About Discover it Cash Card

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff

The Discover It Cash Card is currently offering consumers 5% cash back on rotating purchase categories (more on that later) as well as double cash-back rewards in the first year for new cardholders. The card also offers 0% APR for the first 12 months.

The initial offer sounds great, but remember that it eventually expires. A credit card is more than what it offers up front. Does the Discover it stand up to scrutiny? Are the offers too good to be true? Will it be too much work to keep tabs on which purchases get 5% cash back and which don’t?

We’re going to find out by diving into the details of Discover’s newest offer. In the next few minutes, we’ll examine the card’s introductory offers and non-intro benefits, the fine print (terms and conditions) and give you our conclusions

Big Cash Back Bonuses are Possible in the First Year

Wouldn’t you love it if credit card companies threw you a bunch of free cash just for swiping their plastic when you get gas, go shopping or travel?

That’s what you initially get with the Discover it. New cardmembers will get double cash-back on all eligible purchases made in the first year. It’s easy math here; if you get $100 in cash rewards, they’ll double it to $200. We like that.

There are some restrictions on this program, though:

  • Purchases must post within the first 12 billing cycles
  • You can’t close your account in the first 12 cycles
  • You have to be enrolled in the cash back program on the day they send you your rewards
  • The bonus is credited to your account over one to two billing cycles as of your 12th month of membership

In addition to the intro offer of double-cash back, you get a continuous 5% cash back on purchases made in different categories. Those categories change every three months.

For example, the current quarter offers 5% rewards on all purchases made at Amazon.com, department stores and clothing stores. Next quarter those rewards will change to gas and ground transportation.

There’s a catch, though. Not a bad one, but it’s worth noting. Discover places a $1,500 cap on rewards-eligible purchases. Once you hit $1,500 in any quarter, you max out your cash back at $75 and can’t earn any more rewards.

All purchases made in categories outside the promotional categories get you 1% cash back. There are some exceptions, though. Purchases made at warehouse clubs, discount stores and wholesale distributors don’t count. Also, if you make purchases through touchless payment systems in a store they may not get the 1% bonus.

You’ll Get Some Great Benefits With Discover It Cash Card

You might already be sold on the free cash Discover throws at you every quarter. But that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg:


Cardmembers get to use Discover’s Freeze It feature, which lets you freeze your account simply by clicking a button in the company’s mobile app or website. If you find your card, you can unfreeze the account just as easily. Now, a lot of other cards have security features like this. But we like that Discover makes it easy by giving you a “one-click and done” kind of a deal.

Credit Monitoring

Owning an it card means you also get year-round access to your FICO score, a feature that isn’t unique to the Discover card. As an example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers access to your FICO score. Why is it important to know your FICO Score? About 90% of reputable lenders use this factor when deciding how much they’ll give you and at what APR you’ll get for car loans, home loans and more.

Nearly Fee-Free

Credit card fees are annoying, right?! Discover must’ve heard consumers’ complaints, because their it card has no annual fees, no late fee on the first late payment, no penalty APR and no foreign transaction fee. Of the cards we’ve reviewed, only the Chase Freedom can even get a sniff of that fee-free goodness.

Made-in-the-U.S.A. Support

If speaking with customer service representatives based in the United States is important to you, get ready to celebrate. Discover’s customer service is available 24/7 and is 100% based in the U.S.

No APR for 12 Months

None of the purchases you make in the first year will have interest on them. Your APR will kick in on these purchases if you don’t pay them off by 12 months, though, so it’s best if you pay them off before the intro APR ends.

The Fine Print: Late Fees, Penalties, and More

There’s always a villain in a fairy tale, isn’t there? The bad with the good. The yin with the yang. Though there’s no evil lurking in the terms and conditions of the Discover card, we do need to point out the standard fees and penalties. The Discover it’s APR for stuff you buy and for balance transfers ranges from 10.99% to 22.99%. For comparison’s sake, the Capital One Venture and Chase Slate both offer a low-end APR of 12.99%.

If you’re thinking about using the it as a way to transfer a high balance from another card, remember that Discover will charge you a 3% transaction fee and you have to transfer the sum to your card before March 10, 2016.

Any cash advances you make on this card will cost you 5% or $10, whichever is more.

Now, if you get in a jam and you can’t make your payment on time, you won’t have to pay a fee for the first offense. If it happens again, you’ll be charged up to $35.

See Also: Discover it vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited

What Are Customers Saying About Discover It Cash Card?

The Discover it gets 4 out of 5 stars on NerdWallet (20 reviews), and a 3.9 out of 5 from 950 reviews on Credit Karma. The card also received 4 of 5 stars from 723 reviews on CardHub. We think this is a strong indication that you’ll more than likely be happy about owning this card.

Our Conclusion About Discover It Cash CreditCard

The Discover it card is one of the most generous, feature-laden cards we’ve reviewed. In terms of cards for the average person, this one puts up a seriously strong fight against other cash-back cards like Chase Freedom, Capital One Quicksilver and Bank of America Cash Rewards.

We think the combination of the cash back bonus in the first year, the rotating 5% categories, the 0% APR and the Freeze It feature make this card an excellent choice for consumers who will put in the work to keep tabs on the rotating categories and who want a cash-back card.

And to make the deal just a little sweeter, you get to monitor your FICO score for free. FICO’s official site charges $34.95 a month for access to your FICO score and your credit scores from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.

But we also know that some consumers are searching for a card that helps them rack up points for travel instead of straight-up cash. If that’s you, we suggest the Capital One Venture card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

See Also: The Best Cash Back Rewards Card of 2019

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