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The Discover it® Cash Back Card is Still The Best First Credit Card

There’s no shortage of student credit cards. With cashless payment systems growing in popularity and the need to establish a credit history as a young adult, having a credit card as a college student is increasingly common. However, with so many banks and card issuers offering student credit cards, it can be a challenge to determine which student credit card is the right fit for your lifestyle and spending habits. If you’re still unsure as to what student credit card is right for you, look no further than the Discover it® Cash Back credit card.

The Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Student Chrome Cash Back card are two credit cards that have become staples in the wallets of college students across the United States. The Discover it® Cash Back card is one of the best, if not the best, first credit cards available to students. With no annual fee, reasonable lines of credit, high approval odds, and the ability to earn up to 5% cashback on purchases, it’s clear as to why college students choose the Discover it® Cash Back card for their first credit card.

That being said, there are still a number of similar student credit cards. So, what makes the Discover it® Cash Back card the perfect first credit card? Here’s why college students should consider the Discover it® Cash Back card as their first credit card.

Discover it® Cash Back Card Highlights

  • No annual fee
  • High approval odds even with a limited credit history
  • Earn up to 5% cashback on select categories
  • Cashback Match: have your first year’s cashback matched
  • 0% APR for the first 14 months

Student Approval Odds*

*The following graphic and estimated approval odds for this product should not be the only metric used in determining to apply for a credit card or credit product. The above graphic represents estimated approval odds based on data available online and from current cardholders. It is designed to provide a very rough estimate of approval odds for students and individuals with a limited credit history.

Discover it® Cash Back Benefits and Perks Overview

First and foremost, if you’re looking for a card that’s loaded with lavished perks and benefits, the Discover it® Cash Back card is not that card. However, with no annual fee, the Discover it Cash Back card doesn’t pretend to be a benefit-heavy credit card. It’s a well-rounded cash back credit card that’s ideal for college students and individuals with a limited credit history. That being said, the card isn’t loaded with benefits and perks. However, the Discover it Cash Back card isn’t completely void of any benefits, perks, or extra features.

Here are the benefits and perks of the Discover it® Cash Back card that stand out:

  • Offer: Cashback Match – Have the cash back you've earned in your first year with the Discover it® Cash Back card matched at the end of the year
  • Up to 5% Cashback on select purchases each quarter
  • Use your cashback during checkout on Amazon
  • Free Social Security number monitoring and Credit Score monitoring
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 Fraud Liability
  • Late Payment Forgiveness – Your first late payment won't result in a fee
  • Late payments won't raise your APR

Earning Cashback With the Discover it® Cash Back Card

One thing you should look for in a first credit card is the ability to earn cashback, points, or miles without having to jump through hurdles. The Discover it® Cash Back card offers a very straight-forward earning structure. With the Discover it Cash Back card, you’ll earn unlimited 1% cashback on all purchases. Additionally, each quarter you’ll have the opportunity to earn 5% cashback at select retailers or for purchases made in select retail categories.

Though unlimited 1% cashback is relatively standard among cashback credit cards, 5% cashback is quite lucrative. However, it’s important to note that you’ll only earn 5% cashback on select purchases throughout the year. Every three months (once every quarter), you’ll be able to earn 5% cashback at select retailers or categories. For example, as of February 2020, Discover it Cash Back cardholders will earn 5% cashback (up to $75 cash back) at grocery stores, Walgreens, and CVS. Starting in April, cardholders will then earn 5% cashback (up to $75) at gas stations, wholesale clubs, and Uber and Lyft.

While the 5% cash back categories do not allow cardholders to earn unlimited cashback, you’ll have to spend $1,500 every three months to max out this cashback allowance. If you max out this 5% cashback allowance, you’ll still earn unlimited 1% cashback on all purchases. Combine the ability to earn $75 in 5% cashback every three months with the card’s Cashback Match offer, and you have the opportunity to earn up to $600 cashback in your first year on 5% cash back purchases alone.

Overall, the Discover it® Cash Back card offers a simple and straight forward earning structure. Additionally, earning unlimited 1% cashback combined with the card’s introductory Cashback Match offer goes a long way. For example, if you were to spend $100 every month ($1,200 annually) with the Discover it® Cash Back card, you’d earn $24 in cashback at the end of your first 12-months of having the card. That’s just spending $100 a month and earning 1% cash back. Add in the ability to earn 5% cashback, and the Discover it® Cash Back card is a very competitive cash back credit card.

With the Discover it® Cash Back card, you can earn up to 5% cash back at retailers like grocery stores, big-box retailers, and restaurants with new 5% categories each quarter.

