What is the Best Discover Credit Card?
October 8, 2018
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Thanks to its robust rewards program, consumer protections, and lack of annual fees on its credit cards, Discover is one of the top credit card issuers in the nation. Many consumers have also flocked to Discover cards over the past few years due to their “double rewards” promotion that effectively doubles all the rewards you earn the first twelve months.
If you’re in the market for a new credit card this year and think a Discover card could meet your needs, it helps to gain an understanding of each card’s unique value proposition. This guide breaks down the benefits of each card as well as who it’s good for.
Best for Travel: Discover it® Miles
If your goal is earning more free travel this year, you should consider the Discover it® Miles. This card offers 1.5 miles for each dollar you spend, plus Discover will match all the miles you earn, at the end of your first year. Not only that, but you won’t pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad.
Believe it or not, but this card also offers 0% APR on purchases for 14 months, free access to your FICO credit score, and free Social Security number alerts. After the 14 month intro period, this card offers a regular APR from 14.24% - 25.24% Variable. We also love this card because it lets you redeem points for any travel expense at a rate of one cent per point.
Best for Cash-Back: Discover it® Cash Back
If you mostly want to earn rewards you can redeem for cash-back, you should take a closer look at the Discover it® Cash Back. This card comes with no annual fee, yet it offers 1% back on all purchases and 5% back on your first $1,500 spent in categories that rotate each quarter. The best part is, Discover will double all the rewards you earn the first year.
If you need to carry a balance for part of the year, you’ll also be happy to hear this card offers 0% APR on purchases and balance transfer for 14 months. It also offers a Regular APR from 14.24% - 25.24% Variable. Keep in mind, however, that a 3% balance transfer fee applies.
Once you earn rewards with this card, redeeming them is simple. You can cash them in for statement credits to your account in any amount and at any time. You can also redeem for gift cards or purchases made on Amazon.com.
Best for 0% APR: Discover it® Balance Transfer
Consumers with credit card debt or other high interest debts may want to consider at the Discover it® Balance Transfer. This version of the Discover it® lets you secure 0% APR on balance transfers for a full 18 months. It also offers a Regular APR from 14.24% - 25.24% Variable. A 3% balance transfer fee does apply.
The Discover it® Balance Transfer also comes with no annual fee, free Social Security number alerts, and free access to your FICO score. The Discover it® Balance Transfer offers the same rewards scheme as the Discover it® Cash Back; you earn 1% on all purchases and 5% back on your first $1,500 spent in categories that rotate each quarter.
However, it’s important to note that you should steer clear of using this card for purchases if you’re also trying to pay down debt with 0% APR. We recommend using this card for the balance transfer offer then sticking to cash or debit while you strive to become debt-free.
Best for Fair Credit: Discover it® Secured
Consumers who have poor credit or no credit may need to sign up for a secured credit card at first. With a secured credit card, you’re asked to put down a cash deposit that is equal or close to your credit limit. While this may not sound ideal, secured cards can help you build credit since they report your credit movements to the three credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. With enough time and responsible credit use, you can hopefully transition to a better card on this list.
Either way, the Discover it® Secured is easily one of the best — if not the best — secured card on the market. This credit card comes with no annual fee and free Social Security number alerts on your statement each month.
You will also earn rewards on all your spending, which is practically unheard of within the secured credit card space. Once you sign up for this card, you can earn 2% cash-back on your first $1,000 spent in combined gas station and restaurant spending each quarter. You also earn an unlimited 1% cash-back automatically each year. Finally, Discover promises to double all the rewards you earn the first year.
At the end of the day, this card makes it easy to build your credit score from scratch, help repair credit with responsible credit card use, and earn rewards in the process.
Best for Students: Discover it® Student Cash Back
Finally, Discover offers a credit card that is specifically geared to students. The Discover it® Student Cash Back comes with no annual fee yet it offers valuable rewards young people can benefit from.
Once you sign up for the card, you’ll qualify to earn 1% back on all purchases automatically as well as 5% back on your first $1,500 spent in categories that rotate each quarter. You can also qualify for a $20 statement credit each quarter your GPA is 3.0 or higher, for the next 5 years.
Some final benefits to consider include free Social Security number alerts, free access to your FICO score, 100% U.S. based customer service, and a Freeze it ® tool that lets you make your card ineligible for purchases, cash advances, or balance transfers at the click of a button.
If you need to make a large purchase, you should also know this card offers 0% APR on purchases for six months, with a go-to APR of 15.24% - 24.24% Variable.
If your credit isn’t that great yet, don’t despair. The Discover it® Student Cash Back is actually available for consumers with fair credit or better, which typically means any FICO score of 580 or above according to myFICO.com.