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If you don't think the credit card market in the United States is very competitive, then you just aren't paying attention. Discover, like many of its competitors, has been scrambling to increase the rewards and benefits offered to its customers. Discover was the first major issuer to offer free FICO credit scores with Discover it credit cards, and it recently announced the Freeze it feature that works like an on/off switch to prevent new purchases on a card.
Discover also just released a new credit card, the Discover it Miles, which offers 1.5x miles on all purchases in the form of travel statement credits or cash back. And when it released that product, it did so with an unprecedented offer: Discover will double the rewards earned by cardholders in their first year.
Discover Doubles Your Rewards
Now, Discover has extended this same offer of doubling rewards for one year! Originally this offer was only open to new cardholders who opened accounts between June 1st and July 31st, 2015, but they've since removed that deadline. For example, the standard Discover it Card offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter at select categories of merchants and 1% cash back on all other purchases. But with this new Discover it sign up bonus, the offer effectively becomes 10% cash back on qualifying purchases and 2% cash back everywhere else.
For example, in the third quarter of 2015 (July - September), the eligible merchant categories include home improvement stores, department stores, and Amazon.com. So this would mean a total of $150 cash back in one quarter if a cardholder spent $1,500 on qualifying purchases. Cardholder accounts must be in good standing at the end of one year to receive this additional bonus.
According to Ryan Scully, Discover's VP of marketing, “This is a great way for new cardmembers to test drive Discover and double their cash back in the first year without paying an annual fee.” In addition, he also told me that this promotion applied to both Discover Deals and their Refer-A-Friend promotion. "It applies to any way that you earn rewards, with any Discover it card for consumers." Sounds like the Discover card is THE cash back card to have.
Discover it Cards
There are now several flavors of the Discover it® card available, including the following:
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer: Discover it cards will earn cardholders 5% cash back on popular rotating categories. You won't have to pay an annual fee and you'll also enjoy 0% intro APR for a certain period of time, depending on the card of choice. There are three versions of this card: one is geared towards those who want a long introductory period of 0% APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, one is geared towards those who want to perform a balance transfer with 0% intro APR for 18 whole months.
Discover it® Miles- Cardholders will earn 1.5x miles per dollar spent on all purchases and pay no annual fee. There are no rotating categories or reward caps to worry about and enjoy 0% APR for 14 months on all purchases.
Discover it® chrome - This rewards card offers 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter at restaurants and gas stations, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Discover also offers an NHL version of the standard it card, featuring the logo of your favorite team, and 10% off NHL gear.
Discover it® for Students - Students can choose between the traditional Discover it card for Students or the Discover it Chrome card for Students. Students will still earn the same rewards as a traditional card holder, but with a slightly higher interest rate and introductory term limitations.
There are several credit card features that are common to all versions of the Discover it card. Cardholders are not subject to a rate-hike if they miss a payment and they won't be charged a fee on their first late payment. In addition to the features listed above and a whole host of travel insurance and purchase protection plans, Discover cardholders will have access to 100% U.S.-based customer service representatives. In fact, Discover finished in a tie for first place in customer satisfaction in 2014 in the JD Power Customer Satisfaction survey.
When you examine the benefits of this latest Discover promotion, you will see how credit card users are the real winners in this intense battle for a spot in their wallets.
* Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.