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NHL® Discover it® Card Review – Up to 5% Cash Back


nhl discover it card

Our rating

4.1/5

Pros

  • thumbs-upEarn up to 5% back on eligible purchases
  • thumbs-upUnlimited Cashback Match in the first year
  • thumbs-up0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Cons

  • thumbs-downLow baseline cash-back rate
  • thumbs-downNo spend-based sign-up bonus
  • thumbs-downManual activation required for 5% cash back

The NHL® Discover it® Credit Card is a cash back credit card with no annual fee, a solid rewards program, and a long 0% APR introductory promotion on purchases and balance transfers. It’s basically identical to the regular Discover it card, except it has a branded face with your choice of NHL team logo. And it’s just one of several other Discover it family cash back cards — a group that also includes Discover it Chrome and Discover it Miles.

NHL Discover it has a number of popular competitors, notably general-purpose cash-back cards like the Citi Double Cash CardChase Freedom Flex Credit Card, and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. See how it compares to those cards and whether it makes sense for you, whichever NHL team you call your own.

nhl discover it card

What Sets the NHL Discover it Credit Card Apart

The NHL Discover it Credit Card stands out for three big reasons:

  • Earn Up to 5% Cash Back. NHL Discover it earns unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases, with no caps or restrictions. But select quarterly rotating categories, such as gas stations and restaurants, earn more: 5% cash back, up to $1,500 total spending per quarter. If you can tailor your spending accordingly, you’ll do well here.
  • Show Team Pride. The NHL Discover it card lets you customize your card face with the logo and color scheme of your favorite NHL team (examples below). This is really the only reason to choose it over the standard Discover it card, but it’s an important one.
  • Unlimited Cashback Match During the First Year. Unlike many other cash back cards, this card doesn’t come with a fixed sign-up bonus. Instead, as part of Discover’s unlimited Cashback Match, all cash back earned during your first year as a cardmember is automatically doubled.
Nhl Discover Card Team Card Mocks

Key Features of the NHL Discover It Card

These are the most important features of the NHL Discover it Card. See how they compare to other cash-back cards you’re considering and decide whether “it” is right for you.

First-Year Double Cash Back (Cashback Match)

On every your first cardmember anniversary, NHL Discover it doubles all cash back earned during the previous year, no matter how much or how little was earned. For instance, first-year cash back earnings of $150 become $300 after this bonus. If you spend heavily during your first year, this could be more lucrative than a traditional, fixed-amount sign-up bonus.

Cash Back Rewards

NHL Discover it earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in quarterly spending on select rotating categories.

Category examples include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Department stores
  • Restaurants
  • Specific online retailers (such as Amazon)
  • Specific payment methods (like PayPal)
  • Digital wallets (such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay)
  • Gas stations

Here’s a look at some 5% categories coming down the pike:

Nhl Discover Card Coming Calendar

Once you reach the $1,500 quarterly spending limit, additional purchases in the rotating categories earn an unlimited 1% cash back. In addition, all other purchases (not in the rotating categories) earn an unlimited 1% cash back.

NHL Discover it requires you to manually activate your 5% cash back categories each quarter. Following activation, your earnings are retroactive to the beginning of the quarter.

Cash Back Redemption

You can redeem your earned cash back rewards at any time and in any amount for statement credits and direct bank account deposits. You can also redeem for physical and electronic gift cards starting at a $20 minimum redemption threshold.

Freeze It

NHL Discover it comes with Discover’s Freeze It feature, which you can use to lock your account with a single click from any web-enabled device or terminal. Freeze It prevents anyone from using your card to make purchases or cash advances, though it doesn’t halt interest accumulation or previously scheduled payments (such as recurring bills). It’s useful if and when you lose your card or suspect that your account has somehow been compromised. Once the threat passes, you can unfreeze your account with a single click.

Other Security Benefits & Protections

This card has some other notable security benefits and protections, including:

  • Free online privacy protection through the Discover app — remove your information from up to 10 websites at no cost
  • Free Social Security number alerts, which can help you pinpoint suspicious activity in your name
  • $0 fraud liability, guaranteed
Nhl Discover Card Security Benefits

Introductory APR

NHL Discover it has a 15-month 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Qualifying balance transfers must be made by the 10th day of the third month following account opening. For instance, if you open your account in February, you have until May 10 to transfer a balance without incurring interest charges.

Free FICO Score

NHL Discover it gives you a free FICO credit score with every monthly paper or electronic statement. You’re also able to see your FICO score in your online account dashboard at any time.

Important Fees

There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers cost a flat 3% of the transferred amount. Cash advances always cost the greater of $10 or 5%, while late and returned payments cost $35.

Credit Required

Like the regular Discover it card, this card requires good to excellent credit. The precise minimum credit score is subject to change based on factors other than what’s in your credit report, however.


Advantages of the NHL Discover it Credit Card

The NHL Discover it card is pretty strong as cash-back credit cards go. Here’s what it has going for it.

  • No Annual Fee or Foreign Transaction Fee. NHL Discover it doesn’t come with an annual fee or a fee on foreign transactions.This is great for people who don’t spend enough to justify any kind of recurring levy, as well as those who travel out of the country. 
  • First-Year Double Cash Back Can Be Huge. If you spend heavily during your first year as a cardmember, NHL Discover it’s unlimited first-year cash back double bonus is a potentially huge perk. This benefit basically raises your baseline cash back rate from 1% to 2%, leapfrogging competitors such as Barclaycard CashForward and Capital One Quicksilver in the process. The first-year bonus boosts your 5% cash back earnings to 10%, a truly impressive rate compared with competing cash back cards.
  • Customizable Card Face. If you’re looking for ways to brighten up your wallet, NHL Discover it has you covered. You can decorate your card face with any of 30 NHL team logos and backgrounds, letting everyone you meet (or at least pay for things with) know that you’re a committed fan.
  • No Minimum Threshold for Cash Redemptions. You can redeem your accumulated cash back rewards for bank account deposits and statement credits at any time, in any amount.
  • Nice Intro APR Period. NHL Discover it’s 0% intro APR period lasts for 15 months and covers both purchases and balance transfers. That’s great news for new cardholders who need to make big upfront purchases or transfer existing high-interest balances from other accounts.
  • No Penalty APR or Late Fee for First Missed Payment. NHL Discover it doesn’t charge penalty interest. It also waives the late fee on your first missed payment as a cardholder. Both are very nice perks for people who occasionally miss payments. Other cash back cards, including the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card and Chase Freedom, don’t extend the same courtesies.
  • Reasonable Underwriting Standards. Discover doesn’t position NHL Discover as a credit card for people with bad credit, nor for those interested in building a credit history. However, its underwriting standards are more lenient than many competing cash back credit cards’, including American Express Blue Cash Preferred. Those cards require excellent applicant credit and aren’t suitable for first-time cash back card applicants.
Nhl Discover Card Rewards

Disadvantages of the NHL Discover it Credit Card

Consider these downsides before you apply for the NHL Discover it card.

  • Baseline Cash Back Lower Than Some Competing Cards. NHL Discover it earns a base cash back rate of 1% on all purchases, with no caps or restrictions. That’s lower than Capital One Quicksilver, which has a 1.5% baseline cash-back rate, and Citi Double Cash, which earns up to 2% cash back on all eligible purchases. If you don’t take full advantage of the 5% categories’ $1,500 quarterly spending limits ($6,000 annually), you’re unlikely to make up the difference.
  • No Spend-Based Sign-up Bonus. Discover’s Cashback Match is a great deal for heavy spenders. But if you plan to use this card sparingly, it won’t be as lucrative as competing offers that pay flat bonuses between $100 and $200 once you clear a (low) spending threshold, like $500 or $1,000.
  • Manual Cash Back Activation Required. NHL Discover it asks cardholders to manually activate their 5% cash back categories every quarter, either online or by phone. This is an annoying, though not incredibly time-consuming, step. Worse, it raises the chances that busy cardholders will simply forget to activate one or more quarters, forfeiting potential cash back earnings in the process. Other category-based cash back cards, including Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, don’t require quarterly activation.

How the NHL Discover it Credit Card Stacks Up

Not sure if the NHL Discover it Credit Card is right for you? Let’s see how it compares to another popular Discover card that’s not designed for NHL superfans: the Discover it Chrome Gas & Restaurant Credit Card.

NHL Discover itDiscover it Chrome
Bonus Rewards5% back in quarterly rotating categories2% back on gas and restaurant purchases
Quarterly Bonus Max$1,500 in combined spend$1,000 in combined spend
Baseline Rewards1% back1% back
Cashback Match?YesYes
0% APR Promo15 months on purchases and balance transfers15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Other Alternatives to Consider

If you’re not sure either NHL Discover it or Discover it Chrome are right for you, consider these popular alternatives instead. Note that of these, only Chase Freedom Flex has quarterly rotating 5% cash-back categories (with the same $1,500 cumulative spend cap).

Alternative CardBest For
Chase Freedom Flex Credit CardDifferent 5% cash-back categories
Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card1.5% baseline cash back
Citi Double Cash Card2% cash back when you pay in full
Citi Custom Cash CardCustomize your 5% cash-back categories
Amex Blue Cash PreferredMaximize grocery and gas station rewards

Final Word

The NHL® Discover it® Card is basically the same as the regular Discover it card, except for the branded card face. If you like Discover it, but want the opportunity to represent your favorite NHL team, this card is a no-brainer.

If you’re not a fan of the regular Discover it card, the NHL version’s perks probably aren’t enough to move the needle. Then again, it’s nice to add a little (team) color to your wallet — and give yourself a ready-made conversation topic around fellow fans. Your team is sure to appreciate the thought.

nhl discover it card

Our rating

4.1/5

Pros

  • thumbs-upEarn up to 5% back on eligible purchases
  • thumbs-upUnlimited Cashback Match in the first year
  • thumbs-up0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Cons

  • thumbs-downLow baseline cash-back rate
  • thumbs-downNo spend-based sign-up bonus
  • thumbs-downManual activation required for 5% cash back
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.

Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.