The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Card vs The Discover it® Credit Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Versus

Dec 11, 2014 | Updated Jul 28, 2016

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The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Card and the Discover it® are both popular and valuable reward credit cards.

The BankAmericard provides cash back on the same types of purchases throughout the year, while the Discover it has rotating cash back categories that change throughout the year. Each card offers an introductory 0% APR for a relatively long period, and neither one has an annual fee.

The first is good for the kinds of purchases most of us typically make pretty often, while the second will be better for different kinds of purchases as the year goes on. Read on to learn if one of them might be a good card for you.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 13.24% - 23.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • $100 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and 3% on gas for the first $1,500 in combined grocery/gas purchases each quarter
  • No annual fee
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers.
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25%-75%. Click "Apply Now" to learn more about Preferred Rewards.
  • Now with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
 

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.”

The Rewards

BankAmericard Cash Rewards

You’ll get:

  • 3% cash back on gas
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and at wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $100 cash back bonus for spending $500 in the first 90 days
  • 10% point bonus when redeeming into a Bank of America checking or savings account

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.

The Verdict

These cards have very different reward structures: would you rather get the set 3% and 2% cash back on gas and groceries, or would you rather get 5% back (10% after it’s doubled) on different types of purchases throughout the year?

You’ll have to study the rewards they offer and your own spending habits: which card would provide you with the most discounts?

You can also consider using both cards. Use the Discover it any time you’ll be able to get 5% cash back, and then use the BankAmericard any other time. Using several credit cards isn’t bad for your credit – learn about the value of carrying multiple credit cards.

The Benefits

Each of these cards comes with several additional benefits. Here are all of the BankAmericard benefits, followed by a few of the most interesting from the Discover it.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards

Account Management

  • Account Alerts

    Get alerts about account information on your phone.

  • Mobile Banking

    Pay your credit card bill online, transfer funds, check available credit and more.

  • Text Banking

    Send a text and get important account information.

Security

  • Fraud Protection

    You will not be held responsible for unauthorized use of your card.

  • Overdraft Protection

    Link a Bank of America account to your card and prevent declined purchases and return checks if you take out too much money from your account.

  • ShopSafe®

    Protection when you are shopping online.

Discover it

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.

  • 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.

  • Spend Analyzer Financial Tool

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

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 Verdict

Each of these cards offers a nice set of additional benefits, but the Discover it clearly wins in this category. The shopping and travel protections could really come in handy in certain situations, and you won’t get those with the BankAmericard.

Click here for a complete listing of the benefits offered by the Discover it.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the benefits offered by each card:

BankAmericard Cash Rewards Discover it

Account Management:

  • Account Alerts
  • Mobile Banking
  • Text Banking

 

Security:

  • Fraud Protection
  • Overdraft Protection
  • ShopSafe® Online Security

Account Management:

  • Personalize Your Card
  • Pay Up Until Midnight
  • Temporarily Freeze Your Account
  • Card Replacement
  • Spend Analyzer Tool

 

Security:

  • $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee

 

Shopping:

  • Purchase Protection
  • Price Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Return Guarantee
  • Cash at Checkout

 

Travel:

  • Flight Accident Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

The Costs & Fees

Card Intro APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Regular Purchase APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
BankAmericard Cash Rewards 0% for 12 months 13.24% - 23.24% *Variable 13.24% - 23.24% *Variable 16.24% - 25.24% *Variable 3%
Discover it 0% for 12 Months 11.24% – 23.24% *Variable 11.24% – 23.24% *Variable 25.24% *Variable 0%
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
BankAmericard Cash Rewards Up to 29.99% *Variable Up to $37 Up to $27
Discover it None $0 the first time; up to $35 after that Up to $35

The Verdict

As you can see, these cards have almost identical costs and fees, including the length of the introductory APR period.

The only real differences here are the fact that Discover will not charge for the first late payment, and that Discover will not apply a penalty APR for bad behavior.

Of these, only the last is a very important feature. The BankAmericard may apply the high penalty APR if you make a late payment, and this can last indefinitely. The Discover card can be more comfortable to carry for this reason, as it will never raise your APR.

The Bottom Line

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card and the Discover it are both relatively good credit cards, and they can be very valuable when used responsibly.

Consider the rewards and benefits you’ll get with each card, because the interest rates and fees are about the same. Think about your personal shopping habits: would it be better for you to earn 3% back on gas and 2% back on groceries all year round, or would it be better to get 5% cash back (10% after it’s doubled) in the four Discover it categories?

Don’t forget, it’s not a bad idea to own multiple credit cards. This would let you earn 5% back in the Discover it categories whenever they’re available, and 3% on gas and 2% on groceries with the BankAmericard at other times.

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

Or learn more about Reward Credit Cards and see our picks for the best cards!
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