[Review] Discover it Card

At a Glance discover it

The Discover it credit card packs a punch with its 5% cash back rotating categories that is doubled with Discover’s current promotion, bringing the total maximum cash back potential to 10%. The card is simple, no annual fees and with rotating categories such as gas, groceries, and online shopping, this card shouldn’t be ignored.

The Facts

Card Discover it Card
Rewards 10%* cash back on bonus categories each quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter)

2%* on all other purchases

* With the double cash back promo (1%/5% initially and then an additional 1%/5% given after 12 months)

Annual Fee $0
Sign-up Bonus N/A
Foreign Transaction Fee 0%
Interest Rate 10.99% -22.99%
Miscellaneous 0% APR for 12 months including balance transfers (3% fee for transfers)

Free monthly FICO credit score access

Account freeze capability on mobile app

Credit Portfolio Role Niche Card
Credit Score Needed Medium – High

In-depth Discussion

The Discover it card shares the rotating category model many other cards have. During a calendar year, there are four broad categories where cardholders can enjoy a very high cash back rate on applicable purchases. Normally these bonus cash back rates range from 2%-5% but the Discover it card raises the bar by giving users up to 10% cash back for the first year with their double cash back promotion. This blows most other cards out of the water. At minimum (for the first year), users will get 2% on all regular purchases and 10% back on all bonus categories throughout the year (up to $1,500 per quarter). 2% is a great baseline to begin with and the 10% just makes the deal even sweeter. What happens when the first year is up? No worries, you will get 1% back on all regular purchases and the very competitive rate of 5% on the bonus categories which makes this card a solid niche card year after year. As a reminder, like with many other rotating category cards, you have to make sure to manually sign-up for the bonus each quarter as enrollment is not automatic. In addition, you will get the second half of your double cash back at the end of the first year instead of right away. This shouldn’t really make a difference since your rewards won’t expire, but it is good to be aware of this.

This card is simple and doesn’t offer many extra features beyond its very high cash back potential (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!). The card is fairly easy to attain: with a medium credit score or higher (mid-600s and above) and a stable reportable income, this card is not as exclusive as some of the other cards out there. While the Discover it card has 0% foreign transaction fees, it really doesn’t offer any incentive to use as your primary card while traveling abroad. Many other cards include various types of travel perks on top of 0% foreign transaction fees so those might be better choices. However, it does offer a few nice perks such as monthly access to your FICO credit score, 0% APR for the first 12 months, and a nifty feature that can “freeze” your account with a quick touch on their mobile app. This last perk is particularly useful if you temporarily misplace your card or won’t be using the card for a while and want to ensure no fraudulent purchases will be made. And speaking of fraudulent purchases, Discover helps you out there too with zero liability for unauthorized purchases on your account!

In order to really maximize this card, you want to make sure you primarily use it for its bonus categories (though 2% for the first year on non-bonus purchases is pretty good). Because of this, there may be stretches of time where you don’t necessarily use this card very often. Don’t worry! When those categories that apply the most to you come around, this will become one of your most used cards for that quarter. With no annual fee, you keep more cash in your pocket and there really isn’t a reason you should worry about having this card on stand-by in your wallet at all times.


The Discover it credit card is currently offering one of the best cash back rates you will ever see: 10% cash back on rotating categories for the first year. Since these categories generally incorporate purchases most people make on a regular basis (gas, groceries, online shopping and more), there really is no reason why this card isn’t for you. The card doesn’t mess around with a bunch of fancy hidden perks but instead goes straight to the high cash back potential. If you don’t have this card as a part of your credit portfolio, you are missing out.

Last updated 6 June 2015


2 thoughts

  1. Nice review. I LOVE my Discover card, although it’s not an It card, because I’ve had it so long. I know it’s not your main focus, but their customer service is also EXCELLENT. They never let me down when I call.


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