|Highlights||Credit Card Feature|
|Things We Like||$20 cash back each year you get good grades|
|Our Least Favorite||No 0% intro APR for balance transfers|
|Our Verdict||Great card for 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter|
Discover it® for Students is one of the most popular student credit cards as it lets you earn 5% cash rebates on changing categories of purchases (up to the quarterly maximum). You will earn 1% cash back on all your other purchases. Unlike a debit card, the Discover it® for Students will help you build a credit history while you are in college; if you make purchases with it and pay your bills on time, you would build a good credit score over time, which is essential when you apply for loans or get a job in the future. In this detailed review of the Discover it® for Students, one of the best credit cards for students in the US, we'll tell you what we like and dislike about this card.
Things We Like About Discover it® for Students
No annual fee for you or for any additional cardholders. No reward redemption fee either.
Get rewarded for your good grades. Earn $20 cash back each year your GPA is 3.0 or higher. To earn this cash back, you must indicate your current enrollment in college on your credit card application. You can earn this $20 cash back every year for up to the next 5 years as long as you're enrolled in school.
Earn 5% cash back for purchases you make (up to the quarterly maximum of $1,500) in categories that change throughout the year, such as gas, restaurants, Amazon.com and more. This is one of the best benefits of Discover it® for Students. Keep in mind that you must enroll (it's free and easy) for the 5% program each quarter! If you spend above the quarterly maximum ($1,500), the excess will automatically earn up to 1% cash back.
Here is the cashback calendar for 2016
January-March: Gas stations & Ground Transportation.
April-June: Restaurants & Movies.
July-September: Home Improvement Stores & Amazon.com.
October-December: Amazon.com, Department Stores, and Sam's Club.
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all eligible purchases every year. You will get 1% cash back for every purchase you make.
Cashback Match is an awesome benefit that will match all of the cash back rewards you've earned at the end of the first year. This is done automatically and is only for new cardmembers. Discover states that this promotional offer may not offered in the future, so if you want to take advantage of the Cashback Match, apply for Discover it® for Students while this offer is still available!
Redeem your Cashback Bonus for merchandise, gift cards, e-certificates or cold hard cash. If you prefer cash, you can redeem for cash that will be credited to your account with your Cashback Bonus balance as an electronic deposit or statement credit, and you can redeem any amount at any time you like.
Rebates don't expire and there is no limit as to how much you can earn with them. However if your account is closed for any reason or inactive for 18 consecutive months, your rebates will be forfeited.
Freeze It® on/off switch. You can now freeze and unfreeze your account in seconds to prevent new purchases, cash advances and balance transfers. It only takes a few seconds and you can do it online or through Discover's mobile app.
Talk to a real U.S. based customer service representative when you call their hotline. This is probably the reason why Discover consistently ranks high for their customer service.
Free FICO® credit score online and on your monthly statements. Track your recent FICO® credit score for free in one chart on your monthly statements or online. This is a great way to stay on top of your credit.
Choose from different card designs. With many designs to choose from, there's probably one that fits your style.
Receive account alerts if unusual activity takes place in your account. You will be alerted by phone, text or email if unusual activity takes place. Your account is monitored every day and each time you make a purchase, and you won't be responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card.
Free text alerts when your payment is due will help avoid making late payments on your card. And the free mobile app will make it easier for you to check your account on the go.
No foreign transaction fee. You won't have to pay any foreign transaction fee when using this card.
No late fee charges on your first late payment. After that, up to $35. Paying late won't increase your APR and there are no overlimit fees.
0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 6 months. After that, the standard variable purchase APR will be 13.24% - 22.24% variable purchase APR, based on your creditworthiness.
Click "Apply Now" to see rewards, rates, FICO® Credit Score terms & other information.
Our Least Favorite Things About Discover it® for Students
No 0% intro APR for balance transfers. But there is still an intro offer: 10.99% intro APR for balance transfers for the first 6 months. After this introductory period to pay off balances transferred to this card, you'll have a 13.24% - 22.24% variable purchase APR on balance transfers based on your creditworthiness.
How Other Cards Compare With Discover it® for Students
Discover it® chrome for Students is another Discover cash back credit card for students which lets you earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter with no sign-ups needed. You earn 1% cash back on all your other purchases. That makes this a better choice if you do a lot of driving and eating out, as you will earn a decent rate of cashback in those categories year-round. The rest of the benefits are very similar to what you get with Discover it® for Students. Discover automatically matches all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (welcome offer for new cardmembers only), and you can get a rewarded for good grades ($20 cash back each school year in which your GPA is 3.0 or higher, for up to the next 5 years). The 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months (13.24% - 22.24% variable purchase APR after) and no annual fee is also very similar. The main difference between Discover it® chrome for Students and Discover it® for Students is the way you earn cash back.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students, a partner card, is a student credit card that stands apart from Discover it® for Students because you earn rewards points instead of cash back. This card has no annual fee, just like Discover it® for Students, but it does have a foreign transaction fee (the Discover card does not) and it also has a penalty fee and APR (Discover it® for Students has no late fee charges on your first late payment and paying late won't increase your APR. But Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students has a lot of travel and shopping benefits which you don't get with the Discover card. If you are more interested in things like price protection and travel insurance than you are in cash back, then this card could work well for you. Instead of cash back you earn 2X ThankYou® Points on entertainment and dining out, and 1X ThankYou® Points on other purchases. You can redeem these points in many different ways.
Discover it® for Students is, in our opinion, the most powerful cash back credit card for students that you can get.
Discover it® for Students is a good choice of credit card if you want to earn cash back rewards and track recent FICO® credit scores for free online and on monthly statements. As long as you pay in full every month on time, you won't incur any interest charges. This card has a promotion for new sign-ups: Discover will match all the cash back which you've earned at the end of your first year and apply them to your account in the following one or two billing periods.
One of the best features this card is the fact that if you are a good student, you can be rewarded with $20 cash back each year (up to the next 5 years) in which your GPA is 3.0 (or higher). You also get 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, so if you plan to buy something and then pay it off within the first 6 months, you can do so interest-free.
If you are financially responsible enough to pay off your balances in full each month, and would like to take advantage of your college years to start building your credit history, then you should apply for Discover it® for Students.
Katrina Gutierrez is a writer at GET.com. Email: email@example.com.Editorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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