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Discover it® Student Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Earn up to 5% Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back
  • Regular Purchase APR 12.99% to 21.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 12.99% to 21.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 24.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Fair , No Credit Required
  • Intro Purchase APR 0% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Processing Network Discover
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee, and no late fee on the first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Discover automatically matches all the earned cash back at the end of the first year, with no limit to the amount that is matched
  • $20 statement credit when GPA is 3.0 or higher every school year for up to five years
  • Cash back rewards can be redeemed at any time and never expire
  • 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter, such as gas stations, restaurants, or wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Regular Purchase APR: 12.99% to 21.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 10.99% for 6 months from date of first transfer
  • Balance Transfer APR: 12.99% to 21.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Up to 5% of the amount of each transfer
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40

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At a Glance

The Discover it Student Cash Back card is ideal for college students hoping to earn 5% cash back on rotating categories and 1% unlimited cash back on everything else. All the cash back they’ve earned at the end of their first year will automatically be matched by Discover.

Ideal for Those Who:

  • Want to earn 5% back in rotating categories
  • Plan on using your card to purchase products online
  • Expect to earn a 3.0 or higher GPA
  • Don’t want to pay an annual fee
  • Want a card with no foreign transaction fees

Discover It Student Cash Back Review

The Discover It Student Cash Back is an excellent cash back rewards option for the student that wants a credit card that offers flexibility. The card earns 5% back on the first $1,500 spent on a revolving set of categories each quarter, like grocery stores. Discover issues their categories early, so cardholders can anticipate and plan their spending ahead of time, which is a great perk for the budget-conscious college student.

The following is the 2020 cashback calendar:

  • January – March 2020: Grocery stores, Walgreens, and CVS purchases.
  • April – June 2020: Gas stations, Uber, Lyft, and wholesale club purchases
  • July – September 2020: Restaurants and PayPal
  • October – December 2020: Amazon.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com purchases.

While the categories don’t synch perfectly with the life of the average college student, the ability to earn 5% back when buying online presents during the holiday season is a nice little bonus, as is the option of earning 5% back in the spring when using rideshares, or on restaurants in the summer when catching up with hometown friends and family. The card also earns an unlimited 1% cash back on everyday purchases.

Discover instantly matches all the cash earned year you open the card, Discover would match that sum, giving you an impressive $1,000 back automatically.

Discover’s Good Grade Reward is a great perk that rewards students for studying hard. If you keep your GPA above 3.0, Discover will reward you with a $20 statement credit each school year. Since this bonus is good for up to five academic years, the total reward has a value of up to $100 – just for studying. Students also receive access to their FICO credit score each month free of charge.

Like the Discover It Chrome for Students Card, the Student Cash Back Card comes with a special introductory APR. New accounts receive 0% intro APR on purchases for the first six months. This bonus offer allows you to open the account, maximize your rewards in the 5% category for that quarter, and pay down the balance over the semester.

Say, for instance, you needed to buy school supplies or wanted to stock up on necessities for your dorm – by making purchases in the correct categories, you can earn 5% back without the hassle of paying off the entire balance right away – a nice little perk.

Should You Apply for the Discover It Student Cash Back Card?

Most student credit cards offer little beyond building credit. Discover thinks of student cards a little differently – and that’s not a bad thing. The Discover It Student Cash Back is a solid credit card that rewards students with every purchase.

Thanks to Q4 savings with Target, Walmart, and Amazon, Discover Cashback is an excellent option for those who want versatile rewards with no annual fee.

If you plan on learning financial responsibility and making the most out of your budget, there aren’t many better options than the Student Cash Back. 5% back in rotating quarterly categories is great, and the ability to earn 1% back on every purchase is always a pleasant surprise. The addition of a good grades rebate, a cash back match after the first 12 months, and no annual fee combine to make this an enticing offer that every student should carefully consider.

Other Options to Consider:

There is a wide selection of student credit cards available, including those from major issuers like Chase, Bank of America, and HSBC. The Chase Freedom Student Card offers similar value as the Discover It Cash Back for Students., for instance.

For a complete listing of all the best student credit card options available, please check out our dedicated student credit cards page.