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Review: Discover it® – Double Cash Back Your First Year

There’s a lot to like about the Discover it® – Double Cash Back your first year – credit card: Cash back, a 0% intro APR for up to 18 months on balance transfers, free tracking of your FICO® Credit Score, and 100% U.S.-based customer service.


The Discover it® credit card is ideal for young consumers with good credit because it pays rewards on everyday spending and features low intro APRs.The Discover it® – Double Cash Back your first year — credit card combines cash back on everyday purchases, a free FICO® credit score with your monthly statement, and competitive intro and regular APRs.

Who “it” is for:

Discover it® – Double Cash Back your first year – is a multi-purpose card for consumers who want to earn cash rewards with every purchase but also may want to take advantage of a 0 percent intro APR on purchases or balance transfers.

If you’re looking for a card for shopping with great cash back rewards, the it® card:

  • Most versions pay 5 percent cash back on quarterly categories, up to the quarterly maximum, when you sign up.
  • Another version pays 2 percent cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter without having to sign up.
  • All versions pay 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
  • Double all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year automatically – only for new card members.
  • All these great rewards with no annual fee, no overlimit fee, and no foreign transaction fees. There is also no late fee on your first late payment and they will not raise your rate for paying late.

If you’re working on paying down a balance, you have two options:

(With all cards, a 3 percent balance transfer fee applies.)

Regular APRs on the Discover it® – Double Cash Back your first year –  credit card vary from 10.99 to 22.99 percent depending on creditworthiness.

Just for students

Discover has created two versions of the “it” card just for students. These cards are specifically for those who are just starting out with credit, therefore the credit requirements are lower than on your typical Discover card. But just like the non-student version it has some great cash back rewards.

  • One version pays 5 percent cash back in categories that change quarterly like gas, restaurants, Amazon.com, and more – up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up.
  • The other version pays 2 percent cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter – no sign ups needed.
  • Both versions pay 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
  • Double all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year automatically – only for new cardmembers.

Both student cards offer a new Good Grades Rewards feature. Get $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.* (See the application page for full terms).

For the student versions, interest rates range from 12.99 to 21.99 percent, depending on creditworthiness. If you are moving a balance from another card over to a new student Discover card you will receive a 10.99 percent APR for the first six months.

If you are a student and would like to get started with Discover, you have two options:

Why I like “it”:

Beyond Discover’s competitive rewards and APRs, I enjoy their refreshing approach to customer service and features.

24/7 U.S.-based customer service

Discover is the only major credit card company to offer 100 percent U.S.-based customer service anytime. No more frustrating calls with India.

Track your recent FICO® Credit Scores for free

Track your recent FICO® Credit Scores for free in one easy-to-read chart on monthly statements and online. Here’s a preview:

Discover Card FICO Credit Score Tracking

This is a helpful benefit because it puts your credit score data on something you look at every month: Your credit card statement.

I once went six months without knowing an overdue electric bill had gone to collections….two years after moving. Had I been actively tracking my credit, I would have been able to act sooner and might have saved my score from a 100-point hit. It hurts to know that a $120 bill to Western Massachusetts Electric has cost me access to better credit options. Hence, I jump at the option for free tracking when I can (also remember to pull you free report each year from all three agencies) and recommend that you do, as well.

FreezeIt fraud protection

New in April 2015, the FreezeIt feature acts like an on/off switch on your Discover card that lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances and balance transfers on misplaced cards. For example, let’s say you’re out one Friday night, pay for dinner, and walk out of the restaurant with your card still on the table. You can freeze your card until you retrieve it, then unfreeze your account when you get it back — this is handled in seconds via Discover’s website or mobile app, so there’s no need to call customer service.

With all these features combined, Discover it® – Double Cash Back your first year –  earns its place as one of our most recommended credit cards for young adults. (Keep in mind, you’ll need good credit to get approved, of course.)

Learn more

Learn more or apply for:

Each application page features more information on rewards and rates, as well as a chart that compares Discover it® – Double Cash Back your first year – to other leading cash rewards cards.

About Jamie Weliver

Jamie Weliver is a Boston-based multimedia producer and Marketing Manager for Money Under 30.