Review of the Discover it® and the Discover it® chrome

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

May 10, 2016 | Updated Sep 28, 2016

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Discover offers two versions of its popular “it” line of rewards cards: the Discover it and the Discover it chrome.

The first provides 5% cash back in categories that rotate every 3 months, while the second offers 2% back in one particular category throughout the whole year.

There’s also a great promotional bonus offer to double the amount of rewards you’ll earn, along with a number of handy shopping and travel benefits.

We look at both cards in depth to help you find the right one.

Discover it®

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 11.24% – 23.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Double all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year automatically - only for new cardmembers*
  • 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter like gas, restaurants, Amazon.com and more - up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up.* 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases & balance transfers for 12 months-then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. 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.”

Discover it® chrome

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 11.24% – 23.24% *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 10.99% - 22.99%. 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.”

Logging In To Your Account

Once you’ve been approved for the Discover it card, you can log in to your account at discover.com. You’ll see all of your account details, and a variety of options to view your finances, manage your account, redeem rewards, and request services.

discover-login

Logging in to your Discover account

 

discover-account-admin

Discover account details page

The Rewards

These cards offer rewards in quite different ways, and chances are one of them will fit into your spending patterns fairly well.

The Discover it offers rotating reward categories that change throughout the year, while the Discover it chrome has reward categories that don’t change.

There is currently a promotional offer to double the cash back you earn after 1 year of usage, making these some of the most rewarding cards on the market. This is a great deal, one you probably won’t find on any other card.

Substantial cash back and discounts can also be found in the Discover Deals marketplace, for a variety of retailers including Sears, Kohl’s, TurboTax, Walmart, The Apple Store, Walgreens, and more.

Discover it

You’ll get:

  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate throughout the year (see calendar below)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Double the cash back you earn after one year
  • 5 – 20% cash back at a variety of retailers through the Discover Deals shopping portal

The cash back calendar for 2016 is:

Quarter 5% Cash Back Category
January – March Gas Stations & Ground Transportation
April – June Restaurants & Movies
July – September Home Improvement Stores, Department
Stores, and Amazon.com
October – December Amazon.com & More

You can redeem your points as a statement credit, which is the typical way, or you can use them to pay for purchases directly through Amazon.

Discover it chrome

You’ll get:

  • 2% cash back on gas and at restaurants (up to $1,000 per quarter)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Double the cash back you earn after one year
  • 5 – 20% cash back at a variety of retailers through the Discover Deals shopping portal

Other than that, the details about cash back redemption described above for the Discover it also apply to this card.

Insider Tip: Looking for a credit card that offers the same amount of cash back for every purchase you make, no matter the category? Check out how the Discover it stacks up to the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®, which provides 1.5% cash back wherever you shop.

Discover it Unboxing

The Benefits

Both of these cards, the Discover it and the Discover it chrome, come with exactly the same additional benefits.

Perks

  • Free FICO® Credit Score

    View your FICO score any time you’d like at no cost and without hurting your credit score. Based on your TransUnion credit report.

Brendan's FICO Score

Oh student loans, what will I do without you?

Account Management

  • Personalize Your Card

    Choose from a number of different designs to personalize your card, including several chrome colors, a variety of designs, and a wide selection of NHL team logos.

  • Pay up until Midnight

    You have up until midnight of the due date to pay your bill, online or by phone.

  • Temporarily Freeze Your Account

    Freeze your account when you lose your card, and unfreeze it when you find it. Use the Freeze button on the Discover website or mobile app, or call customer service.

  • Card Replacement

    Free overnight shipping in the U.S. if you need your card replaced.

  • Spend Analyzer Financial Tool

    Use the Spend Analyzer tool to view your purchases by category and get insights into your spending habits.

Discover Freeze feature

Discover Freeze feature

Security

  • $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee

    Cardholders are not held responsible for unauthorized purchases on this card.

Shopping

  • Purchase Protection

    Provides coverage against damage or theft, up to $500 per eligible item.

  • Price Protection

    If you find an item you bought being advertised for a lesser price within 90 days of purchase, you can be reimbursed for the difference.

  • Extended Product Warranty

    Adds up to 1 year to a manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years or less.

  • Return Guarantee

    Items can be returned even if the manufacturer won’t take them back, up to $500 and for up to 90 days after the date of purchase.

  • Cash At Checkout

    When shopping at participating locations, you can get cash back immediately by charging an additional amount over your purchase.

Travel

  • Auto Rental Insurance

    Covers rented vehicles against collision damage when the car rental company’s insurance is declined.

  • Flight Accident Insurance

    You and your family are automatically covered on airline flights, up to $500,000.

The Spend Analyzer

Discover's Spend Analyzer tool

Discover’s Spend Analyzer tool

The Costs & Fees

Card Annual Fee Intro APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Regular APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
Discover it $0 0% for 12 Months 11.24% – 23.24% *Variable 11.24% – 23.24% *Variable 25.24% *Variable 0%
Discover it chrome $0 0% for 12 Months 11.24% – 23.24% *Variable 10.99% – 22.99% *Variable 25.24% * Variable $0
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Discover it None $0 the first time; up to $35 after that Up to $35
Discover it chrome None $0 the first time; up to $35 after that Up to $35

The Bottom Line

As you can see, the Discover it and Discover it chrome cards are more alike than they are different.

Each offers the same interest rates, with the same zero percent introductory rate and additional fees. You’ll get the same additional benefits as well.

The real difference between these cards is the rewards structure.

Check your typical spending habits: would you profit more from having a steady 2% cash back on gas and restaurants throughout the year, or would you get more from the rotating 5% cash back categories? Remember, that will be 4% and 10% cash back for the first year after Discover doubles it.

Without making any changes, which card would fit best into your normal shopping?

Or, if you think you’d benefit from using both cards, don’t be afraid of applying for both. Just use the Discover it whenever you’ll get the 5% cash back, and use the it chrome card for gas and at restaurants. Far from hurting your credit, having several credit cards can actually help to improve your credit score.

Discover also offers customer service that is a cut above the rest, recently coming in first along with American Express for customer satisfaction.

Want to apply for or learn more about one of these cards? Just click the card’s name below.

Discover it®

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 11.24% – 23.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Double all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year automatically - only for new cardmembers*
  • 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter like gas, restaurants, Amazon.com and more - up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up.* 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases & balance transfers for 12 months-then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. 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.”

Discover it® chrome

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 11.24% – 23.24% *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 10.99% - 22.99%. 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.”

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

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