Are Discover Credit Cards Worth It?

(May 2024)

Are Discover Credit Cards Worth It?

In This Article

Our Verdict

Consider Discover Credit Card if you seek credit cards which give rewards and also suspend payment of APR for your first 15 months of subscription. 

Expect a quick response from Discover on issues you have on your credit card through the J.D. Power credit card survey which helps the bank track the issues that frequently arise with the bank’s cards.

Here’s other relevant information you need to know:

Discover Financial Services Corporate Headquarters

2500 Lake Cook Road, Riverwood, Illinois,  60015

Phone Number:  1-800-347-2683

www.discover.com

Pros

  • 5% Cash-back on purchases up to $1,500 within a quarter
  • 15 months 0% intro APR on purchases and transfers
  • Great customer care service through the J.D. Power credit card satisfaction survey
  • No Annual Fee
  • No late penalty fee for the first late payment
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Matches can be changed to cash for the Miles Credit card
  • No need for a stellar credit history for Students Cash-back

Cons

  • Complex rotating reward categories 
  • Low international acceptance
  • Spending cap and activation to qualify for reward purchases
  • Activation of bonus categories quarterly
  • Limitations of 5% bonus categories to spending of $1,500
  • Low rewards except for bonus categories
  • Payment of 5% fee for future balance transfer on some cards

Who This Product Is Best For

Consider a Discover Credit Card if you:

  • Don’t mind tracking the bonus of the categories which change every three months. 
  • Are just registering for the credit card to enjoy the 15 months Intro APR .
  • Want to avoid paying foreign fees.
  • Are looking for credit cards with no annual fee
  • Are likely going to pay one of the installments late
  • Wants to change your Miles rewards to cash

Who This Product Isn’t Right For

Seek another credit card if you:

  • Don’t like to keep track of bonus categories.
  • Want Credit cards that will be acceptable internationally.
  • Don’t know how to monitor the spending cap or activate rewards.
  • Want Credit cards with better rewards apart from bonus categories
  • Want credit card with other cash-back apart from the spending of $1,500 quarterly

What This Product Offers

●    Discover Cash-Back Credit Card

If you intend to use your credit card for purchases and balance transfer in quarterly categories which involves gas stations, restaurants, Amazon, etc., consider Discover Cash-Back Credit Card as the best option for you; take advantage of the 5% cash-back that comes with the use of the credit card.

●    Discover Miles Card

Consider a Discover Miles credit card if you travel often. Take advantage of the frequent rewards that go with spending big on traveling with this Discover credit card. Don’t venture into the subscription for the Discover Miles Credit Card if you are an occasional traveler.

●    Discover Secured Chrome

Consider a Discover Chrome credit card if your purchases at gas stations and restaurants are always about $1000; receive a 2% bonus on this without activating bonus categories like you have to do with Discover Cash-Back Credit Card.

●    Discover Student Cash-Back

Use a Discover Student Cash-back if you are a student and you intend to use your credit card for purchases and balance transfers in quarterly categories which involve gas stations, restaurants, Amazon, etc. Understand that you don’t need to have a credit history to apply for a credit card.

●   NHL Credit Card

Consider a Discover NHL credit card to show your support for your favorite NHL team. Get an unlimited cash-back on all the cash-back you earn in a given year.

●    Discover Student Chrome

Use Discover Student Chrome credit card if you are a student and you intend to use your credit card for purchases at gas stations and restaurants that are always about $1000. Understand that you earn 2% cash-back by reaching the reward threshold.

●    Discover Gas and Restaurants Chrome

Use Discover Gas and Restaurants Chrome credit card if you usually go on road trips and you intend to use your credit card for purchases at gas stations and restaurants that are always about $1000.

Understand that you also earn 2% cash-back by reaching the reward threshold.

Product Details

Discover Cash-Back Credit Card

Use the Discover Cash-Back Credit Card if you are likely making purchases and balance transfers in quarterly categories that include gas stations, restaurants, and Amazon. Understand that Discover gives a bonus of 5% cash-back on these purchases, however tracking the bonus and how it works can be a bit complex; master the tracking system to properly get the best from the bonus system.

Double the summation of all the cash-back you get in the year at the end of each year; if for instance, the summation of the cash-back you get in the year is $500 then it turns to $1000.

Save up your interest in the first 15 months of the use of Discover Cash-Back Credit Card with the 0% intro APR; know however that after the 15 months, your APR resume to between 16.74% and 27.74%. Don’t worry about payment of foreign transaction fees if you have to use the card outside the United States; Discover doesn’t charge that fee. Note however that to apply for this product your credit score must be at 700+ FICO in the minimum.

Discover Miles Credit Card

Seek a Discover Miles Credit Card, if you wish to draw from the rewards on frequent travels. Get as much of the match of the Miles you get in a given year; it does not matter how much the Miles are, Discover will give you the match. Get for instance 100,000 matches for 50,000 Miles. Don’t worry about payment of the annual fee, because like Discover Cash-Back Credit Card you don’t get to pay an annual fee on Discover Miles Credit Card.

