Discover it Card Review: Capitalize on Different Cash-Back Rewards

Discover the benefits of using the Discover it card.

Discover offers its customers banking services and loans, among other financial products, but it’s primarily known for credit cards. The Discover card was “America’s cash rewards pioneer,” according to the company’s website. Read on for a review of Discover it Cash Back, one of its current crop of cash-back cards.

Discover it Card Cash-Back Rewards

Thrifty shoppers might appreciate Discover it’s rotary cash-back system. Customers can earn 5 percent cash back on a variety of purchases, including at gas stations and grocery stores, but there’s also this: The types of places you can earn cash back at change each quarter. The locations that are eligible for Discover’s cash-back rewards for the 2018 calendar year are as follows:

  • January to March: Gas stations and wholesale clubs
  • April to June: Grocery stores
  • July to September: Restaurants
  • October to December: Amazon and wholesale clubs

The two caveats for the cash-back bonus program are you must activate it each quarter and there is a spending cutoff of $1,500 each quarter, at which point you will not receive the 5 percent cash back but the usual 1 percent cash-back bonus. You can still receive your cash-back bonus if your Discover card account is closed or has not been used in 18 months.

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

Discover will also match your cash-back earnings after the end of your first year of opening an account, but your account must be still open and still in the cash-back rewards program in order to receive the match.

You can redeem your Discover card rewards for:

  • Gift cards or eCertificates from Discover’s partners
  • Donations to select charities
  • Credit to your account
  • Deposit to any designated account
  • Use them at select merchants

Check Out: 15 Best Debit Card Rewards Programs

Discover it’s Miscellaneous Perks

Discover offers its more cautious customers the ability to freeze their credit card on or off from their account. This bodes well for people who might’ve misplaced their card but don’t want to go through the hassle of ordering a new one, and especially well for people who know their card was stolen.

On the other hand, if you do need a new card, Discover offers free overnight shipping for card replacement to any U.S. street address. Carrier overnight shipping limitations might impact the delivery date.

If you’re concerned your credit card might be affecting your credit score, Discover allows you to view your FICO credit score on monthly statements, or when you access your account online or via mobile.

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

Discover it Fees

This Discover credit card carries no annual maintenance fee. On top of that money saver, it offers an introductory APR of zero percent for the first 14 months of having the account. After that, you switch to a variable rate of 13.74% APR to 24.74% APR.

The card does come with fees. Each balance transfer charges you 3 percent of the amount transferred. Discover waives your first late payment, but after that, it’s up to $37. Returned payments also charge up to $37.

Related: These Are the Best Discover Credit Cards

Discover it Overview

When choosing a credit card to fit your needs, you’ll want to consider all the features.


  • 5 percent cash back on a variety of purchases
  • Redeem cash-back rewards at any time
  • Cash-back match after the first year
  • No annual fee
  • Zero percent introductory APR


  • Rotary 5 percent cash-back system limits usefulness
    • Must activate it each quarter
    • Spending cutoff of $1,500, limited advantage
  • Cash-back rewards are constrained to what Discover allows
  • Balance transfer fee

Understand: What Type of Credit Card Should I Get?

The Bottom Line on the Discover it Credit Card

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

The Discover it credit card benefits all sorts of shoppers. Whether your purchases fall within the cash-back calendar or not, you’re still earning cash back. The 5 percent cash-back bonus is a huge boon to those looking to save money, but it will require strategic buys on the part of the cardholder. The $1,500 quarterly limit is fairly low, but with other benefits such as the $0 annual fee and 14 months of zero percent introductory APR, the card keeps the focus on savings. On that note, its flexible security measure via the freeze feature should assuage any fears one might have of rogue spending.

Up Next: How to Pay Down Debt With a Discover Personal Loan

More on Rewards

This content is not provided by the companies mentioned. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by Discover.

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account. 

About the Author

Sean Dennison

Sean joined the GOBankingRates team in 2018, bringing with him several years of experience with both military and collegiate writing and editing experience. Sean’s first foray into writing happened when he enlisted in the Marines, with the occupational specialty of combat correspondent. He covered military affairs both in garrison and internationally when he deployed to Afghanistan. After finishing his enlistment, he completed his BA in English at UC Berkeley, eventually moving to Southern California.

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