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BEST FOR HIGH REWARDS
Discover it® Cash Back
Our rating:4.5 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
1%
Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
11.99% - 22.99% variable
Best for balance transfers
Discover it® Balance Transfer
Our rating:4.5 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
1%
Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
11.99% - 22.99% variable
BEST FOR CASH BACK ON GAS
Discover it® chrome
Our rating:3.9 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

2%
Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
1%
Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
11.99% - 22.99% variable

More cards from Discover

BEST FOR STUDENTS' SHOPPING
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Our rating:4.1 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

(No Credit History) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
1%
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
12.99% - 21.99% variable
BEST FOR TRAVEL REWARDS
Discover it® Miles
Our rating:3.7 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

1.5X
Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Discover Match® Unlimited Bonus: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There's no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
11.99% - 22.99% variable
BEST FOR STUDENTS' DAILY EXPENSES
Discover it® Student chrome
Our rating:4.1 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

(No Credit History) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

2%
Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
1%
Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
12.99% - 21.99% variable
BEST FOR BUILDING CREDIT
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Our rating:4.1 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

(No Credit History) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

2%
Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
1%
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
22.99% variable

More cash back cards from Discover

Discover it® Balance Transfer
Our rating:4.5 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
1%
Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
11.99% - 22.99% variable
Discover it® chrome
Our rating:3.9 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

2%
Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
1%
Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
11.99% - 22.99% variable
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Our rating:4.1 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

(No Credit History) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
1%
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
12.99% - 21.99% variable
Discover it® Student chrome
Our rating:4.1 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

(No Credit History) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

2%
Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
1%
Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
12.99% - 21.99% variable
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Our rating:4.1 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

(No Credit History) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

2%
Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
1%
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
22.99% variable

More student cards from Discover

Discover it® Student chrome
Our rating:4.1 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

(No Credit History) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards rate

2%
Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
1%
Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
12.99% - 21.99% variable
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This page includes information about the Discover it® Business Card which is no longer available. The information for Discover it® Business Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer..

A guide to Discover credit cards

When you discover Discover, you find some hidden surprises, such as their dollar-for-dollar matching of all the cash back earned at the end of your first year, no annual fee and so much more. Here, we’ll take a deep dive into what each Discover card offers, then make it as easy as possible to choose which is best for you.


Comparing the best Discover credit cards

Credit cardBest forCreditCards.com ratingAnnual fee
Discover it® Cash Back5% cash back on rotating categories4.5 / 5$0
Discover it® Balance TransferBalance transfers4.5 / 5$0
Discover it® chromeGas and dining rewards3.9 / 5$0
Discover it® Student Cash BackStudents earning cash back4.1 / 5$0
Discover it® MilesTravelers3.7 / 5$0
Discover it® Student chromeStudents4.1 / 5$0
Discover it® Secured Credit CardCash back and credit building4.1 / 5$0

Discover it® Cash Back: Best for 5% cash back on rotating categories

Why we picked it: Discover’s first-year Cashback Match™, which matches all of the cash back you accumulate in year one, could easily beat the sign-up bonuses offered by many other rewards cards. Plus, the card’s lengthy 0% introductory purchase APR (0% for 14 months, then 11.99% – 22.99% variable) allows you to earn cash back on larger purchases and pay them off over time.

Pros: Discover’s first-year Cashback Match™could easily beat the sign-up bonuses offered by many other rewards cards, and the card’s lengthy 0% introductory purchase APR (0% for 14 months, then 11.99% – 22.99% variable) allows you to earn cash back on larger purchases and pay them off over time.

Cons: It’s not ideal if you’re after a low-maintenance card: You must enroll in a rotating bonus category every quarter to maximize your cash back, and quarterly categories may not always line up with your spending habits.

Who should apply? If you’re on the hunt for a generous welcome bonus and don’t mind keeping up with rotating categories, this user-friendly card stands out from the pack.

Who should skip? Someone looking for a card that doesn’t require any extra homework. Activating Discover’s rotating categories and trying to adjust your spending habits can be tedious.

