Discover it Cash Back Review

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The Discover it® Cash Back is a great $0 annual fee card that provides a quarterly rotating cashback program where you can benefit from various 5% bonus categories. You may not benefit from all the categories, but there’s a good chance at least one quarter’s categories will suit your spending. This card also has many of the perks Discover is known for, including no foreign transaction fees and no penalty APR, which add value beyond the cashback program.

Discover it® Cash Back

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Rates & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back

Annual fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Breaking down the rewards

This card offers a cashback program where you can earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter — like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs — up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. You earn 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.

The quarterly maximum is $1,500, allowing you to earn up to $75 cash back in the 5% cashback categories each quarter. Purchases exceeding $1,500 in the bonus categories earn an unlimited 1% cash back. Activation is required.

This card also comes with a new cardmember offer where Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched. So, if you earn a total of $200 cash back during your first 12 consecutive billing periods, Discover will match it and apply your cash back within the next one to two billing periods.

What are the 5% cashback categories?

  • January – March 2019 – Grocery Stores
  • April – June 2019 – Gas Stations, Uber and Lyft
  • July – September 2019 – Restaurants and PayPal
  • October – December 2019 – Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com

What can cash back be redeemed for?

  • Statement credits
  • Direct deposits
  • Gift cards starting at $20 (with at least $5 free added to each card)
  • Purchases at Amazon.com when you pay with rewards
  • Donations to charity

How do I activate the 5% cashback categories?

There is no automatic activation — you’ll have to either manually log in to your account and activate or call 1-800-DISCOVER (1-800-347-2683). And while you may worry about forgetting to activate the 5% cashback categories, Discover makes the process a bit less stressful by providing plenty of time for you to activate. You typically can activate two months before the new 5% cashback categories start. For example, if you want to utilize the 5% cashback categories for October-December, you can activate starting August 1st. Plus, you can sign up for email alerts and push notifications via the Discover app.

Does cash back expire?

No, cash back doesn’t expire. If your account is closed or if you haven’t used it within 18 months, Discover will credit your account with any cash back remaining.

What we like about this card

The chance to pay for new purchases over time or get out of debt. If you plan on making new purchases that you can’t pay by your due date, or if you have a balance on a non-Discover card, this card provides you the opportunity to avoid interest charges. There is an intro 0% for 14 months on purchases and an intro 0% for 14 months on balance transfers. After the intro periods end, a 13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR applies. Take note: there is a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*, which is typical; however, there are also cards with intro $0 balance transfer fees.

No fee on your first late payment. If you miss a payment, don’t fret about incurring a late fee —  Discover waives your first late payment fee. Use this as a reminder to set up autopay or payment reminders.

No penalty APR: If you pay late, your interest rate won’t increase, unlike other cards that may charge penalty APRs near 30%. 

No foreign transaction fee. This card doesn’t charge the typical 3% fee some other cards charge on purchases made outside the U.S.

What to watch out for

13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR. While this APR range is typical of credit cards, it’s not ideal if you’re someone who carries a balance month-to-month. You can find other low interest credit cards that provide lower APR ranges and are better suited for people who carry balances.

What other cards should I consider?

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Annual fee
$0
Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Regular Purchase APR
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent, Good

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a great flat-rate cashback card. Compared to the Discover it® Cash Back, which has quarterly rotating categories, you earn the same cashback rate on all purchases — Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. This is a straightforward way to earn cash back, and you don’t have to worry about activating bonus categories. Additional perks of this card include Citi® Private Pass®, where you can get exclusive access to various entertainment events, and Citi® Price Rewind, which conducts a 60-day search for a lower price on eligible items you register, potentially giving you the difference if a lower price is found (up to $200 back per item, and up to $1,000 per year).

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

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The information related to Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Annual fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 12 months on Purchases
Intro BT APR
0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
Regular Purchase APR
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is a good alternative to the Discover it® Cash Back if you’re looking to finance new purchases. There is an intro 0% for 12 months on Purchases, which can help you pay off purchases over time without accruing interest. After the intro period ends, a 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable) APR applies. While there are no rewards, this card has less fees than typical credit cards — there are no late fees and no penalty APR. Although this can be helpful if you forget to pay a bill, we encourage you to always make on time payments so you don’t rack up interest charges.

Bottom line

If you don’t mind activating quarterly bonus categories, the Discover it® Cash Back is a great choice for a $0 annual fee cashback card. Plus, you can benefit from the unique new cardmember intro offer in which Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.

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Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at [email protected]

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