Discover it® chrome
Looking for a simple way to earn at restaurants or at the pump? The Discover it chrome is a no annual fee card offering a simple way to earn cash back on a limited budget. Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter) and 1% cash back on everything else. You won’t need to activate categories, but the low cap on cash back per quarter could be seen as restricting.
One of the most prized perks of the Discover it chrome is its Cashback Match™ feature. Discover will pay a dollar-for-dollar match of the cash back rewards you’ve earned at the end of your first year. (Keep in mind that other versions of Discover cards also offer this perk, and often with much better rewards structures.)
Here are the details:
Get 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined spending each quarter, then 1%) and 1% cash back on everything else. The card doesn’t have an annual fee and you won’t need to spend time tracking rewards categories, but the $1,000 dollar cap is pretty low compared to similar cards. All of this to say, there are cards with better rewards structures, so if you have a stellar credit score and the ability to spend more than $1,000 a quarter on gas and restaurants (or upwards $333 a month), you might want to consider other options.
The most rewarding feature of the Discover it chrome is Cashback Match™. Discover will match all the cash back you earned at the end of your first year, but keep in mind this is solely an introductory offer. As far as interest rates go, the Discover it chrome offers a pretty decent 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 14 months (14.24% to 25.24% variable thereafter). If you’re interested in paying off big purchases (interest-free) while earning rewards, this could be a deciding factor.
Discover provides a free FICO score check on your monthly statement, 100% U.S.-based customer service, Social Security number monitoring and a pass on your first late payment (should you forget). Plus, if you ever misplace your card, Discover’s Freeze it® feature allows you to pause your account using their mobile app.
Is this card right for you?
If you spend around $4,000 or less on gas stations and restaurants each year, the Discover it chrome card could offer you some decent rewards – especially if you’re looking to transfer a balance or pay off a large purchase during the 14-month interest-free period offered (14.24% to 25.24% variable thereafter). Be aware that if you do transfer a balance, you need to have a plan to pay it off before the introductory period ends.
You can receive more cash back from similar no annual fee cards, but Discover’s Cashback Match™ feature does make up for its average rewards structure.
Also, take into account that this is a flat rate cash back card, meaning you won’t have to track rotating bonus categories. If you’re someone who values simplicity concerning your rewards cards, this could be seen as a perk.
How much are the rewards worth?
You’ll earn $80 per year by consistently maxing out the 2% cash back category each quarter. And at the end of your first year of card ownership, you can double that with the introductory Cashback Match™ feature and earn $160.
How this card compares
Discover it® Cash Back
With the Discover it® Cash Back, cardholders can earn 5% back in a variety of categories each year (up to $1,500 in purchases). Just make sure to enroll every quarter.
Unlike similar cards, the Discover it Cash Back doesn’t offer a huge sign-up bonus. But it does offer the same Cashback Match™ feature as the chrome, meaning Discover will pay a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
Citi® Double Cash Card
If you’re looking for the best of the best concerning no annual fee cash back cards, the Citi Double Cash Card is a great pick.
You’ll earn an unlimited 1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% back when you pay off that purchase. There’s no cap on how much cash back you can earn, so you might find this card offers better rewards if you’re a big spender.
Avid traveler? The Chase Freedom is perfect for on-the-go spenders and those up for the challenge of tracking bonus rewards categories.
When paired with an eligible Chase card, the Chase Freedom can help you reap maximum travel rewards. But if you don’t want to track bonus categories, you’re better off with a flat rate cash back card.
How to use this card
Redeem your rewards as statement credit, an electronic bank deposit or gift cards starting at $20. Rewards never expire and you can redeem whenever you’d like.
The Cashback Match™ feature is automatic and doesn’t require any purchase minimums. Discover will match your cash back after the first 12 consecutive billing periods since account opening, and you can expect to see the bonus in your account one to two billing periods after your year anniversary.
Should you ever lose your card, Discover offers Free Overnight Card Replacement (not available to P.O. boxes or international addresses).
The bottom line
The Discover it chrome doesn’t have the best rewards structure, but if you’re on a budget, it can help you earn the cash back you want at gas stations and restaurants. Plus, the Cashback Match™ feature can help you double the rewards you’ve earned at the end of your first year of card ownership.