Read our Discover it® Cash Back review.

Discover it® Balance Transfer: Best for balance transfers

Why we picked it: With this card, you won’t have to sacrifice the long-term value of a rewards program to get a no-annual-fee balance transfer credit card with a long introductory APR period. Plus it offers a unique first-year promotion.

Pros: The card offers an impressive 18 month introductory period to pay off a transferred balance without accruing any interest (11.99% to 22.99% variable APR after that), but also a generous cash back program and unique first-year promotion that matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Cons: This card doesn’t give you much time to carry a balance interest-free on new spending (0% intro APR for the first 6 months then 11.99% – 22.99% variable APR thereafter) and you’ll want to keep in mind there is an intro balance transfer fee of 3%, up to 5% on future transfers.

Who should apply? This card will appeal to individuals who are looking to chip away at high-interest debt while still being able to reap the benefits of a rewards program.

Who should skip? People looking for a long amount of time to finance new purchases and those who don’t want to keep track of rotating bonus categories will find more utility elsewhere.

Read our Discover it® Balance Transfer review.

Discover it® chrome: Best for gas and dining rewards

Why we picked it: It offers 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1%) on spending at gas stations and restaurants, which, when matched at the end of the first year, is a remarkable rate for a no-annual-fee card.

Pros: In addition to its great cashback rewards program, you can take advantage of the card’s 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and new purchases for 14 months (11.99% – 22.99% variable thereafter) to pay down debt or finance a larger purchase.

Cons: While the card’s low-end APR of 11.99% (variable) is significantly lower than the average cash back card APR, your APR could run as high as 22.99% (variable) if you have some blemishes on your credit history. The card also doesn’t offer much in the way of perks like car rental insurance or extended warranty.

Who should apply? Take-out addicts and road warriors can earn big bonuses in addition to an already generous welcome offer.

Who should skip? Cardholders who want top-tier cash back rates should look to see if the Discover it® Cash Back’s rotating categories pique their interest.

Read our Discover it® chrome review.

Discover it® Student Cash Back: Best for students earning cash back

Why we picked it: You won’t have to sacrifice top-notch cashback rewards just because you’re a student. You’ll earn 5% cash back in rotating categories like gas, groceries and Amazon.com (with enrollment, on up to $1,500 per quarter, then 1% back). Plus, Discover will match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.

Pros: The card offers a number of unique perks for students, including your free Credit Scorecard that includes your FICO® Credit Score and important details that help make up your score . It also charges no foreign transaction fee, making it a solid choice if you plan to travel or study abroad.

Cons: You must enroll in a rotating bonus category every quarter to maximize your cash back, and the card’s variable APR, though reasonable, is a bit higher than that of many student cards, so you’ll have to be diligent about paying off your balance in full each month.

Who should apply? This cash back card is ideal for responsible students who won’t carry a balance and feel capable of keeping track of rotating categories.

Who should skip? The high-percentage cash back might seem worth it to some rewards-hunters, but those with an established credit score should probably look elsewhere.

Read our Discover it® Student Cash Back review.

Discover it® Miles: Best for travelers

Why we picked it: The card charges no annual fee and gives you a ton of freedom in how you redeem your miles: You won’t have to book through a travel portal or with specific airlines or hotels.

Pros: Thanks to the card’s first-year mile match offer, you’ll effectively earn 3X miles on every purchase for the first 12 months (1.5X miles on purchases, matched at the end of your first year), which rivals the rate offered by many of the top luxury travel cards.

Cons: The card lacks a traditional sign-up bonus, so you’ll have to spend a decent amount to get much value out of the first-year match. Also, since you can’t transfer your miles to frequent-flier programs, the card isn’t ideal if you’re loyal to specific airlines.

Who should apply? This no-annual-fee, high-value rewards card is an excellent choice for travelers looking to stockpile miles for future vacations.

Who should skip? Anyone who doesn’t know they want travel rewards out of their credit card. While this card has flexible redemption options, they’re all designed with travelers in mind.

