Best Discover credit cards of 2022

The best Discover credit cards have some features and rewards that may surprise you, including a dollar-for-dollar match on all cash back earned at the end of your first year and lucrative rewards. Known for its outstanding customer service and creating America’s first cashback rewards program, Discover has a card for everyone.

Discover credit cards are a great way to earn rewards and finance new purchases. Since its inception in 1986, Discover has become one of the most recognized card issuers in the US.

In comparison to Discover’s largest credit card competitors, its strengths include cash rewards, and strong customer service. Discover’s credit card business hones in on its reward programs and merchant acceptance to stay competitive.

If you’re looking for a lengthy 0% APR intro period or worthwhile cash back rewards, it might be worth considering a Discover credit card. 

Check out the best Discover credit card offers below:

Intro BonusIntro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

APR11.99% – 22.99% Variable

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good

Reward Rates

  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APR0% for 6 months

Who should get it: If you’re looking to refine your finances and get a card with intro APR on transferred balances for 18 months, the Discover it Balance Transfer card could help you pay down a balance.

How to use it: Transfer your highest APR balances first to stop accruing interest charges and pay down your balance as much as possible during the card’s 18-month intro period. Once you have paid off your transferred balance, you can enjoy 5% cashback (up to a quarterly maximum of each time you activate) on a selection of purchases that changes quarterly. All other purchases qualify for 1% unlimited cashback.

Bonus categories include groceries, gym memberships, Amazon purchases and restaurants, among others. Keep in mind cardholders need to activate the 5% cash back categories each quarter.

Why you’ll love it: Who doesn’t appreciate 18 months of no interest for balance transfers? The Discover it Balance Transfer card offers a temporary solution to accumulating credit card debt, in addition to a substantial rewards program.

Things to consider:

  • 3% intro balance transfer fee 
  • Up to 5% fee on future balance transfers
  • Caps on rotating bonus rewards per quarter

Pro tip: The Discover it Balance Transfer card matches all the cashback you earn at the end of your first year, plus a 1% rate on everything else.

Intro BonusIntro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

APR11.99% – 22.99% Variable

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good

Reward Rates

  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APR0% for 15 months

Who should get it: The Discover it Cash Back is ideal for cardholders looking for an easy-to-earn welcome bonus with no minimum spending requirement and the ability to earn cashback from rotating bonus categories.

How to use it: With the Discover it Cash Back, you can earn up to 5% cashback each quarter at various places, including grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.

Why you’ll love it: The Discover it Cash Back will automatically give a dollar-for-dollar match on all cashback rewards at the end of your first year, and there’s no spending requirement. If you’re looking for a straightforward return on your spending, the Discover it Cash Back card could be a perfect match.

Things to consider:

  • Limit on how much you can earn
  • Rotating bonus categories require activation
  • Discover isn’t as widely accepted as cards in the Visa or Mastercard network

Pro tip: With Discover it Cash Back, your cashback never expires. Redeem your rewards in any amount at any time.

Intro BonusIntro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

APR12.99% – 21.99% Variable

Recommended Credit Fair/New to Credit

Reward Rates

  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APR0% for 6 months

Who should get it: The Discover it Student Cash Back credit card provides cashback rewards to students who spend in common categories like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. If you’re a student, you can use this credit card to make the most of your purchases in rotating categories and earn up to 5% cashback and 1% on all other purchases.

How to use it: With the Discover it Student Cash Back, take advantage of the cashback at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Discover’s spending tool lets you see where your money is going and improve your spending habits. Earn 5% cashback in quarterly rotating categories after activation, up to the quarterly maximum, and 1% cashback on everything else — automatically.

Why you’ll love it: After using the Discover it® Student Cash Back credit card for a year, cardholders get dollar-for-dollar matching on all cash back earned at the end of the first year.

Things to consider:

  • Activation required each quarter to earn bonus rewards
  • Lacks additional features like an extended warranty or purchase protection features
  • Spending may not align with quarterly categories

Pro tip: Discover it Student Cash Back will put an extra $20 in your account every year if your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to five years.

Intro BonusUnlimited Bonus: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.

APR11.99% – 22.99% Variable

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good

Reward Rates

  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases – with no annual fee.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR for 15 months

Who should get it: The Discover it Miles credit card is for users who don’t want to be held back by limited redemption options, fees or blackout dates. With an end of first-year unlimited mile match and solid rewards rate, this card offers both short-term and long-term value.

How to use it: At the end of your first year, Discover will match all the miles you’ve earned automatically. For example, 35,000 miles turns into 70,000 miles. The more you earn, the more Discover will match it.

Why you’ll love it: You can redeem miles for cash, travel or statement credit with the Discover it Miles card. With a flat rewards rate great for everyday purchases alongside trip expenses, this card provides value beyond a typical travel rewards card.

Things to consider:

  • Discover isn’t used as widely as Visa or Mastercard
  • Users have to wait an entire year for bonus miles
  • Other cards offer a higher rewards rate

Pro tip: Discover doesn’t have any specific travel partners, meaning no blackout dates and the ability to earn credits from any airline, hotel or rental car agency.

