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Best Discover Credit Cards

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by Sean Bryant | Updated Jun. 13, 2017
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Overview

Discover cards might not have the largest product catalog available, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deliver for their customers. Discover offers everything from cash back cards, to travel reward cards, to cards for students and anyone rebuilding their credit. No matter where your individual situation might fall, there is a card for you. Discover cardholders love the reward opportunities they have with their cards, but they also enjoy the low rates and excellent customer service that are provided. Before you make a choice on your next Discover card, take a look at the ranking that we have put together. See More


Best Discover Credit Card for Cash Back

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  • You could turn $200 into $400 with Cashback Match™. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements and online.
  • No annual fee.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% for 6 Months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% for 18 Months

Regular APR

11.74%-23.74% Variable

Benefits

The competition for cash back credit cards has become stiff the past couple of years. But there is one card that is still ahead of the pack. That card is Discover it® card. When you have this card in your wallet you will be able to earn 5% or more back on the purchases that you make every day.

Each quarter Discover will assign different categories to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500. One quarter it might be grocery stores and department stores, while the next quarter might be public transportation and wholesale clubs. Any purchases that falls outside of the bonus categories will receive 1% back.

As a little added bonus, Discover is matching all the cash back that you earn for the first 12 months. That means when you earn 5%, you are actually going to receive 10% back on those purchases.

Things to Consider

It might be pretty attractive that you can earn double cash back on all purchases for the first year, but there is one downside. You will need to wait to receive your bonus. After the 12-month period is over, Discover will calculate the total cash back earned and then issue your bonus cash back at that point.

Something else to consider, is that each quarter you will need to opt into each of the bonus categories. If you don’t, you will only earn the standard 1% back.

Verdict

Compared to most other cash back credit cards available, Discover it® is one of the best available. Not only will you can you earn up to 10% back the first year, but there is no annual fee.

Best Discover Credit Card for Travel

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  • Bonus Miles - For example, if you earn 20,000 Miles, you get 40,000 Miles. We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your rewards in any amount for cash or a travel credit.
  • 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 FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • No Annual Fee.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% APR for 14 Months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

10.99% APR for 14 Months

Regular APR

11.74% - 23.74% Variable

Benefits

If you are looking for a credit card with a high sign-up bonus, then you won’t find it with Discover it® Miles. Instead you will find something that no other travel credit card offers. It’s the chance to have your miles doubled the first year. You will receive 1.5x miles on every purchase, and then Discover will match your earnings for the first 12 months. Not a bad perk for a card that has no annual fee.

Have a large purchase that you need to make right away? You will receive an introductory 0% APR for the first 14 months on purchases. If you need to transfer a balance the APR is 10.99% for the first 14 months. After the introductory period, the APR on both purchases and balance transfers will change to 11.74% - 23.74% Variable.

When compared to some of the premium travel cards, Discover it® Miles card doesn’t have nearly as many benefits for travelers.

Things to Consider

When it comes time to redeem your rewards, every 100 miles is worth $1.0. They can be redeemed for either cash back or a statement credit on travel expenses. For many, this can be beneficial because of its simplicity. However, cards that give you the opportunity to transfer rewards to different loyalty programs can offer more value.

Verdict

If you are looking to a travel card that doesn’t have an annual fee and gives you a simple way to earn rewards, then Discover it® Miles card is a great option.

Best Discover Credit Card for Students

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  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back 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 & your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements & online.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.74% - 22.74%.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% for 6 Months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

10.99% for 6 Months

Regular APR

13.74% - 22.74% Variable

Benefits

College is the time that most young adults start building their credit. The easiest way to do that is by using a student credit card. One of the best options is Discover it® for Students. With this card you will receive 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter, up to $1,500. It might be grocery stores or it could be at gas stations. All other purchases will receive 1% back.

As a little added bonus, Discover will match all cash back that you earn during the first 12 months. If you earn $200, then you will actually receive $400. Another nice feature for students is that you will be rewarded for your good grades. Each year, over the next five years, that you earn a 3.0 or higher GPA, you will receive a $20 cash back bonus.

Things to Consider

With this card there is an introductory 0% APR for the first 6 months on purchases. Once the introductory period is over, the APR will change to 13.74% - 22.74% Variable. This would be useful if you are expecting a large, upcoming expense. Just make sure everything is paid off at the end of 6 months so you avoid finance charges.

Verdict

If you are heading off to college and looking for your first credit card, Discover it® for Students is an excellent choice. Not many other student credit cards will give you the opportunity to earn this much cash back and also come with no annual fee.

Best Discover Credit Card for Poor Credit

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  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • A security deposit of $200 or more will establish your credit line (up to the amount we can approve). Automatic monthly reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an account with no security deposit.
  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus. Plus, get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Tools to assist you; email alerts, text reminders and 24/7 customer service.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

10.99% APR for 6 Months

Regular APR

23.74% Variable

Benefits

Most secured credit cards have one purpose and that’s to help build credit. They typically don’t come with many perks, including the ability to earn rewards. Discover it® Secured Credit Card is different though.

With this card you will have the ability to earn 2% cash back on gas and groceries, up to $1,000 per quarter. All other purchases, will earn 1% back. Plus, for the first year Discover will match all cash back that you earn. That means if you earn $100, you will receive a total of $200 after the Discover Cashback Match™.

Like many other secured cards, you will need to make a deposit upon approval. This will act as your credit limit. There is a minimum deposit of $200 required. As you continue to make payments on time and improve your credit, you will be able to move into a different Discover card and receive your deposit back.

Things to Consider

Discover it® Secured Credit Card comes with no annual fee, but it does have a very high APR of 23.74% Variable on purchases. It’s critical that you do your best to pay your balance in full each month. If not, your purchases will end up costing a lot more after finance charges are included.

Verdict

If you have less than ideal credit and are looking for a credit card to help build your credit score, Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a great option. Not only does it have no annual fee, but it gives you the ability to earn cash back on purchases.

Methodology SmartAsset has developed a quantitative and independent system for evaluating the relative value of a credit card offer versus other offers in the marketplace. Our system evaluates cards based exclusively on their features, such as their rewards earning rate (if applicable), fees, perks, and rewards program redemption options. The annual rewards values on this page are calculated using annual spending assumptions in various categories such as, but not limited to, gas, restaurants, airfare, and US supermarkets. These spending assumptions are built on research that SmartAsset has conducted on existing cash back credit cardholders. Our promise with our credit card recommendations is that we will always strive to have the most comprehensive, accurate, and objective method of evaluating credit card offers. Any recommendations are solely determined by the result of this research and model, and is never influenced by any fees, commissions, or other forms of compensation that SmartAsset may receive from credit card issuers for leads generated on our website.

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