2021 Review: Discover it® chrome Credit Card – Good for Gas and Dining?
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The Discover it chrome offers excellent first-year rewards on gas and dining thanks to its Cashback Match, along with nice intro rates. But the card isn’t too competitive after that first year.
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Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
We give the Discover it® chrome card 4 out of 5 Stars because it’s a good offer for no annual fee. But your cash back and benefits will be a bit limited compared to some other reward cards out there.
Why We Like It
- 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, on up to $1,000 spent per quarter (then 1%)
- Double cash back in your first year
- Introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers (See Terms for See Terms then See Terms)
- Free FICO Score 8 from TransUnion
- No foreign transaction fee
- No annual fee
Why It Could Be Better
- After the first year the rewards aren’t too impressive
- Card benefits aren’t very valuable
The Discover it chrome is a fairly good offer, with no annual fee and 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in spending per quarter.
Best of all, Discover will double the total amount of cash back earned in the first year of card use. And that can make this quite a rewarding deal.
The other benefits include some basic shopping and travel protections, along with the ability to monitor your FICO Score 8 from TransUnion for free. There are no charges for foreign transactions.
It’s a pretty simple card, but if you just want a way to earn rewards on gas and at restaurants this one might be a good choice. It’s a similar card to the Discover it® Cash Back (Review), which has 5% cash back rotating categories (on up to $1,500 spent per quarter, then 1%; activation required).
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
- Use it for gas and dining out (or ordering in): This is a rewards card designed to be used at gas stations and restaurants. If you’re looking for a card for those kind of purchases, this one might fit the bill.
- Mind the spending limit: You’ll only earn the 2% cash back for gas and at restaurants on the first $1,000 you spend on those purchases each quarter. So if you plan to spend more than that, you should consider some alternatives instead.
- Get more in your first year: Discover’s Cashback Match will double the rewards new cardholders earn in the first year of use. So be sure to top off your tank and have a nice meal at the end of that year.
- Redeem for gift cards, statement credits, or direct deposit: Redeem your cash back rewards for gift cards when you can, because you’ll get a bonus of at least $5 when you do. Statement credits and direct deposits are good options too.
- Get extra cash when you need it: Use the Cash at Checkout feature to get cash with your card when you make purchases at participating merchants. This will count as a purchase instead of a cash advance, so Discover won’t charge extra interest and fees. However, the merchant may impose a limit and fee on this service.
- Pay off purchases and transferred balances over time: This card comes with See Terms APR for purchases and balance transfers, followed by a regular rate of See Terms. Use that to pay off some big expenses or balances over time at no interest.
- Monitor your credit: You can use this card to keep track of your FICO Score 8 from TransUnion. This is a great feature for anyone working to build or improve his or her credit.
You’ll get the most out of this card if you use it as often as possible during your first year, considering Discover will double the rewards you earn during that time. That means instead of the usual 2% you’ll get on gas and dining and 1% everywhere else, you’ll earn 4% and 2% respectively. Taking full advantage of that, you could earn some serious cash back during those initial 12 months.
No matter which redemption method you choose, you’ll be able to get at least $1 for every $1 in cash back that you’ve earned. The gift card option actually provides more than $1 back for every $1 you’ve earned, making it the most potentially rewarding method.
You’ll have five different options for redeeming your cash back:
- Gift cards (best value)
- Deposit into a bank account
- Statement credits
- Charitable donations
- Pay with rewards at select retailers, like Amazon.com
We recommend using one of the first four options above.
The easiest way to redeem your cash back is with a statement credit or direct deposit. Statement credits are used to lower your balance, and direct deposits will simply wind up in your bank account.
Gift cards are the most rewarding way to redeem because you’ll get at least $5 added to the gift card value. But this method is a bit limiting because gift cards can only be used with their associated merchants.
- FICO Credit Scorecard: Access your FICO Score 8 whenever you’d like for free, based on your TransUnion credit report.
- Cash at Checkout: At eligible retailers you can get cash at checkout, a handy way to get some money without going to an ATM. The extra cash will be counted as part of your purchase.
