Discover just announced that the Discover It Card is now included in the double cash back promotion. All cash back earned in the first 12 months of card ownership is doubled. That means 2% cash back on everyday purchases, 10% cash back on rotating categories, and up to 40% additional cash back through the Discover Deals shopping portal.
This offer is available for new customers only. New applicants who are approved for this credit card automatically receive this offer.
A Little Background
The Discover It credit card is a cash back credit card issued by Discover Financial, and is one of the best cash back credit cards available today. We have used this card for four years now and have been more than pleased.
Right now, the Discover It card is our favorite cash back credit card for 4 reasons:
- The rotating 5% cash back categories are typically solid. Each quarter, Discover announces a different 5% cash back category. You can earn 5% cash back on $1,500 in purchases for each category. Remember, this is doubled in your first year of card ownership.
- The Discover Deals Shopping Portal is fantastic. When you have the Discover It credit card, you get access to their online shopping portal which pays cash back for online purchases. When making online purchases, you can go through the Discover Deals portal and earn an additional 5-25% cash back on top of the cash back from earned using your Discover It card. Almost every major retailer is listed on Discover Deals and the cash back amount is often higher than other online portals. It’s not uncommon for big retailers to offer 10% cash back. During the current double promotion, all portal earnings are also doubled.
- When you earn cash back with the Discover It card, you can redeem for merchant gift cards at attractive rates. There are many major retailers available, and a common redemption is $20 in cash back for a $25 gift card. That’s another 20% discount.
- All Discover cardholders receive access to free FICO® credit scores on their monthly statements. This is your real FICO score updated once a month, which can be viewed online, through the mobile app, or on your printed statement. Cardholders can access two scores – one is based on your TransUnion credit report, and the other is based on Experian.
Earning Cash Back
- Double Cash Back – For a limited time, Discover is offering to double all cash back earned in your first year with the card. That means the 5% rotating categories are effectively 10% cash back, everyday purchases are now 2% cash back, and all Discover Deals portal earnings are also doubled.
- 5% Cash Back Categories – The Discover It credit card gives 5% cash back in popular categories that change every quarter. You earn the full 5% on spending up to the quarterly maximum (currently $1,500 per quarter)
- 1% Cash Back on all Other Purchases – There is no limit on the 1% earned.
- Up to 25% Cash Back Through Discover Deals – You can shop at over 200 online retailers through Discover’s online portal and earn 5% to 25% cash back any time. This includes the big retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Kohls, etc. This is one of the main reasons we own this card.
How to Maximize Cash Back
Having used this card for a while, there are a few things that I want to share:
Double Dip Through Discover Deals – Before you ever make a purchase, you should think about how to maximize your cash back. One way to is go through Discover Deals to purchase a merchant gift card, then go through the portal again to spend the gift card. Many merchants won’t report the first transaction as eligible for cash back, but some will. And it never hurts to try. If you are successful, it might look like this:
- Buy $200 of gift cards at a store offering 10% through Discover Deals – possibly earn $20 cash back from the portal
- Pay with your Discover card offering 5% cash back in that category – earn $10 cash back from the credit card
- Go back through the Discover Deals portal and buy $200 of stuff using the gift card you bought – earn $20 cash back from the portal
For this effort, you would earn 25% cash back ($50 on $200 spent), which is doubled right now. That’s 50% off of everything sold at that store.
Spending Cash Back
- Cash back – You can redeem directly for cash back on your monthly statement
- Special Cashback Redemptions – You can get another 20-25% discount when you redeem your cash back for gift certificates from participating retailers through Discover. For example, $25 Staples gift cards for just $20 (20% discount).
- Direct Amazon Purchases – You can directly purchase items from Amazon with the cash back you have earned.
Discover It Card Features
- Price Protection – Discover will refund up to a $500 difference if you find a lower price within 90 days of making a qualifying Discover it card purchase.
