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Discover it® Review

When it comes to introductions, Discover it® is in elite territory as it offers some industry-leading introductory rates on purchases and balance transfers. Although Discover lacks the attractive bonus incentives to sign up and isn't currently as widely accepted as its competitors, Visa and MasterCard, the network continues to grow and offers a vast array of flexibility with your rewards. Apply Here

Cliff Brody

Cliff Brody

Rewards Credit Cards Expert

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Updated: March 24, 2014

The Good

Excellent introductory rates:

Rest assured that for a period of over one year you can pay back your balance at your own pace. If you're currently struggling to pay additional interest on another credit card, take a good look at the Discover it® card because it might be the perfect remedy with a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, which is currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A fee of 3% applies for each balance transferred.

Multiple ways to earn bonus points:

Multiple wars to earn bonus points: With popular rotating 5% cash back categories, such as dining, entertainment, and shopping, Discover offers a wide variety of options to spend and earn cash back on. Just be sure to sign up for the 5% categories in advance so you don't miss out on the bigger return. With many ways to earn points, you have the ability to accumulate rewards faster while maintaining flexibility. The current bonus is 5% cash back at Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores and Bed Bath & Beyond® on up to $1,500 in purchases from April through June 2014.* You'll also receive 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Redeeming rewards in many ways:

All of the cash back you earn will be redeemable online via Discover's online shopping mall, which offers anywhere from 5% - 20% off department store prices. In addition to your points never expiring, they can be redeemed via statement credit, merchandise, and charity. If you redeem your cash back rewards as gift cards, Discover will even double your return.

Minimal fees:

With the Discover it® card there are no an annual fees, no overlimit fees, and no foreign transaction fees. In addition, you can pay up to midnight ET online or by phone on your due date without a fee. Plus, paying late won't raise your APR.

Superior customer service:

One of the most overlooked features of credit card companies is the type of customer service offered by the company and Discover is no slouch in this department as they offer 100% U.S.-based customer service available anytime. If you travel and need assistance, Discover automatically adds travel and car rental insurance to cover you from having to pay premiums at the airport. If you made a purchase and now it's discounted, Discover will refund you the difference.

Flexible due dates:

One underrated feature of the Discover it® card is that it has flexible due dates, which allow you to choose your own due date and pay online or by phone. The benefit of having a due date that you set can be huge. You can stagger your Discover it® payment date with the due dates of your other bills so that you're never running short on cash. Several other credit cards have a set due date at the beginning of each month, which generally coincides with many other bills that you have to pay, like rent or phone bills.

Strong fraud protection and access to credit score:

The Discover it® card comes with a $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee, which means that you're never responsible for unauthorized charges. Not having to worry about fraudulent charges is a great benefit, and is not offered by every credit card. Plus, you'll have free access to your FICO® Credit Score on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.

The Bad

No bonus incentives:

Unlike its main competitor, the Chase Freedom® card, the Discover it® card does not currently offer any bonus incentives when you sign up. If you're looking for a card that offers a hefty sign-up bonus, you may want to look elsewhere. To most, however, this shouldn't be so much of a problem as Discover does offer many inclusive benefits and services to offset such incentives with no hassle.

Limits to earning cash back:

While you may earn up to 5% back on various rotating categories per quarter, each quarter there is a maximum of $1,500 you can earn 5% cash back on. If you are a big ticket spender, you may want to visit alternative options so you can capitalize on more cash back rewards beyond 1% per dollar spent once you hit that $1,500 mark.

Limited exposure:

One notable point is that, as of right now, Discover is not accepted as universally as its competitors, Visa and MasterCard. Discover charges some of the highest premiums to merchants across the globe, which is why many won't accept Discover. However, Discover attempts to alleviate these issues with all the added benefits of security and privacy, along with excellent customer service available any hour of the day.

The Details

Rates and Fees
Annual Fee $0
Cash Advance Fee $10 or 5% per cash advance
Cash Advance Rate (APR) 24.99%
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee None
Introductory Rate (APR) 0% for 14 months
Standard Rate (APR) 10.99% - 22.99%* Variable
Penalty Fees
Default Penalty Rate (APR) None
Late Payment Fee $0 for first time, up to $35 thereafter
Minimum Interest Charge $0.50
Over-Limit Fee None
Returned Payment Fee Up to $35
Balance Transfers
Introductory Balance Transfer Rate (APR) 0% for 14 months
Standard Balance Transfer Fee 3% per transfer
Standard Balance Transfer Rate (APR) 10.99% - 22.99%* Variable
Rewards
Additional Rewards for Dining 5% cash back (rotates quarterly)
Additional Rewards for Gas 5% cash back (rotates quarterly)
Additional Rewards for Groceries None
Additional Rewards for Shopping 5% cash back (rotates quarterly)
Additional Rewards for Travel None
Bonus Points Offered None
Rewards Earnings for All Purchases 1% cash back
Sign-Up Bonus None
Type of Reward Cash Back

Features

Rewards

Read Less
  • Offers Companion Reward - The airline credit card offers a companion airfare reward.
  • Additional 2:1 Rewards Categories - The credit card offers 2:1 rewards or more for at least one additional purchase category - like dining, travel, gas, groceries, shopping, or other.
  • No Blackout Dates - There are no blackout travel dates for your points, miles, or cash back rewards.
  • No Expiration - Your rewards points, miles, or cash back rewards will never expire.
  • Unlimited Rewards - You can accumulate an unlimited amount of points, miles, or cash back rewards with your credit card.
  • 2:1 Rewards or More - The credit card offers 2 Points, 2% Cash Back, or 2 Miles or more for every dollar spent.
  • Bonus Points Offered - The credit card offers bonus points you can earn throughout the year.
  • Sign-Up Bonus - The credit card offers a sign-up bonus reward.

Benefits

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Reward Redemption

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Application

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Balance Transfers

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Insurance Coverage

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