Credit Cards » Compare Credit Cards » Discover it Student Cash Back vs Chrome: Which is Better?
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Discover it Student Cash Back vs Chrome: Which is Better?

If you're looking for a student card from Discover, here are your top options. What are the differences between them and which one wins?
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 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.

Table of Content

There are all different types of credit cards on the market today. Some of them are suited to big spenders, business owners, or people who travel a lot. Then there are those cards that mainly focus on students.

These are often the first credit cards that a person has and have a lot of favorable terms and conditions attached to them. This comparison is going to look at two student credit cards from Discover it – the Discover it® Student Cash Back card and the Discover it® Student Chrome card.

Side By Side Comparison

discover-it-student-cash-back_5mNPw7i

Discover It Student Chrome Card Review

Discover it® Student Cash Back
Discover it® Student Chrome
Annual Fee
$0
$0
Rewards
1-5%
2% cashback at gas and restaurants (up to $1,000 every quarter) and 1% on groceries and other student related products
Welcome bonus
Match Bonus
Match Bonus
0% Intro APR
6 months on purchases
6 months on purchases
Foreign Transaction Fee
$0
$0
Purchase APR
18.24% – 27.24% Variable
17.74% – 26.74% Variable APR
Read Review
Read Review

Simulation: Which Card Gives More Rewards?

If you are looking at the ways in which you can earn cashback and want to see a broken-down example comparing two cards, then this can provide you with some useful insights.

Here is a look at the rewards that you can expect from both of the Discover it student cards:

discover-it-student-cash-back_5mNPw7i

Discover It Student Chrome Card Review

Spend Per Category
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Discover it® Student Chrome
$6,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$300
$60
$2,000 – Restaurants
$20
$40
$1,000 – Airline
$10
$10
$1,000 – Hotels
$10
$10
$2,000 – Gas
$20
$40
Estimated Annual Value – First Year
$700
$320
Estimated Annual Value
$350
$160

* The Discover it Student Cash Back offers higher cash back on rotating categories up to $6,000/year. We assume full utilization, calculating the total amount under "U.S Supermarkets" category.

As you can see, there can be some very good rewards that you get thanks to the Discover it Student Cash Back bonus categories as you can get 5% cashback. The Chrome card provides you with a more steady level of cashback across the board. 

However, you'll get the most of the Discover student cash back card if you know how to take advantage and utilize the rotating categories rewards.

Compare Welcome Bonus And Fees

Both of these cards allow you to get all of the rewards points you accumulate over the course of your first year to be doubled. Both cards also have a good grades reward which sees you getting $20 in statement credit each year that you get a GPA of at least 3.0.

There are no annual fees or foreign transaction charges that you have to deal with when using these cards. There are fees in place for making balance transfers. Each card has 0% intro APR for the first six months of your account, with the variable APRs being 18.24% – 27.24% Variable thereafter

Compare The Perks

There are going to be different types of perks that every credit card will have that add to their attraction. These can come in many different forms.

Here is a look at the different types of perks that you will find with both of these Discover it cards.

  • No Credit Score Needed: People who are applying for both of these cards will not need to have a credit score.

  • Choose the Style: Discover it allows you to choose the style of your physical card, having a long list of options.

  • User-Friendly App: The Discover it app is very user-friendly and is ideal for students who may not have much experience of managing their finances. You can view your FICO score for free, check your account limits, and so on through this app.

  • Referral Perks: Every time that you refer a friend and they sign up for a Discover it credit card, you will earn a referral commission in the form of statement credit.

  • Good Grad Reward: You will get $20 statement credit for each school year in which you have a 3.0 GPA or greater, covering five years.

Compare The Drawbacks

There are no perfect financial products, so it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks of a new credit card before you sign up.

Here we’ll highlight some of the possible negatives to help you make an informed decision.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

discover-it-student-cash-back_5mNPw7i

You will need to manually activate each of the bonus categories in order to get the rewards.

As the bonus categories are changing every quarter, you need to keep track of which categories are currently active.

