Discover it® Credit Card Review 2017

Last updated on July 22nd, 2017

Discover recently announced that the Discover it® Credit Card is offering a double cash back promotion. All cash back earned in the first 12 months of card ownership is doubled.

That means 2% cash back on everyday purchases, 10% cash back on rotating categories, and up to 50% additional cash back through the Discover Deals shopping portal.

New applicants who are approved will automatically receive this offer.

Discover it® Credit Card Design

Discover offers two versions of the Discover it® – Cashback Match™ at this time.

Both cards share the same fee and rewards structure, and both cards include the double cash back promotion. The only difference is the introductory interest rate.

If you are considering a balance transfer, the 18-month offer might be of interest. Both cards will allow you to choose a custom design when approved.

Discover it® Credit Card Rewards

The Discover it® Credit Card earns 1% cash back on all purchases. This cash back is doubled after your first year of card ownership.

In addition, you can earn 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter. The current bonus categories are summarized below:

Quarterly DatesBonus Category
Q1 (Jan. 1 – March 31)Gas stations, ground transportation and wholesale clubs
Q2 (April 1 – June 30)Home improvement stores and wholesale clubs
Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)Restaurants
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)Amazon.com and more (details to be announced)

The 5% cash back will also be doubled after your first year of card ownership.

Discover Deals

The Discover it® Credit Card includes access to Discover Deals, an online shopping portal that pays you cash back on top of your 1% or 5% card earnings.

When approved for the Discover it® Credit Card, you will create an online account which provides access to Discover Deals. When you are shopping online, you simply log into your account, navigate to Discover Deals, then click on your desired merchant. Discover Deals then redirects you to the merchant website and automatically tracks any purchases that you make.

After you complete your online purchase, Discover will send you an email saying thank you for shopping through Discover Deals. The cash back earned will automatically be added to your account.

Several hundred merchants participate in the Discover Deals online shopping portal, including big retailers like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, Kohls, etc. Each participating business will offer a different cash back amount, with most falling between 5% and 25% cash back.

There is no limit on the amount of cash back that you can earn through Discover Deals, and all earnings are included in the double cash back promotion.

Redeeming Your Cash Back

As you earn cash back, Discover makes it easy to redeem your rewards.

  • Direct Deposit – You can redeem your cash back directly into your bank account.
  • Statement Credit – You can redeem as a credit on your monthly statement.
  • Direct Amazon Purchases – You can purchase items from Amazon and pay using the cash back you have earned.
  • Special Gift Card Redemptions – You can get another 20-25% discount when you redeem your cash back for gift cards from participating retailers through Discover. For example, Discover offers $25 Staples gift cards for just $20 (20% discount).

You can redeem your rewards for any amount, at any time through your online account.

Discover it® Credit Card Features

Price Protection – Discover will refund up to a $500 price difference if you find a lower price within 90 days of making a qualifying purchase.

Fraud Protection – If there are any unknown or wrongful charges on your Discover card, you won’t pay a dime. They take care of it for you.

Return Protection – You can return any eligible purchase within 90 days for up to a $500 refund. This is helpful if a retailer refuses to take a return and you’re holding an item you don’t want.

Purchase Protection – If your item is stolen or accidentally damaged within 90 days of purchase, Discover will reimburse you up to $500.

Extended Warranties – Discover will extend the terms of any U.S. manufacturer’s warranty for up to 1 extra year (on warranties of 3 years or less) if you make the purchase using your Discover card. This is a huge benefit when making an expensive electronics purchase.

Free FICO Credit Score – You can now check your real FICO credit score for free each month through your online account, mobile app, or printed monthly statement.

Free Card Replacement – Receive free overnight shipping when you request a card replacement to any U.S. address.

Freeze Your Discover Account – prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers if your account is compromised. Freeze or unfreeze your account in seconds via the website or mobile app.

U.S Based, 24-Hour Customer Support – Call anytime and be able to speak with a real human being. All Discover call centers are in the United States, which means English is the language of choice.