Read our Discover it® Miles review.

Discover it® Student chrome: Best for students

Why we picked it: The card’s consumer-friendly terms are great for someone new to credit: You won’t be charged a late fee the first time you miss a payment and you won’t get hit with a penalty APR if you end up falling behind more frequently. You should note that there is a late payment fee of up to $40 after the first time you pay late.

Pros: Along with its great cash back rate on combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants, the card comes with a number of financial management tools that can help you monitor your spending and ensure your credit stays on track.

Cons: While the card’s 0% introductory APR on new purchases for the first six months (12.99%-21.99% variable APR thereafter) can help students finance a large purchase like a laptop or moving expenses, it could spell trouble for inexperienced cardholders prone to overspending.

Who should apply? Discover’s easy-to-use account management tools are great for first-time student cardholders looking to establish healthy credit habits.

Who should skip? Cardholders with a little experience under their belt and a solid credit score should look at the benefits and rewards offered by other cards.

Read our Discover it® Student chrome review.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card: Best for cash back and credit building

Why we picked it: You can build credit without putting down a ton of money upfront as a deposit. Even better, Discover promises to review your account on a monthly basis starting at 8 months to see if you qualify for an upgrade to an unsecured card.

Pros: Your approval odds are high whether you have a poor credit history or none at all. Plus, the card’s generous cashback program and Cashback Match mean you could actually earn money in the first year by using the card.

Cons: If you opt for a low security deposit (and, accordingly, a low credit limit), it may be difficult to keep your credit utilization in check. Additionally, the card’s APR is extremely high, regardless of your credit history: All cardholders are assigned the same variable APR of 22.99%.

Who should apply? This no-annual-fee cash back card with the potential for a higher credit line after eight months is a terrific choice for anyone building credit.

Who should skip? Credit-builders who don’t love the idea of putting down a deposit to grow their score should look to student credit cards and other cards for bad credit.

Read our Discover it® Secured Credit Card review.

Discover it® Business Card: Best for business owners

Why we picked it: If you spend heavily, Discover’s Cashback Match could easily beat out other business cards’ intro bonuses.

Pros: It’s a great low-maintenance option for business owners who don’t want to deal with special bonus categories and complicated redemption: You get unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and can redeem rewards in any amount, at any time.

Cons: The card’s Cashback Match can be very lucrative, but you’ll have to wait a full year after opening your account to get it. Depending on your business needs, it may make more sense to go with a card that offers a bonus upfront, even if it’s smaller.

Who should apply? With its flexible rewards program, no expiration and unlimited Cashback Match, the Discover it® Business Card offers a lot of potential value to small business owners.

Who should skip? Small business owners looking for a card that rewards a little extra in certain categories should look to other business credit cards.

Read our Discover it® Business review.


What is Discover?

Discover is best known for its stellar lineup of cashback cards, but it is more than just a card issuer. Discover is also a network, along with Visa, Mastercard and American Express. This means it partners with merchants nationally and worldwide, which accept Discover cards for payment. Although it’s most common in the United States, Discover is accepted in 190 countries and territories.

Discover card U.S. acceptance

While it’s the smallest among the major networks in the U.S., Discover is widely accepted at retailers across the states. In fact, among merchants who accept cards, 99% of them accept Discover. Among the four major U.S. networks, there was $6.698 trillion in purchase volume for credit cards, says Nilson Report. Here are how the networks break down according to purchase volume:

2020 purchase volume of U.S. general-purpose credit card networks:

  • Visa
  • $2.089 trillion
  • Mastercard
  • $910 billion
  • American Express
  • $821 billion
  • Discover
  • $146B

Source: Nilson Report Feb. 2020 chart, U.S. general purpose brands

Is a Discover credit card worth it?

Being a known leader in the credit cards industry, it should come as no surprise that Discover provides worthwhile card offers with strong rewards. Whether your goal is to accumulate cash back, use your spending to flip into a vacation or get a card to build your credit score and unlock new opportunities, Discover has a card that can bring you value. Matching cash back and miles earnings, 24/7 customer service and lack of certain fees are just some of the ways Discover’s cards pack a punch.

