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    Discover it Cash Back card review: No annual fee and get all your rewards matched after the first 12 months

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    Discover it Cash Back card review: No annual fee and get all your rewards matched after the first 12 months

    This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the issuers listed. Some of the offers you see on the page are from our partners like Citi and American Express, but our coverage is always independent. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page.

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • The information related to the Discover it® Cash Back has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
    • Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
    • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. 1% back on all other purchases.
    • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
    • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
    • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.
    Pros
    • Generous cash back for quarterly bonus categories
    • Discover will match your cash back at the end of your first account year
    • No annual fee
    Cons
    • Cap on how much bonus cash back you can earn each quarter
    • If the quarterly categories aren’t convenient for you, you can earn more cash back with a different card

    This page includes information about the Discover it® Cash Back product, which is currently not available on Business Insider and may be out of date.

    Review: Is the Discover it Cash Back the best card for you?

    The Discover it® Cash Back is a competitive rewards credit card with no annual fee. The card offers a solid 5% cash back in popular rotating quarterly bonus categories when you activate, on up to $1,500 in combined spending (then 1%). You’ll also earn 1% back everywhere else.

    While there’s no welcome bonus, Discover will match all of the rewards you earn from the Discover it® Cash Back after the first 12 months through its Cashback Match program, so your 5% rewards are effectively worth 10% cash back in the first year. That’s an amazing deal for a card with no annual fee.

    In the fourth quarter of 2020, when we’re all shopping for holiday gifts, Discover’s 5% cash-back categories are Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com. For 2021, the Discover 5% quarterly bonus calendar has already been released, and the categories are as follows:

    The Discover it® Cash Back is great for those who don’t want to pay an annual fee, and it also comes with an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 11.99% to 22.99%. That’s a nice feature if you have purchases coming up that you want to pay off over time without accruing interest.

    Keep in mind that Discover cards are not quite as widely accepted as those from larger issuers, so you may want to carry this card and a backup if you can’t use it. However, acceptance has grown in recent years, and with no annual fee, there’s little harm in pairing your Discover it® Cash Back with another cash-back card.

    For example, you could look at a no-annual-fee card that offers a flat cash-back rate on all purchases, like the Citi® Double Cash Card, which earns a total of 2% cash back (1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay it off) on all spending. Or, consider the Chase Freedom Flex℠, which also offers quarterly rotating 5% bonus categories with the same spending cap when you activate. 

    Bottom line: The Discover it® Cash Back is a solid cash-back rewards card that offers 5% back on popular rotating categories up to a spending limit. Your rewards are matched by Discover after the first 12 months, and the card has no annual fee. The 0% introductory APR period, which lasts for 14 months, could be helpful for those who need to carry a balance for the short term.

    We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

    Discover it Cash Back vs other Discover cards

    Discover it® Cash Back Discover it® Miles Discover it® chrome

    Annual fee

    $0

    Annual fee

    $0

    Annual fee

    $0

    Rewards rate

    5% cash back in rotating bonus categories on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases when you activate (then 1%)

    1% cash back on all other purchases

    Rewards rate

    1.5x miles on all purchases

    Rewards rate

    2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $2,000 in spending per quarter (then 1%)

    1% cash back on all other purchases

    Welcome bonus

    None, but Discover will match the rewards you’ve earned after the first 12 months

    Welcome bonus

    None, but Discover will match the rewards you’ve earned after the first 12 months

    Welcome bonus

    None, but Discover will match the rewards you’ve earned after the first 12 months

    Foreign transaction fee

    No

    Foreign transaction fee

    No

    Foreign transaction fee

    No

    Not available through Business Insider Not available through Business Insider Not available through Business Insider

    Discover it Cash Back vs other cash-back cards

    Discover it® Cash Back Chase Freedom Flex℠ Citi® Double Cash Card

    Annual fee

    $0

    Annual fee

    None

    Annual fee

    $0

    Rewards rate

    5% cash back in rotating bonus categories on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases when you activate (then 1%)

    1% cash back on all other purchases

    Rewards rate

    5% cash back in rotating bonus categories on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases when you activate (then 1%)

    5% cash back on travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards

    3% on dining and at drugstores

    1% cash back on all other purchases 

    Rewards rate

    2% cash back on all purchases (1% cash back when you buy, plus 1% cash back when you pay your bill)

    Welcome bonus

    None, but Discover will match the rewards you’ve earned after the first 12 months

    Welcome bonus

    $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

    Welcome bonus

    None

    Foreign transaction fee

    No

    Foreign transaction fee

    Yes

    Foreign transaction fee

    Yes

    Not available through Business Insider  Learn more Learn more

    How to use Discover it Cash Back rewards

    The best way to redeem your Discover it® Cash Back rewards is usually as a statement credit, which lowers your balance, or simply take the cash as a direct deposit to your bank account. You can also redeem your rewards directly when you check-out at Amazon or PayPal. In any of these cases, the minimum redemption amount is 1 cent.

    You can also use your rewards, starting at $5, for gift cards or eCertificates from partner retailers. As long as your account is open, your cash-back rewards will not expire.

    One somewhat unique redemption option is the ability to donate your rewards to select charities, with a minimum of 1 cent. While this could make it more complicated to get a charitable donation tax deduction compared to writing a check or making a donation directly with a card, it’s nice to see the ability to use your cash to support causes close to your heart.

    Discover it Cash Back benefits and features

    The Discover it® Cash Back is a fairly straightforward. Outside of the cash back you’ll earn from everyday spending, here are some useful features to know about:

    • Unique designs: Choose between more than two dozen different designs, so you have a credit card that matches your personality.

    • Security features: Freeze your account if you misplace your card or are worried about fraud using the Discover app or website. Discover can also search the web for security breaches where your Social Security number was disclosed.

    • FICO credit score: Get a real, free FICO credit score that Discover uses to approve accounts, set interest rates, and choose account limits.

    The card doesn’t list any major purchase protections or travel insurance benefits, so keep that in mind when shopping. For big-ticket items or large purchases, you may want to consider one of the best credit cards with purchase protection instead. And for travel, a credit card with travel insurance can save you a ton of headache and money if things go awry on the road. 

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • The information related to the Discover it® Cash Back has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
    • Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
    • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. 1% back on all other purchases.
    • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
    • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
    • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.
    Pros
    • Generous cash back for quarterly bonus categories
    • Discover will match your cash back at the end of your first account year
    • No annual fee
    Cons
    • Cap on how much bonus cash back you can earn each quarter
    • If the quarterly categories aren’t convenient for you, you can earn more cash back with a different card

    Discover it Cash Back costs and fees

    Discover typically offers low fees with its credit card and banking products, and there’s no exception here. The Discover it® Cash Back doesn’t have an annual fee, and most other charges are easy to avoid. As with all credit cards, if you pay off your balance in full by the due date, you won’t owe any interest.

    When you sign up for a new account, you’ll get 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. Balance transfers completed under this offer by February 21, 2021, have a discounted 3% balance transfer fee (after that, 5%).

    After the 0% period ends, regular, variable rate APR will apply depending on your credit score. As of this writing, rates vary from 11.99% to 22.99%, depending on your credit.

    There’s no late payment fee for your first late payment, but after that, a penalty will apply. There are also fees for returned payments and cash advances, similar to other credit cards.

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

    Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

    Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

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