Discover it® Student chrome
As one of the two student credit cards that Discover offers, the Discover it® Student chrome will earn you cash back at gas stations and restaurants. You’ll enjoy perks for good grades, plus a pretty stellar welcome offer that matches all the cash back you’ve earned by the end of your first year.
Here are the details
You’ll earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, along with an unlimited 1% back on all other purchases.
With no annual fee, there’s no need to justify having the Student chrome card. Discover’s Cashback Match offer comes with this card, meaning Discover will match all of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year of card ownership, no matter the amount, and apply it to your account.
For studious folks, there’s a $20 statement credit every year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next five years. (Think: you could use that to buy you and a group of friend’s a celebratory large pizza and breadsticks.)
There’s a 0% introductory APR offer for six months on purchases and an intro APR of 10.99% for six months on balance transfers (14.99% – 23.99% variable APR thereafter).
Is this card right for you?
First and foremost, the Student chrome is a card for students. If you’re currently enrolled in school and have little-to-no credit history, you’ll benefit from this solid starter card.
The restaurant category also covers purchases made at cafes, cafeterias and fast-food restaurants, but if you don’t spend much on gas or eating out, you might consider the Discover it® Student Cash Back. This card offers 5% cash back (up to $1,500 each quarter) on rotating categories like grocery stores, gas stations, Amazon.com and more, then 1% thereafter (activation required).
How much are the rewards worth?
To see how much you could potentially earn from the Student chrome, let’s look at a spending example.
If you spend $500 a quarter on gas and $500 on restaurant purchases every three months, you’ll max out your 2% cash back category for the quarter, earning you $80 by the end of your first year. If you spend an additional $200 each quarter on purchases within the 1% cash back category, you’ll earn an additional $8 for the year.
The real reward lies in Cashback Match benefit. At the end of your first year, Discover will automatically match all of the cash back you’ve earned, totaling $176. Should you receive the $20 statement credit for holding a GPA of 3.0 or higher, you’ll end up with $196 worth of rewards for your first year of card ownership.
How to use this card
To get the full value out of this card, your best bet is maxing out the 2% cash back category each quarter.
Rewards redemption is simple. You can redeem your cash back at any time in any amount as statement credit, an electronic bank deposit, gift cards through Discover partners (in $20 increments) or use to shop on Amazon.com. Most importantly, your cash back never expires.
There are no foreign transaction fees, making this card a good choice if you plan on studying abroad (where Discover cards are accepted). Even better, your first late payment fee is waived (should you forget); after that, it’s up to a $39 fee.
To qualify for the Discover Good Grades program, you must manually enter your GPA in your online Discover Account. Documentation to verify your grade point average may be required.
A few additional features of the card that we recommend you make use of is the free FICO® Credit Score approximation on your monthly statement or in your online account and Discover® Identity Alerts. Your FICO® Credit Score will automatically show up, but you will need to activate the identity alert feature.
Should you ever run into trouble, Discover offers a Freeze It® feature that allows you to turn your card on or off to prevent new purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
The bottom line
If you’re a student that spends a significant amount on gas station and restaurant purchases every couple of months, you’ll find value in this card. The Cashback Match benefit and lack of an annual fee are an added bonus.
As long as you’re financially organized and looking to build up your credit score, the Discover it® Student chrome can reward you for your efforts.