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Discover it® Cash Back

Cory Santos

| Last updated on February 21st, 2024

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent / Good
Discover Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Discover it® Cash Back

  • 17.24% to 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 17.24% to 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR
  • 0% for 18 months from account opening Intro Purchase APR

At a Glance

The Discover It Cash Back Card is a cash back credit card that offers enhanced earning potential in a selection of rotating categories. Cardholders earn 5% back on purchases in categories that rotate each quarter, and 1% on all other purchases. The card also features 0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, Discover’s 100% U.S.-based customer service, Discover’s bonus cash back match, and no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically
  • Discover matches all of the cash back earned by the cardholder at the end of the first year automatically; there is no limit to how much cash back is matched
  • Cash back rewards never expire, earn unlimited cash back
  • Use rewards at Amazon checkout
  • No annual fee
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 18 months from account opening
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.24% to 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months from date of first transfer
  • Balance Transfer APR: 17.24% to 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer posted at the promotional rate. After that, 5% of the amount of each transfer
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: None the first time you pay late. After that, up to $41
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
  • You want to earn 5% back on select category purchases each quarter, including restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares, and online shopping
  • You don’t want to pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • You want 100% U.S.-based customer service
  • You don’t mind rotating categories changing every three months

In-Depth Review: Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

The Discover It Cash Back Card is a lucrative no annual fee cash back credit card from Discover. The card earns 5% cash back on purchases in select categories that rotate quarterly, and 1% back on all other purchases.

Who Can Benefit from the Discover it®?

The Discover it® Cash Back Card is a great fit for individuals who want to maximize their rewards and earn cash back on everyday spending. If you’re someone who enjoys keeping track of rotating categories and strategically using your credit card, this card is for you.

Additionally, if you’re a new cardholder looking to make the most of your rewards, the Cashback Match feature of the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card can be a significant advantage. By doubling your cash back earnings during the first year, you can quickly accumulate a substantial amount of rewards.

How to Get the Card

Credit Needed

The credit score requirement for the Discover it® Cash Back card is generally a credit score of at least 670 to be approved. This means that the card is targeted towards individuals with excellent or good credit.

Pre-Qualify Before You Apply

One of the great features of Discover credit cards is the option to pre-qualify before applying. By pre-qualifying, you can check if you meet the initial criteria for the Discover it® Cash Back credit card without impacting your credit score.

This allows you to assess your chances of approval and make an informed decision before officially applying. It’s a convenient way to ensure you’re on the right track to maximizing your rewards and getting the most out of your spending.

How to Apply

When applying for a Discover it® Cash Back credit card, applicants are typically required to submit the following personal information and documentation:

  • Full name
  • Social Security number
  • Birth date
  • Address and duration of residence
  • Annual income
  • Current employer and duration of employment
  • Email address and telephone number

It’s important to remember that while the credit score is a significant factor, other aspects of an individual’s financial situation and credit history are also taken into consideration during the application process.

Introductory APR Benefit

All Discover credit cards (excluding credit building options) offer a 0% intro APR. Cardholders enjoy 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. This lengthy introductory APR period is similar to the extended 0% intro APR offer provided by both the Citi Simplicity® Card and Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.

How to Earn Cash Back

The Discover It Cash Back is like the Chase Freedom Flex Card and other 5% rewards cards in that cardholders earn 5% back on a selection of categories that rotate every quarter, like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more.

Rotating categories are equal parts frustrating and exciting, in that they offer the chance to earn enhanced cash back on purchases in categories you love, but for only one quarter each year and up to the quarterly maximum of $2,500). For the rest of the year, you’ll only earn 1% cash back on everyday purchases.

Discover is great in that they espouse openness and honesty, meaning cardholders don’t have to wait to know what categories they’ll earn 5% cash back in. Discover has already released its 2024 5% cash back categories, with the enhanced 5% rewards rate looking like this:

Date 5% Cash Back Category
Q1 January – March 2024 Restaurants and drug stores
Q2 April – June 2024 Gas stations & EV charging, home improvement stores, and public transit
Q3 July – September 2024 TBD
Q4 October – December 2024 TBD

Discover It rewards never expire.

Cashback Match

A standout feature of all Discover rewards credit cards is the issuer’s Cashback Match Bonus. Discover matches the rewards earned for the first year with their Cashback Match, meaning they’ll double the total cash back – earn $500 back during the year, and Discover will make it $1,000 automatically!

