Discover it® Cash Back

Advertiser Disclosure Editorial Disclosure

Last updated on April 11th, 2023

Advertiser Disclosure Editorial Disclosure

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back uses a variation of FICO Score 8, 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. Credit Needed: Excellent/ Good
Discover Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Discover it® Cash Back

  • 16.74% to 27.74% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 16.74% to 27.74% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.74% 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: 16.74% to 27.74% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months from date of first transfer
  • Balance Transfer APR: 16.74% to 27.74% 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: 29.74% 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

Discover It Cash Back Card Review

The Discover It Cash Back Card is a lucrative 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. 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.

That ability to match all the cash back you earn in year one makes the Discover Card one of the best options for cash rewards. This is especially true when comparing the potential reward to other sign-up bonuses from other issuers, like Chase, American Express, or Citi.

How to Earn 5% Cash Back

The Discover It Cash Back is like the Chase Freedom Flex Card and other 5% rewards cards in that it earns 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 comprehensive list of 5% cash back categories for 2022, with the enhanced 5% rewards rate looking like this:

2023 Discover 5% Cashback Calendar

5% Cash Back Category
January - March 2023 Grocery stores, drug stores, and select streaming services
April - June 2023 Restaurants and wholesale clubs
July - September 2023 TBD
October - December 2023 TBD

How to Redeem Cash Back

As with other discover It credit cards, the Discover it Cash Back offers an easy and straightforward way to redeem the cash back you earn. Cardholders can claim their cash back through statement credits to help pay down balances on their Discover credit cards, or as a deposit into a checking or savings account that they link to their Discover account. There are also other redemption options, including gift cards from major brands, using points to pay for purchases with PayPal or Amazon, and more.

0% Intro APR

All Discover credit cards (with the exception of the credit building options) feature 0% intro APR. This introductory APR period of 15 months is comparable to the lengthy 0% intro APR offer from both the Citi Simplicity® Card and Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.

Other Card Features

Beyond 0% intro APR, 5% cash back, and Discover’s Cashback Match, cardholders can expect the following protections:

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

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. For those seeking other brand cash back credit cards, consider either the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, the WF Active Cash, or even the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

The information related to Citi Custom Cash Card, Citi Simplicity Card, Citi Diamond Preferred Card, and Citi Double Cash Card has been collected by and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

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