Below we offer a short description and review of each Discover credit card, along with thoughts on other credit cards to which you might compare them. All these cards have no annual fee.
- The Discover it Miles Card is the best Discover credit card for most consumers. It is marketed as a travel credit card, but it can just as easily be considered a cash back card. Here’s how it works: You get 1.5 “Miles” for each dollar you spend with the card. However, those miles are essentially the same as points that are worth a penny each. As an example, 10,000 “Miles” = $100 in rewards. You can use your miles/points to offset travel expenses you’ve paid for with the card, or you can simply take them as cash, making this the equivalent of a 1.5% cash back card. A nice bonus: At the end of the first year of having the card, all of the miles you’ve earned are doubled, which means you are actually getting a 3% rebate on your first year purchases, assuming you hold the card for that long (and we don’t know why you wouldn’t). Cards to compare this to: Citi Double Cash, Bank of America Travel Rewards.
- Discover it Card – Discover’s flagship credit card is a cash back card that gives you a 5% rebate on certain shopping categories and 1% on everything else you buy with the card. Be careful: the 5% categories change each calendar quarter, there is an upper limit to how much you can spend and still get the 5% ($1500), and you must “activate” each quarter to verify you still want to get the 5% rebate (even though there is no reason you wouldn’t want the bigger rebate!). Still, if you carry multiple credit cards, this is a good complementary card to have to snag those 5% rebates. Like the card above, your first-year rebate is doubled at the end of 12 months (meaning you get a 10% rebate on some purchases in that first year). Cards to compare this to: Chase Freedom, US Bank Cash+.
- Discover it Chrome – Cash back card with another different formula: this one gives you 2% cash back on restaurant and gas purchases (on up to $1000 in these purchases per quarter, then rebate goes down to 1%) and 1% on all other card purchases. Like the cards above, first-year rebates are doubled at the end of 12 months. Cards to compare this to: Capital One SavorOne Card, Bank of America Cash Rewards.
- Discover it for Students and Discover it Chrome for Students – Essentially the same as the Discover it Cards of the same name listed above, but higher interest rates. Compare to: Capital One Journey Student Rewards, Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students.
- Discover it Secured Card – For those who need to “build or rebuild” their credit because of past credit problems or lack of a credit history, this is our favorite secured credit card. You put down a security deposit to get the card, and you get a credit limit equal to that deposit. You then use the card like any other credit card, making your payments each month. Your payment does NOT come from the security deposit; you get the security deposit back when you no longer want the card (assuming you’ve paid off your balance). The idea is to establish your ability to handle a credit card by making your payments on time each month — which should lead to having a “regular” credit card that doesn’t require a deposit. In fact, if you do a good job with this card, Discover may eventually return your security deposit (possibly as soon as 8 months) and let you continue to use it. Offers a rewards program rare for secured cards: get 2% cash back on gas and restaurant purchases (on up to $1000 in these purchases per quarter) and 1% cash back on everything else. No annual fee beyond the refundable security deposit. Compare to: Capital One Secured Card, BankAmericard Secured Card.
- Discover it Business Card – Small business credit card offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make with the card. It has no annual fee. As a bonus, at the end of the first year of having the card, Discover will match all of the rewards you earned in that year a second time — meaning you get a 3% rebate on everything you buy in that first year. A solid business credit card if you don’t want to think too hard about the rewards you receive, though there are other cards on the market that might earn you a bit more. Compare to: Chase Ink Business Unlimited, Blue Business Cash from American Express.