What one credit card do you know the LEAST about? If there’s one credit card I don’t know much about, it’s the Discover It Credit Card. And yet, quite often friends and family members ask me about it. Just last week, my cousin received an email with an advertisement encouraging her to apply for a Discover It Credit Card. She’s smart, so she did what smart cousins do… she asked me what I thought :) My cover as a know-it-all regarding credit cards was blown. I told her to stay tuned and I’d check into the Discover It Credit Card and let her know my thoughts.
Then I did what smart bloggers do – and reached out to the source I knew who had written a ton about the Discover It Credit Card. In fact, from way back in 2015, I had it on my to-do list to reach out to him and ask him about the Discover It Credit Card. It was time to bring that to-do item to the top of the list – so I sat down with Harlan at Out and Out and talked all things Discover. And now I can give my cousin, and all of you, the best information and advice possible.
First off, Discover has two cash back credit cards to choose from and most importantly, it’s a lucrative card – especially in the first year.
Discover It Credit Card (Harlan’s referral link)
The Discover It Credit Card gives you 1% cash back, no annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees. It also has quarterly bonus rotating categories where you’ll get 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spend in those categories. And because Discover matches what you’ve spent in the first year, it effectively becomes a 2% and 10% cash back credit card for that first year. Harlan said the bonus categories are great and he never has trouble spending $1,500 in the bonus category every quarter. Here’s one important tip on this card. You MUST register your credit card each quarter before you start shopping to earn the 5% bonus. Activation is easy, so do it BEFORE you start your quarterly shopping.
Discover It Miles Credit Card (Harlan’s referral link)
The Discover It Miles Credit Card gives you an unlimited 1.5 “miles” for every dollar spent. It has no quarterly bonus categories, no annual fee, no foreign transactions fees, and no blackout dates for using those miles. You can use your miles as statement credits or have the money put into your bank account. You also get $30 in in-flight WiFi credit each year. The best feature is that at the end of the first year, Discover matches all the miles you’ve earned. So effectively your 1.5x miles becomes 3x miles in the first year – or 3% cash back on every purchase.
Here are some more things I want to point out about these cards.
- All this information about the Discover credit cards might sound familiar to you if you’re a Chase customer and have the Chase Freedom Credit Card that has rotating bonus categories. It’s Harlan’s thinking that the Discover It Credit Card and Discover It Miles Credit Cards are modeled after the Chase Freedom Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card.
- You’re allowed to have two Discover credit cards at once. That’s good to know if you want to maximize the potential of both Discover credit cards. If you do use the Chase Freedom quarterly bonuses and max those out, then your Discover It Credit Card can be next in line for category bonuses. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind keeping track of quarterly bonus categories and will max them out, the Discover It Credit Card is the better choice of the two. You can always look at the previous, current and future bonus categories and see if they interest you.
- Many people say Discover credit cards are not accepted in lots of places. I asked Harlan about this. He didn’t think that was a big issue because it is taken in more places than people realize and it is accepted online, where, after all, many people are doing their shopping these days. And interestingly enough, Discover credit cards are widely accepted in Japan and China.
- After finally understanding, thanks to Harlan, how the Discover It Credit Card works and how to unlock its potential in cash back, I’m definitely going to apply for the credit card and recommend my cousin pick one up as well. Since I’ve been on a kick not to leave any miles/points or money on the table, this credit card is perfect and I’m sorry I didn’t get one sooner. Better late to the party than never!
- If you use Harlan’s referral link for Discover credit cards, you’ll receive a $50 bonus after your first purchase. That makes the first year’s cash back benefits even better! I’m using Harlan’s link when I apply and I’m hoping you will, too. I can’t thank Harlan enough for taking the time with my Discover tutorial!
Do you already have the Discover It Credit Card? Any questions, let me know!