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Discover vs. Discover it: What’s the Difference?

Discover vs. Discover it: What’s the Difference?

*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 Mar 06, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Discover vs. Discover it: What’s the difference?

Today, all Discover credit cards fall under its Discover it® suite of credit card products. This can be confusing to people who were issued Discover cards years ago and aren’t familiar with the company’s “it” products. Discover originally had a line of credit cards that included More, Open Road and Motiva. In 2013, Discover discontinued those cards and launched its line of “it” cards, replacing all prior cards. You are not able to apply for the old Discover cards — the only cards available on Discover’s website are the new “it” cards, which offer better rewards and features than the old cards.

As a bank and issuer, Discover is the sole provider of Discover cards. Discover offers a range of credit cards for all levels of credit as well as other financial products and operates PULSE, Discover Network, and Diners Club International.

Should I upgrade my old Discover cards to Discover it cards?

Yes, it’s best to upgrade your old Discover cards to Discover it cards. With the newer “it” cards, you receive a better rewards program. Below is a breakdown of the rewards program for old Discover cards versus the Discover it cards.

Discover More Card vs. Discover it® Cash Back:

Discover More Card: 5% Cashback Bonus Get More program, which allows cardmembers to earn more rewards in popular categories that change four times a year, like grocery stores, gas stations, Uber and Lyft, restaurants, and Amazon.com. Ability to earn up to 1% Cashback Bonus automatically on all purchases.

Discover it® Cash Back: 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

Winner: Discover it® Cash Back because of the flat 1% rate on all other purchases (the More card only offers “up to” 1% on every purchase).

Discover Open Road Card vs. Discover it® chrome:

Discover Open Road Card: 5% Cashback Bonus on the first $1,200 in annual gas and auto maintenance purchases, plus up to 1% unlimited Cashback Bonus on all other purchases.

Discover it® chrome: Earn cash back on your next road trip with 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.

Winner: Discover it® chrome because of a larger spending threshold for gas spending.

Discover Motiva Card vs. Discover it® Cash Back:

Discover Motiva Card: Up to 1% Cashback Bonus on every purchase.

Discover it® Cash Back: 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

Winner: Discover it® Cash Back because of the higher cash back rate in quarterly bonus categories and flat 1% rate on all other purchases (the More card only offers “up to” 1% on every purchase).

How to convert your card

You can convert your card for free by calling 1-800-DISCOVER or the number on the back of your card and ask about changing your account to one of the many “it” cards available. While your conversion request is pending, you will still be able to use your card, and any rewards you earn will be the same rewards up until the conversion is official.

See below to learn what happens to your existing rewards when you change to the “it” rewards program:

  • More / OpenRoad / Motiva to Discover it® Cash Back/Discover it® chrome: Any accumulated Cashback Bonus will remain in your “Cashback Bonus” bank.
  • More / OpenRoad / Motiva to it Discover it® Miles: Currently this option is not available.

Why Discover?

Discover has a range of credit cards for consumers with a variety of credit scores. Best known for its credit options for those new to credit or have fair credit, Discover provides  the tools to build and re-establish credit. If you’re a student who wants to build credit or someone who has fair credit, Discover offers cards that will help you monitor your credit score while also earning rewards.

Great perks of all Discover cards include no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, rewards programs, Cashback Match at the end of your first year, and the freedom to redeem your rewards for any amount at any time. There are several security features that allow you peace of mind: $0 fraud liability, monthly free FICO® Score, “Freeze it” feature to lock your account with the press of a button, and free Social Security number alerts. These features make having one of the eight Discover it® cards worthwhile.

Unlike competing issuers Mastercard and Visa, who have issuing banks around the globe, Discover has to rely on its own network to provide cardholders’ usage. If you travel outside of the U.S., your card may have limited use and you may need to rely heavily on the Diners Club network.

Here are the networks used overseas:

  • Central America: Discover
  • South America: Diners Club
  • Caribbean: Discover
  • Europe: Discover, Diners Club
  • Asia: Diners Club, China UnionPay, JCB
  • Africa: Diners Club
  • Oceania: Discover, Diners Club

Which Discover it card is right for you?

Discover offers a range of credit cards for building and re-establishing credit and earning rewards. When picking a credit card, you first need to know your credit score. This will allow you to see what credit cards you can qualify for. Discover offers access to your free credit score, regardless if you’re a cardholder or not, with Credit Scorecard.

After you know your credit score, you should decide what you want to achieve with your credit card. If you’re new to credit cards, you most likely want to build credit. If you have existing credit cards, you may want to assess your current rewards and see if you can get better rewards. Maybe you have poor credit history and want to improve your credit score. Once you have an idea of why you want a credit card, then you can settle on the best credit card for your needs. A great way to see what Discover credit cards you may be approved for is to check if you prequalify. This performs a soft pull of your credit reports and will not harm your credit score.

What Discover it cards are available?

Discover offers eight credit cards that benefit a range of consumers. The categories of cards that Discover has include: cash back, balance transfer, miles, secured and student. Read our review of the benefits of each card below.

  • 0% for 14 months on purchases and Balance Transfers, then 11.99% - 22.99% Variable.

