Reviews First National Bank Discover card review
First National Bank Discover card review

First National Bank Discover card review

Published: February 14, 2017
Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
3.1 rating
3.1 rating
3.1 / 5
Introductory Offer: 3.1
Net Value: 3.0
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

First National Bank’s Discover card isn’t the best balance transfer card you can get, but it does offer some unique perks for cardholders who want easy cash back.

Introductory Period
12 months

Transfer Fee
$10 or 3% (whichever is higher)

Introductory APR
0%

Regular APR
15.99-22.99%

Annual Fee
$0

Other Notable Features: Free FICO credit score, redeem cash back at participating merchants, car rental insurance, lowest-purchase-price guarantee, purchase protection, extended warranty

This offer is expired. To see a list of current cash back card offers, visit our cash back card reviews.

If you’ve ever wished you could use your card like an ATM without paying excessive fees, the First National Bank Discover card might be worth a look. Unlike most cards that charge substantial fees and high APRs for cash advances, the Discover card’s Cash Over program allows you to request an instant fee-free cash advance at participating stores.

You might want to hold off, though, if you’re planning to transfer a relatively large balance. First National Bank’s Discover card doesn’t give cardholders much time to pay off their balance before the card’s promotional period expires. The regional cash-back card also charges cardholders a higher-than-average APR, making it a poor choice for cardholders with good enough credit to qualify for better offers.  The audience for this card is also limited. Only cardholders who live in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota or Texas may apply.

Mediocre promotional offer

First National Bank gives cardholders just 12 months to pay off their balance transfer before the card’s regular interest rate begins, which is standard for a balance transfer card, but less generous than what many competitors offer. We typically advise cardholders to choose cards that offer interest-free promotions for at least 15 to 18 months, since it can take awhile to clear your debt. Even a modest balance transfer can be tough to pay off in only a year. If you transfer a $5,000 balance to the Discover card, for example, you will need to pay a minimum of $500 a month – not counting fees – to zero out your balance.

Not for repeat transfers

The first time you transfer a balance, the Discover card’s balance transfer fee is relatively low. First National Bank charges just 3 percent, or a minimum of $10, to transfer a balance during the card’s promotional period. But if you transfer a balance after the card’s first year, you’ll be charged a 5 percent balance transfer fee, which is in the high range for balance transfer cards and can really cost you, depending on how much you transfer.

High APR

The Discover card also charges a higher-than-average APR, making it a poor choice for cardholders who routinely carry a balance. Even cardholders with excellent credit are charged a minimum of 15.99 percent, which is significantly more than the average balance transfer card. According to CreditCards.com data, the average APR for balance transfer credit cards is currently 14.12 percent. Meanwhile, the average APR for cash-back cards is currently 15.27 percent. At 22.9 percent, the Discover card’s maximum APR is also in the upper range for balance transfer cards.

Below-average rewards

The Discover card’s rewards program is also subpar compared to its competitors. Cardholders are awarded just one point for every dollar spent, which is about average for a rewards card, but disappointing for a card with such a high APR. On the upside, the First National Bank Discover card does offer some valuable benefits that can help make up for the card’s lackluster rewards. For example, cardholders get free access to their FICO score, which is one of the priciest and most widely used credit scores.

Instant cash at participating retailers

The most unique benefit offered by the First National Bank Discover card is its Cash Over program, which allows cardholders to request instant cash when they visit a participating store. Unlike traditional cash advances, you won’t be charged a higher APR for the advance, nor will you have to pay a fee. The benefit does come with some restrictions, though. For example, you have to make a purchase with your card when you request cash back, and you can only request cash at a limited number of retailers.

Reasons to sign up for it:

  • You’re already a First National Bank of Omaha customer and want a card from the same bank.
  • You have a fairly small credit card balance and just need a year to pay it off.
  • You want to take advantage of the card’s Cash Over feature and get instant cash without the fees.
  • You prefer cash back instead of points.
  • You don’t plan to transfer another balance to the card after its promotional period ends.

How to use it:

  • Pay down your debt aggressively for the card’s first 12 months. Before you transfer your balance, do the math to make sure you can pay off your balance in full before the card’s promotional period expires.
  • Don’t plan on transferring any more balances after the card’s first year. Once the card’s promotional period ends, you’ll be charged a 5 percent fee for any balance transfers.
  • Don’t take out a cash advance unless you go directly through the Cash Over program and request cash at a participating retailer. First National charges a minimum $15 fee for traditional cash advances and a 25.24 percent APR.

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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