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Updated on Wednesday, September 7, 2016
There are plenty of credit cards that will reward you for spending at gas stations and restaurants, so choosing one from the bunch can present a challenge.
The Discover it® chrome has two stand out selling points. 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 (new cardmembers only), and you can redeem the cash back you earn at any amount.
In this post, we’re going to cover the details of this program, including:
- The basics of the Discover it® chrome
- How to redeem cash back
- The fine print details
- The benefits and protections
- The pros and cons
The basics of the Discover it® chrome
- 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants.
Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically. New quarters begin on Jan. 1, Apr. 1, July 1, and Oct. 1.
- 1% cash back on all other purchases. Earn 1% cash back on purchases outside of the 2% category excluding transactions like cash advances and balance transfers. Spending at gas stations and restaurants beyond the $1,000 quarterly spending limit also earn 1% cash back.
- 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.
Cash back earned by new cardholders the first year is automatically matched after 12 months. You also have the opportunity to earn cash back bonuses when you shop with select retailers online through Discover Deals.
How to redeem cash back earned
As mentioned, you won’t have to wait for your cash back balance to reach a certain threshold before you can put it to use. You can redeem cash back starting at 1 cent for:
- Statement credits
- Cash deposits into an account
- Charitable donations
- Products and services through Amazon and Discover Deals
Cash back earned never expires. If your account is closed or goes inactive for 18 months, whatever cash back you earned will be credited to your account.
If you need to make a large purchase, the cash back dollar-for-dollar match promotion could be useful.
The fine print
One piece of fine print you do want to pay close attention to is that the 2% category has some restrictions besides the $1,000 spending limit per quarter. Specifically, spending at warehouses, wholesale stores, and discount stores won’t qualify for 2% cash back. This could be a deal breaker if you usually fill up on gas at any of these stores.
Benefits and protections
FICO® Credit Score
Discover it® chrome cardmembers get a FICO® score on each credit card statement. This benefit is worth highlighting since getting a FICO® score directly from myFICO.com isn’t cheap.
You can freeze your account if your card is lost or stolen. Discover won’t authorize purchase transactions until you request to unfreeze it.
Zero Liability Protection
You won’t be held liable for unauthorized purchases on your card.
Monitor Your Social Security Number
Discover will monitor your Social Security Number and alert you if they find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of risky websites. Activate for FREE.
Pros and cons
Pro: The cash back match during the first year. The dollar-for-dollar match can be lucrative.
Con: 2% category cap. The $1,000 quarterly max for the 2% category may be limiting depending on your spending habits. You have room to spend a little over $330 per month on gas and groceries combined to stay within that cap. If you shop for groceries often or have a long commute each day, this cap may only scratch the surface of your monthly gas and food budget.
Pro: Easy redemption. The Discover it® chrome has an uncomplicated redemption program. You can turn your cash back into actual cash through statement credit and cash deposits. Or choose to redeem for products, gift cards, and charitable donations.
Who will benefit the most from the Discover it® chrome?
The Discover it® chrome could be a good choice for someone who wants a simple cash back program. There are no revolving categories to manage and you can use cash back earned at any amount.
But, for a bigger spender, this card may not be the best deal because of the $1,000 quarterly spending limit in the 2% category. Instead, you may get better overall value from a card that gives more than 1% cash back on spending with no limits like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. With the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, you can Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Review your spending habits before choosing the Discover it® chrome to make sure spending within the category cap is realistic for your family.
The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.