Discover it® Cash Back Review: Is It a Good Credit Card?

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This card is a heavy hitter amongst Cash Back Credit Cards. Offering consumers up to 5% cash back on select purchases, no annual fee, and a generous bonus make the Discover it® Cash back a noteworthy addition to your wallet.
  • Annual Fee:
    $0
  • Variable APR:
    11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
  • Intro APR:
    0% intro APR for 14 Months

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Cash back credit cards are one of the most powerful tools for making the most out of your spending habits. Some cards offer 1%, 3%, or even 5% back on purchases.

To put that into perspective, 5% back on $1,000 in charges is $50, whereas the same $1,000 with an average debit card wouldn’t generate any return or benefit.

Today we will look at one of the most powerful cash back cards on the market, with one of the most lucrative sign-up bonuses and no annual fee – the Discover it® card from Discover.

The Discover it® card is unique because it offers an Unlimited Cashback Match sign-on bonus for new customers. This means they will DOUBLE your cash back earned over your first year.

For example, if you received $400 in cash back from purchases, they would give you an additional $400, bringing your total cash back to $800!

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the Discover it® card, its benefits, and who may enjoy adding this card to their wallet.

Discover it® Card Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Extremely lucrative Unlimited Cashback Match offer. This is one of the most attractive sign-on bonuses for a cash back card with no annual fee.
  • Phenomenal customer service, fraud protection, and enhanced security features.
  • Free monthly FICO credit score.
  • Generous bonus categories make the 5% easy to earn.

Cons:

  • Better introductory offers are available for lower spenders.
  • Quarterly caps on 5% categories result in a maximum of $300 annually ($600 for the first year with bonus Match).
  • Manual activation for quarterly categories may be inconvenient for customers who want a straightforward card.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

What Is the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card?

The Discover it® Cash Back is a versatile card that generates cash back across various bonus categories with a flat 1% back on all other purchases.

Along with powerful rewards potential, the Discover it® Cash Back comes loaded with other benefits such as Social Security number alerts, no annual fee, and more.

Discover it® Cash Back Overview: Sweet Cash Back Rewards All Year Round

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 11.99%-22.99%
  • Introductory APR: 0% for 14 months
  • Rewards Rate: 5% Cash Back on quarterly bonus categories and 1% on all other purchases
  • Recommended Credit Score: 670-850
  • Sign-Up Bonus: Unlimited dollar-for-dollar match on all of the cash back earned in the first year

5% cash Back in Select Rotating Categories

The earning power for the Discover it® Cash Back stems from its generous and wide-reaching quarterly bonus spending categories that generate 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases.

  1. Jan-Mar: Grocery stores, Walgreens, and CVS
  2. Apr-Jun: Wholesale clubs and select streaming services
  3. Restaurants and PayPal
  4. Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com

It’s important to remember you need to activate each bonus category manually by utilizing the website or mobile app.

No Annual Fee

While the Discover it® Cash Back offers some impressive earning potential, it also has no annual fee, which means you can enjoy a fantastic cash back experience without paying an additional fee.

Lucrative Rare Sign-Up Bonus

While many credit cards entice potential customers with sign-up bonuses for spending a certain amount, the Discover it® Cash Back does things a little differently. Instead of offering an upfront bonus, they offer a Cashback Match.

What Is Discover it® Cashback Match?

The Discover it® Cashback Match is a unique and highly lucrative bonus for customers who take advantage of their bonus cash back categories.

Discover will match the cash back dollar-for-dollar at the end of the first year as a one-time cash back bonus. So if you generated $400 in cash back, they would give you another $400, bringing your total to $800 for the first year. For a card with no annual fee, this offer is tough to beat.

Standout Customer Service

Customer service is one of Discover’s most powerful accolades. They consistently win awards for their customer service, which is 100% U.S.-based and available 24/7.

Discover it® Security

  • Social Security: Discover it® offers alerts if your Social Security number is entered on another website without your permission.
  • Freeze Account: If your card is stolen or misplaced, you can instantly freeze your account so that the card cannot be charged. It will remain frozen until you reactivate it or receive a new card.
  • $0 Fraud Liability: Discover is famous for its fraud protection. If you have a Discover card, you will never be responsible for unauthorized charges.

Redeeming Discover it® Cash Back Rewards

Reward redemption options are often a make or break for potential customers when considering a new credit card.

Thankfully, the Discover it® Cash Back shines in this area because there are many valuable redemption choices, no minimum redemption requirements, and even charitable choices.

So how does it work?

There are four primary redemption options for the cash back and one option that allows Discover to donate to a charity of your choice in your name.

The first redemption option is depositing your accumulated cash back directly into your bank account. If you elected this option, it might take a couple of business days to show up, but you will get every dollar you earned deposited to your account.

