Review of the Discover it® Chrome Credit Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Dec 19, 2017 | Updated Jan 11, 2018

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The Discover it Chrome credit card is a fairly good offer, with no annual fee and 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants.

Cardholders can also access exclusive cash back deals at specific retailers, so you’re not limited to just those categories. And Discover will double the total amount of cash back earned in the first year of card use. 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 8 Credit Score 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 (Review), which has different 5% cash back rotating categories.

Keep reading to learn more and find out if the Discover it Chrome is right for you.

Discover it® Chrome
Apply Now

Discover it® Chrome

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 11.99%–23.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Double all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year automatically - only for new cardmembers*
  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter-no sign-ups needed.* 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases & balance transfers for 12 months-then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 11.99% - 23.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • New Freeze ItSM on/off switch lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers on misplaced cards in seconds by mobile app & online.*
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on statements, online & by mobile app.* And 100% U.S.-based service any time.
  • No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on first late payment & paying late won't raise your APR.*
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text and never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms & other info by clicking “Apply.”

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.

This card is all about buying gas or meals at restaurants, offering 2% cash back for those purchases. Discover will double the rewards you earn in the first year, which is a pretty great deal. That also applies to the cash back you can earn in the Discover Deals shopping portal, which features some great discounts at specific retailers.

The extra benefits are pretty basic but not bad overall, mostly consisting of shopping and travel protections. But you’ll also have access to one of your FICO credit scores, along with tips to help improve it. This is a very useful feature for anyone who wants to build or just track his or her credit. Discover actually offers that service to everyone, however, cardholder or not.

There’s a 14-month 0% introductory APR period, which can be very useful and is always nice to have on a card. There’s no penalty APR and your first late fee is waived, so it’s pretty forgiving if you make a mistake. You also won’t be charged extra for foreign transactions, a cost-saving benefit not found on every credit card.

Discover has a reputation for great customer service, frequently winning or coming in second in J.D. Power’s annual U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Survey. If you have a problem with your card or account, you can expect to get some quality assistance from them.

Overall it’s a good offer because it lets you earn rewards for free, as long you avoid interest. However, it lacks some of the better rewards and benefits you’ll find on some other cards, and that 2% cash back is only good for the first $1,000 you spend at gas stations and restaurants each quarter. That limit seems a bit low, especially compared to the rewards you can earn with other cash back cards.

Insider Advice: Using This Card as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy

  • 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.
  • 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 with the card than that, you should consider some alternatives instead.
  • 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.
  • Check the Discover Deals shopping portal to find significant discounts at a variety of retailers. Make any big purchases before the end of your first year so you earn double the cash back.
  • Redeem your cash back rewards for gift cards when you can, because you’ll get a bonus of at least $5 when you do.
  • Avoid using your cash back rewards to pay at checkout, such as on Amazon.com, because when you pay with rewards you won’t earn any cash back.
  • 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.
  • This card comes with a 14-month 0% APR for purchases. Use that to pay off some big expenses over time at no interest (as long as you pay them off before the intro period ends).
  • Although the 14-month 0% APR balance transfer offer of this card is not bad, there are some other cards designed specifically for balance transfers. If you use one of them instead you’ll be able to keep your credit limit free on the Discover it Chrome for earning rewards.
  • You can use this card to keep track of your FICO 8 Credit Score from TransUnion. This is a great feature for anyone working to build or improve his or her credit.

The Rewards

Earning

  • 2% cash back on gas and at restaurants (up to $1,000 per quarter)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Cashback Match: get double the cash back you earn in your first year
  • 5–50% cash back at a variety of retailers through the Discover Deals shopping portal

The basic rewards here are pretty simple: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% back everywhere else.

Discover will double the total amount of cash back you earn in your first year of using the card. That means you’ll get 4% back for gas and at restaurants and 2% back everywhere else. That’s a pretty good deal for those purchases, especially because most cards only provide 1% back for that “everywhere else” category.

You’ll also have access to the Discover Deals shopping portal, where you can get additional discounts and deals at specific retailers. These discounts are sometimes pretty deep and they will be doubled as well, so it’s worth checking Discover Deals before making a big purchase.

Here are just a few offers currently available in Discover Deals:

  • Amazon.com: Get $10 off a purchase of a Fire 7 Essentials Bundle
  • Auntie Anne’s: Get a free classic pretzel with any pretzel nuggets purchase
  • Best Buy: Get 20% off one regularly-priced small appliance
  • Dell Home Online: Earn 5% cash back on purchases
  • Papa John’s: Receive 25% off regular menu price orders at papajohns.com

Redeeming

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:

  1. As a statement credit to reduce your balance
  2. Directly into a bank account of your choice
  3. For gift cards
  4. As a charitable donation
  5. Pay with rewards at select retailers, like Amazon.com

As you can see you’ll have a few different options when you want to redeem your cash back. We recommend using one of the first 4 options above.

Statement Credits and Bank Account Deposits

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

Redeeming your cash back for gift cards at specific retailers is actually a good option with the Discover it. In every case you can get more than $1 for every $1 in cash back you redeem.

The offers will vary, but you will always get at least $5 added to each card for free. There are a wide variety of retailers to choose from, in many different categories. Some example offers include:

  • Pay $20 to get a $25 gift card for Brooks Brothers
  • Pay $45 to get a $50 gift card at Chili’s
  • Pay $45 to get a $50 gift card for iTunes
  • Pay $90 to get a $100 gift card at Sephora

Gift cards are available in both digital and physical form. Physical gift cards will take up to 4 weeks to arrive by mail.

Charity

If you want to donate your rewards to a good cause, Discover provides an easy way to make a direct donation. You can send your rewards to any of the following organizations:

ASPCA Children’s Miracle Network Make-A-Wish Foundation®
American Cancer Society Junior Achievement Operation Homefront
American Red Cross Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation World Wildlife Fund

Pay with Rewards

You’ll have an option to link your Discover account with certain retailers, like Amazon.com. This will let you pay for purchases through them directly with your cash back rewards.

We do not recommend this method because when you pay with rewards you won’t earn any cash back. This would be a mistake if you’re shopping at Amazon.com and could potentially earn 1% back. So, we suggest you always pay with your card to earn cash back, and then redeem your rewards through a different method.

The Benefits

The Discover it Chrome provides a standard set of benefits, pretty comparable to most no-annual fee reward cards.

Free Access to One of Your FICO® Credit Scores

Get access to a free FICO credit score online, and get alerts if it changes. Discover will use the FICO Score 8 from your TransUnion credit report.

Many issuers today will offer free access to one of your FICO credit scores, but if you don’t have another way to check your TransUnion score this card is a good option for that. Discover also includes quite a bit of advice and information about credit scores, breaking your score down by category and providing specific tips for improving it.

Cash at Checkout

When shopping at participating locations, you can get cash back immediately by charging an additional amount over your purchase. There is no extra fee and this will be counted as part of your purchase, rather than as a cash advance.

You can get a maximum of $120 every 24 hours in this way, but individual stores will have their own cash back limits and in some cases they will charge a fee. Some examples are below.

Take note that you will not earn cash back rewards on any cash you get at checkout.

This is a great feature because it provides a way to get cash directly through your credit card without taking out a cash advance, which is pretty amazing if you’re familiar with the high interest rates that always accompany cash advances. Most credit card issuers other than Discover do not provide this option.

There are a few dozen participating stores, but they include:

Baker’s IGA Bristol Farms D&W Fresh Market Gelson’s Kroger Meijer
Metro Market Sam’s Club ShopRite Super One Foods Vons Walmart

Although Safeway is listed as a participating merchant on Discover’s site, we were informed by Safeway that they no longer offer this cash at checkout service.

Here are some current cash back limits and fees:

Retailer Cash Back Limit Fee
Dillons $100 per purchase $3 for any amount over $100
Dollar General $40 per purchase $1.50
Kroger $100 per purchase $3 for any amount over $100
Meijer $50 per person, per day None
Sam’s Club $100 per purchase None
Walmart $100 per purchase None

Refer a Friend for Cash Back

As a cardholder, you can earn cash back for referring friends to apply for Discover credit cards. You must send them the referral link you get from Discover, and they must use that link to apply.

If your friend is approved you will earn a $50 cash back bonus. If your friend makes his first purchase within 3 months of opening the account, he will earn a $50 cash back bonus too.

You can refer a maximum of 10 friends per year, and your account must not be late on payments or over the credit limit to qualify for this benefit.

Shopping Protections

Discover provides several shopping protections when using this card. They include:

  • Purchase Protection to provide coverage against damage and theft
  • an Extended Warranty to add up to 1 additional year to the warranty on purchases
  • Price Protection to reimburse you for the price difference if you find an item you bought being advertised for less

Flight Accident Insurance

You and your family are automatically covered for accidental death or bodily injury while at the airport and on airline flights, up to $500,000 per claim. You must pay the entire cost of the airline tickets using your Discover card to be covered by this benefit. Coverage begins as soon as the full cost of the ticket is charged to the card.

Auto Rental Insurance Damage Waiver

When you rent a vehicle with your Discover card this benefit provides coverage for collision damage. You must decline the car rental company’s insurance to be eligible for this benefit.

Other Benefits

The Discover it Chrome comes with a few benefits that aren’t listed here, and occasionally the offer will change. There are also important account management and security benefits, like fraud protection, free Social Security Number alerts, and the ability to quickly freeze your account to prevent new purchases.

Read more about the benefits, and check the Guide to Benefits that comes with the card to learn what you have access to.

The Costs & Fees

Annual Fee Intro APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 0% for 14 Months 11.99%–23.99% Variable 25.99% Variable 0%
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None $0 the first time; up to $37 after that Up to $37

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).

There’s a 14-month 0% introductory APR for both purchases and balance transfers. That’s a pretty good time period compared to most reward cards.

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 long 0% intro rate will give you some time to pay off large expenses. The Discover Deals can be a valuable source of discounts, letting you earn cash back on more than just gas and restaurant purchases. 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 to Apply for the Discover it Chrome

Want to apply for or learn more about the Discover it Chrome? Just click the Apply Now button below, and you’ll be taken to Discover’s website to apply.

They’ll check your credit reports from the major credit bureaus, and you’ll need good credit to be approved.

Discover it® Chrome
Apply Now

Discover it® Chrome

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 11.99%–23.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Double all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year automatically - only for new cardmembers*
  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter-no sign-ups needed.* 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases & balance transfers for 12 months-then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 11.99% - 23.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • New Freeze ItSM on/off switch lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers on misplaced cards in seconds by mobile app & online.*
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on statements, online & by mobile app.* And 100% U.S.-based service any time.
  • No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on first late payment & paying late won't raise your APR.*
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text and never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms & other info by clicking “Apply.”

Alternatives to the Discover it Chrome

Discover it Credit Card

If you like the features of the Discover it Chrome but you wish the rewards were different, you might like the original Discover it Credit Card (Review).

The only difference between the Discover it Chrome and the Discover it is the rewards. Instead of 2% cash back for gas and at restaurants, the Discover it provides 5% cash back on a selection of different types of purchases, which rotate throughout the year.

The 5% cash back calendar for 2018 is:

Quarter 5% Cash Back Category
January – March Gas Stations & Wholesale Clubs
April – June Grocery Stores
July – September Restaurants
October – December Amazon.com & Wholesale Clubs

So if these reward categories look more appealing to you than what you’ll get with the Discover it Chrome, this might be a more profitable card for you. Discover’s Cashback Match will double the rewards you earn with this card too, so you’ll get 10% cash back on those purchases in your first year. That makes the Discover it one of the most potentially rewarding credit card offers, especially when it comes to cards without annual fees.

All the other benefits and terms are identical, like the ability to check your FICO 8 credit score from TransUnion and the 14-month introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers.

If you like the rewards on both of these cards, you can use them both in combination. Just use the Discover it whenever you’ll earn 5% cash back with it, and use the Discover it Chrome for your gas and restaurant purchases. Remember to use your Discover it for gas and at restaurants during the months when you’ll get 5% cash back to maximize your rewards.

Uber Visa Credit Card

The Uber Visa Card has no annual fee and offers a pretty nice reward for restaurant purchases: 4% cash back, which is equal to what you’ll get with the Discover it Chrome during your first year, when Discover will double your rewards. After that you’ll only get 2% back, but the Uber Visa will always provide that 4% cash back at restaurants.

And in addition to that, the Uber Visa also offers:

  • 3% cash back on airfare, at hotels, and through travel agencies like Airbnb.
  • 2% cash back at Uber and on eligible online purchases (excluding PayPal, utilities, and some other services)
  • 1% cash back everywhere else

So you can earn quite a bit of cash back with this card. There isn’t a category here to earn cash back for gas, but the 2% back for Uber purchases can serve a similar purpose.

The Uber Visa has a signup bonus of $100 cash back for spending $500 in the first 3 months, which is not bad among signup offers. It would take $2,500 worth of spending to earn that much cash back with the Discover it Chrome during the first year, when Discover will double the rewards to 4% back.

You’ll get a $50 annual streaming credit with the Uber Visa, which is good for services like Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, and many others. You’ll also get up to $600 in mobile phone insurance, covering damage and theft. Both cards provide free access to your FICO 8 Credit Score from TransUnion.

The Uber Visa Card is available at either the Visa Platinum level or the upgraded Visa Signature level. If your credit is good enough and you are approved with a credit limit of at least $5,000, you will get the Visa Signature version. Otherwise, you’ll get the Visa Platinum. Visa Signature cards come with a bigger set of better benefits, including discounts at airlines and hotels, invitations to exclusive dining experiences, and shopping discounts.

Overall, the Uber Visa has the potential to be more rewarding than the Discover it Chrome, although it doesn’t have a specific category to earn cash back for gas. The Uber Visa does not have an introductory 0% APR, so your purchases and balance transfers will begin accruing interest if you don’t pay them off.

Citi Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash Card (Review) is a simple but rewarding card, offering 2% cash back for every purchase you make. There is no annual fee.

That 2% cash back, no matter where you shop, is the main attraction of this card. That makes it more flexible than the Discover it Chrome which only provides 2% back at gas stations and restaurants. The Citi Double Cash provides 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and another 1% when you pay off that purchase. This is different than most cards, which will provide the full cash back amount when you make the purchase.

During your first year with the Discover it Chrome it will be more rewarding than the Double Cash, because you’ll be earning 4% back for gas and at restaurants and 2% cash back everywhere else. But after that initial year, when you drop to the regular reward rate, the Double Cash can offer more potential rewards.

There is no signup bonus currently offered with the Double Cash card, but it does come with an 18-month 0% introductory APR offer for balance transfers. That’s a pretty long offer, making this a fairly good option for balance transfers.

The extra benefits are a bit more comprehensive with the Citi Card, including a concierge you can call for help and special ticket access to events around the country. You’ll have access to your FICO 8 Credit Score from Equifax — Discover provides your score from TransUnion, for comparison.

These cards are similar, but the Double Cash has more reward potential after that first year. Would you rather get more rewards more quickly with the Discover card, or go for long-term gains with the Double Cash?

Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi (Review) provides:

  • 4% cash back for gas
  • 3% back at restaurants and for eligible travel purchases
  • 2% back at Costco
  • 1% back everywhere else

As you can see this card has the potential to provide a lot of cash back. The 4% back on gas is just as good as what you’ll get with the Discover it Chrome during your first year, but with the Costco card you will always get that rate. The 3% back at restaurants is great too, almost as good as what you’ll get with Discover in your first year with the Chrome card.

The Costco card is quite rewarding, and easily beats out the regular reward rates of the Discover it Chrome. There is no annual fee for the Costco card but you will need to be a Costco member to use it. The lowest membership tier costs $60 per year, and if you’re already paying this fee then getting the Costco card should be a no-brainer.

You’ll get a 7-month 0% introductory APR for purchases with the Costco card, which isn’t very long but it is a nice feature to have. The Discover it Chrome provides 0% APR for both purchases and balance transfers for 14 months.

The extra benefits for the Costco card are pretty basic. They mostly consist of shopping and travel protections just like the Discover it Chrome. You’ll have access to the Citi Easy Deals shopping portal where you’ll find special offers and discounts at specific retailers, and this is pretty similar to the Discover Deals shopping portal.

The Costco Anywhere Visa is clearly designed for Costco members, and if that’s you this card could be a valuable addition to your spending habits. But if you’re not a Costco member and don’t ever plan to become one this card will be off-limits.

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express (Review) has an annual fee of $95, unlike the other cards on this list. For that price you’ll have access to some higher-than-average rewards:

  • 6% cash back at grocery stores
  • 3% cash back at gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back everywhere else

So it can compete with the Discover it Chrome when it comes to buying gas, but there is no restaurant cash back category with the Blue Cash Preferred. However it does offer quite a lot of cash back rewards at grocery stores, so it provides a different way to earn rewards on food expenses. That 6% cash reward makes it perhaps the best credit card for grocery shopping.

The Blue Cash Preferred comes with a signup bonus of $200 for spending $1,000, which is a good offer compared to most cards. By comparison, to earn that much with the Discover it Chrome in your first year when you’ll get double rewards, you’d need to spend $5,000.

The extra benefits of the Blue Cash Preferred are actually pretty similar to those of the Discover it Chrome. It comes with some basic shopping and travel protections, monitors your FICO 8 Credit Score from Experian, and provides discounts at specific retailers through the Amex Offers program.

You’ll get a 12-month 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers with the Blue Cash Preferred, which is a bit shorter than the 14 months you get with the Discover it Chrome.

The main difference between these two cards are the annual fee and the rewards. They both provide a decent amount of cash back for gas, but the Blue Cash Preferred also offers high rewards at grocery stores while the Discover it Chrome provides a decent reward at restaurants.

American Express has great customer service, just like Discover. Amex is the only credit card company to tie or beat Discover in J.D. Power’s U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Survey in the last few years.

There’s also a version of the Blue Cash Preferred with no annual fee, which provides 3% cash back at grocery stores and 2% cash back at gas stations and select department stores: the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express® (Review). This could be a better option if you don’t spend enough on groceries and gas to make the annual fee of the Blue Cash Preferred worth the cost. In most cases, if you spend at least $3,000 per year on groceries the Blue Cash Preferred will be the more profitable option.

Not the card for you? Learn much more about reward credit cards and see our picks for the best ones!

If you use the Discover it Chrome credit card, how do you like it? Leave your own review of the Discover it Chrome, we’d love to hear from you!

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