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Discover it® chrome Review

Discover it® chrome Review

January 30, 2019

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Cash-back credit cards come with different earning tiers that can fit a variety of personal preferences and household spending styles. And when it comes to rewards, there is really no “right fit” for everyone.

Some consumers prefer cards that offer a flat rate of cash-back rewards, while others prefer a card that doles out more points in specific bonus categories. Some rewards enthusiasts even opt for cards that offer even more points in categories that change all the time — cards like the Chase Freedom® or the Discover it® Cash Back. These cards help them maximize their rewards, they say, and it doesn’t hurt that they don’t charge an annual fee.

Another card that offers a unique earning structure along with additional perks is the Discover it® chrome. While this card doesn’t offer up to 5% back like its sister card, the Discover it® Cash Back, it offers 2% back in categories that remain constant all year long (up to certain limits).

Discover it® chrome: Where It Shines

Discover it® chrome offers an interesting earning structure that isn’t offered by many other rewards credit cards. We love that you’ll earn 2% back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in spending each quarter. Most people do spend $1,000 on dining and filling up their tank each quarter, after all. The fact that you earn an unlimited 1% back on all other purchases also puts this card on par with most other cash-back credit cards.

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Discover’s promise to double all the rewards you earn during the first twelve months. This benefit will turn your 2% earning rate into 4% up to the spending limits on gas station and restaurant spending, and your 1% back on all regular purchases will surge up to 2%. The fact that the Discover it® chrome doesn’t charge an annual fee makes it hard to argue against this card as well.

On the rewards front, we like Discover points because they never expire provided you’re a cardholder — and because you can redeem them in more than one way. While most people cash in their points for statement credits at a rate of one cent per point, you can also use Discover points for gift cards or donate them to charity.

Other benefits of the Discover it® chrome include the fact that you get 24-hour U.S. based customer service and a free FICO score on your monthly statement. You can also sign up for free Social Security alerts that will let you know if someone attempts to open an account in your name.

Discover it® chrome: Where it Comes Up Short

The main problem with the Discover it® chrome is that its rewards are rather lackluster. Since many competing cards — including ones without annual fees — offer up to 3% back in some categories, the Discover it® chrome is hardly the best option available. Not only does the Discover it® chrome offer just 2% back in its special categories, but it sets a $1,000 quarterly cap on them, too.

Obviously, there are cards that make it easy to earn more cash-back with the same level of spending. An example is the newer Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card. Not only does this card offer a big signup bonus (30,000 points worth $300 in cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months), but you also earn 3% back on eating out and dining in, gas stations, rideshares, transit, and travel including flights, hotels, homestays, and rental cars.

These 3% categories include the two 2% categories the Discover it® chrome offers (gas stations and restaurants). They are also unlimited, making it easy to maximize them if you use them for regular spending. You’ll also get an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — and all with no annual fee.

Another obvious downside of the Discover it® chrome is the fact it doesn’t have a signup bonus. This card will double your rewards after the first twelve months, but that’s not the same thing as earning a bonus after meeting a minimum spending requirement. Not only is your bonus amount not guaranteed, but you also have to wait a full twelve months to receive it.

The Bottom Line

If you’re in the market for a cash-back credit card, you should definitely consider the Discover it® chrome. This card offers 2% back on gas station and restaurant spending on up to $1,000 in purchases per quarter, and you’ll also earn 1% cash back for everything else you buy. The best part is, it doesn’t charge an annual fee. This makes it easy to sign up and give it a try without a big commitment.

With these details in mind, we think the Discover it® chrome is best for:

  • People who want to earn cash rewards without an annual fee
  • Anyone who wants the option to redeem their points for cash-back or gift cards
  • Consumers who spend at least $1,000 per quarter at gas stations and restaurants

While we dig the Discover it® chrome, it’s important to do some research to make sure this is the right credit card for your wallet. There are other cash-back credit cards to consider, including ones that offer up to 4% back in popular categories and signup bonuses worth hundreds of dollars. Spend some time comparing your options and you’re bound to wind up with the best credit card for your needs.

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Editor’s Rating

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