Intro BonusIntro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

APR12.99% – 21.99% Variable

Recommended Credit Fair/New to Credit

Reward Rates

  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
  • Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APR0% for 6 months

Who should get it: The Discover it Student chrome may be a good fit if you’re a student who’s looking for more control over the rewards you earn. This card can help you keep track of your credit score and better understand your spending habits.

How to use it: Use this card to dine out with classmates or fill up your gas tank (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter). Cardholders earn 2% cashback at restaurants and gas stations, up to $1,000 in transactions each quarter. All other purchases earn unlimited 1% cashback.

Why you’ll love it: After the end of the first year of using the Discover it Student chrome, cardholders get all cashback matched, with no limit to how much you earn. Students can earn a $20 statement credit every year for up to five years after using the card when they have a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Things to consider:

  • High APR after the intro period
  • High APR for balance transfers
  • No fee if your payment is late the first time, up to $40 fee after that

Pro tip: No FICO history is required to apply to the Discover it Student chrome, making it a perfect option for students wanting to build their credit.

Intro BonusIntro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

APR22.99% Variable

Recommended Credit New/Rebuilding Credit

Reward Rates

  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Who should get it: The Discover it Secured is great for people who want the best of both worlds — to build their credit and earn rewards. Unlike a prepaid or debit card, this is a real credit card that lets you build your credit history with the three major credit bureaus.

How to use it: Discover it Secured card offers the same reward features like the Discover it chrome card, but you have to put down a security deposit as collateral for the credit card account.

The minimum cardholders can deposit is $200, up to $2,500. The deposit is refundable, following six consecutive on-time payments, and provided the account was in good standing for six months prior to review.

Why you’ll love it: The Discover it Secured card puts money back in your pocket while you’re trying to build your credit. This card offers a lot — a refundable deposit and late fee forgiveness on your first late payment and impressive cashback rewards in popular spending categories.

Things to consider:

  • Security deposit required
  • Low $2,500 maximum credit limit
  • Cashback rewards are capped each quarter

Pro tip: Starting at eight months after the account opening, Discover reviews the account to determine if the security deposit can be refunded to the customer, and they graduate to an unsecured line of credit.

Compare the best Discover credit card 2022

Card

Rewards Rate

Welcome Bonus

Best for balance transfers: Discover it Balance Transfer

Earn 5% cashback at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases

Discover will match the cashback you’ve earned at the end of your first year

Best for everyday spending: Discover it Cash Back

5% cashback at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% on everything else

Dollar-for-dollar match at the end of the first year

Best for college students: Discover it Student Cash Back

Earn 5% cashback at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases

Discover will match the cashback you’ve earned at the end of your first years

Best for travel: Discover it Miles

Earn unlimited 1.5x miles for every dollar spent on all purchases – from airfare and hotels to groceries and online shopping

Discover will match the cashback you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Best for student rewards: Discover it Student Chrome

Earn 2% cashback at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.

Discover will automatically match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year.

Best for building credit: Discover it Secured

Earn 2% cashback at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.

Discover will match the cashback you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Best for gas and dining: Discover it chrome

Earn 2% cashback at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.

Discover will match the cashback you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Are Discover credit cards good?

Discover credit cards can be considered a good option based on the promotions available for new applicants. Discover will match the cashback that new applicants earn at the end of their first year of card membership.

It is worth noting that Discover credit cards are not as widely accepted as some of their leading competitors, however. Similar to American Express, Discover cards run on their own payment processing network, different from Visa and Mastercard, accepted by most vendors.

Does Discover offer 5% cashback?

Discover’s 5% Cashback Bonus program offers allow you to earn a 5% cashback bonus at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases. 

You must activate your bonus cash back each quarter by enrolling online, through the mobile app or by calling 1-800-347-3085. You’ll have access to detailed information about eligible purchases and cashback limits when you activate.

What credit score do I need for a Discover credit card?

You need a 700+ credit score to get most Discover credit cards, but there’s no minimum credit score needed for the Discover it® Secured card or the Discover it Student Cash Back and Discover it Student chrome credit cards. 

You can qualify for the Discover it Secured Card with a credit score below 640. And college students don’t need a credit score, or credit experience, to get one of Discover’s two student credit cards, Discover it Chrome for Students and Discover it Student Cash Back. 

However, you do need good or excellent credit for all the other offers, including Discover it Miles and Discover it Cash Back, two of the most popular options.

How is Discover cashback calculated?

Discover calculates your cashback at the end of billing periods. This calculation involves multiplying your Program Purchases by 5% (.05). 

These rewards will add to your Cashback Bonus account within two billing periods.

How do I redeem my Discover cashback?

Just follow these steps to redeem a Cashback Bonus:

  1. Log in to your Account Center
  2. Select the Rewards option in the navigation bar and then select “See All” from the drop-down menu.
  3. After you choose “See All,” you will see the redemption page, which will tell you how much Cashback Bonus you are eligible to redeem.
  4. Redemption options include:
  5. Gift cards with $5 free on each card
  6. Donating to charity
  7. Depositing into your bank account or applying amounts to a Discover bill
  8. Once you decide what to redeem your Cashback Bonus for, choose an option and place it on your order.
  9. Once you have chosen your options, view your order, confirm, and submit it.

[This article was first published on The Simple Dollar in 2020. It was updated in March 2022.]

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