Discover it® CashBack Match™ Credit Card Review (now with free FICO score)

(Editor Rating)



In our Discover it® CashBack Match™ card review, we look at its cash back rewards, double cash back offer, introductory 0% APR, and other features. No annual fee and free FICO score make it a top rated credit card that I’ve used for years.

FICO Score Access


Card Bonus


Cash Back Rewards


Added Perks


Annual Fee




  • Up to 5% cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Cashback Match

Editor's note - You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone, and this content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser.

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® CashBack Match™. 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® CashBack Match™ 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. These categories change each quarter. The five percent is capped at $1,500 in purchases each category. Thus, its potential value is $75 every three months.

Second, the Discover it® CashBack Match™ card pays 1% on all other purchases. Back in the day, Discover 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.

Forth, Discover will now double the cash back you’ve earned at the end of the first year. Earn $1,000 in cash back the first year, for example, and Discover will match it. We’ll come back to this featue in a minute.

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

What’s the Value of the Cash Rewards

How much you can earn depends entirely on how much you spend. To give you an idea, however, we’ve taken spending data for an average family from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Spending CategorySpending AmountCash Back %Cash Back Rewards
Other Transportation Expenses$2,884
U.S. Department Stores$1,803
Health Care$1,452
Other Expenses$2,933

So far we’ve earned $192.94 in cash back. Now we also assumed that these purchases will also earn the 5% rotating category bonus each quarter. That adds an addition 4% cash back (on top of the 1% reflected in the table), on a total of $6,000 in purchases ($1,500 each quarter). That adds another $240 in cash back, bringing our total to $432.94.

But we aren’t done. For the first year only, Discover matches our cash back. The match brings our grand total in year one to $865.88. Not bad for a no annula fee credit card.

Discover it® CashBack Match™ 0% APR Balance Transfer

With the Discover it® CashBack Match™ 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.

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.

Other Features

Beyond cash back and the no interest features of the card, Discover it® CashBack Match™ 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
  • 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

Pros and Cons


  • Up to 5% cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Cashback Match
  • Free FICO score access


  • Rotating categories


As with anything, there are always some features that could be better. In the case of Discover it® CashBack Match™, 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.


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.

Author Bio

Total Articles: 1081
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.
Article comments
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.

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.

Jason says:

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Steph says:

Hi. Thanks for the great info. What is your recommendation for the best 0% interest balance transfer card with NO 3% fee to transfer AND a cash back/rewards plan? Also, is there a card out there that will offer rewards on balance transfers and not only new purchases?
We have always paid our card off every mo. and enjoy using its yearly dividends for one of our favorite stores. Circumstances have recently mandated a large balance transfer, so we are quickly researching options.

Rob Berger says:

Steph, I don’t know of any cards that pay rewards on the balance transfer. There is, however, one card that offers a 0% balance transfer with no fee. It’s the Chase Slate card.

James floyd says:

How do I find what is covered each quarter?is it food or gas or both?