Discover It Cash Back Credit Card Review 2019
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
The Smart Investor has collected card information independently. Issuers did not provide the details, nor are they responsible for their accuracy. The review is not a recommendation, the actual rates/fees may be different.
The Discover It Cash Back credit card is a great option for someone who wants access to 5% cash back rewards on rotating spending categories each quarter. It also offers a lengthy 0% APR intro period on purchases and balance transfers giving you time to pay off your balance without interest. The additional bonus of matching your cash back earned in your first 12 months can be a lucrative incentive if your comparing maximum rewards value versus other cash back credit cards. This card is not for consumers with are focused on paying down a credit card balance.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of the Discover It Cash Back Credit Card – and whether or not it’s right for your wallet…
Great For The Average Consumer
On Discover Secure Website
Competitive Rewards, Attractive Sign Up Bonus
Good – Excellent
- 5% Cash Back for Select Spending Categories – gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon and more
- 14 Month 0% Intro APR Period – pay 0% interest on new purchases and existing balance you are transferring
- Limit on Cash Back Spending Per Quarter – first $1,500 spending per quarter
- 3% Balance Transfer Fee
- No annual fee
- 14.24% – 25.24% Variable APR
- Redeem cash back at any time and any amount, except gift cards which start at $20
- Free access to your FICO score, Free social security monitoring
Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):
Discover It Cash Back Card – Benefits
14 Month 0% Intro APR Period
The first benefit of having this credit card is the 14 month intro period where you’ll pay 0% interest on new purchases and 0% interest on your existing balance you are transferring. The 14 month 0% purchase APR is longer than most credit cards which works well if you plan to spend right away with it and pay it off slowly.
1% Cash Back Automatically on All Purchases
As with all Discover It credit cards, you’ll receive 1% cash back on all purchases automatically. This is easy to remember for consumers who like cash back systems that are simple.
5% Cash Back for Select Spending Categories
Every quarter, specific spending categories will be allowed to earn a bonus 5% cash back rate. This may apply to gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon and more. Here you can find a schedule for each quarter
Discover Matches Cash Back Earned Your First 12 Months
One of the key benefits of the Discover It Cash Back credit card is that Discover will match ALL of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year having the credit card. During your first 12 months as a Discover credit card holder, you’ll have ALL of your cash back that you’ve earned, matched. This can add up and be quite lucrative if you’re a high spender with credit cards.
No Annual Fee
As with all Discover credit cards, you won’t have to pay an annual fee. You also don’t have to pay a foreign transaction fee, but you will have a balance transfer fee of 3%. Keep in mind, however, that 3% is still on the low end considering some credit cards charge 5% on balance transfers.
Discover It Cash Back Card – Drawbacks
Less Merchant Acceptance
One of the main drawbacks of the Discover credit card is that merchants may not recognize the card at some stores in the US. Getting acceptance outside the United States may also be more difficult as compared to Visa or MasterCard.
Balance Transfer Fee
The Discover It Cash Back card does have a balance transfer fee of 3% which could be a drawback for some consumers. If you have a high balance you’re transferring over, this 3% fee could add up to a lot of money as compared to a credit card that offers 0% transfer fee.
Limit on Cash Back Spending Per Quarter
While the 5% bonus cash back reward is a benefit of this credit card, the drawback is that Discover limits this reward to the first $1,500 spending per quarter. If you max it out every quarter that will accrue $300 in bonus cash back while still earning 1% on all other purchases. But this may still be a disappointment if you easily clear the $1,500 limit since other cards out there may have higher limits.
Keeping Track of Bonus Categories
It can be confusing trying to keep track of which spending categories are eligible for the 5% bonus cash back reward each quarter. If you like a simple cash back system, there are other cards that do not have rotating bonus categories.
Alternatives to Discover It Cash Back
Several other credit cards offer similar benefits to the Discover It Cash Back card in terms of cash back rewards, low fees, and lengthy 0% intro APR periods. Let’s look at them next and see if one is better suited for you than the Discover Cash Back card.
The lack of a sign-up bonus and intro APR period for purchases may make the Citi Double Cash card a “boring” choice among a sea of competitors. But for the average consumer who makes purchases across all categories, the Citi Double Cash Card can’t be beat. The combined 1% on the front end and 1% on the backend add up to a strong 2% rewards system that not only offers a consistent stream of cash back, but also offers an incentive to build a strong credit score. Similar to Discover It Balance Transfer, card boasts a lengthy 18-month period of 0% fees on all balance transfers.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers an excellent 5% cash back reward on all Amazon purchases, 2% cash back on restaurant, gas, and travel purchases, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. For devoted Amazon users, a 5% cash back rate is fantastic. However, you have to be an Amazon Prime member to hold the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, which has an annual fee of $119.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
The main reason to like this credit card is that you can choose the two categories you want to earn 5% cash back for and the quarterly limit is higher at $2,000 in combined purchases. Additionally, you get unlimited 2% cash back in another category that you choose. Everything else earns the automatic 1% cash back rate. The U.S. Bank Cash card has no annual fee and when you sign up you get access to the $150 sign-up bonus upon making $500 in eligible purchases on the card within the first 90 days of account opening.
The Capital One Quick Silver credit card is much simpler in terms of the cash back reward system as they offer a flat rate 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There is no annual fee for this credit card and no foreign transaction fee. When you sign up for this card, they offer a $150 bonus when you spend $500 on your card in the first 90 days. You also have the flexibility of getting your cash back as a monthly credit towards your statement or sent to you via check. Additionally, you get the 0% APR into rate for the first 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers.
Is the Discover It Cash Back Card Right for You?
If you’re looking for a cash back credit card with a high pay rate, the Discover It card offers an attractive 5% on spending categories you’d likely use frequently like food and transportation. The additional bonus of matching your cash back earned in your first 12 months can be a lucrative incentive if you’re comparing maximum rewards value versus other cash back credit cards.
This card is not for consumers with are focused on paying down a credit card balance. There are other card options with longer 0% intro APR periods than the 14 months and that doesn’t have a balance transfer fee, unlike the 3% rate of the Discover It Cash Back card.