The Discover It credit card is a rewards card that offers big spenders a wealth of options, with many ways to earn points and to redeem them. In this guide we will take a close look at this card, reviewing it in full, telling you what you need to know and ultimately discovering (pun definitely intended) if this is the card for you.
What is the Discover It Card?
This is a rewards credit card provided by Discover. As discussed in our guide to American Express vs Discover and Other Credit Cards, there are 9.3 million retailers across the United States that accept Discover cards, which is just 200.000 less than Visa and MasterCard and a good few million more than American Express.
The Discover It card can be acquired by anyone with a credit score that is “good” or above, and as well as the rewards scheme (discussed below) it also offers the following basic terms.
Discover It Card Basics
There are a couple of promotional offers available when you signup for the Discover It card, including an introductory 0% APR that lasts for a total of 14 months. This applies to purchases and to balance transfers, which is why we included the Discover It on our list of the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards.
As for the other Discover It terms:
- There is no annual fee.
- There is no foreign transaction fee.
- The APR ranges from 13.49% to 24.49%.
- There are versions for students available (see Best Student Credit Cards).
Discover It Rewards
Discover It is a rewards card that offers 1% cashback on every purchase you make. There are times when you can also make 5%, and we have discussed these below, but most of the time you will be earning 1%.
This amount can be earned on every dollar that you spend on your Discover It card. This means that if you spend $3,000 a month using your credit card, you will earn $30 a month cashback, or $360 a year.
There is no three-months promotional offer like you will find with many other cards, but there is something just as enticing because Discover promise to match all of the cashback that you earn in your first year, which means the aforementioned $360 would become $720.
You can redeem your points as and when you choose and there are several ways that you can do this, including:
- Swap for gift cards to the value of the cashback.
- Use it to payoff part of your balance.
- Get them transferred to your bank account.
- Use during the Amazon checkout.
Discover It 5%
The Discover It card entices users in with an offer of 5% cashback. But this is not quite all what it seems. Firstly, this 5% is only available on the first $1,500 you spend every quarter and only if that $1,500 is spent in qualifying bonus locations, which change every quarter (more on those below).
This means that over the course of an entire year you can only earn $300 cashback via this 5% deal. The rest of the time you will just earn 1%. That 1% is still a decent return, but it’s as low as rewards cards go and there are many cards out there that offer cashback or points to the total of 2% or 3%.
The Discover It Bonus Categories (Earn Your 5%)
You can earn 5% on certain purchases up to $6,000 a year when you use the Discover It card at select locations and on specific items. These categories change every three months and you can earn $1,500 during each of these periods.
In the past, these categories have included wholesale clubs and hardware stores, as well as specific retailers like Sam’s Club and Amazon. To give you an idea (and, if you see this early enough, to show you what’s coming up) take a look at the bonus categories throughout 2018:
- First Quarter: Gas Stations and Wholesale Clubs.
- Second Quarter: Grocery Stores.
- Third Quarter: Restaurants.
- Fourth Quarter: Amazon and Wholesale Clubs.
But before you rush off to spend big at the locations, you need to make sure that you opt-in to a category at the start of the quarter. You can do this online via your Discover It account, or over the phone.
What we Like About the Discover It
Discover It makes it very easy for you to earn and redeem points. These points can be used to reduce your credit card bill, which comes in handy, and they are also incorporated into the Amazon checkout to bring those checkout costs down.
It can also be used in more places in the US than Amex cards can, as many retailers choose not to accept Amex because it charges fees. It is also a good option whether you are a struggling student looking to get a few extra dollars a month, or a family who spends up to $10,000 a year on credit cards.
It’s also very cheap, as there is no annual fee, the introductory balance transfers and purchase APR last for a long time, and many of the fees that you pay to use Visa, MasterCard and American Express are not charged for users of Discover cards.
What we do Not Like About the Discover It
Thee are better rewards cards out there and one of the things that we didn’t like about the Discover It card was that it simply won’t appeal to big spenders. The fact that you can only get 5% for $6,000 worth of spend a year will not be enough for customers who typically spend this in a week or a month.
Unfortunately, we’re not in that category ourselves and because of that the Discover It rewards were very beneficial to us. And if you find that you make a lot of purchases at the bonus locations and you don’t spend much more than $1,500 a quarter on your credit card the Discover It will seem like a great deal.
The more you spend beyond this amount and the less you shop at those specific locations, the less viable it will seem.
Our Discover It Review
The Discover It is a very good rewards card. If you like Discover cards in general then this is the best option out there and if you want a good rewards card for low-to-minimum spending, and you’re only going to spend in the United States, then it’s great.
But big spenders and people who spend a lot of money abroad will struggle with this card. It’s not the best rewards card for big spenders (see our guide to Premium Rewards Cards to learn more) and as Discover is very rarely accepted outside of the United States, it’s not great for world travelers either.
These issues aside, however, this is a great card that we are happy to recommend.