Save money and be informed. CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison and financial education website. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with card issuers and some of the products and services mentioned on this site. Advertiser Disclosure†

Updated March 2, 2015

Discover It Student Credit Card Review

Cash back, intro APR on purchases and no annual fee for college students
Read more about Discover it® for Students 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)


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
At Discover's Secure Site
  • 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.*
  • 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter. Now - June 30 earn 5% at Restaurants & Movies on up to $1,500 in purchases after you sign up.* 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on monthly statements, online and in our mobile app.*
  • 100% U.S.- based customer service- day or night.
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card.
  • 0% intro APR* on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99%.
  • Free text alerts can remind you when your payment is due. And free mobile app helps you stay on top of your account.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms and other info by clicking "Apply."
  • 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
10.99% for 6 months
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

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 (up to the quarterly maximum). The rotating categories change every 3 months and requires cardholders to sign-up (free and easy sign-up each time). 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.
Discover now allows you to redeem your cashback rewards with no minimum threshold. You can apply the rewards toward your statement balance or have it deposited into your bank account.

Another, more lucrative option, is to use the cash back reward toward gift cards off Discover's website. Those gift cards sometimes include extra cash promotions (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 promotional APR 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 cash back 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

Share this on Facebook or Twitter

Follow @CreditDonkey or write to David R at davidr@creditdonkey.com
David R is a contributing 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 students 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 18, 2013. This content may have been updated on March 2, 2015. 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
At Discover's Secure Site
  • 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.*
  • 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter. Now - June 30 earn 5% at Restaurants & Movies on up to $1,500 in purchases after you sign up.* 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on monthly statements, online and in our mobile app.*
  • 100% U.S.- based customer service- day or night.
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card.
  • 0% intro APR* on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99%.
  • Free text alerts can remind you when your payment is due. And free mobile app helps you stay on top of your account.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms and other info by clicking "Apply."
  • 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
10.99% for 6 months
12.99% - 21.99% Variable*
$0

Compare Discover Student It Card to:

Discover it

Discover it®

Discover it Chrome for Students

Discover it® Chrome for Students

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express


What do you think about Discover It Student Credit Card Review?

Name (required)
Email (required; won't be published)
Website (optional)


Learn more about Student, Cash Back and $0 Fraud Liability cards:
Infographics: Build Credit for Students

How to Build Credit for Students

Infographics: Where Does All My Money Go

Household Spending Statistics

Infographics: Credit Card Dispute Process

Dispute Credit Card Charge









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.