Discover it® chrome

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The first-year rewards match is nice, but not much else appeals here.

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Discover it® chrome’s most alluring feature is an automatic match of the cash-back rewards you’ve earned at the end of your first year. The problem: the other versions in the Discover it series also offer this perk — along with far superior standard rewards.

This card is a good fit only if you have a limited budget — and good, but not great credit. It offers 2% cash back on up to $1,000 combined spending per quarter at gas stations and restaurants. If you spend less than $333 a month on these categories, this is a card to consider — barely.

Review

All purchases made outside gas stations and restaurants earn 1%. That’s pretty low in today’s reward card environment — even though you’ll pay no annual fee.

The best feature is the end-of-year match, but since this is a one-time reward, there’s little reason to keep this card longer than that.

Even then, the returns aren’t spectacular. If you max out the 2% cash back in each quarter, you’ll earn $80 for the year. At the end of your first year as a cardholder, you’ll receive another $80.

For most spenders, particularly those with outstanding credit records, there are far better options.

Who should get this card

For those who spend around $4,000 or less a year on gas stations and restaurants, the Discover it® chrome card offers some decent rewards.

If you’re looking to transfer a balance, this may also be a decent card to consider.

Fees and APR

  • This card charges no annual fee.
  • There is no foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside the U.S.
  • The APR is a variable 13.99% to 24.99% APR based on creditworthiness.
  • See Rates & Fees

Extras, perks and using rewards

The U.S.-based customer service team from Discover is available anytime, any day.

The zero-fraud liability policy means no penalties for unauthorized use of your card.

View your approximate FICO score for free on your monthly statement.

Redeem your rewards at any time in any amount as a credit on your statement, an electronic bank deposit, gift cards through Discover partners (in $20 increments) or use to shop on Amazon.com.

How this card compares

Discover it® Cash Back
  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts—Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

13.99% - 24.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% for 14 months

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% for 14 months

Discover it® Cash Back cardholders can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in accordance with Discover’s 2018 Cashback Calendar after enrollment. Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in various categories throughout the year.

You won’t earn one of those huge sign-up bonuses other cards offer, but if you’re looking for a no-frills cash-back card, the Discover it® Cash Back credit card does come with one intriguing feature: 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
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0*

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% for 18 months*

When it comes to rewards value, the Citi Double Cash Card ranks among the very best cash-back credit cards that charge no annual fee.

The card earns an unlimited 1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% back when you pay for those purchases. Big spenders may find this nets more cash-back overall as there’s no ceiling on what you can earn back.

Chase Freedom®
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

16.99% - 25.74% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months

If you’re up for the challenge of tracking bonus rewards categories, Chase Freedom can give you some real cash-back bang for your buck. For travel junkies and road warriors, this card is ideal when paired with an eligible Chase card to reap maximum travel rewards on your spending.

If you don’t want to do the work, get a card that offers a flat cash-back rate better than what you’ll find here.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

16.99% - 25.74% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months

Chase Freedom Unlimited is a solid, straightforward cash-back rewards card that’s ideal for cardholders who just don’t have the time or energy to track spending categories. It ranks among the very best cash-back credit cards we track.

There are other cards that offer better rewards, but the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5% cash-back on everything is an excellent reward coming from a no-annual-fee credit card.

If you also hold a premium travel rewards card from Chase like the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer your rewards from the Freedom Unlimited to one of the premium cards to redeem for travel at an increased value.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.