  • 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*

  • 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. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

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. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • 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.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Cash Back

More Info

The Discover it® Cash Back offers a cash back rewards program with higher rates for rotating bonus categories. You will 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 Our staff member, Aline, took advantage of the fourth quarter category, Amazon.com, to purchase holiday gifts. If you are looking to maximize cash back in bonus categories, this card is for you. Keep in mind you need to activate the bonus categories each quarter to enjoy the higher rate.

This card is a good option for people who have an existing credit card. When paired with a flat-rate card like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, the Discover it® Cash Back will allow you to earn a higher rate in bonus categories throughout the year. If you don’t mind keeping track of bonus categories and plan on spending a lot in the random categories, you can benefit the most from this card.

Discover it® Balance Transfer – If you have an existing balance on another credit card with a high APR, a balance transfer is a great way for you to pay off your balance without accruing additional interest during the intro period. Make sure you transfer your balance as soon as you open the card, or you may lose the offer.

In addition to being a great balance transfer card, this card also has a cash back rewards program. If you have excellent/good and are looking to pay down your debt, the Discover it® Balance Transfer can help you achieve your goal.

  • Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That's $700 towards travel!

  • Unlimited 1.5 Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee

  • 0% intro for 14 months on purchases, then 11.99% - 22.99% Variable

Highlights
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Miles

More Info

Discover only offers one travel rewards card — Discover it® Miles. If you’re a traveler looking for a good flat-rate miles program, this card is worth considering. You will earn unlimited 1.5 miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee, with no blackout dates. At the end of your first year, Discover will also match the miles you’ve earned for new cardmembers. This is a great intro bonus that will increase your miles earned in year one.

You can redeem miles for cash as an electronic deposit to your bank account or for a credit for travel purchases on your statement made within the last 180 days. Travel purchases include airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites and commuter transportation. It’s important to note that Discover isn’t widely accepted outside of the U.S., so it’s best for U.S.-bound travelers.

  • 0% for 14 Months on purchases and balance transfers*

  • Earn cash back on your next road trip with 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.

  • 11.99% - 22.99% 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 cash back on your next road trip with 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.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. Based Customer Service available any time.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® chrome

More Info

If you don’t want to deal with rotating bonus categories, the Discover it® chrome card offers a higher cash back rate in set categories. You will Earn cash back on your next road trip with 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.

Spending $333 or less a month in combined grocery and gas purchases will allow you to benefit from the higher rewards rate; anything over $333 per month and you will get the 1% rate. This card is a good option for people who may not spend in the quarterly rotating categories of Discover it® Cash Back and typically spend enough on groceries and gas to enjoy the higher rate.

  • 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

  • Credit line will equal your security deposit of $200 or more*

  • No annual fee, no late fee on your first late payment. No penalty APR*

Highlights
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 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.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • 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.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Secured

More Info

The Discover it® Secured is a great option for people who are limited/bad/poor to credit. This card offers a cash back rewards program, atypical of secured cards: 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 Although your primary purpose with a secured card is to build or rebuild credit, rewards are a nice bonus.

Another great benefit of this card is the monthly reviews (which start after eight months) that Discover performs to see if you can be transitioned to an unsecured card. Most other secured cards require you to apply for an unsecured card, but not Discover. They facilitate your move to an unsecured card and take the guesswork out of wondering when you’re ready to upgrade. Discover gives you your free FICO® Score each month, which is a great way for you to monitor your score and see it rise with proper credit behavior. If you’re in the market for a secured card, the Discover it® Secured is a great option.

If you’re a big NHL fan, the NHL® Discover it® is a great way for you to save money on your NHL.TV™ subscription and NHL purchases. You will save 10% on your NHL.TV™ subscription and 10% at Shop.NHL.com with the code ITPAYS.

When picking the design of your card, you can choose your favorite team and show your pride. This card comes with cash back rewards earning 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 Remember to activate the bonus categories so you don’t miss out on the higher rate. This card has the same features as the Discover it® Cash Back with added perks great for NHL fans.

Student cards

It’s important to start building credit as early as possible, and student credit cards are a great way to do that. Discover offers two student credit cards — Discover it® Student Cash Back and Discover it® Student chrome. Both cards are designed with students in mind and provide the resources for students to build credit while also earning rewards.

  • 0% intro for 6 Months*

  • 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

  • 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! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. 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.
  • 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.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • 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

The Discover it® Student Cash Back offers the same cash back rewards as the Discover it® Cash Back, plus added benefits. 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 If you’re a student with good grades, you’ll be rewarded. Discover will give you $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next five years. This is a great incentive to strive for good grades.

Access to your FICO® Score allows you to start monitoring your credit score early in your credit journey. And don’t worry if you miss a payment one time — Discover doesn’t charge a late fee on your first late payment. Use this as a reminder to set up auto pay. If you’re a student looking to establish credit and don’t mind rotating bonus categories, the Discover it® Student Cash Back card is for you.

  • 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! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. 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.
  • 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.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • 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

Another option for students is the Discover it® Student chrome. This card doesn’t have rotating bonus categories and will earn you 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 This is a good card for students who commute to school. You can benefit from a $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next five years.

Additionally, access to your FICO® Score allows you to monitor your credit progress. Make it a point to pay your bill on time and in full so you don’t get charged interest or a late payment fee (the first late payment fee is waived). If you’re a student who commutes to school and doesn’t want to deal with bonus categories of the Discover it® Student Cash Back card, the Discover it® Student chrome card is a good card to build credit and earn rewards.


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