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Discover it® Cash Back Review

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Discover it® Cash Back Review

The Discover it Cash Back credit card is one of several Discover Card products designed to reward consumers with cash-back, airline miles, or other rewards. The Cash Back rewards program operates on a rotating quarterly schedule in which spending at various merchants and services is rewarded with 5% Cashback Bonus points redeemable for statement or payment credits, gift cards and e-certificates, Amazon and PayPal credits, or charitable donations.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Discover it Cash Back credit card offers a quarterly rotating schedule that provides 5% reward returns for purchases made within selected categories.
  • The card features no annual or foreign transaction fees
  • Introductory offers include a 3% balance transfer fee and a 0% interest rate for 15 months.
  • Rewards spending is capped at $1,500 quarterly in the selected spending categories.

Discover it Cash Back review feature image

Does Discover it® do balance transfers?

You bet it does! And with a 15-month 0% Intro APR offer, it might seem like the ultimate debt-slaying weapon. But hold your horses!

While the initial 0% window is undeniably sweet, let’s take a closer look at the true cost of this deal and what happens when your debt journey stretches beyond 15 months.

After 15 months, the 0% APR Ends:

Imagine transferring $5,000 and paying it off within 15 months. Ah, the 0% sunshine feels good! But life rarely plays by our 15-month rules.

If you take 24 months to pay off your balance, Discover it®’s post-intro APR (17.24% – 28.24%) kicks in, potentially burning a hole in your wallet with $634.79 in interest.

Not the sunshine you were hoping for, right?

Discover it®’s 0% offer is a powerful tool, but don’t let it be your only option. If you need a longer repayment period than 15 months,  a debt consolidation loan from one of the following top-rated lenders may be a smart path to take.

Compare personal loans vs. Discover it® for balance transfer or credit card consolidation


  • Pre-approval won’t affect your credit score

  • Unlimited cash-back matching after the first year

  • No annual fee

  • Long, 15-month 0% intro APR

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Free identity fraud alerts are available


  • A 700+ credit score is required for approval

  • 5% rewards are limited to quarterly categories

  • 5% rewards are limited to the first $1,500 spent per quarter

Discover it® Cash Back Card Review: Features and Benefits

The Discover it Cash Back card is a frontrunner in our best gas and grocery credit cards review. The card offers a high 5% reward rate for purchases made within the company’s chosen quarterly spending categories. A 2% return rate applies to all other qualified purchases and purchases made over the quarterly $1,500 rewards spending limit.

  • APR 17.24% – 28.24%
  • 0% APR for 15 months
  • No annual fee
  • Cash-back matching after the first year
  • 5% cash-back on quarterly-featured spending categories
  • 5% cash-back rewards up to $1,500 quarterly spending maximum
  • 1% cash-back rewards on all other qualified purchases
  • Free FICO credit score access
  • Intro balance transfer fees of 3% of each transfer
  • Balance transfer fees of 5% after intro offer
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $10 or 5% cash advance fee
  • Cash advance interest rate equals 29.99%
  • Late payment fees of up to $41 after the first occurrence
  • Best for Good to Exceptional credit score above 700
  • Points rewards as Cashback Bonus®
  • Discover® Identity alerts available

Discover it® Cash Back Review: Editorial Rating

Trusted Company Reviews Rating Score for Discover it® Cash Back: 7.8
The Discover it Cash Back credit card offers robust rewards based on a quarterly spending schedule that includes several categories and merchants, including Amazon, Target, restaurants, drug stores, and more. Cardholders must log in and activate the company-chosen categories each quarter to qualify for rewards.

Besides the maximum 5% reward earnings, customers can also receive 1% cash-back for all other qualified purchases and an additional 1% on those purchases for paying the purchase balances.

The Discover it Cash Back rewards credit card makes our list of the top credit cards for gas and groceries not for specializing in savings in either category but due to the 2% rewards on all other purchases, including gas and groceries, without any effort or limits.

Rewards 5% cash-back on quarterly-selected categories up to $1,500 spending limit / 1% on all other qualified purchases
Sign-On Bonus  Unlimited cash-back matching after the first year
Intro Offer 3% introductory balance transfer fee
Rewards Redemption Cashback Bonus points used for statement credit or against minimum payment, eCertificate, gift cards, Amazon or PayPal credits, or charity donation
APR 17.24% – 28.24%
Annual Fee $0
Credit Score Requirements 700+

About the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card and Rewards

The Discover it® Cash Back card features competitive interest rates of between 17.24% and 28.24%, and 29.99% on cash advances. No annual fee or foreign transaction fees apply to cardholders. Discover provides an intro offer that matches consumers’ rewards dollar-for-dollar at the end of the first year, regardless of the amount.

A balance-transfer intro offer allows a 3% transfer fee for a limited time, and customers pay a 0% APR for the first 15 months after card approval. The Discover it Cash Back credit card approval odds are best for those with a credit score above 700.

How to Use Discover it® Cash Back

Effectively using the Discover it Cash Back card requires some proactive planning. Each quarter, cardholders must log in at and activate their rewards in the spending categories chosen by the company.

Earning Discover it® Cash Back Rewards

Users must activate their reward categories each quarter to achieve the best rewards from the Discover it Cash Back credit card. The company chooses the reward categories each quarter and places a quarterly $1,500 reward spending limit.

To earn the 5% rewards, simply use your Cash Back card at the selected vendors or in the selected categories during the active period.

After reaching the $1,500 cap, and for all other qualified purchases, customers can still earn up to 2% rewards on purchases in the selected categories—1% at the time of sale and 1% when paying for the purchases.