Redeeming Cashback With the Discover it® Cash Back Card

The Discover it® Cash Back card also features a straight-forward cashback redemption structure. While straightforward, you’ll still have some flexibility in choosing how to redeem your cashback balance.

Here’s how you can redeem your cashback balance:

  • Use your cashback and apply it to your Discover it® card’s statement balance
  • Receive your cashback in the form of a deposit to your bank account in the form of cold-hard cash
  • Pay with your cashback balance at checkout on Amazon
  • Purchase gift cards from a number of popular retailers with a $5 to $10 bonus

If you’re looking to get the most from your cashback balance, having your cashback deposited into your bank account allows for the most flexibility of any redemption options. This is due to the fact that you’re essentially turning your cashback balance into cold-hard cash. However, this may be one of the few times redeeming cashback for gift cards is a good idea. For example, cardholders can use their cashback for a $100 Lululemon gift card while only needing to redeem $90 of their cashback balance. Basically, you’ll save $10 and get a $100 Lululemon gift card. This is just one example of how you can use your cashback balance to purchase gift cards at a discount. Ultimately, however, if you want the most flexibility, redeeming cashback for cash is your best bet.

There are a number of ways to redeem the cash back you've earned with the Discover it® Cash Back card.

Benefits and Perks of the Discover it® Cash Back Card

As previously mentioned, the Discover it® Cash Back card is not a benefit or perk-heavy credit card. However, the Discover it Cash Back card still offers cardholders a few benefits.

Introductory Offer: Cashback Match

My favorite perk of the Discover it Cash Back card is hands down the Cashback Match program. The Discover it Cash Back card features a long-running introductory offer that allows cardholders to have all of the cashback they earn in the first year of opening their account matched at the end of that first year. To clarify, any cashback that’s earned in the first 12-months of opening an account is matched dollar-for-dollar at the end of that period. There is no limit to the amount of cashback Discover will match. Once your cashback is matched, you can redeem your cashback for statement credit, a direct deposit into your bank account, at checkout on Amazon, or gift cards.

Have you first year's cash back matched with the Discover it® Cash Back card's Cashback Match offer.

Other noteworthy benefits and perks of the Discover it Cash Back card include:

  • Ability to use cash back at checkout on Amazon
  • Late Payment forgiveness
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 Fraud Liability
  • Freeze your card if you loose or misplace your card
  • Social Security Number Monitoring
  • Credit Score Monitoring

I personally believe that both the social security number and credit score monitoring service offered to cardholders is one of the best benefits offered through the card. As a Discover it Cash Back cardholder, I’m enrolled in both services. Unfortunately, I’ve received a notification in the past that informed me that my social security number had been found on the web. However, thanks to social security number monitoring as part of the Discover it Cash Back card, I was able to address the notification immediately. This is a fantastic benefit as it provides peace of mind.

The Discover it® Cash Back card features benefits including social security number and credit score monitoring.

Who Should Apply for the Discover it® Cash Back Card?

It’s important to point out that, in addition to the Discover it® Cash Back card, Discover also offers a card exclusively for students. I personally applied for the standard Discover it® Cash Back card on my 18th birthday as opposed to the student card. The only major difference between the two cards is the ability to earn a $20 statement credit each academic year that you maintain a GPA that is a 3.0 or higher. This is a benefit that you can enjoy for up to five years. Nevertheless, both the Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Student Chrome Cash Back cards are perfect first credit cards for college students.

However, the Discover it® Cash Back card isn’t just for college students. If you’re still working on building your credit history or have a less than stellar credit score, the Discover it Cash Back card is a great way to build your credit history and score while also enjoying the benefits of cashback credit card.

Ultimately, the Discover it Cash Back card is a good fit for anyone looking for a credit card that earns cashback as opposed to points or miles. Additionally, with no annual fee, it’s the ideal cashback credit card for those looking to avoid fees.

Who Should Apply for the Discover it® Cash Back Card?

  • College Students
  • Individuals with a limited credit history
  • Individuals looking to earn cash back as opposed to points or miles
College Students Miles Points Dine Out Shopping
The Discover it® Cash Back card is a great cash back credit card for college students.

The Bottom Line – Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

The Discover it® Cash Back credit card is still one of the best first credit cards on the market. Even with a number of new student credit cards having been released in the past few years, the Discover it Cash Back card still reigns supreme.

With no annual fee, late payment forgiveness, high approval odds, personal identity monitoring, and the ability to earn up to 5% cashback, the Discover it® Cash Back card is the ultimate first credit card for students or individuals with a limited credit history.

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