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Is the Discover it® Student Cash Back Card Right for You?

Is the Discover it® Student Cash Back Card Right for You?

You’ve probably heard how important it is to have good credit. It affects a lot of things in your life, from getting approved for an apartment lease to even getting a new cell phone. But how do you build good credit in the first place?

As a college student, you have a unique opportunity to build credit while you’re still young, which will help you immensely after you graduate. If you’re looking for a student credit card, check out the Discover it Student Card.


For a student credit card, the Discover it® Student Cash Back card offers lots of valuable rewards. You can earn 5% cash back on rotating spending categories throughout the year, meaning you could earn cash back on groceries, gas, and even purchases made through Amazon.com. You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases, automatically.

As an added perk, Discover offers a great signup bonus. At the end of your first year as a cardmember, Discover will match all of the cash back you earned over the course of the year. That means if you earned $200 cash back, they’d double it to $400 cash back. That money could go a long way toward paying for textbooks or even a new laptop.

Plus, you’ll get credit for having good grades. Each year that your GPA is at least a 3.0 or higher, you’ll get a $20 statement credit, for up to five years. That’s free money just for doing well in school.

You can redeem your rewards for statement credits and gift cards, giving you flexibility.


Like most student credit cards, the Discover it® Student Cash Back card is scarce on benefits; most of its value is due to it rewards, instead. However, there are a few things to note.

With Discover, you can freeze your account in seconds, in case you think you lost your card or if it was stolen. That can help protect you from unauthorized charges.

Plus, Discover offers free FICO credit scores on every billing statement, or you can check it anytime online or through the mobile app.

Terms & Fees

As a student, it’s important to pay off your balance in full each month so you build good credit habits and avoid costly fees. On the Discover it® Student Cash Back Card, you get 0% APR on new purchases for the first six months of opening an account. After that, it jumps to a variable APR of 15.24% to 24.24%. With such a high APR, your balance could quickly grow out of control, so keep your spending low.

There is no annual fee to worry about, so you don’t have to pay a fee each year just to have the card.

Alternatives to the Discover it® Student Cash Back card: Secured cards

The Discover it® Student Cash Back card offers significant rewards and value. However, not everyone will be a good fit, and you may need to find another card.

In some cases, it may make more sense to get a secured credit card. Unlike traditional credit cards, which have an open credit line, you have to put down a security deposit with a secured card. That makes them easier to get than traditional cards, and it limits how much you can spend on the card.

Newer secured cards offer benefits, too. The Discover it® Secured card allows you to earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, you’ll earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

After eight months of using your card, Discover will automatically review your account and see if you can be transferred to an unsecured line of credit; if approved, you’ll even get your security deposit back. Using a secured card is a great way to build credit responsibly until you can qualify for a regular card.

If this approach sounds like a better option for you, check out our favorite secured credit cards.

The bottom line

The Discover it® Student Cash Back card offers plenty of value and perks, allowing students to earn cash back. That’s uncommon for a student card, making the Discover card stand out from the rest. While looking for a new credit card can be overwhelming, using our resources can help streamline the process. If you’re looking for a credit card, check out our favorite options for students.

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