Redeeming Discover it® Cash Back Rewards

After earning rewards, customers can redeem their Cashback Bonus® points in a number of ways on the company’s website. Points are usable in exchange for a statement credit or against the minimum monthly payment, an e-certificate or gift card from select merchants, PayPal or Amazon credits, or as a charitable donation.

Cashback Bonus® Rewards Schedule

Discover’s Cashback Bonus rewards schedule rotates quarterly, and upcoming rewards spending categories are chosen before the upcoming quarter starts. The quarterly calendar includes seasons that run from October to December, January to March, April to June, and July to September.

About Discover it® Cash Back Pre-Approval

Discover makes it easy to confidently apply for its Cash Back rewards card by offering a pre-approval form on its website that won’t affect your credit score to check your approval odds.

While qualifying for pre-approval doesn’t guarantee final card approval, the process does allow consumers to see what interest rate they may receive if approved and their potential odds for final acceptance.

To become pre-qualified, use the form on the company’s website to input personal and financial information. Discover will perform a soft credit inquiry to determine your approval odds. The soft inquiry won’t affect your credit score and won’t appear on future inquiries.

Expert Discover it® Cash Back Review

Experts tout the Discover it Cash Back card’s high return rate, $0 annual fee, and generous introductory offers as stand-out features. Reviews range from 3.7 to 5 of 5 stars across numerous ratings platforms, with an average rating of 4.4 stars.

Complaints from experts stem from the requirement that consumers must activate their rewards each quarter to maximize the cash-back potential.

However, receiving up to 2% rewards on all other qualified purchases makes the card one of the best for gas and groceries, and other everyday spending.

Discover it® Cash Back Reviews From Consumers

Discover it Cash Back reviews from consumers are mixed. Many customer reviews cite better-than-average credit company experiences, including card approvals for consumers with less than the encouraged 700 credit score minimum. Customers are also generally happy with the credit limits awarded, with some receiving limits between $8,000 and $11,000 after applying.

However, some complaints exist from customers that describe customer service shortcomings when handling fraud reports and requests from the company for further financial documentation after approval.

Why Discover it® Cash Back Stands Out

The Discover it Cash Back credit card stands out from the crowd by offering a high return rate for select purchases on a rotating basis and a solid return rate for all other qualified purchases at any time. The card offers these high return values without charging an annual or foreign transaction fee.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Vs. Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it Cash Back rewards credit card, and the Chase Freedom Unlimited rewards card offer high rewards returns for consumers. However, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card may hold an advantage for some customers due to ease of use.

Where the Discover it Cash Back card requires customers to activate their rewards programs each quarter for the best returns on their purchases, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has no such requirement.

While the rewards benefits of each card are comparable for most purchases, the Chase card offers slightly less for everyday purchases outside of gas and groceries for the first 12 months or $12,000 spent in the first year but more on dining, travel, and drugstore purchases.

The Chase card also features a higher lowest interest rate than the Discover it card, possibly making it less attractive for applicants with exceptional credit.

Discover it® Cash Back Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Rewards 5% cash-back on quarterly-selected categories up to $1,500 spending limit / 1% on all other qualified purchases 1.5% on everyday spending, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, 5% on travel spending
Intro Offer Unlimited cash-back matching after the first year / 3% introductory balance transfer fee $200 cash-back / 0% APR for 15 months / 5% on gas, groceries, and travel for 12 months
APR 17.24% – 28.24% 20.49% – 29.24%
Annual Fee 0% 0%


Frequently Asked Questions

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About Author

Dr. Ali
Deane Biermeier is a prominent figure in all things finance and home improvement, renowned for his detailed written content, analyses, and expert advice. Over the past several years, he's contributed to industry-leading publications such as Forbes Home, Angi/HomeAdvisor, US News and World Report, Newsweek Vault, and Family Handyman. Deane's expertise is further established and recognized through his review board roles and by providing expert insights at The Spruce and Family Handyman. His recent affiliation with in 2023 further solidifies his position as a respected authority in his field. Key Highlights Extensive Publication Contributions: Deane's work is featured across multiple esteemed platforms, including Forbes Home, Angi/HomeAdvisor, US News, Newsweek Vault, and more. Expert Consulting and Insight: Offers specialized content reviews and consultations for The Spruce and Family Handyman, using his vast knowledge and experience. What Makes Deane Biermeier Stand Out? Deane's writing goes beyond providing lists of information. He strives to make complex topics understandable and breaks them down into easy-to-understand points so his readers can make confident decisions quickly. His content covers a wide array of topics, offering practical and valuable information on home-related, DIY, and home and personal finances. Philosophy and Approach Deane firmly believes in the power of informed decision-making and empowers his readers to do the same. His reviews focus on delivering essential and pertinent information with honesty and transparency without bias. He stresses the importance of understanding the full picture before committing to financial products or home improvement services and provides relevant information to ensure his readers can make confident decisions. Impact and Recognition Readers and industry leaders have widely acknowledged Deane's contributions. Delivering trustworthy information has made him a go-to source for those seeking practical advice on home improvement and financial decisions. With years of field experience complemented by thorough research, Deane continues to serve as a valuable resource for homeowners and consumers alike. Engage with Deane Biermeier Readers are encouraged to follow Deane for the latest reviews and updates. His author bio page, featuring his latest content, is filled with valuable insights and information to refer to when making product and provider choices. Sharing his profile and work on social media is a great way to empower others with useful and factual information.
Dr. Ali

Deane Biermeier

Last Updated: March 29, 2024