Next, you can elect to have your cash back applied as a statement credit on your credit card’s balance. This can be a great use of your cash back if you want to pay your balance down quickly or save your money for something else.

You can link your Discover it® Cash Back card to your online shopping accounts (such as Amazon) and checkout utilizing your available cash back.

Discover allows you to redeem your accumulated cash back rewards for gift cards. This is potentially the best way to redeem your rewards because, on top of the dollar-for-dollar match, they will add an additional $5 to your gift card balance.

Plus, they participate in e-certificates for the gift cards, so you can use them as soon as you redeem your cash back.

Finally, you can go through the charity portal on Discover’s app or website and donate your cash back to a charity that you like to support.

How Does Discover it® Cash Back Compare to Other Credit Cards?

The Discover it® Cash Back is a powerful contender in the $0 annual fee cash back market because of its competitive Cashback Match bonus and rotating bonus categories.

However, it is not a perfect card and may not suit every need, so here are some of the top competitors for your consideration to see how the Discover it® Cash Back compares:

#1. Citi® Double Cash Card

The CIti® Double Cash Card is one of the original cash back credit cards that turbocharges their customers’ rewards.

The flat 2% on all purchases is hard to beat because of its efficient simplicity. Cardholders receive 1% cash back when they swipe their card and receive the second 1% when they pay their bill.

There are no rotating categories or manual activations required to take advantage of the earning potential, which is a huge plus for consumers who want to earn cash back without putting extra effort in.

Aside from the lucrative earning ability, the CitDouble Cash offers competitive balance transfer and promotional APR.

Customers who spend more and don’t want to worry about bonus categories may earn more with the Citi® Double Cash; however, there is no signing or introductory bonus.

#2. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is another heavy hitter in the cash back category thanks to a substantial intro bonus, robust earning rate, and $0 annual Fee.

This card earns 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, 3% on drugstore purchases, 3% on dining and takeout, and 1.5% on everything else.

New cardholders also receive a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first three months, which is very competitive because some cards require 10x the spending for a comparable reward.

Cardholders can make their cash back rewards go further if they have a Chase card that generates Ultimate Rewards® points.

They can combine their cash back balance with their points to travel or transfer to airline and hotel partners.

#3. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

American Express has been in the rewards card business for decades, and the Blue Cash Everyday® card is one of the best options for earning rewards on gas stations and groceries.

This card earns 3% cash back at U.S.-based grocery stores (up to $6,000 then 1%), 2% back at gas stations and department stores, and 1% back on everything else.

Accumulated cash back never expires and has unlimited earning potential.

The Blue Cash Everyday® also comes with purchase protection for up to 90 days, all for no annual fee.

New cardholders can earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months after opening the account.

Discover it® Cash Back Review FAQs

Is Discover it® Cash Back a Good Card?

The Discover it® Cash Back is a worthy addition to any wallet for consumers who can take advantage of the generous 5% bonus categories and qualify for the bonus match at the end of the first year.

Since the bonus categories are so broad, it should be easy to rack up a significant cash back balance over the first year to enjoy the bonus.

Discover’s security features, including account deactivation and Social Security monitoring, can provide some reassurance and peace of mind.

Discover also provides a monthly FICO credit score for free, which is a convenient guide to measure your financial performance and identify aspects that can help you boost your score to the next level.

Finally, the Discover it® Cash Back comes with fantastic customer service available 24/7 on the website, app, or by phone.

What Credit Score Do You Need for Discover it®?

Good to excellent scores are recommended to apply for this card (670-850) since it is a higher-end cash back card.

What Is the Average Credit Limit on Discover it® Card?

Limits can range from $5,000-$15,000 but are variable dependent on credit scores and application requests.

Does Discover it® Match My Cash Back Every Year?

No. The Discover it® Cashback Match is an introductory bonus offered to new cardholders after their first full year. After the first year, the rewards will be generated as they usually would.

How Do I Redeem Cash Back with Discover?

Cash back rewards can be redeemed online or via the mobile app. If you choose to have your balance deposited into your bank account, you should allow a couple of business days for the funds to clear.

Is there a Limit on Cash Back with Discover?

While the quarterly bonus categories have a $1,500 limit to earn the 5% cash back, cardholders can still earn 1% in perpetuity on all purchases with no limits.

Bottom Line: Discover it® Cash Back Review

The Discover it® Cash Back is a stellar cash back card. With generous rotating bonus categories that generate 5% cash back, this is a great cash-back card for consumers who like to optimize their finances and don’t mind activating their bonus categories to get the most out of their cards.

To learn more about this products rates and fees, then view this page here.

Justin Estes
Justin Estes
Justin is an experienced personal finance writer, blogger, and author. His background in accounting and finance led to a passion for helping people make the most of their money and matching them with financial products that enhance their lifestyle. When he's not working, he enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and drinking coffee.