Discover it Credit Card Review (now with free FICO score)

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Review of: Discover IT™
Discover IT™

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On November 18, 2013
Last modified:May 1, 2014

Summary:

With 5% cash back on rotating categories of purchases, 1% cash back on everything else, an excellent 0% offer, and no annual fees, the Discover it is a consumer friendly credit card.

I‘ve carried the Discover card for longer than I can remember. Originally called the Discover More Card, it’s now known as the Discover it®. It’s one of my favorite cash back credit cards.

Historically, Discover is known for two things: (1) excellent cash back rewards, and (2) excellent 0% APR introductory rate offers on balance transfers. And based on my review of the new card, it doesn’t disappoint in either category.

Now we can add a third feature–Discover now offers cardholders free access to their FICO credit score. This is a first, as far as I know, and I’ll cover the details below. First, let’s look at the cash back rewards.

Discover it® Cash Back Rewards

The cash back rewards are similar to Discover’s previous cards, with a couple of exceptions.

First, the familiar 5% cash back on categories of purchases that change throughout the year is a feature of the card. We track these rotating categories for all credit cards that offer five percent cash back, which you can find on our 5% rotating categories cash back page.

Discover it Card 5% Cash Rewards

Second, and this is a big change, the Discover it® pays 1% on all other purchases. If you’ve seen the Chase commercials comparing the Discover Card to the Chase Freedom card, you know that Discover at one time paid just 0.25% until you spent $3,000 on the card. That limitation is now gone. You earn 1% on all purchases right from the start.

Third, Discover has added a “Cashback Concierge” service. You can now get on the phone with a Discover representative, and they will look at your account to help you get the most out of your cash back rewards.

Finally, you have many options on how to redeem your cash back rewards. You can of course use the rewards as a statement credit (which is what I do) or get direct deposit of the cash back directly to your bank account. But Discover offers other options as well.

You can, for example, use your rewards to get gift cards or merchandise. With gift cards, you can redeem your rewards for a gift card with a value exceeding the amount of your rewards. For example, $20 in cash back might get you a $25 gift card. Or you can buy merchandise with free shipping.

Discover it Cash Back Options

Discover it® 0% APR Balance Transfer

The length of time a 0% offer lasts varies from card to card and over time. Since I’ve been blogging, the standard length of a 0% offer has varied from as little as 6 months to as much as 24 months. Today, the absolute longest 0% offer you can find is 18 months.

With the Discover it® card, you can choose between two versions of the card. One version offers 0% for 6 months on purchases and 0% for 18 Months on balance transfers. The second version offers 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 14 Months. The choice is an easy one depending on whether you plan to take advantage of the balance transfer or prefer to use the 0% on purchases. If you use the balance transfer feature, there is a 3% balance transfer fee. There is no fee for taking advantage of the 0% APR on purchases.

After the 0% offer expires, the standard interest rate will be 10.99% – 22.99%* Variable purchase APR, depending on your credit.

Discover it® Free FICO Score Offer

Discover Card FICO ScoreDiscover is the first major credit card issuer to offer free access to FICO scores. Each month cardholders will see their FICO score on their monthly credit card statement. The score will be based on data from TransUnion.

Discover it® Other Features

Beyond cash back and the no interest features of the card, Discover it also offers some lessor known features. Particularly in the area of fees, the card really shines.

  • No annual fee
  • No late fee for your first late payment
  • No overlimit fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 100% U.S. based customer service available any time
  • Paying late won’t increase your APR
  • Pay for millions of items with your rewards at Amazon.com
  • Pay your bill ’til midnight (ET) the day it’s due by phone or online
  • Choose your payment due date online or by phone
  • Lower rate, lower payment or other help after job loss
  • Automatic expedited delivery of your new card

It’s perhaps for the above reasons that Discover has been ranked #1 in customer loyalty for 16 years, according to the 2012 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index Report.

Discover Spend Analyzer

The Discover website offers what it calls the Spend Analyzer. This feature looks at the charges to your card over the past one, three, six, 12 or 24 months and analyzes your spending by category. With a click of the mouse, you can drill down into any spending category to understand exactly where your money is going.

Discover Spend Analyzer

Disadvantages

As with anything, there are always some features that could be better. In the case of Discover it, there’s not much room for improvement. Discover could offer a bonus cash reward for new cardmembers. But beyond that, the card is competitive in every respect.

Summary

All-in-all the Discover it card is an excellent option. I’ve carried a Discover card for a long time and have been very happy with it. The website is extremely easy to use, redeeming cash back rewards is a snap, and Discover gives you a ton of options when it comes to paying your bill.

