

Compare Discover It to:

Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom®

Intro APR (Purchases)Intro APR (Balance Transfer)Regular APR
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
13.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
  • Earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR of 13.99%-22.99%
  • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases between October 1 - December 31, 2014 at Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores
  • You'll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants and Amazon.com. It's free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee and rewards never expire
Apply for Chase Freedom
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Intro APR (Purchases)Intro APR (Balance Transfer)Regular APR
0% on Purchases for 15 months
0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months
12.99% - 21.99% Variable
Introductory Bonus Cash BackCash Back RewardsGas RewardsGrocery Rewards
  • Get one year of Amazon Prime plus $50 back after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months.
  • You will receive $50 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
  • Earn Cash Back: 3% US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% at US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and restrictions apply.
Apply for Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express

TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express

Intro APR (Purchases)Intro APR (Balance Transfer)Regular APR
0% on Purchases for 6 months
None
15.24% Variable
Cash Back RewardsDining RewardsGas RewardsEvents
  • Earn cash back: 3% US gas stations up to $4,000 per year in purchases; 2% US restaurants & eligible travel; 1% other purchases. See details.
  • You will receive your cash back annually in the form of a reward coupon
  • The Two-In-One Card: it's an American Express® Card and Costco membership Card, with no annual fee for Costco members
  • Maximize your cash back: Add additional Card Members to help get more cash back for you, also with no annual fee for Costco members
  • Terms and restrictions apply
Apply for TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express

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October
17
2014

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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.

†Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*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.