Important Note: This card has been discontinued and replaced by the newer Discover it Card.
Rewards credit cards are a great way to earn cash back from your everyday spending. Although there are many different reward cards on the market, the challenge is to find the card that offers the most benefits for the kind of spending you do. For example, if you spend a lot of money on gas and dining, you should acquire a card that rewards purchases in those categories.
Unfortunately, there is always fine print that can limit your bonuses. The key is to find a card that balances bonus cash back with as few fees and exceptions as possible.
The Open Road Card from Discover offers double cash back at restaurants and gas stations, but do the terms and conditions go too far in limiting your rewards?
- Cash Back. This card offers 2% cash back on the first $250 in purchases at restaurants and gas stations each month. For all other purchases, the card offers 0.25% cash back on your first $3,000 in spending, and 1% cash back after that on purchases outside of the bonus categories.
- Fees. There is no annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.
- Introductory Financing. New cardholders receive a 0% APR on balance transfers for 14 months, although there is a 3% balance transfer fee.
- Great Customer Service. Discover has an excellent reputation for fantastic customer service. Next time you see someone pull out a Discover card, ask them what they think and they will probably gush with praise.
- Competitive Balance Transfer Offer. 14 months of interest-free financing on balance transfers is an attractive offer for those who currently have credit card debt.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees. It is great that Discover chose to eliminate this unnecessary fee on all of their credit cards. However, keep in mind that many international merchants do not accept Discover.
- Bonus Cash Back. Two percent cash back at restaurants and at gas stations is very competitive.
- Overbearing Terms and Conditions. This card is filled with terms and conditions that severely limit its value. Only $250 per month is eligible for the 2% cash back, so it is worth at most $5. The first $3,000 of spending each year only earns a paltry 0.25%, or $7.50.
- Limited Acceptance. Discover is not as widely accepted in the U.S. as Visa, MasterCard, or even American Express. Overseas acceptance is even more rare.
- Limited Promotional Financing Offer. The 0% financing offer is limited to balance transfers and, unlike some other cards, does not include new purchases.
- No Sign-Up Bonus. At a time when many rewards cards are offering new applicants generous amounts of cash back, points, or miles, Discover isn’t offering anything for this card.
Although it is always hard to find one card that does everything well, most customers are happy to get a card that offers some bonus cash back without charging an annual fee. By offering excellent customer service and modest cash back, the Discover Open Road Card is best for those whose spending is limited and hope to earn a little cash back.