- Purchase Protection – All eligible purchases made with the Discover It card are protected for up to $500 during the first 90 days if they’re stolen or accidentally damaged.
- Return Protection – You can return any eligible purchase within 90 days for up to a $500 refund. This is awesome if the store refuses to take a return and you’re holding an item you don’t want.
- Extended Warranty – Discover will extend the terms of the original U.S. manufacturer’s warranty and any purchased warranty for up to 1 extra year, on warranties of 3 years or less. This is a huge plus when making a big purchase, like a computer or TV.
- Free real FICO score – You can now check your real FICO score for free each month when you own this Discover Card.
- No Hidden Fees – No annual fees, no foreign transaction fees, no over limit fee, and no fee for your first late payment. There are also no interest rate hikes for late payments.
- New Freeze It on/off switch – lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances and balance transfers if your account is compromised. Freeze or unfreeze your account in seconds via website or mobile app.
- Flexibility – With the Discover It credit card, you can choose your own monthly due date and you have until midnight of that day to pay by phone or online.
- U.S Based, 24 Hour Customer Support – Call any time and be able to speak with a real human being. They have decided to keep the Discover call centers in the United States which means English is the language of choice. We have had incredible help when we have called the customer support.
- 0% introductory APR – Right now, Discover is offering a special 0% interest rate on all purchases for 6 months and all balance transfers for 18 months. This is a good deal if you plan to transfer your existing high-interest credit card debt so that you pay 0% interest on your transferred balance for 18 months. This allows you to pay off your existing debt faster. There is a 3% balance transfer fee.
- Fraud Protection – If there are any strange or wrongful charges on the Discover it card, you won’t pay a dime. They take care of it for you.
What To Avoid
- Interest – After the 0% interest offer expires, the rates balloon up. If you can’t pay off your balance each month, you will pay hefty interest charges.
Discover It Original vs Discover It Miles vs Other Cards
I compared the two Discover cards in my last review, but that was prior to the double cash announcement for this card. Still, my analysis remains the same.
- The Discover It card is better for the rotating 5% categories, and full access to the Discover Deals shopping portal. These two factors have become even more important with the double cash back promotion.
- The Discover Miles card is better for everyday spending, earning 3% cash back on all purchases for 12 months (instead of 2%). Furthermore, if you have access to Discover Deals via this Discover It card, you can pay with the Miles card to get the best of both worlds. This would allow you to earn the portal cash back (doubled) plus the additional 3%.
The optimal combination is one of each card. You can either hold both yourself, or mix and match with a significant other.
While this sounds easy enough, many applicants are reporting that Discover will only approve the second card if you have held the first for 12 months. This means that individuals who currently hold no Discover card products will be forced to choose, and I recommend they grab the Discover It card before getting the Miles card. For those who are curious, Vanessa and I will likely be getting one more of each.
Keep in mind these are cash back cards. If you are wanting free hotel stays or free flights, you should consider credit cards issued by other banks. Many of these cards have large sign-up bonuses that provide enough miles to vacation for free. We have traveled extensively over the last 2 years almost entirely free through credit card offers. You can compare many of those offers here.
Discover It Card Review – Final Thoughts
Like I said in the opening, we are big fans of the Discover It credit card. In the time that we have used the card, we have had zero problems and we have earned a good amount of money from the 5% categories and the online Discover Deals portal. The limited-time double cash back offer that is currently available makes this card even more attractive.
The price protection, fraud protection and extra warranty protection are big selling points for us. For example, if you purchase a TV, then the price is cut, you can contact Discover for the price protection and they write a check for the difference in price. It’s not a difficult process, and we use this all the time during big sales (like Black Friday). The coverage they offer for purchases is extensive and actually very useful if you are looking to buy new.
If you are looking for a good card to use throughout the year, we highly recommend this one. There are no fees whatsoever, and overall, it might be the best cash back card available today.
If you are interested, you can compare the Discover cards to other cash back cards here.