- Refer a Friend bonus: Earn a $50 statement credit bonus for every friend you refer who’s approved, up to 10 friends per year. If your friend makes a purchase within three months of opening the account, he or she will earn a $50 bonus too.
- $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee: If your card is lost or stolen, you are not liable for any fraudulent charges made to your account. Contact customer support immediately if you suspect fraud.
- Fraud Protection: Discover monitors your account around the clock for suspicious or unusual activity.
- Free Social Security number alerts: Discover searches for your Social Security number on thousands of risky sites and will alert you if your information was compromised.
- New account alerts: Get notified of credit inquiries and new accounts on your Experian credit report
The Terms & Fees
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms||See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms||See Terms|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|See Terms||See Terms|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|None||See Terms||See Terms|
This card can potentially be completely free to use because it has no annual fee. So as long as you avoid interest and fees by paying off your balance in full each month, you’ll be able to earn rewards without paying a penny (other than the purchases you make, of course).
Like all Discover cards you won’t be charged a fee for foreign transactions. This card is pretty forgiving if you mess up: There is no penalty APR, and your first late fee will be waived. Those are nice features to have, especially for people who are new to credit cards.
The Bottom Line
The Discover it® chrome is a reward card designed for use at gas stations and restaurants, but it doesn’t have much use outside of that. If you do want a card to earn rewards on those purchases, however, this one comes with some pretty good terms overall.
You won’t have to worry about an annual fee, and the intro rate will give you some time to pay off large expenses. You’ll also get double rewards in your first year, a nice bonus that applies to all the cash back you earn.
Discover’s customer service is there to help, and they do a pretty good job at it compared to most credit card issuers. You can get in touch with their representatives by phone, email, or live online chat.
This is a pretty simple card overall — if you buy gas and meals at restaurants often and you don’t have a card for purchases like these yet, it could be just what you’re missing.
How Do I Apply for the Discover it chrome?
You can apply now for the Discover it chrome securely on Discover’s website, by following the link below.
They’ll check your credit reports from the major credit bureaus and a few other factors, but typically you should hear back quickly regarding whether you’ve been approved or denied.
What Credit Scores Do You Need to Qualify for the Discover it chrome?
It’s recommended that you have good credit before applying for the Discover it chrome.
In order to qualify for good credit, your credits scores would need to fall within the ranges of 670–739 for FICO and 700–749 for VantageScore.
Keep in mind credit card issuers will consider other factors as well. They’ll look at your income, source of income, and monthly rent or mortgage payments while determining your creditworthiness. These extra bits of information could potentially lead to your approval, even if your scores are lower than what’s recommended.
However, that also means you have a chance of being denied even if your scores are equal to, or higher than, those ranges.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Must be 18 to apply
- Personal information: Name, date of birth, Social Security number, U.S. citizenship status
- Address and contact information: Home address, phone number, email address
- Financial information: Total annual income, monthly mortgage or rent payment
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between the Discover it chrome and Discover it Cash Back?
The only difference between the Discover it chrome and the Discover it® Cash Back (Review) are the rewards. The Discover it Cash Back features 5% cash back in bonus categories that change quarterly (up to $1,500 spent per quarter, then 1%; activation required).
Other than that, both cards will be issued with the same set of benefits.
What benefits does the Discover it chrome have?
You can monitor your FICO Score 8 based on your TransUnion credit report, and thanks to Discover’s Cashback Match, your rewards will be doubled for the first year.
Take a look at all the benefits attached to your card.
What’s the credit limit of the Discover it chrome?
Your credit limit is determined by your creditworthiness, with a minimum limit of $500. Your credit scores, credit history, and other factors play a role in deciding the limit you receive.
You can request a credit limit increase if you’re unhappy with your current limit.
Alternatives to the Discover it chrome
Not a fan of the Discover it Chrome? Good news, we’ve compiled some solid alternatives for you. Take a look!
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Did you find these alternatives helpful? Let us know! And if you use the Discover it chrome credit card, how do you like it? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!Not impressed? Maybe another rewards card would suit you better. Check out some of our best picks! Best Rewards Credit Cards
Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high-quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.
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