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#1 for cash back

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

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

This card is best for

5% cash back on rotating categories

Bottom Line

Rotating quarterly bonus categories will draw comparisons between this card and Chase Freedom. Discover's offering wins out with the Cashback Match - it's unique intro bonus which is a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earn in your first year.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.74% - 24.74% variable
#1 for balance transfer

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

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

This card is best for

Long 0% APR period on balance transfers

Bottom Line

This card is great for anyone carrying a balance on an existing credit card with a high APR. With an 18-month balance transfer offer, you can save hundreds on interest.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.74% - 24.74% variable
#1 for travel

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

1.5X
Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee.

This card is best for

Travelers

Bottom Line

This straight-forward travel card delivers 1.5X miles for every dollar on all purchases. Perfect for travelers who don't have preferred airlines, hotels, or destinations

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Discover Match®
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.74% - 24.74% variable

More cards from Discover

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

Apply Now

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.

This card is best for

Gas and dining rewards

Bottom Line

This card offers cash back at gas stations and restaurants of 2% for up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter, perfect if you want to earn cash back without keeping up with rotating categories.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.74% - 24.74% variable

No Credit History

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
1%
Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

This card is best for

Earning cash back as a student

Bottom Line

A great card for students or anyone with fair credit. You get the same quarterly categories and 5% back as the Discover it Cash Back with this card when you enroll (up to the quarterly max).

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74% - 23.74% variable

No Credit History

Apply Now

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.

This card is best for

Your first student credit card

Bottom Line

This card has similar benefits to the Discover it chrome, but it is offered to college students with fair credit.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74% - 23.74% variable

No Credit History

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

2%
2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically.
1%
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

This card is best for

Earning cash back while building your credit

Bottom Line

This card is ideal for consumers with little to no credit history who want to build credit quickly and safely.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
24.74% variable

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

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

This card is best for

Rewards on Shop.NHL.com

Bottom Line

Enjoy all the same benefits as the Discover it® Cash Back while supporting your favorite team and getting a discount on Shop.NHL.com

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.74% - 24.74% variable

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

1.5%
Earn 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent on all purchases.

This card is best for

Cash back for business owners

Bottom Line

This is a straightforward business card that offers all of the great features of Discover cards including Cashback Match™, 100% U.S. based customer service and more.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74% - 22.74% variable

More cash back cards from Discover

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

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

This card is best for

Long 0% APR period on balance transfers

Bottom Line

This card is great for anyone carrying a balance on an existing credit card with a high APR. With an 18-month balance transfer offer, you can save hundreds on interest.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.74% - 24.74% variable

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

Apply Now

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.

This card is best for

Gas and dining rewards

Bottom Line

This card offers cash back at gas stations and restaurants of 2% for up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter, perfect if you want to earn cash back without keeping up with rotating categories.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.74% - 24.74% variable

No Credit History

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
1%
Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

This card is best for

Earning cash back as a student

Bottom Line

A great card for students or anyone with fair credit. You get the same quarterly categories and 5% back as the Discover it Cash Back with this card when you enroll (up to the quarterly max).

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74% - 23.74% variable

No Credit History

Apply Now

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.

This card is best for

Your first student credit card

Bottom Line

This card has similar benefits to the Discover it chrome, but it is offered to college students with fair credit.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74% - 23.74% variable

No Credit History

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

2%
2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically.
1%
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

This card is best for

Earning cash back while building your credit

Bottom Line

This card is ideal for consumers with little to no credit history who want to build credit quickly and safely.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
24.74% variable

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

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

This card is best for

Rewards on Shop.NHL.com

Bottom Line

Enjoy all the same benefits as the Discover it® Cash Back while supporting your favorite team and getting a discount on Shop.NHL.com

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.74% - 24.74% variable

More student cards from Discover

No Credit History

Apply Now

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.

This card is best for

Your first student credit card

Bottom Line

This card has similar benefits to the Discover it chrome, but it is offered to college students with fair credit.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74% - 23.74% variable
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Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank's website for the most current information.


Comparing Discover Card Offers

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 look at their common, most excellent features, such as free FICO score, U.S.-based 24/7 customer service, and more.

Here, we look at:


The Best Discover Credit Cards of 2019

Which Discover card should you get?

Because Discover credit cards have such different structures from competitors, it's a good idea to compare with any other cards you have your eye on. Discover offers the gamut – credit building, student, travel and cash back cards. Which is best for you?

Consumer with a big balance – If you have a balance on another card, the Discover it Balance Transfer is one of the most generous on the market, with 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers. However, the purchase offer is only 6 months, so even though this card offers 5% back on rotating categories after activation (up to the quarterly maximum, then 1%), don't plan on carrying any of those purchases over past 6 months, because interest rates will kick in at a variable rate of 13.74% - 24.74%.