Discover it® Credit Card Fees

I’ve summarized the most important fees in the table below:

Type of FeeFee Amount
Annual Fee$0
Cash Advance FeeEither $10 or 5% of the amount
(whichever is greater)
Balance Transfer Fee3% of the transfer amount
Foreign Transaction Fee$0
First Late Payment$0
Additional Late Paymentsup to $37
Over-the-limit Fee
(when your purchases exceed your credit limit)
$0

Compared to other credit cards, this fee schedule is generous.

Discover it® Cashback Match™ vs Discover it® Miles

I previously reviewed the Discover it® Miles, which also offers double rewards for the first year. Here are the important differences:

  • The Discover it® – Cashback Match is better for the rotating 5% categories, and full access to the Discover Deals shopping portal.
  • The Discover it® Miles is better for everyday spending, earning 1.5% cash back (doubled in the first year) on all purchases instead of 1% (doubled in the first year).

The best solution is owning one of each card. You can hold both yourself or mix and match with a spouse.

While this sounds easy, Discover will only approve a second card if you have held the first for a minimum of 12 months. As a result, individuals who currently hold no Discover credit card products will be forced to choose, and I recommend that you select the Discover it® – Cashback Match before getting the Discover it® Miles.

Keep in mind that both products are cash back credit cards. If you are wanting free hotel stays or free airline flights, you should consider credit cards issued by other banks. Many travel credit cards offer large sign-up bonuses that provide enough miles to vacation for free. You can compare many of those offers on this page.

Discover it® Credit Card Review Summary

Vanessa and I both use the Discover it® – Cashback Match and have been more than pleased with Discover. We have earned a significant amount of cash back from the 5% rotating categories and the online Discover Deals shopping portal, which will be doubled after 12 months.

The price protection, fraud protection, and extended warranty protection are also important to us. We use these features all the time during big sales (like Black Friday) to save money on big-ticket purchases.

The generous cash back, robust features, and excellent fee schedule have made the Discover it® Credit Card an outstanding option.

If you are interested in applying, you will need a credit score of roughly 675 or higher to be approved.

Discover it® Credit Card Review 2017
Summary
The Discover it® Credit Card offers double cash back on purchases for 12 full months (as a limited time promotion). With a no annual fee and a slew of other benefits, everyone should consider applying for this card.
Fees9.8
Features9.8
Rewards8.5
Sign-up Bonus8.5
Customer Support9.5
Strengths
Valuable features
Discover Deals access
Generous fee schedule
5% cash back categories
Double cash back promotion
Weaknesses
Historically, Discover has been accepted at fewer merchants than Visa or Mastercard
9.2
Overall
Comments
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    • james baumgardner
    • June 29, 2017
    Reply

    Question. I mainly live and work in Europe so i use my current card for all gas and grocery purchases where we live in Bosnia. We spend around $1500 per month with local merchants using a credit card. Would these benefits be credited to me when i use a Discover it card with local Bosnian merchants or anywhere overseas?

    • Lori
    • December 14, 2016
    Reply

    If I bought on Amazon using cash back rewards and paid little or nothing, and I decide to return the item, will I get my reward bonus refunded to soend elsewhere, or do I lose it? Should I just keep the item or try to sell it?

      • Jacob
      • December 14, 2016
      Reply

      It should be refunded to the original payment method (your Discover cash back balance), but I often try to sell things to avoid these type of hassles…

    • Mel
    • September 2, 2016
    Reply

    Thank you Jacob for your great info & recommendations!
    I have a question about the doubling promo, and what is meant by a ‘new cardmember’.
    For the Discover It doubling promotion (“Discover matches all cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year – automatically. Only for new cardmembers.”) I am wondering how a ‘new cardmember’ is defined…
    Does it mean ‘new from within the entire Discover family of cards’, or just ‘new with the It version of the card’?
    I have had a plain Discover card (non-It card) for years. If I now apply for my first/only “It” version of the card, would the doubling promo apply to me, or not? Thanks again!

      • Jacob
      • September 2, 2016
      Reply

      It means anyone who opens a Discover card while the double promo is active.

        • Mel
        • September 5, 2016
        Reply

        Thank you!