There are a few key rewards programs attached to Discover credit cards, giving cardholders reason to open an account and reap the benefits. Some Discover cards offer elevated reward rates in an array of rotating spending categories while others have more consistent schedules.

One way Discover undoubtedly provides value is by offering top-notch cash back rates. The following cards offer 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter upon enrollment (up to the quarterly max, then 1%):

  • Discover it® Cash Back
  • Discover it® Student Cash Back

The following cards offer 2% back at gas stations and restaurants (on up to $1,000 combined purchases quarterly, then 1%):

  • Discover it® chrome
  • Discover it® Student chrome
  • Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Understanding how your rewards work is an essential to getting the most value out of your card. For example, quarterly activation is required for the Discover cards with rotating categories, but cash back for the chrome cards is automatic. Tracking the cashback calendar and understanding your redemption options can take your card’s impact to new levels.

Discover cashback calendar 2021

Discover’s 2021 cashback calendar is now live, so you can get a sense of how your spending habits line up and start planning your purchases accordingly.

Winter (January – March)Spring (April – June)Summer (July – September)Holiday (October – December)
  • Grocery stores
  • Walgreens
  • CVS
  • Gas stations
  • Select streaming services
  • Wholesale clubs
  • Restaurants
  • PayPal
  • Amazon.com
  • Target.com
  • Walmart.com

To ensure you earn the full 5% cashback bonus, keep the following in mind:

  • You must activate the bonus each quarter to receive 5% back.
  • Your bonus is active from the first day of the first month of each quarter – or the date on which you activate it, whichever is later – through the last day of the last month of each quarter.
  • You earn bonus cash back up to the quarterly maximum.
  • All spending over the quarterly maximum and all purchases outside a quarter’s bonus category earn 1% cash back.

Best Discover reward redemption options

Since cash back reward values are pretty straightforward, the best cash back redemption options are often the most convenient for you at the moment without sacrificing reward value. For gift card lovers, however, Discover has a great deal: There is an added value on each gift card you redeem for (for example, certain merchants offer a $25 gift card for $20 of cash back rewards).
When you’re ready to collect your hard-earned Discover credit card rewards, here’s a quick rundown of your Discover redemption options.

  • Cash, either as a direct deposit or a statement credit – 1 cent minimum redemption
  • Amazon.com or PayPal purchases, using the “Cashback Bonus® option at checkout ($1 Cashback Bonus = $1) – no minimum redemption value
  • Gift cards (with an added bonus value) – ranging from $5 – $200 in increments of $5 (minimum redemption)
  • Charity donations – 1 cent minimum redemption

Discover it Miles can be redeemed as a credit toward eligible travel purchases on your credit card statement or as a bank account direct deposit, both at 1 cent per 1 mile. Plus, Discover cash back and miles don’t expire. Rather than erasing your rewards, Discover will credit your account with your cash back or miles balance if your account is closed or it hasn’t been used within 18 months.

No annual fees on Discover cards

You won’t pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fee on Discover cards. Annual fees can often run in the hundreds of dollars, and foreign transaction fees — which are fees added on top of your purchase when you use your credit card at a non-U.S. retailer — are typically 3% of the charge. That’s a whole lot of money saved with those two fees waived, and Discover is able to back these money-saving perks with worthwhile rewards and benefits.

How to choose a Discover credit card

Because Discover cards have such specialized structures, it’s a good idea to take a look at your own habits and identify the type of consumer you are. Using our CardMatch tool  can help narrow down your options before applying and give you an idea of the right card for you based on your credit profile. Discover offers the gamut – credit building, student, travel and cash back cards. Which best suits you?

Shopper with a plan – There are a couple of options here, including the Discover it Cash Back and the Discover it chrome. The Discover it Cash Back is a good card for someone who enjoys angling to maximize their cash back rewards, while the chrome is a good option for someone who frequents restaurants or is a road warrior.