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 Discover it Miles is 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.

Credit builder – The Discover it Secured is an excellent option for the consumer who wants to build their credit while keeping open the option of experiencing rewards. This card requires no credit history, but as a secured card, you have to put down a refundable deposit as collateral. However, you get to build your credit with every on-time payment. This secured card is one of the better ones on the market because fees are minimal, including no annual fee.

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 the Discover cards for payment. Although more common in the United States, Discover is accepted in 185 countries and territories.

Although it's the smallest among the major networks in the U.S., it is widely accepted here. In fact, among merchants who accept cards, 97% of them accept Discover. Among the 4 major U.S. networks, there was $3.68 trillion in purchase volume for credit cards, says Nilson Report. Here are how the networks break down with those:

2018 purchase volume of U.S. general purpose credit card networks:

  • $1.96 trillion
  • Visa
  • $810 billion
  • Mastercard
  • $770 billion
  • American Express
  • $140B
  • Discover

Source: Nilson Report Feb. 2019 chart, U.S. general purpose brands

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. More on that later.
  • Banking. Discover also offers savings, checking, IRAs and CDs with a competitive 2.65% APY for 12 months and minimum $2,500.
  • Personal loans. These loans can be used for major purchases, life events, remodeling or debt consolidation – basically, you have a need, Discover delivers.
  • Student loans. All manner of student loans are offered, with a fixed rate undergraduate loan's starting fixed rates ranging from 5.99% - 13.99%.
  • Home equity. These loans range from 4.99% - 11.99% fixed APR for $35,000-$150,000. That's with no application fee, origination fee or home valuation fee.

Discover rewards program and best redemption options

There are a few key rewards programs attached to Discover credit cards. For example, upon enrollment the Discover it Cash Back, Discover it Balance Transfer, and Discover it Student Cash Back all offer 5% back on rotating categories each quarter (up to the quarterly max, then 1%). Meanwhile, the Discover it chrome and Discover it Student chrome offer 2% back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 quarterly, then 1%).

While quarterly activation is required for the Discover cards with rotating categories, cash back for the chrome cards are automatic. Other cash back cards usually offer a sign-up bonus – Discover cards' bonus at the end of your first year competes with that.

It's a certainty that you won't pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fee on Discover cards. Annual fees can run in the hundreds of dollars and foreign transaction fees are typically 3% of the charge, so that's a whole lot of money saved with those two fees waived. These cards carry a host of other features, as we'll talk about next.

Other benefits of having Discover cards

Discover cards offer a number of benefits, from service to security to great rewards. Here is what the brand offers with all of its cards.

Service

  • 100% U.S.-based customer service
  • Accepted in the U.S. by at least 97% of the merchants that accept cards
  • Get cash with your card purchase, up to $120 per 24 hours
  • Year-end summary
  • Free FICO score

As you can see, one of Discover's greatest benefits is the free FICO score feature. Discover has found that 69% of consumers who regularly checked their scores believed their scores had improved during that time, so it's worth your while to be able to access your score on a monthly or quarterly basis. Here's what else Discover learned about credit scores:

Don't be afraid to check your credit score...

  •  55%
  • Consumers who said checking their credit score positively impacted their credit
  •  54%
  • Consumers who believed their credit had improved over the last year
  •  18%
  • Consumers who hadn't checked their credit score in the last year

Source: Discover's 2018 Current State of Consumer Credit Health Report

Security

  • Free alerts if Social Security number found on risky website
  • Free alerts if new account shows up on Experian credit report
  • $0 fraud liability
  • On/off switch to freeze your account
  • Free overnight shipping for card replacement

Value

  • No annual fee
  • No overlimit fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Price protection, within 90 days of your purchase up to $500 per item, $2,500 per year

Recap: The Best Discover Credit Cards of 2019

Credit CardBest For:CreditCards.com RatingAnnual Fee
Discover it® Cash BackCash back with rotating rewards categories4.3 / 5$0
Discover it® Balance TransferLong balance transfer offer4.5 / 5$0
Discover it® MilesEarning airline miles4.0 / 5$0
Discover it® chromeGas and dining rewards with cash back match4.1 / 5$0
Discover it® Student Cash BackGood Grades Rewards and rotating categories4.2 / 5$0
Discover it® Student chromeGood Grades Rewards, gas stations and restaurants4.2 / 5$0
Discover it® SecuredEstablishing credit4.1 / 5$0
NHL® Discover it®Hockey fansN/A$0

Laura is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She has written extensively on all things credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. Laura's work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times and Associated Press. You can reach her by e-mail at laura.mohammad@creditcards.com and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.