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Review

Review of the Discover it® Chrome Credit Card

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Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Feb 04, 2020 | Updated Jul 29, 2020
Our rating
Min. credit level: Good
Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: See Terms

Discover it® chrome

Our rating
Good Min. credit level
Jump to Alternatives

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).

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

Discover it® chrome

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRSee Terms

The information related to Discover it® chrome has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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

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.

The Rewards

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.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent per quarter (then 1%) at:
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Cashback Match: New cardmembers get double cash back in the first year (awarded after the first year)

The basic rewards here are pretty simple.

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.

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 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.

The Benefits

  • 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
$0 None
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).

There’s a solid See Terms introductory APR for both purchases and balance transfers, offering a competitive amount of time compared to other 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 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 to Apply for the Discover it Chrome

You can apply for the Discover it Chrome securely on Discover’s website.

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

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

Discover it® chrome

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRSee Terms

The information related to Discover it® chrome has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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Alternatives to the Discover it Chrome

Not a fan of the Discover it Chrome? Good news, we’ve compiled some solid alternative options for you. Take a look!

Discover it® Cash Back

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR See Terms

If you like the features of the Discover it Chrome but aren’t so keen on the rewards, you might like the original Discover it® Cash Back (Review).

The only difference between the two cards are the rewards. Rather than earning 2% cash back on gas and dining, with the Discover it Cash Back you’ll get 5% cash back in categories that rotate annually, on up to $1,500 spent per quarter (then 1%; activation required). Head over to the Rewards tab to check out the 2020 rewards calendar.

If you’re more likely to make purchases from those categories, the Discover it Cash Back will probably be the more profitable choice for you.

All the other benefits and terms are basically identical. So if you like the rewards on both, you might consider using them in tandem. Use the Discover it Cash Back where you’ll earn 5% cash back, and the Discover it Chrome for your gas and restaurant purchases. Just be sure to keep an eye out for when you’ll earn 5% back on gas or dining with the Discover it Cash Back to get the most out of your cards.

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate every three months (see calendar below), up to $1,500 spent per quarter (then 1%; activation required)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Cashback Match: New cardmembers get double cash back in the first year (awarded after the first year)

The 5% cash back calendar for 2020 is:

Quarter 5% Cash Back Categories
January – March Grocery Stores, Walgreens, CVS
April – June Gas Stations, Uber, Lyft, Wholesale Clubs
July – September Restaurants, PayPal
October – December Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com
  • Free FICO credit score: See your TransUnion-based FICO Score 8 on statements, online, and by mobile app.
  • Cash at Checkout: When shopping at participating locations, you can get immediate cash back by charging an additional amount over your purchase for no extra fee.
  • Refer a Friend: Receive a statement credit bonus when you refer someone you know to apply for a Discover card.
  • Free Social Security number alerts: Discover will let you know if your Social Security number appears on an extensive list of dark web sites.
  • Quick Freeze: Place a hold on your card if you misplace it.
  • Fraud Protection: You won’t be held responsible for unauthorized purchases.
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0

The information related to Discover it® Cash Back has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee $95
Regular APR 13.99%-23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

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

Although you won’t earn cash back on dining like you would with the Discover it Chrome, with the Blue Cash Preferred you’ll get 6% back at U.S. supermarkets. That potentially makes it the best credit card on the market for grocery shopping.

The main differences 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 rather than the decent amount the Chrome offers at restaurants.

There’s also a version of the Blue Cash Preferred with no annual fee, which provides 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and 2% cash back at gas stations and select U.S. department stores: the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Review) (Rates & Fees). This could be a better option if you don’t spend enough on groceries and gas to make the Blue Cash Preferred worth it.

Spending Rewards
  • 6% cash back for:
    • U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
    • Select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% cash back for:
    • U.S. gas stations
    • Transit
  • 1% cash back everywhere else
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $250 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
    • Return on spend: 25%
  • Amex Offers: Access a selection of discounts and extra cash back opportunities from a wide variety of vendors.
  • Lowest Hotel Rates Guarantee: If you book an eligible prepaid hotel room through Amex Travel and then find the same room being advertised online for a lower price, you can be refunded for the difference.
  • Entertainment Access: Purchase pre-sale tickets made exclusively available to American Express cardholders.
  • Return Protection: Get refunded on eligible purchases within 90 days when the merchant won’t take them back.
  • Purchase APR: 0% on purchases for 12 months, then 13.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • $95 Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (Review) is a simple but rewarding card, offering 2% cash back for every purchase you make.

That flat rate is the main attraction. It makes the card more flexible than the Discover it Chrome, which only provides 2% back at gas stations and restaurants. The Double Cash provides 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and another 1% when you pay off that purchase — different than most cards, which provide the full cash back amount when you make the purchase.

Your first year with the Discover it Chrome can be more rewarding than the Double Cash. However, once that year ends and the original reward rates kick in, the Double Cash has the potential to be more rewarding than the Discover it Chrome.

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

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back for every purchase you make (must pay at least the minimum due on time)
    • 1% back when you make a purchase
    • 1% back when you pay for that purchase

The Double Cash’s rewards can be converted to ThankYou points, where they could potentially be worth more than 1 cent each through transfers to airline partners. If you can manage to get 2 cents per point, for example, you’d be earning a 4% cash back equivalent with every purchase, which is pretty great.

  • Free FICO credit score: See your Equifax-based FICO Bankcard Score 8 on statements, online, and by mobile app.
  • Citi Concierge: Get restaurant suggestions, reservations, travel arrangements, shopping research, and more.
  • Citi Entertainment: Get preferred access and pre-sale tickets to events and experiences, from music to movies.
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers, then 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $0 (Costco membership required)
Regular APR 15.24% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi has a ton of potential to provide a great deal of cash back in several categories.

You’ll get just as much cash back on gas and nearly as much at restaurants as you would during your first year the the Discover it Chrome, but unlike the Chrome, it won’t diminish. However, there is no 0% APR offer like there is with the Chrome.

The Costco card is quite rewarding, and easily beats out the regular reward rates of the Chrome. There’s 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, so if you’re already paying this fee, then getting the Costco card should be a no brainer.

The Costco Anywhere Visa is clearly designed for Costco members. If that’s you, then it could be a valuable addition to your spending habits. But if you’re not a Costco member and don’t ever plan on becoming one, you should look elsewhere.

Spending Rewards
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas, including gas at Costco (up to $7,000 spent annually)
  • 3% cash back on:
    • Restaurants
    • Travel (including Costco Travel)
  • 2% cash back at Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back everywhere else
  • Shopping protections: Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.24% (Variable)
  • Annual fee: $0 (Costco membership required)
  • Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.24%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

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

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 your own review of the card below, we’d love to hear from you!

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

At a glance

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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The information related to Discover it® chrome and Discover it® Cash Back have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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