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Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card Review: Is It A Good Value?

Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card Review: Is It A Good Value?

The Discover it® Cash Back is one of the best no annual fee rewards cards around.
Editor's Rating: 5.0/5.0
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Editor's Rating

{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

5.0/5.0

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

The Discover it® Cash Back is one of the better cash back credit cards, provided that you can take advantage of all of it has to offer. Instead of the traditional signing bonus that many other cards typically have, Discover will double the cash back you earned during your first cardmember year, if you are a new cardmember. This makes the Discover it® Cash Back one of the absolute best cash back cards - at least for the first year you have it.

Review: Is the Discover it® Cash Back Worth It?

Discover has a good promotion running for new applicants - they will double all the cash back you've earned at the end of your 1st year of card membership. During that first year, Discover it® Cash Back offers the greatest savings of any other cash back card around. If you count this bonus, your effective cash back rate during that first year can be at the very least 2%. This makes the Discover it® Cash Back, undeniably, one of the best rewards credit cards - for the first year, it even beats out competitors like the Citi Double Cash.

Discover credit cards are not as widely accepted as leading competitors. Like American Express, Discover cards run on their own payment processing network, different from VISA and MasterCard which are accepted nearly everywhere. With the Discover it® Cash Back, cardholders may sometimes run into issues where a vendor may not accept it as a form of payment. This generally happens in brick and mortar retailers and restaurants more so than it does online. It's one of the reasons we think that the Discover it® Cash Back is a great option as a supplemental credit card. Use it to earn the bonus rewards, but keep a more accepted primary card around just in case.

Discover it® Cash Back Features & Benefits

On Discover's Secure Website

Discover it® Cash Back

On Discover's Secure Website
Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

5% Bonus Cash Back Calendar

Cardholders can earn 5% cash back cash back in categories that change each quarter, up to a quarterly maximum each time you activate. The following table outlines the 2019 calendar year 5% bonus categories for the Discover it® Cash Back. Lining up your spending with this calendar is essential to maximizing the rewards you earn. Most of the time, you will be better off using another credit card to pay for purchases which aren’t a part of a 5% category at any given time.

Jan - Mar Grocery Stores

Apr - Jun Gas Stations, Uber & Lyft

Jul - Sep Restaurants & PayPal

Oct - Dec Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com

Which Discover it® Credit Card Should I Choose?

Discover begun offering two different variations of its most popular product – the two cards are virtually identical, outside of the length of their introductory APR periods. If you don’t have any existing credit card debt you’d want to manage, we recommend the classic Discover it® Cash Back with 14 months of 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases (then a 14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR applies). It will provide users with some more breathing room when it comes to paying off new purchases. As always, we urge users to pay all credit card balances in full each month (if possible). If this is something you already do, choosing between the two credit cards will not make a difference.

Individuals who are more interested in managing an existing credit card balance will be better off going for the Discover it® Balance Transfer. This card offers just 6 months of 0% introductory APR on purchases, and 18 months of 0% APR on balance transfers (then a 14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR applies). This can be beneficial for consumers who are currently paying a lot of money towards credit card interest, and want to get some breathing room to pay off their debts.

How Does the Discover it® Cash Back Compare to Other Credit Cards?

Discover it® Cash Back vs Chase Freedom®

There are two benefits of the Chase Freedom®that can make it a more lucrative card however: a fixed sign-up bonus and network. Chase Freedom® cardholders can earn a $150 bonus for being new cardholders (after spending $500 in the first three months). The Chase Freedom® is part of the largest card network in the U.S. – VISA. This means users will have less trouble paying with the Chase Freedom® over the Discover it® Cash Back. Individuals who wish to make their final decision based purely on rewards value, should consult with the rewards calendar of each card to maximize rewards, you will want to select the credit card which best fits your spending schedule.

Discover it® Cash Back vs Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card provides 1% cash back rewards once at the time of purchase, and adds another 1% when that purchase is paid off. Additionally, consumers who nab the current ‘double your rewards after the first year’ promotion, will come out undeniably on top in terms of rewards at the end of that first year. Due to the high rewards rate on the Citi® Double Cash Card being uncapped, high spenders will find more value out of it.

Comparison Tool

Finding a credit card that is well suited to your particular spending can, oftentimes, be difficult. To help with the process, we have constructed the tool below which will calculate the rewards rate of credit cards for you.

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Assumptions based on $1,430 monthly spend
Monthly spending:
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{"cardCategory":"rewards","cardIds":"35,251,65,262,1036","initialResultsLimit":5,"endpoint":"https:\/\/creditcards.valuepenguin.com\/api\/creditcards\/models\/rewards","onCurrent":true}

Comments and Questions

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).