Occasional traveler – If you are looking for one of the best travel credit cards and you want flexible features, the Discover it Miles is a good choice because it rewards 1.5X miles on all types of spending, with no blackout dates on redemption. When all is said and done, the lack of fees and generous rewards make the Discover it® Miles best for the occasional traveler who needs room for flexibility.

Student consumer – Discover has two student cards, the Discover it® Student Cash Back and the Discover it® Student chrome. Both offer the rewards of their big brothers, but they only require no credit history. These are good cards for the youthful consumer who wants to experiment with rewards and build credit in the meantime. They also both feature a 0% intro APR on purchases for six months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99-21.99%.

Small business owner – Discover offers a consistent, easy-to-understand business card for those trying to grow and organize their business in new ways. With the Discover it® Business, entrepreneurs can take advantage of unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases – a number that can quickly stack with high-budget business expenses.

Additional expert picks/tips

On top of their credit card offers, Discover also offers a variety of lending products, including checking accounts, personal and student loans, and more. Here’s all they bring to the table:

  • Credit cards. You already know that these products provide excellent value, but they also offer great service and security.
  • Banking. Discover also offers savings, checking, IRAs and CDs with a competitive APY for 12 months and a minimum $2,500.
  • Personal loans. Discover’s variety of loans can be used for major purchases, life events, remodeling or debt consolidation.
  • Student loans. All manner of student loans are offered, with a fixed rate undergraduate loan’s starting fixed rates ranging from 4.24%-12.39%.
  • Home equity. These loans range from 3.99%-11.99% fixed APR for $35,000-$200,000. That’s with no application fee, origination fee or appraisal fee.

While Discover is able to offer their suite of services to so many, they’re still growing their global presence. The lack of foreign transaction fees and ability to capitalize on rewards make one of their cards a strong international companion.

Where are Discover cards accepted internationally?

While Discover doesn’t have as wide a reach internationally as Mastercard or Visa, it’s accepted at more than 48 million merchants in 190 countries and territories, with international acceptance continuing to grow. You can check out Discover’s online map to see if your card is likely to be accepted where you’re traveling, but rest assured that many popular destinations in South and Central America, Europe and Asia have a moderate or high rate of Discover acceptance. Countries with a high Discover acceptance rate include:

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Belize
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Greece
  • India
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Morocco
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland

Discover also offers a variety of lending products, including checking accounts, personal and student loans, and more. Here’s what it offers:

  • Credit cards. You already know that these products provide excellent value, but they also offer great service and security.
  • Banking. Discover also offers savings, checking, IRAs and CDs with a competitive APY for 12 months and a minimum $2,500.
  • Personal loans. Discover’s variety of loans can be used for major purchases, life events, remodeling or debt consolidation.
  • Student loans. All manner of student loans are offered, with a fixed rate undergraduate loan’s starting fixed rates ranging from 4.24%-12.39%.
  • Home equity. These loans range from 3.99%-11.99% fixed APR for $35,000-$200,000. That’s with no application fee, origination fee or appraisal fee.

How we picked the best Discover credit cards

Research Methodology: We analyzed Discover’s selection of credit cards to identify their top offers currently on the market. The major factors we considered were:

  • Available rewards: Discover has cards offering a variety of cash back and travel rewards rates, so we found the most customer-friendly earning options.
  • Extra perks: With cards designed with specific consumers in mind, it’s important that any add-ons can help contribute to the cardholder’s goal. We looked for cards from Discover that feature benefits to help the traveler, cash back earner, credit-builder and more.
  • Rates and fees: We looked at whether cards had an introductory APR offer and how reasonable ongoing APRs were. We also took into account any extraneous fees or anything else that would make a card more expensive.

Our criteria also included rewards redemption, credit needed, security, ease of application, potential rewards, miscellaneous benefits.

More information on Discover credit cards

For more information on all things Discover credit cards, continue reading content from our credit card experts: