Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.
Discover it® Chrome is a cash back and gas credit card with no annual fee. In promotional literature, Discover actually refers to Chrome as the “Discover Gas and Restaurant Credit Card,” and it’s not hard to see why: Discover it Chrome’s rewards program favors gas station and restaurant purchases, and moderately rewards other types of spending. It belongs to a broad family of Discover cash back and travel rewards credit cards, including the original Discover it, Discover it Miles, Discover it for Students, and Discover it Chrome for Students.
Discover it Chrome also competes with a number of popular gas and cash back credit cards issued by other companies. Its closest competitors include Chase Freedom, BankAmericard Cash Rewards, BankAmericard Travel Rewards, Capital One Quicksilver, Capital One Venture Rewards, Citi Double Cash, Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred from American Express, and Barclaycard CashForward, among many others.
It’s worth noting that Discover it Chrome doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, unlike the majority of its competitors. However, it does offer a double cash back bonus for first-year cardholders, a nice perk that can add up fast for heavy spenders.
- Sign-up Bonus: Besides the cash back match your first year, there is no other sign-up bonus for this card.
- Cash Back Rewards and Redemption: Discover it Chrome earns 2% cash back on gas station and restaurant purchases, up to $1,000 in total spending per quarter. All spending above that limit earns an unlimited 1% cash back. All other purchases also earn an unlimited 1% cash back. Discover allows you to redeem your cash back rewards for statement credits and bank account deposits in any amount, at any time. You can also redeem for both electronic and physical gift cards, subject to a $20 minimum.
- First-Year Double Cash Back: On your first card membership anniversary, 12 months after your sign-up date, Discover automatically doubles all the cash back you accumulated during the previous year. There’s no limit to how much you can earn from this bonus. For instance, if you earn $100 in first-year cash back, you receive a $100 bonus on your card membership anniversary, bumping your total first-year cash back earnings to $200.
- Freeze It: Discover it Chrome’s Freeze It feature lets you lock your account from any Internet-connected device. Freeze It prevents anyone (including you) from making new purchases or cash advances, and was created for situations in which you suspect that your card has been stolen or your account compromised in some other way. You can unlock your account in the same manner once the danger has passed. Remember that automatic or scheduled payments continue to execute as normal when Freeze It is turned on, and interest on unpaid balances continues to accumulate at the normal rate.
- Introductory APR: Discover it Chrome has a 12-month 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers. Qualifying balance transfers must be made by the 10th day of the third month account opening. For instance, an if you open your account in June, you have until September 10th to take advantage of the promotion.
- Regular APR: After the introductory purchase and balance transfer periods end, APRs range from 11.24% to 23.24%. The exact rate depends on your personal creditworthiness and prevailing interest rates. Meanwhile, the cash advance APR is 25.24% from day one, and there is no penalty APR.
- Free FICO Score: Discover it Chrome comes with a free FICO credit score on every monthly paper or electronic statement. Your FICO score is also available on-demand through your online account dashboard.
- Important Fees: Discover it Chrome has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers always cost a flat 3% of the transferred amount, and cash advances always cost the greater of $10 or 5%. Late and returned payments cost $35.
- Credit Required: This card requires excellent credit.
- No Annual Fee. Discover it Chrome has no annual fee. That’s an important advantage over competing cash back cards, such as Capital One QuicksilverOne ($39) and American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($75).
- Consistent Gas and Restaurant Rewards. Discover it Chrome always earns 2% cash back on gas and restaurant purchases, up to $1,000 in spending per quarter. For cardholders who use this card as their everyday spending card, this is a predictable return on two fairly broad and common types of spending. Many cash back competitors either don’t offer special gas or restaurant rewards (e.g., Capital One Quicksilver, Barclaycard CashForward) or offer such incentives only intermittently (e.g., Chase Freedom).
- First-Year Double Cash Back Can Be Huge. Discover it Chrome doubles your first-year cash back earnings, with no caps or restrictions. That’s potentially huge: The bonus raises the 2% gas-and-restaurant reward to 4% on up to $4,000 in annual spending (boosting maximum annual 2% cash back earnings from $80 to $160), and raises the baseline cash back rate from 1% to 2% – ahead of competitors such as Barclaycard CashForward and Capital One Quicksilver.
- No Penalty APR and First Late Payment Fee Waiver. Discover it Chrome never charges penalty interest. It also waives the late fee on your first late payment. If you occasionally miss a payment, this is a great advantage that can actually save you money. Chase Freedom and BankAmericard Cash Rewards both charge penalty interest and late fees.
- Solid Intro APR Period. Discover it Chrome’s 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers is a great help for new cardholders who need to make big upfront purchases or transfer existing high-interest balances from other credit card accounts.
- Anytime, Any Amount Redemption for Statement Credits and Deposits. Discover it Chrome lets you redeem your cash back rewards for statement credits and bank account deposits in any amount and at any time. This is great news for light spenders, who can go months at a time without hitting some competing cards’ redemption thresholds. For instance, Chase Freedom has a $20 minimum redemption, while Capital One Quicksilver makes you wait until you hit $25.
- No Foreign Transaction Fee. Discover it Chrome never charges foreign transaction fees, which is great news if you regularly travel outside the country – perhaps on driving vacations to Canada or Mexico, where you can use this card to fill up your car and try new cuisines. Competing cards such as American Express EveryDay and Barclaycard CashForward do charge foreign transaction fees – sometimes as high as 3%.
- No Need to Have Excellent Credit. Discover doesn’t explicitly market the Discover it Chrome card as a remedy for bad credit, nor as a tool for building credit. However, it’s no secret that this card’s qualification standards aren’t as onerous as those of some competing cash back credit cards. Even if this is your first non-secured credit card, there’s a real chance that you can pass muster, as long as you prove that you have good credit and can accept a lower starting credit limit. By contrast, competing cards such as American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($75 annual fee) and American Express EveryDay Preferred ($95 annual fees) require excellent applicant credit.
- Low Maximum Cash Back Rate. Discover it Chrome’s maximum cash back rate is 2%. While that’s higher than some competing cards with flat-rate cash back schemes, such as Capital One Quicksilver and Barclaycard CashForward (both 1.5% flat), it’s lower than many cards with special cash back rewards categories. For instance, BankAmericard Cash Rewards earns 3% cash back on gas purchases, while American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($75 annual fee) earns up to 6% cash back on grocery purchases.
- Low 2% Category Spending Caps. Discover it Chrome caps spending in its 2% gas-and-restaurant category at $1,000 per quarter, which adds up to $4,000 per year. That’s lower than some other category-spending cards, such as Blue Cash Everyday and Preferred ($6,000 annual cap on grocery purchases, which respectively earn 3% and 6% cash back), not to mention Chase Freedom ($1,500 quarterly; $6,000 annual cap on rotating 5% categories).
- No Sign-up Bonus. Discover it Chrome lacks a sign-up bonus, putting it at a substantial disadvantage relative to most competing cash back cards. For instance, Chase Freedom offers a $150 sign-up bonus, while BankAmericard Cash Rewards and Barclaycard CashForward both pay $100.
Discover it® Chrome has a nice 2% cash back bonus for frequent restaurant and gas station shoppers. However, its $1,000-per-quarter 2% category spending limit is a bit low. If spend heavily at restaurants and gas stations, you’re likely to blow through that limit pretty quickly.
But that doesn’t mean Discover it Chrome has no place in your wallet. If your credit is good enough to qualify for a more generous gas or dining-out card, use that as your default food and fuel spending card. Once you hit its quarterly or annual spending limit, pull out your Discover it Chrome card and stretch your remaining restaurant and gas dollars just a bit further.
Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.