Discover it® Student chrome review

Published: September 10, 2020

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Published: September 10, 2020

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Ratings Policy
Student Rating:
4.2 rating
4.2 rating
4.2 / 5
Introductory Offer 4.6
Interest and Fees 4.7
Rewards Program 1.9
Features 3.0
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.

Learn more about this card

APR
12.99% – 21.99% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Excellent

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

Excellent

Penalty APR
None (See rates and fees)

Excellent

Introductory Offer
0% intro APR on new purchases for first 6 months (12.99% – 21.99% variable thereafter) (See rates and fees)

Excellent

Estimated Yearly Rewards Value ($300 monthly spend)
$71

Average

Rewards Program

  • $20 statement credit every year for good grades (5 year limit)
  • Matches all the cash you’ve earned for the first year
  • 2% cash back on gas and restaurants (on up to $1,000 in purchases per quarter, 1% thereafter)
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
Very Good

Discover Customer Service Ratings

  • J. D. Power 2020 customer satisfaction rating: 837 (10% of issuers in this category ranked higher)
  • 24/7 customer service?: Yes
  • Online chat available?: Yes
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.5/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 4.8/5
Excellent

Other Notable Features: No late fee on first late payment, 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.

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, it matches your cash rewards at the end of the first year. Also, you get 2 percent back on restaurant and gas stations 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.

Decent APR

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.

Discover it Student Cash Back
Chase Freedom Student Credit Card*
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card
Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card*
Rewards rate

  • 1% cash back on all purchases
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
Rewards rate

  • 1% cash back on every purchase
  • 25% bonus when you pay on time
Rewards rate

  • 3% cash back on gas, groceries and drugstore purchases for first 6 months (up to $2,500 in purchases)
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
APR

14.99% (variable)

APR

26.99% (variable)

APR

11.15%-21.15% (variable)

Introductory offer

$50 bonus after your first purchase made within the first 3 months

Introductory offer

None

Introductory offer

None

Other things to know

  • $20 Good Standing Rewards after each account anniversary for up to 5 years
  • No annual fee
  • Free access to your credit score
Other things to know

  • Automatically considered for a credit limit increase after six months of on-time payments
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Credit tracking tools
Other things to know

  • 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 6 months
  • Budget management tools
  • Cellphone insurance
  • Car rental insurance

Chase Freedom Student Credit Card

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.

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

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 comes with car rental insurance and travel accident insurance and 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.

Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card

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.

*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.

Our reviews and best card recommendations are based on an objective rating process and are not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

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.

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