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Updated March 31, 2014

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

Read more about Discover it®

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
  • Fair. No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. Pay up to midnight ET online or by phone on your due date without a fee. Plus, paying late won't raise your APR.*
  • Generous. 5% cash back at Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores and Bed Bath & Beyond® on up to $1,500 in purchases from April through June 2014.*
  • Human. 100% U.S.-based customer service available any time.
  • Safe. Because you're never responsible for unauthorized charges with our $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee.
  • Plus, free FICO® Credit Score on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.*
  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 18 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A fee of 3% applies for each balance transferred.
  • 0% Intro APR* on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%.
  • *Click "Apply" to see rates, rewards, and free FICO® Credit Score terms and other information.
  • 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
  • 0% Intro APR
  • 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 category for April through June 2014 is Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores, and Bed Bath & Beyond®. For each period, you earn 5% cash back (instead of 1%) on up to $1,500 of purchases in the bonus categories, 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: TBA May 2014
  • October - December 2014: TBA August 2014

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. A few vendors double the value of your cash back, so if you redeemed $50, you would get a $100 gift card; although, it's more realistic to redeem $40 for a $50 or less gift card.

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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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the company whose products are featured on this site. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: Discover is a paid advertiser of CreditDonkey.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on January 11, 2013. This content may have been updated on March 31, 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
  • Fair. No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. Pay up to midnight ET online or by phone on your due date without a fee. Plus, paying late won't raise your APR.*
  • Generous. 5% cash back at Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores and Bed Bath & Beyond® on up to $1,500 in purchases from April through June 2014.*
  • Human. 100% U.S.-based customer service available any time.
  • Safe. Because you're never responsible for unauthorized charges with our $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee.
  • Plus, free FICO® Credit Score on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.*
  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 18 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A fee of 3% applies for each balance transferred.
  • 0% Intro APR* on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%.
  • *Click "Apply" to see rates, rewards, and free FICO® Credit Score terms and other information.
  • 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
Apply for Chase Freedom
  • Earn a $100 Bonus after you make $500 in 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 April 1 and June 30, 2014 at restaurants and Lowe's® home improvement 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
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
13.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
$0

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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.