Ultimate Guide to Discover Credit Card Applications

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Last updated on December 15th, 2023

If you’re looking for a credit card that offers a wide range of benefits and rewards, look no further than Discover Bank. Discover credit cards are known for their excellent customer service, competitive interest rates, and generous cashback rewards. Whether you’re a frequent traveler, a savvy shopper, or someone looking to build credit, Discover has a credit card that suits your needs – including no annual fee. Here’s everything you need to know before applying for a Discover credit card.

Table of Contents

At a Glance

  • Discover offers credit cards for all credit profiles
  • You can pre-qualify for Discover Cards before applying
  • Discover’s Cash Back Match applies to all Discover reward cards

Benefits of Having a Discover Card

One of the key advantages of having a Discover credit card is the generous rewards program. Discover offers many rewards, including cash back, miles, and points. With the Discover it® Cash Back Card, you can earn up to 5% cashback on rotating categories each quarter. This means that you can earn cashback on everyday purchases such as groceries, gas, and dining out.

Another benefit of having a Discover credit card is the excellent customer service. Discover has consistently been ranked as one of the top credit card issuers regarding customer satisfaction. Their customer service representatives are available 24/7 to assist you with any questions or concerns. Whether you need help with a transaction dispute or want to inquire about your rewards balance, Discover’s customer service team is there to help.

In addition to rewards and customer service, Discover credit cards have various security features. Discover is known for its fraud protection measures, such as monitoring your account for suspicious activity and providing real-time alerts. Discover also offers $0 fraud liability, meaning you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges on your card.

Here is a full list of Discover security features and benefits:

Fraud Protection Freeze It credit lock Cardmember Inquiry Services
No annual fee No foreign transaction fees No over-the-limit fees

Discover Credit Card Application Requirements

To apply for a Discover credit card, you must meet certain requirements. First and foremost, you must be at least 18 years old to apply for a Discover Card. Additionally, you must have a valid Social Security number and a U.S. mailing address. Discover also requires applicants to have a source of income, which can include employment, self-employment, or other regular sources of income.

What Credit Score Do You Need to Apply?

Most Discover cards are aimed at applicants with good or excellent credit scores, including its popular Discover It Cash Back, It Miles,  and Discover It Chrome Card. Despite this, Discover does offer a subprime credit card – the Discover it® Secured Card. There are also two options for students, with student versions of the Chrome and Discover It Cash Back Cards.

Can You Pre-Qualify for a Discover Card?

Like many other issuers, Discover provides a helpful pre-qualification tool on its website. Online pre-qualification is a great feature of many credit cards that allows you to check your eligibility for the credit card product before applying. Even better, credit card pre-qualification has no noticeable impact on your credit score.

Credit card issuers use pre-qualified or pre-approved offers to target applicants based on credit score, borrowing history, and other easily obtainable personal information. Typically, your approval odds with pre-approved offers are good if you receive an offer and your credit profile has changed recently.

How to Apply for a Discover Credit Card

Applying for a Discover credit card is a simple and straightforward process. To get started, check out our Discover Credit Cards issuer page. From there, you can browse the different credit card options and choose the one that best fits your needs. Click the “Learn More” button to access the Discover website safely and securely.

After submitting your application, Discover will review your information and decide. In some cases, you may receive an instant approval or denial. If additional review is required, Discover may contact you for further information. Once your application is approved, you can expect to receive your credit card in the mail within a few business days.

Understanding the Discover Credit Card Application Process

The Discover credit card application process involves a series of steps, from completing the application to receiving a decision. Understanding each step is important to ensure a smooth and successful application.

To begin, gather all the necessary information before starting the application. This includes your personal details, employment information, and financial information such as your income and monthly expenses. This readily available information will make the application process faster and more accurate.

Once you’ve completed the application, double-check all the information for accuracy and submit it. Discover will then review your application, considering factors such as your credit history, income, and other relevant information. The review process typically takes a few minutes, but in some cases, it may take longer if additional information is required.

After the review, Discover will notify you of their decision. If your application is approved, you can expect to receive your credit card in the mail within a few business days. If your application is denied, Discover will provide you with the reasons for the denial. In some cases, you may be able to contact Discover to discuss the denial and provide additional information that may help you reconsider your application.

Tips for Applying for a Discover Card

To increase your chances of a successful Discover credit card application, consider the following tips:

  • Check your credit before applying: Review your credit report to ensure its accuracy before applying for a Discover credit card. Dispute any errors or inaccuracies that may negatively impact your credit score.
  • Reduce your credit usage: Paying off outstanding debts can improve your credit utilization ratio, an important factor in credit card applications. Lowering your debt-to-income ratio can increase your chances of approval.
  • Improve your credit score: If you have a low credit score, improve it before applying for a Discover credit card. This can include making timely payments, reducing credit card balances, and avoiding new credit applications.
  • Compare your options: Take the time to compare different Discover credit cards to find the one that best suits your needs. Consider factors such as rewards, APR, and fees to make an informed decision. The BestCards card comparison tool is a great way to instantly compare as many card offers as you like for free!
  • Provide accurate information: Ensure that all the information you provide on your application is accurate and current. Any discrepancies or inconsistencies may result in a denial or delay in the application process.

Credit Card Application Status and Updates

After submitting your Discover credit card application, you may be curious about the status and updates. Discover provides various ways to check the status of your application and stay informed:

  • Through the Discover website: One option is to visit the Discover website and log into your account. From there, you can navigate to the credit card section and check the status of your application. If you don’t already have an account, you can easily create one using the information provided during the application process.
  • Call customer service: Alternatively, you can contact Discover’s customer service to inquire about the status of your application. Their customer service representatives are available 24/7 to assist you with questions or concerns.

It’s important to note that the review process may take some time, especially if additional information is required. Discover will notify you of their decision either by mail or email.

FAQs About Discover Card Applications

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the application process for Discover credit cards:

What credit score do I need to apply for a Discover credit card?
  • Discover offers credit cards for a range of credit scores. While some cards may require excellent credit, Discover also has options for those with fair or average credit scores.
  • The Discover credit card application process typically takes a few minutes to complete. However, the review process may take longer if additional information is required.
  • Yes, you can check the status of your Discover credit card application by visiting the Discover website or contacting their customer service.
  • Yes, Discover considers applicants with limited credit history. However, having a higher credit score will increase your chances of approval
  • While having a bankruptcy on your record may affect your chances of approval, Discover does consider applicants with a bankruptcy history. It’s best to contact Discover directly to discuss your specific situation.


By taking the time to understand the benefits, requirements, and application process, you can make an informed decision and increase your chances of approval. Whether you’re looking for cashback rewards, travel benefits, or excellent customer service, Discover has a credit card that suits your needs.

Related Article: Credit Cards That Don’t Require a Preapproval Mail Offer

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Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on BestCards.com's reviews, articles, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author(s). These opinions do not reflect those of any card issuer or financial institution, and editorial content on our site has not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless noted otherwise. Further, BestCards.com lists credit card offers that are frequently updated with information believed to be accurate to the best of our team's knowledge. However, please review the information provided directly by the credit card issuer or related financial institution for full details.

About: Cory Santos
Cory Santos

Cory is the senior credit card editor at BestCards, specializing in everything credit card-related. He’s worked extensively with credit cards and other personal finance topics, including nearly five years at BestCards. Cory’s extensive knowledge is an essential part of the BestCards experience, helping readers to live their best financial lives with up-to-date insights and comprehensive coverage of all facets of the credit card space, including market trends, rewards guides, credit advice, and comprehensive credit card reviews.

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