Discover 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.
- 2% Rewards on Gas & Groceries. 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.
- Double Cash Back Your First Year. After your first year of owning the card, Discover doubles all of the cash back you’ve earned. As an example, if you earned $50 cash back your first year, you’ll get an additional $50 in your account. The more you spend, the more you get back after your year is up.
- 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 12 months. After that, the APR is 10.99% to 22.99%, depending on your creditworthiness and variations in the prime rate.
- 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.
- Freeze It. This feature online or through the mobile app allows you to easily switch off new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers. This is useful if you ever lose your card or see any suspicious activity in your account.
- 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.
- Double Cash Back Your First Year. This is a great benefit if plan on using the card a lot in your first year, especially on gas and groceries. If you max out the 2% cash back on $1,000 spend per quarter on gas & groceries, you’ll get an additional $80 on top of the $80 cash back you earn in a year. This essentially gives you 4% cash back on gas and groceries your first year.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- No Sign-up Bonus. Rewards credit cards often offer a sign-up bonus to attract new cardholders, but the Discover it chrome does not (other than double cash back your first year). Blue Cash Everyday from American Express and BankAmericard Cash Rewards are similar gas and grocery rewards cards, both of which feature sign-up bonuses.
- 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.
- Limited Acceptance. The Discover brand is still not as widely accepted as other card issuers such as Visa or MasterCard, especially when traveling internationally.
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.
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.
4.2 stars out of 5: Very few fees and the opportunity to earn valuable cash back rewards without rotating categories on common expenses.