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Discover it® chrome Credit Card Review – 2% Cash Back on Gas & Groceries

By Christina Majaski

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4.5
On July 31, 2014
Last modified:September 3, 2014

discover it chrome cardDiscover it® chrome is the newest addition to the Discover card family, providing an alternative to its current rewards card opportunities.

Chrome includes many of the benefits that Discover cards are known for, such as low fees and a slightly different reward structure than is standard for cash back on gasoline and grocery store purchases.

Key Features

  • Fees. There is no annual fee. The balance transfer fee is 3% of the transfer. There is no foreign transaction fee.
  • APR. Discover it chrome has an introductory APR of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. After that, the APR is 10.99% to 22.99%, depending on your creditworthiness and variations in the prime rate.
  • Rewards Program. The Discover it chrome credit card awards 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in gasoline and grocery store purchases every quarter. Quarters begin on the first day of January, April, July, and October. All other purchases (and purchases made after the $1,000 cap) earn an unlimited 1% cash back. Cash back rewards do not expire.
  • Redeeming Rewards. Redeem your rewards for Discover gift cards or gift cards with partner retailers such as Lowe’s, Macy’s, and CVS for as low as $20. You may also redeem cash back for a statement credit or direct deposit into your bank account in increments of $50. In addition, you have the option to redeem your cash back at $20 with Amazon.com, or to make charitable donations to organizations such as Make-A-Wish, American Red Cross, and Children’s Miracle Network.
  • FICO Credit Score. The Discover it chrome card offers access to your FICO credit score online or on your monthly statement.
  • Shopping Portal. Access to Discover Card’s shopping portal is included in cardmembership. Shop Discover allows you to earn unlimited cash back of 5% to 20% online through more than 200 popular retailers such as Dell, Neiman Marcus, and Samsung.

Advantages

  1. No Rotating Categories. Many rewards cards, such as Chase Freedom and Discover it, allow you to earn bonus rewards in specific purchase categories that rotate each quarter. For purchases not made in those categories (or if you fail to sign up for them) you typically earn a rate of 1%. However, the Discover it chrome card offers double rewards on up to $1,000 in all gasoline and grocery purchases every quarter.
  2. Easy Redemption. The Discover it chrome card allows you to easily redeem your rewards in many forms – from direct deposit to gift cards or charitable donations – from as low as $20. You don’t have to accumulate hundreds of dollars or wait once per year to redeem or use your rewards, as you do with some other cards.
  3. Free FICO Score. One of the newest features of Discover cards is free access to your FICO credit score. While many cards and services offer credit scores, FICO is the one most frequently used by lenders when determining your credit risk. myFICO usually charges $4.95 for the first month and $14.95 each month thereafter for your score.
  4. No Foreign Transaction Fee. Foreign transaction fees on credit cards often range from 0% to 3%. If you travel abroad frequently, a foreign transaction fee can end up negating any rewards you’ve earned. Discover is one of the few credit card providers that does not charge foreign transaction fees.

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Disadvantages

  1. No Sign-up Bonus. Rewards credit cards often offer a sign-up bonus to attract new cardholders, but the Discover it chrome does not. Blue Cash Everyday from American Express and BankAmericard Cash Rewards are similar gas and grocery rewards cards, both of which feature sign-up bonuses.
  2. Cap on Bonus Categories. There is a cap of $1,000 in purchases per quarter on the gasoline and grocery store categories. After you reach the cap, all purchases earn 1% cash back. Whether this cap is inconvenient depends on your individual spending, but it is fairly low when compared to similar cards. Blue Cash Everyday from American Express awards 3% on grocery purchases ($6,000 cap) and 2% on gasoline (no cap). Similarly, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card awards 2% on grocery purchases and 3% on gas, up to a combined $1,500 in purchases per quarter.
  3. Limited Acceptance. The Discover brand is still not as widely accepted as other card issuers such as Visa or MasterCard, especially when traveling internationally.

Final Word

The Discover it chrome card is a great addition to the Discover family because it offers a flat cash back rate on gasoline and grocery store purchases. It also features the low fees Discover cards are known for, but if you travel abroad frequently hoping to take advantage of the 0% foreign transaction fee, know that Discover is not accepted everywhere. However, there is value in the card, especially if you are a fan of Discover rewards, but prefer the ability to earn more cash back on just gasoline and groceries.

Verdict

Discover it® chrome is a great, low-fee credit card if you spend less than $1,000 per quarter on gasoline and in grocery stores.

Score

4.2 stars out of 5: Very few fees and the opportunity to earn valuable cash back rewards without rotating categories on common expenses.

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Christina Majaski
Christina Majaski has written for online and print publications since 2003 on topics related to personal finance, legal matters, parenting, and careers. She lives in the Minnesota tundra, where in her free time she enjoys reading, writing, interacting via social media, and hanging out with her daughter.

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