|Student Rating:||4.2 / 5|
|Interest and Fees||4.7|
|Issuer Customer Experience||5.0|
In a Nutshell:
The Discover it Student chrome card zooms to the top of the class because of its winning cash rewards program and user-friendly features.
Estimated Yearly Rewards Value ($300 monthly spend)
Discover Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: No late fee on first late payment (after that, up to $40), no overlimit fee, no foreign transaction fee, free FICO® credit score, Spend Analyzer tool, customizable text alerts, free social security number alerts
As the end of the semester arrives and all the A’s start accumulating on your report card, you’re probably anticipating a pat on the back from you parents and a check in the mail from your grandmother. Now, you can look forward to a little something extra: a $20 statement credit for good grades from your Discover card (3.0+ GPA required, for up to 5 years).
The Discover it Student chrome card ranks high on our list of student cards, largely because of its generous cash rewards program. We also like Discover’s consumer-friendly features and useful tools that help students stay on top of their balances.
Easy on the penalties
Sometimes new cardholders need a little practice at paying their bills, so we like a card that cuts you some slack. With a 0-percent intro APR on new purchases for the first six months (12.99 – 21.99 percent variable APR thereafter) and no penalty fee for the first missed payment, Discover it Student chrome card gives you a nice cushion. Also, there’s no penalty APR. Some cards will hit you with an APR of up to 30 percent for missing a payment, which can really hurt if you end up carrying a balance.
High cash rewards
Discover it Student chrome card includes one of the most valuable rewards programs for students. In addition to the $20 statement credit for good grades (3.0+ GPA required, for up to 5 years), it matches your cash rewards at the end of the first year. Also, you get 2 percent back on restaurant and gas station purchases each quarter (up to $1,000 of purchases), and 1 percent back on general purchases. The program is very flexible – you can redeem any amount at any time and there’s no expiration on your rewards. If you have an Amazon.com account, you can even use your rewards to shop there.
Useful financial management tools
We grade student cards heavily on their ability to promote responsible credit card use. We’re impressed by the features that Discover provides to make credit management easier. Discover’s Spend Analyzer tool enables you to track your finances and set up payment plans. Discover also offers free email and text alerts, which you can set to remind you when payments are due. You can combine these tools to create a budget, and then send reminders to yourself to stay on track.
Some useful perks
If you’re looking to travel abroad, you’ll enjoy the fact that the card has no foreign transaction fee. Many cards charge 3 percent, which can really add up after a few transactions.
The Discover it Student chrome card offers a decent APR for a student card. Cardholders may qualify for an APR of 12.99 – 21.99 percent (variable), which is comparable to the rates that you would receive with a regular rewards card. Unfortunately, unlike other cards in the student category, there’s no zero-percent balance-transfer offer. If you’re looking to transfer a balance from another card, you may be better served by other offers.
Overall, we think that this is a great card for students, due to its valuable cash rewards program and its features that promote responsible financial management. The Discover it Student chrome card could be a handy tool for new cardholders trying to establish a strong credit history.
How does the Discover it Student chrome compare to other student cards?
The Discover it Student chrome will be a good fit for many students thanks to its low cost of ownership and simple rewards structure, but it’s not without its flaws. To start, your bonus cash back is capped at $1,000 in spending per quarter, after which you get knocked down to a 1% cash back rate. The card is also lacking in perks and the Discover network also doesn’t have as wide a reach as Mastercard or Visa, especially internationally. If any of those sound like red flags, consider these alternatives.
Chase Freedom Student Credit Card*
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card*
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
$50 bonus after your first purchase made within the first 3 months
Up to $60 in streaming subscription credits when you pay on time
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
Though the Chase Freedom Student Credit Card offers a fairly unimpressive rewards rate of 1% back on all purchases (and 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022), it could be a great introduction to the lucrative Chase Ultimate Rewards program. The card also offers terrific redemption flexibility, allowing you to claim your cash back as a direct deposit, statement credit, merchandise, travel and more. You’ll also score a $50 bonus if you make a purchase with the card in the first three months and can get a $20 annual bonus for the first five years for keeping your account in good standing.
The Capital One Journey card’s cash back rate is also fairly unimpressive at just 1% cash back on every purchase, but if you pay your monthly bill on time, you can boost this to 1.25%. That could be great motivation if you’re still new to keeping up with bills or due dates in general. The card is also a good choice for frequent travelers as it charges no foreign transaction fee. On the downside, the card offers all cardholders a very high variable APR of 26.99%, regardless of credit history.
If you need to pay off existing debt, the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card could be a great fit. Unlike the Discover it Student chrome, the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card offers a 0% introductory APR on both new purchases and balance transfers for the first six months (11.15%-21.15% variable thereafter). This means that if you have debt on another credit card, you can transfer it to the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card and pay it down while avoiding interest for six months. You’ll also get perks like cellphone insurance and a 3% cash back rate on gas, groceries and drugstore purchases for first 6 months on up to $2,500 in purchases, plus 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Why get the Discover it Student chrome card ?
- You’re a college student looking to build up your credit history.
- You want to earn high cash rewards on all spending.
- You want a card that’s a little more forgiving if you miss a payment deadline.
- You’re looking for high-quality customer service.
How to use the Discover it Student chrome card:
- Stay on top of your payment deadlines – you’re only forgiven for the first missed payment. After that, you’ll owe a hefty penalty fee.
- Take advantage of the Spend Analyzer tool and text alerts to pay your card on time and keep your balance in check.
Is the Discover it Student chrome card worth it?
Yes, especially if you spend heavily on restaurant and gas station purchases. Not only does the card charge no annual fee or require a deposit, but it also carries a generous rewards rate and its first-year cash back match could offer tremendous value if you use the card for most of your spending.
If you spent $1,000 each quarter in the card’s bonus categories during your first year, you’d end up with at least $120 in cash back on your card member anniversary ($60 earned from using the card, matched at the end of your first year). That’s not even counting spending outside the card’s bonus categories.
That said, if your spending habits vary a bit more from month to month, the Discover it® Student Cash Back may offer better value, thanks to its higher bonus rewards rate and category variety.
*All information about the Chase Freedom Student Credit Card and Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.
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