The Discover it® is a cash back credit card issued by Discover Financial, and I think it's time for me to update this review to reflect its latest features and benefits. It is one of my favorite credit cards when it comes to 0% intro APR offers on purchases and balance transfers, in addition to its great cash rewards program. As a rewards card, it lets you earn cash rebates in return for your spending, so it's really like having a discount card with you.
I'll do a review of this flagship Discover it®, tell you what's so different about it, and how we rate it now.
Things We Like About This Card
No annual fee. Enjoy the cash back rewards and other exclusive cardholder benefits of this card at no charge at all.
0% introductory APR on balance transfers. For the first 14 months, you will enjoy a 0% introductory APR on all balance transfers. This is a good deal if you plan to take advantage of the intro 0% balance transfer by transferring your high-interest credit card debt or store card debt to this new card account, so that you pay ZERO interest on your transferred balance for 14 months! This allows you to pay off your existing debt faster as you stop paying interest on it. After the 14 months, your variable purchase APR will be 10.99% - 22.99%, depending on your credit score. Make sure you can pay off all your debts within the 14 months so that you won't incur the higher non-promotional interest rates. Balance transfer fee is 3% of each transferred balance.
This card also comes in another version which offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months and 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months. After the intro periods there's a 10.99% - 22.99% variable purchase APR. Besides this difference in promotional period, all other card features are the same. To get this Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer, click here to apply online.
0% introductory APR on all your purchases. You will also enjoy the benefit of having a 0% introductory APR on all your purchases for 14 months, after that you will have to pay the standard variable purchase APR, which is 10.99% - 22.99% depending on your credit score. This 14-month period of 0% APR on purchases is a very good offer as it is one of the longest offered by credit card companies in the US. So if you are thinking of buying a big ticket item, and have 14 months to pay it off interest-free, you'll make the most out of this card.
Receive up to 20% cash back on purchases made at Discover's online shopping mall. Earn from 5%-20% cash back on purchases made online at Discover's online mall.
Earn 5% Cashback Bonus in categories that change each quarter. This is another attractive benefit this card will offer you. It can help you save a lot of money by giving you 5% cash back for purchases you make in categories that change every quarter. Important note: You must sign up (it's free and you can do it online or through the phone) to earn 5%! You earn this 5% up to the quarterly maximum for spending on category purchases every quarter, and if you spend more than the specified amount for each 5% program, the excess will automatically earn 1% cash back.
Here are the 5% cash back categories for 2015:
- Jan-March: Gas stations and ground transportation. You will earn 5% cash back on a maximum of $1,500 spent in these categories (which equals $75) after signing up for the 5% cash back bonus! Any excess will earn you 1% cash back.
-April-June: Food and fun. You will earn 5% cash back on up to a quarterly maximum spent in these categories, and 1% cash back thereafter.
-July-September: Summer spruce up and more. 5% cash back for up to a quarterly maximum spent on combined quarterly purchases in these categories, with 1% cash back on purchases above that cap.
-October-December: Holiday shopping and more. Earn 5% cash back for combined purchases in holiday related shopping categories, up to a quarterly limit. 1% after.
Receive 1% cash back on all other purchases. You will receive a 1% rebate on all the rest of your purchases. This includes the excess of purchases in the quarterly rotating categories. This is a new benefit that's greatly improved from the previous version when it used to offer 0.25% rebate on the first $3,000 spent on the card, and then 1% thereafter. Now, it's 1% flat on all other purchases! We give it a thumb's up.
Redeem Cashback Bonus for gift cards, merchandise, or cold hard cash in the form of a direct deposit to your bank account or a credit to your Discover it card account in $50 increments, starting at $50. What we like about their cash rebates is that you can double the value of your rebates by redeeming them for certain gift cards (over 100 partner stores). To give you some examples, a $40 rebate can be redeemed for a $80 Carnival Cruise or $80 Celebrity Cruises gift card or instant eCertificate; a $40 rebate can be redeemed for a $100 certificate from Hyatt Hotels & Resorts; a $20 rebate can be exchanged for a $40 Samsonite gift card!
Up to double Cashback Bonus. You can earn up to a double Cashback Bonus when redeeming your rebates for gift certificates from participating retailers. (See above)
Use your Cashback Bonus to pay directly at Amazon.com when you link your account to it. What's great about this is that you can use any amount, and there is no minimum spending required! Since I frequently shop at Amazon.com, I find this to be a great tie-up.
Earn rewards for paying your monthly household bills with your card. Set up automatic recurring payments for your cable, cell phone, insurance, internet etc on your Discover it Card, and you earn Cashback Bonus with every bill you pay!
View your FICO® Credit Score for free each month. This is a new perk Discover offers, in which you can view your Credit Score every month for free on your monthly statement, online or on the mobile app. This will help you keep track of your Credit Score for free!
You’ll be alerted if your account experiences unusual activity. Your account is monitored every day, and you’ll be alerted either by phone, text or email if any unusual purchases are made. You will never be responsible to pay for unauthorized purchases made with your card.
No foreign transaction fee. When you use this card outside the U.S. or when you pay in a different currency, you won't be charged any foreign transaction fee, a fee that most other credit cards will charge you when you do that.
No penalty APR. With other credit cards in the U.S., your APR gets bumped up to a ridiculous rate when you don't pay on time, in addition to a late fee. But with this card, your APR won't be increased at all when you pay late. Of the cards we have reviewed, only this one and the Citi Simplicity® Card have this new benefit. Plus, for your first late payment, you won't have to pay any late fee.
100% U.S.-based call center service. They will answer your call in seconds, and you get to speak to a real person no matter what time of day or night.
Balance transfer fee of 3%. This is a relatively low balance transfer fee you have to pay when transferring your balance from another credit card account to this account. The 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 14 months gives you the opportunity to pay off your existing credit card debt without interest within 14 months (variable APR for balance transfers is 10.99% - 22.99% after that).
Flight accident insurance. This credit card can also be very useful for your travels since it provides up to $500,000 in flight accident insurance, as well as car rental insurance and many fraud and security protection services.
$0 Fraud Liability Guarantee. If there are any unauthorized transactions on your Discover it card, you won't have to pay a single cent for it!
To read the full terms for rewards, rates and FICO scores just click on the apply now button.
Our Least Favorite Things About This Card
No sign-up bonus cash back. Unlike some other credit cards such as Chase Freedom® this card doesn't let you earn a bonus when making your first purchase or when spending a certain amount on purchases within the first few months.
If you would like to get 14 months of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers as well as earn great cash back on your purchases, you should consider getting the Discover it®. It is a solid cash back card to have since you can save quite a lot of money through rebates, and redemption is easy through the many different options.
If you prefer a card that offers a Bonus promotion, you might want to consider Chase Freedom® (read our review of Chase Freedom®) which lets you earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. It also gives you a minimum of 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on quarterly changing categories, up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter.
The Discover it® is also very good for balance transfers, since you get 0% intro APR for balance transfers for the first 14 months. You might want to make a note on your calendar when the 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers end, so that you can budget your spending in advance and avoid the standard purchase and balance transfer APR of 10.99% - 22.99% (variable).
It is also one of our best rated cash back cards as you can get 5% cash back on different categories throughout the year after you sign up for 5%, up to a quarterly maximum spent on purchases in these quarterly changing categories. You might also want to consider carrying a few different cash back cards so as to maximize your rebates when a particular card has a higher rebate on a certain category. Also, since it doesn't charge any foreign transaction fee or any penalty APR, it already is differentiating itself from other cashback cards in the market. Because of all these new features, we highly recommend Discover it®. Apply online now and you'll get a response within 60 seconds.