Our take: If you can keep track of changing rewards categories, the Discover it® Cash Back credit card stands out because of its unique welcome bonus and high rewards rate (5%) on rotating categories.
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
- Intro APR for purchases and balance transfers
- Limited redemption options
- Must activate the rotating categories every quarter
Discover it Cash Back Credit Card Highlights
- Welcome bonus: Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earn within the first year of card membership.
- Annual fee: $0
- Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases in various categories throughout the year (then 1%), 1% cashback on all other eligible purchases.
The Discover it® Cash Back credit card is a no-annual-fee card offering 5% back in spending categories that change every quarter, plus 1% on all other eligible purchases. This card requires extra effort, as you must remember to activate new categories every quarter.
If your spending habits align with the rotating categories, you can earn up to $75 in rewards quarterly (you can earn more, as the cashback rate drops to 1% when you hit the cap) or up to $300 yearly from the rotating categories. You can check out the Discover cashback calendar online.
Who is the Discover it good for?
The Discover it is good for people who like maximizing their rewards in rotating categories. This card also has a 15-month 0% APR introductory period on purchases and balance transfers, making it a good option for cardholders who want to transfer balances from other higher-interest credit cards.
Who shouldn’t get the Discover it Cash Back?
If you will get annoyed by having to register for your bonus categories each quarter, consider a flat-rate 2% cash back card like the Wells Fargo Active Cash. The card also isn’t ideal for foreign travelers. While there’s no foreign transaction fee, Discover is less accepted overseas than Mastercard, Visa or American Express.
Discover it Cash Back Credit Card: Rewards
The Discover it Cash Back card offers rotating cash-back categories. The category changes quarterly, and cardholders can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases.
- 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases in various categories throughout the year (then 1%)
- 1% cashback on all other eligible purchases.
The card also offers a unique welcome bonus: Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earn within the first year of card membership. If you earn $250 cash back, you’ll get an additional $250.
How to redeem Discover it Cash Back Credit Card rewards
You can get your cash back deposited into your bank account. It can also be redeemed as a statement credit.
Pay with rewards
You can pay for purchases on Amazon and PayPal using your Cashback Bonus balance. You can use your rewards balance to cover part or all of your purchases by linking your card to your Amazon account. If you want to use your rewards on PayPal, simply add your Discover Card to your PayPal Wallet. Then, link your Cashback Bonus under the Discover card you want to use.
Through Discover, you can shop for gift cards from retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Nordstrom Rack, Sephora, and more. Gift cards start at $5.
You can donate your Cashback Bonus to charity through your online Discover account. Discover currently offers nine charitable partners, including but not limited to the American Red Cross, ASPCA, and Make-A-Wish.
Rates and fees
- Intro APR for purchases: 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening (after that, the variable APR will be 17.24%–28.24%)
- Intro APR for balance transfers: 0% introductory APR for 15 months from date of first transfer (after that, the variable APR will be 17.24%–28.24%)
- Purchase: 17.24%–28.24% variable
- Balance transfer: 17.24%–28.24% variable
- Balance transfer fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer for transfers that post to your account by December 10, 2023. After that, 5% of the amount of each transfer.
- Annual fee: $0
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Online privacy protection. Every 90 days, Discover scans at least 10 people-search sites for your online personal information and will help you submit opt-out requests. This feature is available at no cost through the Discover App.
- Free Social Security Number (SSN) alerts. This service monitors your Experian credit report and thousands of Dark Web sites daily. It alerts you if your SSN is found on a Dark Web site.
- Credit monitoring tools. With your Discover it card account, you’ll get complimentary access to the FICO® Credit Scorecard, which you can use to track your credit score and any changes to your credit profile.
Credit cards similar to Discover it Cash Back Credit Card
If you’re curious about other cash-back credit cards, there are plenty in the market to choose from. To help you compare, we’ve found one card that might offer higher cash-back rewards that aren’t tied to rotating categories.
Discover it Cash Back Credit Card vs. Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers 5% cash back on activated bonus category purchases each quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1 percent). Like the Discover it card, you must activate the offers each quarter.
The upside of this no-annual-fee card is that cardholders can earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining (including restaurants, takeout and eligible delivery services) and drugstores, plus 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Cardholders also earn $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within your first three months—a modest amount to score the welcome bonus. And since you’re earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can partner with a companion Ultimate Rewards earning card to redeem them for travel, transfer to hotel and airline partners, shop on Amazon and PayPal, buy gift cards, and more.
Is the Discover it Cash Back Credit Card right for you?
If you don’t mind pressing a button in an email to activate your bonus category every three months, you might appreciate adding the Discover it Cash Back credit card to your wallet. With attractive introductory and ongoing balance transfer offers (availability and terms apply), this card could help you earn when you spend while lowering costs on your current credit card debt.
However, reviewing the card’s Cashback Calendar before applying is important to ensure it fits your spending habits. For example, if you don’t own a car or shop at key retailers, the 5% bonus in related categories may not bring much benefit.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cash-back limit for Discover?
With the Discover it Cash Back card, there’s no limit on the Cashback Bonus you can earn. However, cardholders are limited to earning rewards on up to $1,500 in purchases (or up to $75 cash back) in the quarterly rotating categories.
What credit score do you need for a Discover Cash Back card?
For the Discover it Cash Back Card, applicants should aim for a ‘good’ FICO score of at least 670 or better to get approved—though card issuers look at other factors, like your income.
Is the Discover it card a good credit card?
If you want a generous 5% rewards rate on rotating categories, a solid welcome bonus, no foreign transaction fees, and a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, the Discover it Cash Back card could be a credit card to consider.
Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date but are subject to change at any time at the issuer’s discretion. Before applying, please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits.