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Updated March 31, 2014

Discover It Student Credit Card Review

Cash back, intro APR on purchases and no annual fee for college students

College students looking to build credit, earn cash back, and pay no annual fee should consider the Discover It for Students. With the combined generous rewards program, intro APR on new purchases and no late fee on the first late payment, it's clear to see why this Discover student credit card is among the most popular offers for college students on the market today.

Discover it for Students
Apply for Discover it for Students
  • Fair. No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on your first late payment. And paying late won't increase 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. Talk to a real person any time with 100% U.S.-based service.
  • Safe. Because you're never responsible for unauthorized purchases with our $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee.
  • 0% intro APR* on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99%.
  • *Click "Apply" to see rates, rewards and other information
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
StudentCash 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
See Terms
12.99% - 21.99% Variable*
$0

Overall Score

4.3

Rewards

4.5

Interest Rates

4.0

Fees

4.0

Benefits

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

Pros and Cons

  • Generous cash back
  • Intro APR on purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Not all merchants accept Discover
  • No intro APR on balance transfers

Bottom Line

Excellent cash back credit card for college students

Cash Back Program

Here's the best part of the Discover It for Student credit card. Every time you buy something with the card, you earn cash back.

The card offers cardholders the opportunity to earn 5% bonus cash back on a variety of rotating categories. The rotating categories change every 3 months and requires cardholders to sign-up (free and easy sign-up each time).

For April through June 2014, the bonus category is home improvement stores, furniture stores, and Bed Bath & Beyond®. You earn 5% cash back on your first $1,500 of purchases in the bonus categories. If you plan your purchases right, this adds up to some serious savings.

In addition, this card earns unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Once you’ve earned at least $50 in cash back, you can take the money out either as a credit against your card statement or a deposit in your bank account. Another, more lucrative option, is to use the cash back reward toward gift cards off Discover's website. Those gift cards often include extra cash (e.g.: $50 gift card for $40), so this could be a way to get even more rewards.

Introductory APR

The Discover It for Students Card also offers a 6-month 0% introductory APR on purchases for new cardholders. After that, the APR will be a variable rate, currently 12.99% - 21.99% depending on your creditworthiness. This means you can carry a balance - while still paying at least the minimum payment due - but not pay interest on it until the first six months go by. While we always recommend paying off your balance every month, a six-month break like this can really help college students as they transition to a new living space or need to take time to pay off textbooks or furniture.

The 0% APR doesn’t apply to balance transfers from other cards, however, so it’s not a great option for paying off your old debts.

If you plan to always pay off your credit card balance in full each month, consider the $20 cashback bonus version. While the $20 cashback bonus version does not offer an introductory APR, it does offer a $20 cashback bonus after you make a purchase within the first 3 months of account approval.

Low Fees

Fees on a credit card can be a serious financial issue, especially if you are on a fixed budget as a student. Fortunately, the Discover It for Students Card has a college-friendly fair-fee structure.

First, this card doesn’t charge an annual fee. It also doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees (great if you decide to travel abroad), over-limit spending fees, or pay-by-phone fees.

If this is your first credit card, it’s understandable that you might mix up a payment deadline. In this situation, the Discover It card is very forgiving. For your first late payment, you won’t be charged a penalty. Plus, Discover won’t raise your APR for paying late.

Customer Service

If you have any questions about your card, Discover is there to help. This card offers 24/7 service, which always connects you to a live representative. These U.S.-based reps do more than just answer basic questions; they’re also there to help you get the most out of your rewards. All you have to do is tell the service reps what kind of products you most want, and they’ll figure out thed best use for your rewards.

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.

Why You Should Consider the Discover It Student Card

  • Earns 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories throughout the year
  • Earns 1% cash back on everything else you buy; Cash back can also be used for free merchandise or gift cards
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 6 months
  • No annual fee, foreign transaction fees, pay-by-phone fee, or over-limit spending fee
  • Waives the penalty fee for your first late payment

Why You May Not Want to Bother

  • Not all merchants accept Discover
  • 0% introductory APR only applies to purchases, not to balance transfers

Bottom Line

With low fees, competitive cash back rewards and great service, the Discover It for Student Credit Card is a solid choice for college-student applicants. After you’ve built student credit history and when you have graduated, consider upgrading to a credit card for young professionals.

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 18, 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 for Students
Apply for Discover it for Students
  • Fair. No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on your first late payment. And paying late won't increase 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. Talk to a real person any time with 100% U.S.-based service.
  • Safe. Because you're never responsible for unauthorized purchases with our $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee.
  • 0% intro APR* on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99%.
  • *Click "Apply" to see rates, rewards and other information
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
StudentCash 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
See Terms
12.99% - 21.99% Variable*
$0

Compare Discover Student It Card to:

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.
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

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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.