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Discover it® Student Cash Back

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Easily one of the most rewarding student cards on the market, the Discover it Student Cash Back offers 5% back in quarterly rotating categories. Discover will also double what you earn for your first year and reward you for good grades, all without an annual fee.

Our rating
Min. credit level: No Credit
Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: 19.49% Variable
Intro Balance Transfer APR: 10.99% for 6 months
Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 6 months

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Our rating
No Credit Min. credit level
$0 Annual Fee
Apply Now Read our Review

Highlights & Features


  • 5% cash back in rotating categories, up to $1,500 in spending per quarter (then 1%):
    • Categories: January through March is Grocery Stores, Walgreens, and CVS; April through June is Gas Stations, Uber, Lyft, and Wholesale Clubs; July through September is Restaurants and PayPal; October through December is,,
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases


Cashback Match: Double all cash back rewards earned in the first year

Balance Transfers

A balance transfer is a way to move credit card debt from one credit card to another with the goal of saving money on interest.

Intro Balance Transfer APR 10.99% for 6 months
Regular Balance Transfer APR 19.49% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*
How to Transfer a Balance on a Credit Card


Penalty APR None
Late Fee $0 the first time; up to $39 after that
Returned Payment Fee Up to $39
Additional Cards Annual Fee N/A
Foreign Transaction Fee None
Learn About Types of Credit Card Fees

Cash Advances

Borrowing cash on your credit card is a cash advance. Cash advances usually come with very high fees. Even worse, cash advances can signal to lenders that you’re being irresponsible with money.

Cash Advance APR 26.49% Variable
Cash Advance Fee N/A
How to Get a Cash Advance with a Credit Card
Discover it® Student Cash Back


  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit 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 & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 19.49%.


Discover has several card types depending on your needs.

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The Discover it Student Cash Back card is designed to help young people build credit. Student credit cards like these are made for people with limited or no credit, providing a way to start building a positive credit history.

Like the regular Discover it® Cash Back (Review), this student card comes with an appealing absence of fees and abundance of rewards. It offers 5% cash back in a variety of categories that rotate throughout the year, including many common purchases that most people make. This 5% rate is limited to the first $1,500 spent per quarter; after that, 1% cash back is earned.

Not only that, Discover will double the cash back you earn in your first year of use. That means you’ll effectively get 10% back on those purchases, and this is one of the best deals available on any credit card (which means it’s especially valuable on a student card).

The 5% cash back calendar for 2020 is:

Quarter 5% Cash Back Category
January – March Grocery Stores, Walgreens, CVS
April – June Gas Stations, Uber, Lyft, Wholesale Clubs
July – September Restaurants, PayPal
October – December,,

You’ll also get a $20 annual Good Grade Reward for getting good grades, for up to five years — you’ll need a 3.0 GPA to get that. And you can also check your FICO Score 8 any time you’d like, for free, based on your TransUnion credit report.