Discover it® Student Chrome

Discover It Student Chrome Card Review

The quarterly cap of getting 2% cashback on combined purchases of $1,000 is a bit low.

Compare Redemption Options

The Discover it Student Cash Back card will give you 5% cashback on everyday purchases at different places, with these categories changing each quarter. You need to activate the bonus category each month and the bonus categories will usually be the likes of Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and PayPal purchases. These rewards will be capped at $1,500 worth of total purchases for the quarter. All other purchases get 1% cashback.

For the Discover it Student Chrome card, you will get 2% cashback on purchases at gas stations and restaurants. This covers combined purchases worth up to $1,000 each quarter. All other purchases will earn you 1% cashback.

The rewards for both cards can be redeemed at any time for the likes of electronic deposits, statements credits, charitable donations or to pay at certain retailers like Amazon.com.

Option
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Discover it® Student Chrome
Gift Card
Average
Average
Statement Credits/Cash-back
A+
A+
Travel
Average
Above Average
Transfer Points to Airline
A+
A++
Shopping
3.5
4.8

How to Maximize Cards Benefits?

If you want to make the best use of your Student Cash Back card, there are some tips to help you:

  • Maximize the Bonus Categories: The main way to get the most out of these rewards is to make sure that you are maxing out the bonus category rewards each month.

  • Use With Other Cards: Outside of the bonus categories, you only get 1% cashback with this card. Therefore, you can use it in conjunction with cards that are better for certain categories.

  • Activate the Bonus Categories: You need to make sure that you activate the bonus categories each quarter or you will miss out on rewards.

  • Build You Credit – One of the main goals is to building your credit. Make payments on time, maintain a low credit utilization ratio and do your best to improve your score to enjoy the best cash back cards.

discover-it-student-cash-back_5mNPw7i

If you want to make the best use of your Student Chrome Back, there are some tips to help you:

  • Maximize the Bonus Categories: The main way to get the most out of these rewards is to make sure that you are maxing out the bonus category rewards each month.

  • Using Other Cards: If possible, you might be able to use another card that offers better cashback rates in certain categories.

Discover It Student Chrome Card Review

Customer Reviews: Which Card Wins?

For the Discover it Student Cash Back card, the positive reviews talk about the ease of use and the great cashback rewards on the bonus categories.  Discover it has posted thousands of reviews for both of these cards on the website, with people giving both of these cards a 4.8/5 star rating.

For the Discover it Student Chrome card, the positive reviews talk about the great user-friendliness of the card and using the rewards. Some of the negative reviews talk about the relatively low cashback rewards rates.

When You Might Want the Discover it® Student Cash Back?

The Discover it® Student Cash Back is a great option that could be good you're looking for:

  • In College: This card is a great fit for students and has some great rewards on offer.

  • Looking for High Cashback: the bonus categories give you 5% cashback and you will double this for the first year thanks to the signup offer. 

  • Confident With Credit Cards: You need to activate the bonus categories and the spending categories change every quarter, it might not be the best card for an absolute beginner.

When You Might Want the Discover it® Student Chrome?

The Discover it® Student Chrome Card is a solid choice if you're looking for:

  • In College: This card is a great fit for students and has some great rewards on offer.

  • User-Friendly: This is a good starting card for students as the categories of spending don’t change every quarter. 

  • Good Boosts: There is a 2x boost to your rewards in the first year of having your card, which can accumulate into significant savings over the year.

Bottom Line

Both of these student card options from Discover it have their own merits. They have great signup offers, as well as attractive intro APR.

They both take a slightly different approach to cashback rewards, so you will need to see which approach is most fitted to your needs.

Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
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60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

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Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$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.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$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.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$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.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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Milestone® Mastercard®

Annual Fee:
$175 the first year; $49 thereafter
APR:
35.90%

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$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.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$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.

Milestone® Mastercard®

Annual Fee:
$175 the first year; $49 thereafter
APR:
35.90%
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Credit Card Reviews Methodology

In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.