Review of the Discover it Card and Its Cash Back Bonus

Have you heard of the Discover it credit card yet? This highly-rated cash back credit card makes it easy for those with mid-to-high credit to jump on earning great rewards. Plus, it has an interesting matching bonus offer happening right now.

Discover it Card Basics

This card offers a great 5% cash back on bonus categories, which rotate quarterly. You have to activate the categories each quarter in order to earn your cash back, but Discover will send you emails to remind you to sign up.

The 5% Cashback calendar may change from year to year, but generally sticks to a common sense pattern. For instance, they typically offer bonuses from towards the end of the year (think holiday shopping!). Other bonus categories include restaurants, department stores, gas stations, and home improvement stores.


Unfortunately, all good things have their end, and the Discover it bonus cash back is no different. Your 5% cash back only applies to the first $1, 500 in purchases for every quarter that you activate your rewards. So, you can get up to $75 per quarter in cash back rewards.

What happens once you’ve maxed out your $1, 500, or when you’re making purchases in non-bonus categories? Well, you’ll get 1% cash back on all other purchases, with no limits. You can redeem rewards for cash back on your account balance at any time, or you can use your rewards, penny for penny, for Amazon purchases.

First Year Matching Bonus

Right now, new cardmembers can get a great matching bonus. Discover will match, dollar for dollar, any cash back earned during the first year of your card membership. So, even if you just max out your $1, 500 bonus category each quarter, that’s a $300 bonus at the end of your first year as a cardholder — you’d get $600 instead of just $300!

And the matching bonus also applies to that 1% cash back, on top of the quarterly categories. So, you could earn even more bonuses in your first year as a cardholder.

No Annual Fee

Unlike many credit cards with 5% cash back bonus categories, the Discover it has no annual fee. This makes it a valuable addition to many wallets.

Introductory APR

This card currently offers a 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers. The introductory APR on purchases is good for 12 months from account opening. The introductory APR on balance transfers is available for 12 months from the date of the first transfer for any transfers posted to the account by February 10, 2017. The balance transfer fee is 3% for each transfer.

After the introductory period, the standard APR will be 11.24% to 23.24%, depending on creditworthiness. Cash advance APR is 25.24%.

Other Benefits

Discover offers several other cardholder benefits, including:

    • Freeze It Switch:You can easily freeze your card to prevent new purchases or balance transfers on your account. Since you can do this online or through the mobile app, it gives you some peace of mind if you should ever misplace your card. Plus, if you find your card before ordering a new one, you can easily un-freeze your account so you don’t have to wait around for a replacement in the mail.
    • Free Overnight Card Replacement: If you can’t lose your card or it gets stolen, you can get a free overnight card replacement to most U.S. addresses.
    • FICO Score Tracking: Track your FICO credit score online and on your monthly statements for free.
    • Card Monitoring Services: If activity on your card looks sketchy, Discover will call, email, or text you an alert.
    • Late Payment Protection: You won’t pay a late fee on your first late payment with your Discover it card. And you won’t get an APR hike on your account because of late payments, either.
    • No Overlimit Fee: Spend a little too much? No problem. Discover it has no overlimit fee to worry about.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee: A somewhat unusual trait for a general cash back card, the Discover it doesn’t charge additional fees for transactions made in foreign countries.

The Bottom Line

The Discover it card has good review around the internet for a reason. It offers benefits that many other basic cash back cards don’t, including a 0% introductory APR offer and no foreign transaction fee.

If Discover’s rotating bonus cash back categories mesh with your spending patterns, this card could be a great way to get more rewards where you’re already spending. The 1% cash back on all other purchases isn’t stellar, however. If you’re really looking to squeeze all the cash back rewards possible out of your credit cards, you might look elsewhere for an everyday use card for purchases like groceries and gas.

Still, signing up for the 5% rotating cash back categories is easy. And the first year matching bonus offer going on right now effectively turns that 5% bonus cash back into 10% back, and the 1% cash back into 2% cash back. That’s a great offer for a card with no annual fee!

So, whether you’re looking to pay down credit card debt with a 0% APR balance transfer offer or just want to earn rewards on everyday spending, check out the Discover it card. It may be just what you’ve been looking for.

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