Know that with this Discover Miles Credit Card, you also don’t pay APR for the first 15 months of subscription; Take the initiative to change the Miles into cash in any amount at whatever time the need arises. Know that this product gives you 0% intro APR bonus but interest rates from 16.74% to 27.74%.

Discover Student Cash-back Credit Card

Consider a Discover Student Cash-back Credit Card to enjoy the bonus categories when you need help to build your credit score and you are a student. Get the 5% cash-back on the bonus categories for purchases that include gas stations, restaurants, and Amazon etc.

Understand that all the features that the Discover Cash-Back Credit Card has are what this credit card possesses but know that Discover Student Cash-back Credit Card stands out in that you don’t need a credit history to apply. Know that this product gives you 0% intro APR bonus but interest rates from 16.74% to 27.74%. Note that you don’t have to worry about payment of annual fee or credit score for this product.

Discover Chrome Credit Card

Seek a Discover Chrome Credit Card if you want to enjoy the cash-back on purchases and balance transfers but you don’t want to activate bonus categories or you don’t know how to do it.

Know that instead of the 5% cash-back you get on the Discover Cash-Back Credit Card, the Chrome Credit Card gives you only 2% on purchases that are up to $1000. Enjoy every other perk which goes with all Discover Credit cards like no payment of annual fee, the 15 months Intro 0% APR. 

NHL Credit Card

Are you an NHL team fan who can’t do without watching your team? Consider a Discover NHL credit card to receive cash-back rewards as you support the team.

Get 5% cash-back on purchases everyday at different places within a quarter until you reach your cash-back limit for the quarter and 1% Cash-back on other purchases. Know that you will receive unlimited cash-back on all the cash-back you earn in a given year.

Know that with this card you have 0% intro APR for the first 15 months after which you revert to the standard of 16.74% to 27.74% on purchases and balance transfer. Understand that you will naturally pay 5% on balance transfer on this card but at least you have a reduction to 3% in the first 15 months.

Discover Secured Chrome

Take Discover Secured Chrome Credit Card and qualify for the bonus categories after you make purchases at gas stations and restaurants with combinations up to $1000 in a quarter; receive the 2% cash-back on the bonus categories; Discover matches all the cash-backs you earn in a given year dollar for dollar.

Understand that the Discover Secured Chrome Credit Card’s APR is a fixed rate of 27.74%.

Discover Student Chrome Credit Card

Consider a Discover Student Chrome Credit Card to enjoy the bonus categories when as a student you make purchases at gas stations and restaurants that are always up to $1000 in a quarter; get the 2% cash-back on the bonus categories; Discover matches all the cash-backs you earn in a given year dollar for dollar.

Understand that the Discover Student Chrome Credit Card gives 0% APR in the first 6 months but reverts to the variable rates between 17.74% to 26.74%.

Discover Gas and Restaurants Chrome

Consider a Discover Gas and Restaurants Chrome Credit Card and qualify for the bonus categories when you make purchases at gas stations and restaurants on road trips with combinations up to $1000 in a quarter; get the 2% cash-back on the bonus categories as Discover matches all the cash-backs you earn in a given year dollar for dollar.

Understand that the Discover Gas and Restaurants Chrome Credit Card gives 0% APR in the first 15 months but reverts to the variable rates between 16.74% to 27.74%. Know that you have to pay a 5% fee for future balance.

Where This Product Stands Out

●     Available 5% Cash-back

Keep Discover Credit Card in mind if you want a card that offers cash-back on your purchases and balance transfers on the credit card. Know that if you make purchases or balance transfers up to $1,500 on the Discover credit card within a quarter, you will get 5% cash rewards from Discover.

Know however that you need to know how to keep the tracking of the bonus if you will get the bonus reward.

●     No Annual Fee

Think of Discover credit card if you want a credit card product that helps you save money by excluding the payment of annual fees. Know that it is not only the annual fee that Discover credit card helps you save, but it also saves you from paying foreign transaction fees and late penalty fees for the first lateness.

●     15 months 0% Intro APR

Don’t hold back on taking a Discover Credit card to enjoy the 0% interest rates payment on every purchase and balance transfer in the first 15 months of possession of the credit card acquisition. Imagine what you will save on the purchase interest rates for a whopping 15 months of waiver.

Know that after the expiration of the 15 months introductory months, you start paying between 16.74% and 27.74% APR on all the purchases and balance transfers on your Discover credit card.

●     No Credit Score Requirements for Student Cash-back

Think of Discover Student Cash-back credit card if you are a student who wants to build a credit history. Understand that Discover makes the product easy for students to apply for and encourages frequent purchases with rewards and cash-backs.

●     Several Gas and Restaurants Reward Cards

Consider Discover credit cards,  if you travel often and expectedly purchase gas and visit restaurants.