    • nadia
    • June 28, 2016
    Reply

    I’m trying to figure out how to best utilize my card for the Amazon quarters. I see that Amazon gift cards are included in the third and fourth quarters and that Amazon gift cards are included in this offer. It seems the most obvious route to use during these quarters is purchasing Amazon gift cards to get the 5% discount that doubles. I also wonder if I’d get the $5 off discount for reloading atleast $100 onto the card for an additional 5% off… Anyways, if I purchase this gift card and get the discount, if I use the gift card will I still receive 5% off after I guess double-dipping so to speak or should I save the giftcard balances I plan to purchase next year when the deal ends and use my Discover card to get like 25% off with subscribe and save? thanks!

      • Jacob
      • June 29, 2016
      Reply

      You receive 5% back from Discover on any charges made at Amazon.com, including gift card reloads or purchases. Any Amazon discounts reduce the amount spent on your Discover card.

    • Don
    • December 1, 2015
    Reply

    When you click through on the Discover Deals portal, one of the listed conditions is “Pay with your Discover Card”. They used to not enforce it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they can do so now quite easily (I’m sure they could before, but maybe didn’t care enough?). Rather than just applying the cashback percentage to the transaction amount reported by the retailer, presumably Discover Deals (the portal) is owned/affiliated with the Discover Card, and so the Card can verify that at least some portion of the purchase through the Deal portal was paid for with a Discover Card, and thus only apply the reward to the portion paid with the card. What I’m a little worried about is if they deny the entire reward based on usage of any other payment methods, so for example if you make a $52 purchase at Sears and pay with $2 in Shopyourway points about to expire, the right way to do it would be to apply the bonus to the remaining $50. Or if you did the reverse, $2 on the card and $50 in points, you would get a bonus only on the $2. However, none at all of my Discover Deals click throughs for Sears or Kmart in the past month have shown up. Almost all have had at least a few bonus points applied. so I dread that it’s because of that. I don’t mind for the ones mostly paid with points, but if it’s a few points and a lot of Discover Card $ and they deny the whole thing, that would suck.

    • Ben
    • September 15, 2015
    Reply

    Would someone be able to provide a list of merchant gift cards from Discover’s reward program? I current have the Chase Freedom card and the program changed to only redeeming gift cards and air flights. The list of merchant gift cards seem ok, but wish there was more.

      • Jacob
      • March 9, 2017
      Reply

      There are a lot of gift card options through Discover, and most are large, name brand stores and restaurant chains.

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    • Jim
    • April 23, 2015
    Reply

    Great blog. And I agree that Discover has MANY benefits. I almost exclusively use Discover.

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  11. Reply

    We love the Discover It card! And we also use the Chase Freedom card.
    My husband drives almost 100 miles round trip to work, so we get to have 5% cash back 3/4 of the year while using both of these cards. You can’t beat free cash.

      • Paul
      • October 8, 2014
      Reply

      What? Driving a hundred miles per day gets you 5% cash back for 9 months a year? I guess I am missing something as I am driving 90+ miles per day for work and not getting that deal. Should I contact the DMV or the credit card companies?

        • Jacob
        • October 8, 2014
        Reply

        I assume she’s referring to the 5% categories on the cards she mentioned.

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    • Stanley
    • November 9, 2013
    Reply

    Jacob,

    Based on your review i went ahead and ordered the discover it card.

    Thanks

      • Jacob
      • November 9, 2013
      Reply

      Stanley, we hope you get great use from it! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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    • Andrew
    • October 14, 2013
    Reply

    I think this card is great…I’m like my Discover card for sure. I always use the shopdiscover feature if I’m buying something online and I like that you can redeem for gift cards for greater value. I often get the staples gift cards $20 for a $25 gift card. Discover also has useful rotating 5% categories.

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    • AnnieG
    • November 18, 2014
    Reply

    In most cases, you can use cashback to get giftcards, shop through the portal, and still get the full cashback on your order. For example, I may get $100 llbean gift cards (for $80 cashback). Then shop through the portal buying perhaps $110 worth of clothes (free shipping and no tax too). Pay $10. Right now, I would get $11 cashback (regular 5% plus the current 5% bonus). Sweet.

 

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