There are currently two versions of the card to consider, the differences being the 0% APR offer:

Discover it®
Discover it®
Apply Now...
at Discover's
secure site
  • 0% intro APR on purchases & balance transfers for 14 months--then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars by over 4,000 cardmembers.*
  • No annual fee, no late fee for your first late payment - APR won’t go up for us paying late, no overlimit fee and no foreign transaction fee.*
  • Free FICO® Credit Score online and on monthly statements.*
  • 5% cash back at gas stations on up to $1,500 in purchases from July through September 2014 when you sign up*. 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.*
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized Discover card purchases.
  • U.S.- based customer service--anytime, day and night.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms and other info by clicking “Apply.”
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee
Intro APR Intro APR Period Intro APR Intro APR Period
0% 14 Months 0% 14 Months 10.99% – 22.99%* Variable $0
711 Average credit score approved for this card† 676 Lowest credit score approved for this card†

Discover it®
Discover it®
Apply Now...
at Discover's
secure site
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months--then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%.
  • Rated 4.8 out of 5 Stars by over 4,000 cardmembers.*
  • No annual fee, no late fee for your first late payment - APR won't go up for us paying late, no overlimit fee and no foreign transaction fee.*
  • Free FICO® Credit Score online and on monthly statements.*
  • 5% cash back at gas stations on up to $1,500 in purchases from July through September 2014 when you sign up*. 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.*
  • 100% U.S.- based customer service--anytime, day and night.
  • See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms and other info by clicking "Apply."
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee
Intro APR Intro APR Period Intro APR Intro APR Period
0% 6 Months 0% 18 Months 10.99% – 22.99%* Variable $0
731 Average credit score approved for this card† 687 Lowest credit score approved for this card†

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the “Apply Now” button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer’s website.

Discover is a paid advertiser of this site.

† Credit Karma members have received approvals with these TransUnion New Account credit scores. These approval metrics are only guidelines and approval is not guaranteed.

Published or Updated: May 1, 2014
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. Russ says:

    Is this only for new cardholders, or do current cardholders start earning 1% on everything. The current $3000 requirement is the reason I have not used this card in a long time.

    • Rob Berger says:

      Russ, great question. I have the Discover More Card, too, and expect that Discover will be replacing it with the new card. But Discover hasn’t notified me of that yet.

      • Mike says:

        You have to call and ask them to convert your current Discover card to the new Discover it card. I just did it the other day took very little time.

      • You can upgrade to the IT card from MORE anytime, just call them. You can also do this by online chat.

        It doesn’t count as a hard pull either, so there is no reason not to.

  2. Jacob says:

    This card. Dose not excite me at all. I have a 2% cash back card I have used for years that’s way better than anything this card offers. The rotating category’s are a pain to remember and often irrelivent like at movies. Although the 5% online was very nice.

    Not to mention discover has to be the least excepted out of the major 4

    • Rob Berger says:

      Jacob, I think you make some good points. Curious what card you use. I too have a 2% card, but it’s only 2% if I use the rewards for travel.

    • jim says:

      What 2% card do you have? The only one I know of is the Fidelity card.

      According to Nilson report the Discover card is accepted at as many locations as Visa / Mastercard. In my experience its Amex that is often not accepted by merchants. Discover is the least used card though.

  3. Jason says:

    You can also use the Cash Back rewards directly at Amazon which is pretty nice.

  4. Caroline says:

    I have a Spark Business card that pays 2% cash back with no annual fee.

    • Rob Berger says:

      I have the same card, and it’s great. But be careful. It’s only 2% cash back if you use the cash back for travel. Otherwise, it’s 1%.

      • Caroline says:

        Hi Rob, I believe there are two different cards, Spark Cash and Spark Miles.

        Thanks for the info on Discover It, I just called Discover and converted my More Card to It. I asked them if the cards will be converted automatically for present cardholders and they said no, you have to call and request it. I asked if we will lose any benefits like Purchase Protection if we switch and they said no. So I could not think of a reason not to do it.

        • Rob Berger says:

          They are different, but even the Spark Cash only pays out 2% for travel. You get 2 points for each dollar spent, but the value of the point is $1 (making it a 2% card) only if used for travel.

          Thanks for the info on Discover. I’ll give them a call to convert my More card.

  5. Caroline says:

    Ugh, sorry for the double posts.

    • Rob Berger says:

      Caroline, no worries. For some reason my site has been creating duplicate comments now and again. I removed the duplicate.

  6. jim says:

    I’ve had a Discover card for >20 years now and I’ve always been happy with them. I’m glad to see they’re removing the 0.25% and 0.5% rates and going to minimum 1%. If I recall they started out with flat 1% rate. With the 0.25-0.5% rates my Discover didn’t get much use except their 5% promo deals. They had 5% off at Amazon last quarter so I used them for all my Amazon shopping for 3 months. That was simple to switch my default card and made us a few extra bucks.

  7. Jacob says:

    I have a card through a bank called Orchard who recently got bought by Capital 1 not sure how much longer it will be around.

    But The priceline card looks very similar or really better since you get more rewards on priceline.

  8. heidi says:

    Hi – I’ve had discover for quite a few years and do enjoy the cash back program. Since I pay off every month, I always ask for a check and it’s a nice amount in February for Valentine’s day. :)

    I do have about the highest % – 21% and called (mine goes through Sam’s Club so that may be the problem) and asked them to drop the exorbitant interest and I was declined. I’m thinking I will have to reapply directly through discover???? any thoughts? thanks

    • Rob Berger says:

      Heidi, if you pay the card off every month, the interest rate really doesn’t matter. That being said, applying directly with Discover may or may not change the interest rate. It’s really hard to know until you try.

  9. I absolutely love my Discover It card simply because it’s one of the only few credit card issues that offer free FICO score. The 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for up to 14 months is also great for consolidating credit card debts. It gives me more time to pay off my credit card debts without paying any interest charges.

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