Understand that Discover has several reward cards that gives perks on purchase of gas and visit to restaurants

●     No Foreign Transaction Fee

Think of Discover credit card if you often make foreign transactions. Know that unlike many other credit cards, Discover credit cards do not charge foreign transaction fees.

Know however that the cards are not acceptable in many foreign countries.

Where This Product Falls Short

●     Low International Acceptance

Don’t count on Discover credit card if you want a credit card you can use in most places outside the United States. Know that the Discover credit card is not acceptable in many countries outside the United States; the use stops whenever you need to transact in most countries.

Understand that whenever you want to transact in a foreign country that accepts a Discover credit card, you don’t get to pay a foreign transaction fee.

●     Need To Track Bonus Categories

Look for another credit card apart from Discover credit card if you are not skillful and have an understanding of tracking the bonus categories. Master the way the bonus categories work to properly get the best from it.

●     5% Bonus Categories Limited to Spending Cap

If your purchase is likely not going to be up to $1,500 in a quarter, don’t bother taking Discover Cash-back Credit Card. Note that to qualify for 5% cash-backs on any of the credit card products your spending on the card must be up to $1500 within a quarter in acceptable stores.

●     Low Rewards Except For Bonus Categories

If you don’t want to track bonus categories or try to achieve a spending cap to meet up with either the 5% or 2% cash-backs, look elsewhere for your credit card.

Know that if not the bonus categories, the reward on use of Discover Credit cards are quite low; the basic reward apart from bonus categories is a meager 1%.

●     Payment of 5% Future Balance Transfer Fee

If you intend to subscribe to Discover Gas and Restaurants Chrome credit card, brace yourself to be paying a 5% fee on balance transfer and purchases you will do in the future.

Note that you can choose other options that can give the same perks and rewards like this product without having to pay this fee albeit with a higher interest rate.

How to Qualify for This Product

Know that to qualify for the Discover credit card there are a few things you must take into consideration

●      Credit Score

Keep a 700+ FICO score to qualify for the best Discover credit card with the greatest bonus. Know that with a lower credit score, the credit card you qualify for may not be with the best of bonuses and rewards.

Understand that if you are applying as a student, you don’t need to have a credit history. In fact, applying as a student helps you build up your credit history.

●     Income

Prepare to show Discover your full set of financial statements that ideally paint a comfortable financial picture of you. Expect to demonstrate that your income is sufficient to sustain your ownership of the credit card.

Note that apart from these general requirements of Credit Score and Income history to know what you need to qualify for each credit card, apply for pre-approval from Discover.

How to Apply for This Product

To apply for any of the Discover Credit Cards, reach out to Discover representatives for pre-approval. Prepare to supply some information to the bank which includes the following information;

  • Recent bank statements
  • Financial statements
  • Recent personal tax returns
  • Address, social security number, SSN, etc.
  • Residency information
  • Date of birth
  • Full name, home address, telephone

(The final list of requirements may vary based on the specific credit card you seek.)

Alternatives to This Product

Citi Credit Card

Consider a Citi credit card if you intend to increase the bonus you attract on your purchases and balance transfer; get 2% on every single purchase not waiting until the purchases are up to $1000 like Discover Chrome Credit Card.

Know however that with a Citi credit card, you don’t have the option of the free APR periods available on Discover.

Capital One Credit Card

Choose Capital One Credit Card if you need a card that you can apply for even with an average credit history but will not lead to regrets. Capital One does not charge an annual fee also and there are no hidden charges.

Know however that Capital One compensates for the allowance of average credit history with a considerably high APR on its credit cards.

Wells Fargo Credit Card

Choose  Wells Fargo Credit Card if you need a card that gives you unlimited rewards which is more than what Discover offers.

Note that you don’t have to reach a spending cap on Wells Fargo before qualifying for 2% rewards for purchase and transfer.

Chase Sapphire Credit Card

Choose  Chase Sapphire  Credit Card if you need a card that gives you more rewards than what Discover offers.

Note however that you have to pay a $95 annual fee if you opt for this product.

Customer Reviews

Don’t expect good customer service from Discover Credit Card; the customer reviews it has is not convincing at all. An x-ray of online reviews ranging from BBB to TrustPilot paints a picture of not-too-satisfied customers.

Methodology

We reviewed Discover Credit Card based on 20 data points in the categories of loan details, loan costs, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience, and the application process. We rated Discover Credit Card based on the weighting assigned to each category:

  • Loan cost: 35%
  • Loan details: 25%
  • Customer experience: 20%
  • Eligibility and accessibility: 10%
  • Application process: 10%

Within each major category, we also considered several characteristics, including available loan amounts, repayment terms, and applicable fees. We also looked at minimum credit scores and time in business requirements and the geographic availability of the lender.

Finally, we evaluated Discover Credit Card, customer support tools, borrower perks, and features that simplify the borrowing process—like online applications, prequalification options, and mobile apps.

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