How to Redeem Rewards

The Discover it Cash Back credit card provides a simple and convenient method for redeeming your earned cash back. You have several options for redeeming your cash back:

  • Statement Credits: You can use your cash back to pay down balances on your Discover credit cards by requesting statement credits.
  • Bank Deposits: Another option is to deposit your cash back into a checking or savings account that you have linked to your Discover account.
  • Gift Cards: You can also choose to redeem your cash back for gift cards from popular brands.
  • PayPal or Amazon: Additionally, you have the option to use your cash back points to make purchases through PayPal or Amazon.

These redemption options make it easy for you to enjoy the benefits of your Discover it Cash Back card.

Other Card Benefits

Cardholders also enjoy a slate of security protections and benefits courtesy of the Discover payment Network. Discover is the fourth largest payment network in size, trailing Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Despite that, Discover provides many of the same features you’d expect from those larger networks, including the following:

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

Other notable features of the Discover it® Cash Back include:

  • U.S. Based Customer Service: Cardholders enjoy 24/7 access to Discover’s 100% U.S. based customer service agents. Discover is renowned for its exceptional customer care, making this an underrated feature.
  • EMV Chip Technology: Shop safely with a contactless-chip enabled card.
  • Digital Wallets Access: Mobile wallet compatibility with Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and more.
  • SSN Alerts: Get an alert if Discover find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites. This service is free but requires a separate activation to use.
  • FICO Score: Cardholders also gain complimentary access to their updated FICO® Score courtesy of Discover’s Credit Scorecard.


Citi Custom Cash℠ Chase Freedom Flex Discover It
Annual fee $0 $0 $0
Rewards Earn 5% on purchases on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle up to $500 spent Earn 5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate Earn 5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
Intro APR 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

Tips for Maximizing Rewards with Discover

To maximize your rewards with the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card, consider the following tips:

  • Activate the Rotating 5% cash back categories each quarter to earn a higher cash back rate on specific types of purchases.
  • Use your card for everyday spending, including groceries, dining out, and gas purchases, to earn cash back on all your purchases.
  • Take advantage of the cash back match during your first year as a cardholder by strategically using your card and earning as much cash back as possible.
  • Keep track of your spending and cash back earnings to ensure you’re making the most of your rewards.
  • Consider redeeming your cash back as a statement credit, depositing it into your bank account, or using it to shop on for maximum flexibility.

What We Like About the Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card has several standout features that make it a top choice for many consumers.

Rotating Categories

One of the best features is the rotating 5% cash back categories. These categories allow you to earn a higher cash back rate on specific types of purchases, helping you maximize your rewards. Whether it’s groceries, dining out, or filling up your gas tank, you can earn more cash back in these categories.

Cashback Match

Another great feature of this card is the Cashback Match. Discover’s cash back match program is a unique perk that doubles your cash back earnings during the first year. This means that if you earn $500 in cash back, Discover will match that amount, giving you a total of $1,000. This feature is especially appealing for new cardholders who want to make the most of their rewards.

Things to Consider

While the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card has many benefits, it also has a few drawbacks. One potential downside is the requirement to activate the rotating 5% cash back categories each quarter. If you forget to activate the categories, you won’t earn the 5% cash back rate on those purchases. However, Discover provides reminders and makes it easy to activate the categories, so this shouldn’t be a major issue if you stay on top of it.

Discover Ratings

How does Discover Financial Services rate as a credit card issuer? Here are a selection of ratings for the bank from experts and the public:

Should You Apply for the Discover It Cash Back Card?

The Discover It Cash Back Card sounds enticing. After all, who doesn’t want to earn 5% cash back when shopping with Amazon or the combination of streaming service subscriptions that many tend to have? Like the Chase Freedom, however, the card is both a blessing and a curse.

5% back is great, but having to wait for months on end until your preferred categories enter the 5% window can be frustrating. Fortunately, however, Discover has a nice selection of categories designed to work with everyone’s wants and needs. Online purchases earning 5% around Christmas and the holidays is great, as is 5% at pharmacies and drug stores in the dead of winter when cold and flu season hits hard. Unfortunately, however, these categories earn 1% for the rest of the year.

Discover has a whole family of cards that work together, though the company limits each individual to just two cards. The Chrome Card earns 2% back on restaurant and gas station purchases all year, making it a solid option if you plan on using your card for these expenses all year. Additionally, if you want to earn 1.5% on everything, the Discover It Miles Card is another solid option.

Ultimately, however, the Cash Back Card is probably the preferred Discover credit card, as the categories on offer are excellent. While 5% may be fleeting, if you budget and plan your spending ahead of time, you can easily maximize your cash back savings, which is doubled in the first year. 

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