Discover it 5% Cash Back Card

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at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 14 monthsregular APR10.99 - 22.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 14 months 3% BT fee
rewards 1 or 5% 
  • earn 5% on quarterly changing category up to $1,000 quarterly maximum in purchases
  • 1% on all other purchases

 

no annual fee

5% cash back on selected quarterly category

high limits

Editors Review

5% cash back on changing categories version of popular Discover it card.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Main advantage of the card is that Discover is more loyal to people with average and sometimes even bad credit history. People with not so good credit score sometimes get a very high credit limit at Discover even though they couldn't get a card from other banks. 
  • 5% cash back on categories changing every quarter.  
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Redeem rewards of any amount any time for cash or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. Do not get overexcited – there is a 3% balance transfer fee.
  • Low regular APR starting from 10.99% up to 22.99%
  • No penalty APR
  • First late payment doesn’t trigger a fee
  • Free FICO score online and in your statements

Cons

  • There is no foreign transaction fee but the card is not very useful overseas – Discover network is not widely accepted anywhere except the U.S. and it is a major drawback of the card.
  • Another drawback is that you need to activate your high cash back category every quarter; some people forget it and lose the advantage of 5% rewards.

Rewards calendar

Here’s the calendar for 2014-2015:

  • Oct – Dec 2014 Online shopping and department stores holiday shopping
  • Jan- Mar – gas and ground transportation
  • Apr-Jun – Food and Entertainment
  • Jul-Sept – preparing to Fall
  • Oct-Dec 2015- Holiday shopping

Verdict

A decent credit card with 5% cash back on revolving categories – there is nothing so special in it, because other issuers offer very close rewards rates. For example, Chase Freedom or Citi Dividend Card.

The main advantage of the card is Discover loyal attitude to applicants with not so good credit, and usually high credit limits approved.

Major disadvantage of the card are the Discover coverage: it is not accepted widely outside the U.S. and sometimes even in the U.S. you can find a vendor that is not accepting Discover cards.

There is another Discover it card with 2% cash back on gas and restaurants if you prefer those types of rewards.

Last updated: 03/04/2016


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