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How to Get Discover’s Student Card Good Grades Reward

How to Get Discover’s Student Card Good Grades Reward

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Jun 12, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

The sooner you start building a positive credit history, the better. Entering adulthood after graduation with a decent credit score can open doors to competitive rates for products ranging from cellphone contracts to your first car or home loan.

Payment history is the most highly weighted factor that impacts your FICO®  credit score. Young adults eager to build good credit can start establishing a record of on-time payments by applying for a student credit card that has student benefits, using it for small purchases and repaying the entire balance on time every month.

The Discover it® Student chrome and Discover it® Student Cash Back cards give cardmembers regular cashback rewards, an annual statement credit for good grades, plus you can get a one-time good grade cash reward for having an eligible Discover student loan.

Student cards can be used to buy things like school supplies or Uber rides, and you can get other perks along with your card, but it’s very important not to overextend yourself by charging more than you can repay every month.

Read: Best Student Credit Cards

Discover student card eligibility requirements

To qualify for a student credit card with Discover, you need to be 18 years or older and have a steady source of income. You must also be a college student — part of the application process is noting whether you are enrolled in a two- or four-year college or university. Credit limits typically start at $500, but some cardholders report getting approved for limits as high as $5,500. If you get a low limit to start, know that over time and with steady repayment behavior, you can request a credit limit increase after proving you can responsibly manage the card.

Which Discover cards offer students a good grades reward?

Both the Discover it® Student chrome and Discover it® Student Cash Back cards offer a $20 statement credit each school year if you get top marks.

If you have a Discover student loan, you may also qualify to earn a one-time 1% cash reward per loan when you maintain good grades. The cash reward is equal to 1% of your disbursed student loan principal balance. The cash you receive from this reward could go toward an extra payment or two on your loan, depending on the size of your loan.

The main difference between the two Discover student cards are their cashback programs. Here’s what you need to know:

Discover it® Student chrome

Cash back: Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically Cash back never expires and you can redeem the cash back earned at any time. Cash back you earn the first year of having the card is automatically matched.

Good grade incentive: Earn a $20 statement credit each year you qualify for the Good Grade Reward (limit of five years).

Cost: There’s $0 annual fee, foreign transaction fee or overlimit fee plus your first late payment fee is waived. The card is offering an intro 0% for 6 months APR promotion on purchases. Afterward, the interest rate is 12.99% - 21.99% Variable.

Quick highlights:

  • No penalty APR for paying late.
  • Free FICO credit score
  • Freeze It on/off switch for your account to prevent fraudulent purchases if your card is lost or stolen
  • Social Security number alert if found on any dark web sites
  • Introductory APR of 0% for 6 months for new purchases, thereafter an APR of 12.99% - 21.99% Variable applies.
  • Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

  • 0% for 6 months

  • 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically

  • 12.99% - 21.99% Variable*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99% applies.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Student chrome

More Info

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Cash back: The Discover it® Student Cash Back card gives you a higher cashback percentage in certain spending categories each quarter when you use the card. These revolving bonus categories must be activated every quarter. Cardholders can Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically You can redeem your cash back at any time for either a check or statement credit. Your entire cash back earned your first year is automatically matched.

Read: 2019 Discover Cashback Calendar

Good grade incentive: On top of the 5% cash back in rotating categories throughout the year, earning a 3.0 GPA or higher will earn you a $20 statement credit each school year (for a limit of five years).

Cost: $0 annual fee, no foreign transaction fee or overlimit fee and the first late payment fee is waived. There’s an intro APR of 0% for 6 months deal on purchases. Afterward, the APR is 12.99% - 21.99% Variable.

Quick highlights:

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 total spent in categories that revolve each quarter
    • January to March 2019: Grocery stores
    • April to June 2019: Gas stations, Uber and Lyft
    • July to September 2019: Restaurants and PayPal
    • October to December 2019: Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com
  • No penalty APR for paying late.
  • Free FICO credit score
  • Freeze It on/off switch for your account to prevent fraudulent purchases if your card is lost or stolen
  • Social Security number alert if found on any dark web sites
  • Intro APR of 0% for 6 months for new purchases, after that an APR of  12.99% - 21.99% Variable applies.
  • Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

  • 0% intro for 6 Months*

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate*

  • 12.99% - 21.99% Variable*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99% applies.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Student Cash Back

More Info

What is the good grade discount and how you get it

There are two ways Discover rewards good grades. First, the Discover Student Loans Rewards for Good Grades program gives a one-time 1% cash reward to borrowers who have a qualifying Discover undergraduate, health professional, law, MBA or graduate student loan. You had to have applied for your loan before May 1, 2014, and you need at least a 3.0 GPA to be eligible.

To get your one-time 1% cash reward, you need to log into your account and apply within six months of the final academic term that the loan covered. The reward is 1% of your disbursed principal balance. So, for example, if your Discover student loan is $20,000, you’d get a bonus of $200 cash in a check.

You may be asked to submit paperwork to prove your GPA. If your documents check out, your reward check will be sent out within two to three weeks. This reward may be taxable as income, so you may want to speak with a tax professional if you have any questions.

The second way Discover rewards good grades is via its Good Grade Reward, which is a $20 statement credit each school year you’re eligible. The GPA you need to qualify is at least a 3.0 on the 0.0 to 4.0 scale; B or higher on the A to F scale; or 85% or higher on the 0 to 100 scale.

Each year, you have to log into your account and apply for this annual award. The discount will show up on your statement within seven business days. You can earn up to five $20 statement credits within consecutive years following the opening of your account.

Bottom line

Using one of these cashback student cards can help you build credit while rewarding you for spending and getting good grades. With that said, make sure you don’t go overboard. Swiping a card often and then not paying off the balance can do more harm than good, leading to debt, missed payments and high interest charges. The best way to begin your credit journey is to charge small-ticket items and pay off the balance every month.

If you use your card to spend and save 5% in the quarterly revolving categories, the Discover it® Student Cash Back could serve you well. If you don’t foresee yourself spending in the revolving categories, but you do eat out quite a bit, the consistent cash back on restaurants and gas via the Discover it® Student chrome may suffice. Check out a full head-to-head comparison of these two cashback student cards here.


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