Credit Cards » Credit Card Reviews » Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card: 2024 Review
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Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card: 2024 Review

The Discover it® Cash Back offers an attractive cash back on spending categories you’d likely use frequently like food and transportation.
Author: Andrew O'Malley
Andrew O'Malley

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Andrew O’Malley has a BSc in Economics and Finance. He has worked in the finance industry as a risk analyst and is now pursuing a career in writing. In recent years, he has written for a number of leading publications. He studied Economics and Finance and has been fascinated with the financial markets since his teens.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Andrew O'Malley
Andrew O'Malley

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Andrew O’Malley has a BSc in Economics and Finance. He has worked in the finance industry as a risk analyst and is now pursuing a career in writing. In recent years, he has written for a number of leading publications. He studied Economics and Finance and has been fascinated with the financial markets since his teens.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Discover it® Cash Back

Rewards Plan

1-5%

Sign up Bonus

Cashback Match

Credit Rating

4.2
4.2/5

0% Intro

15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Annual Fee

$0

APR

17.24% – 28.24% Variable

Discover it® Cash Back

Rewards Plan

1-5% 5% cashback on up to $1,500 in rotating category purchases each quarter when you activate the bonus category (then 1%), as well 1% percent cash back on all other purchases

Sign up Bonus

Cashback Match

Our Rating

4.2
4.2/5

PROS

CONS

APR

17.24% - 28.24% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

0% Intro

15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Credit Requirements

Good - Excellent

The Discover it® Cash Back credit card is best suited for individuals who actively manage their spending and are willing to engage with quarterly rotating bonus categories.

The card offers  5% cashback on up to $1,500 in rotating category purchases each quarter when you activate the bonus category (then 1%), as well 1% percent cash back on all other purchases. Its standout features include a first-year cash-back match, where Discover matches all the cash back earned in the initial year, and excellent customer service

The card has no annual fee and provides flexibility in cashback redemption with no minimum requirement. It also offers a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers , followed by a variable APR of 17.24% – 28.24% Variable. Discover provides additional perks, including Dark Web monitoring, a monthly credit score, and the ability to freeze the card through the mobile app.

While the Discover it® Cash Back card excels in certain areas, its reliance on rotating categories, the cap on the higher rewards ratio and the need for quarterly activation may make it less suitable for those seeking a simpler rewards experience.

When to skip the Discover it Cash Back Card?

If you want more predictability with your cashback rewards then there might be other cards outside of the Discover it Cash Back card that will be suitable for you.

Should You Move to Discover it Cash Back Card?

If you want to get good rewards from bonus categories and want access to a good signup offer then the Discover it Cash Back card could be a good fit for you.

How to maximize rewards on Discover it Cash Back Card?

If you are looking to maximize the rewards that you can get from the Discover it Cash Back card, then make the most out of the quarterly bonus categories and signup offers.

Why did Discover it Cash Back Card deny me?

You might not have met all of the requirements. You can enquire as to where your application fell short. If you cannot proceed, you can look at some of the other available options.

Discover it cash back card overview
(Screenshot from Discover app)

In This Review..

Pros & Cons

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the Discover It Cashback card and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not.

Pros
Cons
5% Quarterly Rotating Categories
Limit on Cash Back Spending Per Quarter
0% Intro APR Period
Balance Transfer Fee
No Annual Fee
Rotating Category Activation
First-Year CashBack Match
No Premium Transfer Options
Additional Benefits

Every quarter, specific spending categories will be allowed to 5% cashback on up to $1,500 in rotating category purchases each quarter when you activate the bonus category (then 1%), as well 1% percent cash back on all other purchases.

This is easy to remember for consumers who like cash back systems that are simple. Here you can find a schedule for each quarter

Discover it cash back card cashback per tier chart
Discover it cash back card cashback breakdown example (Screenshot from Discover app)

The first benefit of having this credit card is the 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

The 0% purchase APR is longer than most credit cards which works well if you plan to spend right away with it and pay it off slowly. 

As with all Discover credit cards, you won’t have to pay an annual fee. You also don’t have to pay a foreign transaction fee, but you will have a balance transfer fee of 5%.

One of the key benefits of the Discover It Cash Back credit card is that Discover will match ALL of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year having the credit card.

During your first 12 months as a Discover credit card holder, you’ll have ALL of your cash back that you’ve earned, matched. This can add up and be quite lucrative if you’re a high spender with credit cards. 

Discover cashback match on Discover app
Discover cashback match on Discover app (Screenshot from Discover app)

Discover offers monitoring of the Dark Web for the cardholder's Social Security number, enhancing security. It also allows users to easily freeze and unfreeze the card through the mobile app for added security.

While the high bonus cash back reward is a benefit of this credit card, the drawback is that Discover limits this reward to the first $1,500 spending per quarter. 

If you max it out every quarter that will accrue $300 in bonus cash back while still earning 1% on all other purchases. 

But this may still be a disappointment if you easily clear the $1,500 limit since other cards out there may have higher limits.

The Discover It Cash Back card does have a balance transfer fee of 5% which could be a drawback for some consumers. 

Requires quarterly activation for bonus categories, adding complexity for users.

discover rotating categories cash back
Discover it cash back card rotating categories example (Screenshot from Discover app)

Unlike some competitors, the card lacks options to transfer rewards to other loyalty programs.

