Discover Credit Card Reviews
updated march 2, 2018 – 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. NOTE: You can always look at our Top 10 Credit Cards list if you want to see our top picks for the full market.
- 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%, 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!). We are not fans of cards like this with the rotating 5% categories; they require too much work to maximize your reward. Like the card above, your first-year rebate is doubled at the end of 12 months. 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 Savor Dining Rewards, 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. You put down a security deposit to get this 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, First National Bank of Omaha Secured Card.