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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. Therefore, when applying for a Discover credit card you must use Discover’s website. 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 gas, travel, home, apparel, restaurants, movies and more. Ability to earn up to 1% Cashback Bonus automatically on all purchases. Discover it® Cash Back: 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases. 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: 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases. 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 at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases. 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).
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 (your account number does not change), 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.
Discover has a range of credit cards for consumers with a variety of credit scores. Best known for their credit options for those who are new to credit or have fair credit, Discover provides you 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 will have very limited use and will need to rely heavily on the Diners Club network.
Here are the networks used overseas:
- In Central America: Discover
- In South America: Diners Club
- In the Caribbean: Discover
- In Europe: Discover, Diners Club
- In Asia: Diners Club, China UnionPay, JCB
- In Africa: Diners Club
- In Oceania: Discover, Diners Club
Which Discover it® card is right for you?
Depending on your financial situation and credit history, you may be better off with only certain Discover cards. 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 on your credit score 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.
Discover it® Cash Back
The Discover it® Cash Back offers a cash back rewards program with higher rates for rotating bonus categories. You will earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.. 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 – $150 Cash Back Offer, the Discover it® Cash Back will allow you to earn a higher rate in bonus categories. If you don’t mind keeping track of bonus categories and plan on spending a lot in the random categories, you will benefit the most from this card.
Discover it® Balance Transfer
The Discover it® Balance Transfer offers a competitive intro period for balance transfers — 0% for 18 Months. 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. You will be charged a 3% fee when you complete your balance transfer, but the interest you will save in transferring your balance will often outweigh this fee. In addition to being a great balance transfer card, this card also has a cash back rewards program. If you have Excellent/Good Credit and are looking to pay down your debt, the Discover it® Balance Transfer can help you achieve your goal.
Discover it® Miles
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 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no blackout dates. At the end of your first year, Discover will also match the miles you’ve earned. This is a great 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.
Discover it® chrome
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 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases. 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.
Discover it® Secured
The Discover it® Secured is a great option for people who are Poor/New to Credit. This card offers a cash back rewards program, atypical of secured cards. 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 (starting at 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.
NHL® Discover it®
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 at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.. 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.
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.
Discover it® Student Cash Back
The Discover it® Student Cash Back card offers student the same cash back rewards as the Discover it® Cash Back, plus added benefits. In addition to 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases., 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 — 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.
Discover it® Student chrome
Another option for students is the Discover it® Student chrome card. This card doesn’t have rotating bonus categories and will earn you 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter--no sign-ups needed. 1% cash back on all your other purchases. This is a good card for students who commute to school. You will benefit from the $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.