Rewards Analysis: How Much You Can Earn?

The best way to determine whether the Discover it Cashabck card is right for you is to calculate the amount of rewards and benefits you expect to receive.

Remember that this is a general breakdown of expenses, so make sure to tailor it to your specific consumer preferences and spending habits.

Spend Per Category
Discover it Cash Back
$12,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$360
$5,000 – Restaurants
$50
$4,000 – Hotels
$40
$4,000 – Airline
$40
$5,000 – Gas
$50
Estimated Annual Value
$540

How to Redeem Your Rewards?

The Discover It Cash Back card also has several redemption options. In addition to redeeming your rewards with no minimums, you can:

  • Receive as statement credit
  • Deposit cash into your bank account
  • Pay for Amazon and PayPal purchases using your rewards at checkout.

Alternatively, you can pick from Discover Charitable Partners and  donate cashback points to charity.

Make The Most of Your Card

Here are some options to help you make the most of your Discover it Cash Back card:

  • Take advantage of the Signup Bonus: The signup bonus doubles your rewards in the first 12 months, which should be taken advantage of.
  • Maximize the Bonus Categories: Each quarter, it's a good idea to take advantage of as many bonus cashback offers as possible, up to the $1,500 quarterly purchase limit.
  • Examine the bonus categories: Discover publishes a calendar for the entire year, allowing you to see which categories will offer the best rewards each quarter. This will enable you to plan your purchases in order to maximize your rewards.

How To Apply For Discover It Cash Back Card?

Visit the Discover It Cash Back Credit Card home page, and then click on “Apply Now”.

It takes you to the next page where you can choose your card design.

Select one and fill in your personal details like your Names, address, email, birth date, income, employment status, etc, then click “Next.”

Read the terms and conditions, check the two boxes to agree to the terms, and then click on “Submit.”

How It Compared To Other Discover Credit Cards?

Compared to the Discover it® Chrome, which emphasizes gas and dining rewards, the Discover it® Cash Back offers broader bonus categories and higher rewards ratio but requires more active management.

The Discover it® Miles, focused on travel rewards, caters to those seeking airline miles, while the Discover it® Secured is designed for individuals building or rebuilding credit.

All cards don't charge an annual fee and when considering the first-year value, all cards offer CashBack Match, potentially providing a higher initial reward than other cards.

In terms of simplicity, the Discover it® Chrome and Discover it® Miles may appeal to users who prefer fixed categories or travel benefits without quarterly adjustments. On the other hand, the Discover it® Secured serves a specific audience working on credit improvement.

Compare The Alternatives

There are several other great options for cash back rewards credit cards that offer lucrative sign up bonuses, competitive cash back rates, and attractive intro APR periods. 

Let’s review a few of our top choices as alternative options to the Discover it® Cash Back:

American express everyday card review 2021

Chase Freedom Flex

citi double cash

American Express EveryDay® Card
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
Annual Fee
$0 . See Fees & Rates
$0
$0
Rewards
1X – 2X 2X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1X), 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
1-5%
1% – 2% 2% cash back rewards rate – 1% every time you swipe and another 1% upon payment.
Welcome bonus
10,000 points 10,000 points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months
$200
$200 $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee
2.7%
3%
3%
Purchase APR
18.24% – 28.24% Variable
20.49%–29.24% variable
19.24% – 29.24% (Variable)

FAQ

There is no expiry date for these points that you earn when making purchases through the Discover it Cash Back card if you keep your account open.

When you are applying for the Discover it Cash Back card, there is no out and out request for proof of income and no transparent income requirements.

The minimum credit limit will be $300 when it comes to the Discover it Cash Back card. The exact limit that you get depends on your personal financial situation.

If you want to get good rewards from bonus categories and want access to a good signup offer then the Discover it Cash Back card could be a good fit for you.

Compare Discover It Cash Back

While the Discover it Cashback offers higher rewards on rotating categories, the Chrome card offers flat rate on gas & restaurants. Which is better?

Here's our comparison: Discover it Cash Back vs Discover it Chrome

If you like Discover rotating categories, it's an easy choice. If not – our analysis will help you understand which card is better for you.

Capital One Quicksilver vs Discover it Cash Back: Which Card Is Better?

If you're looking for rotating cash back rewards, it's time to analyze the categories of each to understand which card gives you more.

Chase Freedom Flex vs Discover it Cash Back: Which Is Better?

Both cards provide comparable cashback terms, with Citi Custom Cash being more flexible as it autonomously selects your preferred category.

Citi Custom Cash vs. Discover It Cash Back: Compare Cards

While Discover it Cash Back offers higher cashback rewards for some categories, the Active Cash card is our winner. Here's why.

Discover it Cash Back vs Wells Fargo Active Cash: Side By Side

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Advertiser Disclosure
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Review Cash Back Credit Cards

Picture of Andrew O'Malley

Andrew O'Malley

Andrew O’Malley has a BSc in Economics and Finance. He has worked in the finance industry as a risk analyst and is now pursuing a career in writing. In recent years, he has written for a number of leading publications. He studied Economics and Finance and has been fascinated with the financial markets since his teens.
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$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.
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The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

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