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Discover it Student chrome Review

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This article was last updated Aug 15, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

Who the card is best for

The Discover it® Student chrome is a great option for students — especially those commuting back and forth to class — who are just beginning their credit journey. Not only can you earn cash back, but you can keep track of your FICO® credit score, all at a $0 annual fee.

But before you get too excited, remember that with every rewards card you should do the math to be sure you’ll spend enough in the key rewards categories to make it worth it. We crunched the numbers for you. So long as you spend at least $333 a month on combined gas and dining, you’ll maximize your rewards in those categories (since the 2% rate is on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter).

Since the cash back program for this card is tailored to restaurant and gas purchases, students who don’t spend in these categories may see more benefit with other student cards.

  • 0% for 6 Months*

  • 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.

  • 14.99% - 23.99% Variable*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • 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.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • 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.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 14.99% - 23.99%.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Student chrome

More Info

Where this card stands out in its category

This card has a fantastic new cardmember offer with Cashback Match™: Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. There is no limit to the size of the bonus you receive, and you don’t have to meet any requirements to earn it. Another great feature is the Good Grades Rewards program allowing you to earn a $20 statement credit each school year you maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA up to the next 5 years — all the more reason to maintain good grades. There is also an intro period for purchases at 0% for 6 Months, then a 14.99% - 23.99% Variable APR allowing you to carry a balance for several months without being charged interest.

Where this card falls short in its category

Unfortunately, you can’t earn unlimited cash back forever. With this card, there is a quarterly maximum on the 2% categories up to $1,000 every quarter, limiting the amount of cash back you can earn at this rate to $20 a quarter. Also, this card has a low cash back rate for purchases outside of restaurants and gas, therefore if you don’t spend in those categories, you’d be better off with a different card like one that earns you a decent flat-rate on all purchases.

Additional card benefits

The Discover it® Student chrome has several additional benefits:

  • Cashback Match™: Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.
  • Good Grades Reward: Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher during the school year (September to August) and you can receive a $20 statement credit. This offer is valid for up to 5 consecutive years.
  • Simple cash-back redemption: Cash back can be redeemed at anytime with no minimum to redeem. Even if your account is closed, Discover will give you a credit for your remaining cash rewards.
  • Freeze it®: If you misplace your card, just freeze it online or in the app. During the time your account is frozen, Discover will not authorize new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers.
  • Discover® Identity Alerts: For free, Discover will monitor your account on a daily basis and send you alerts if a new account has been listed on your Experian® credit report or if your Social Security number on is found on thousands of risky websites.
  • Free FICO® credit score: Discover Credit Scorecard provides your credit score for free, updated every 30 days.
  • 100 percent U.S.-based customer service: Representatives are available 24/7 to answer your questions.
  • No penalty APR: Even if you pay late, Discover won’t increase your interest rate like many other cards do.
  • No fee on your first late payment: Discover will waive the fee on your first late payment, giving you a free pass and reminder to set up autopay for future payments.

How to use the card most effectively

To see the most benefit from the Discover it® Student chrome , make sure you use it for all of your gas and restaurant spending since those purchases earn the highest rate. When you receive your bill, make sure to pay it on time and in full so you don’t rack up interest. This is also a good habit to get into so you can build credit. Also, maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher so you can earn the $20 statement credit.

If you plan on studying abroad or spending your school breaks outside the U.S., this can be a good card to take with you since there are no foreign transaction fees (typically 2-5% of each purchase). Keep in mind the Discover network isn’t as widely used compared to Visa and Mastercard, so you may not be able to use your card at all merchants abroad.

Rewards breakdown

The Discover it® Student chrome offers 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.. You can redeem cash back at anytime and for any amount for a variety of options ranging from statement credit and direct deposit, to payments at Amazon.com, gift cards and charity. The ability to redeem at any amount is unique since most cards require a $25 minimum redemption value. Beyond cash back rewards, there is a standout new cardmember offer where Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.

Compare it with the Discover it® Student Cash Back

Discover offers two student cards that have all the same card benefits and features, but different cash back programs. The Discover it® Student Cash Back is more beneficial for students who don’t have clear spending habits and want to maximize rewards with 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants or Amazon.com up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Meanwhile, the Discover it® Student chrome is ideal for commuter students and those who like to dine at restaurants with 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..

  • 0% for 6 Months*

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

  • 14.99% - 23.99% Variable*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched. 
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants or Amazon.com up to the quarterly maximum each time 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. 
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late. 
  • 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. 
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up. 
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 14.99% - 23.99%.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Student Cash Back

More Info

Here’s a breakdown of the features of each card:

Discover it® Student chrome Discover it® Student Cash Back
Annual Fee $0 $0
Purchase Intro Rate 0% for 6 Months 0% for 6 Months
Balance Transfer Intro Rate 10.99% for 6 Months 10.99% for 6 Months
Balance Transfer Fee 3% 3%
Regular Purchase APR 14.99% - 23.99% Variable 14.99% - 23.99% Variable
Rewards 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. 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants or Amazon.com up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Sign Up Bonus Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.
Foreign Transaction Fee None None

Bottom Line

The Discover it® Student chrome is a good choice for commuter students looking to build credit and earn a good cash back rate for gas and restaurant purchases.


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