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Discover it Student chrome benefits guide

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college student working in the library
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The Discover it® Student chrome is a starter credit card that allows college students to build credit. There’s no annual fee, and the card comes with ongoing cash back rewards, a welcome bonus, intro APRs on both purchases and balance transfers and more.

Keep reading to learn more about what the Discover it Student chrome card offers and how it can benefit student borrowers.

As a reminder: Details of the Discover it Student chrome

  • Rewards rate: 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter; 1 percent back on all other purchases
  • Welcome bonus: Discover will match all cash back earned at the end of your first year
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase intro APR: 0 percent intro APR for six months
  • Balance transfer intro APR: 10.99 percent intro APR for six months
  • Regular APR: 15.24 percent to 24.24 percent variable

Discover it Student chrome benefits

Fewer fees

The Discover it Student chrome comes with fewer fees compared to similar student credit cards. There’s no annual fee, and if you make a payment late, Discover will waive the late fee on the first instance; any subsequent late payments will come with a $41 fee. Further, the card doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees (think: if you plan on studying abroad one semester), though Discover’s international acceptance is limited compared to other issuers.

No credit score required to apply

There’s no credit score required to apply for the Discover it Student chrome, making it a great option for students with limited or no credit history. Further, Discover will report your payments to the three major credit bureaus, so you’ll eventually be able to build up a positive credit history with responsible card use.

Ongoing cash back rewards (and a first-year bonus)

If you frequently spend money on gas and eating out, you’ll be pleased to know this card will reward you for those kinds of purchases. The Student chrome offers 2 percent cash back on the first $1,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each quarter, along with 1 percent cash back on all other purchases outside of those categories.

In terms of a welcome bonus, Discover automatically matches any cash back rewards you earn during your first year as a cardholder through its Cashback Match program. So if you earn $150 in rewards during your first year, Discover will award you an additional $150 — for a total of $300 in cash back rewards. Note, there’s no secret formula to earning this bonus; it’s automatically applied.

Introductory APR offers

The Discover it Student chrome comes with an introductory offer on both purchases and balance transfers — meaning you can utilize this low-interest period to either pay off a large purchase over time or wipe out existing debt. Specifically, the card offers a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for six months and a 10.99 percent intro APR on balance transfers for six months (followed by a variable APR between 15.24 percent to 24.24 percent).

No full-time income needed to apply

You don’t need to show a full-time income to qualify for the Discover it Student chrome card, but Discover does want to see that you have some type of income — and your monthly income can influence your credit limit.

Ability to choose your card design (if you’re into that)

Discover lets you pick between 20 unique card designs when you become a cardholder.

Access to a mobile app and security features

You can manage your account through Discover’s mobile app, which is available on iOS and Android devices. You can use the mobile app to track your rewards, message customer service and see your statement balance.

You can also sign up for free Social Security alerts. Discover will monitor thousands of dark websites and alert you if your information is compromised. And if you suspect foul play or accidentally misplace your card, you can freeze your account to prevent further purchases.

Discover also helps you monitor how your personal information is shared online. When you activate the free Online Privacy Protection feature, Discover will scan ten popular “people search” websites for your information every 90 days and submit an opt-out request on your behalf if your personal data shows up.

Free card replacement

Discover offers free overnight shipping so you can quickly replace your card if it’s lost or stolen. That way, you don’t have to wait a week or more for a replacement card.

Ability to upgrade your card after graduation

You can continue to use your card after you graduate, and Discover will let you ditch the “student” label. That means you can upgrade your credit card to the standard Discover it® chrome after graduation. Keeping this card active and in good standing will help you maintain a good credit score.

Maximizing the Discover it Student chrome

The Discover it Student chrome card is best for college students that frequently spend money on gas and eating out. If you rarely spend money on either of these things, the cash back rewards may not be worth it.

Paying your balance in full each month and making on-time payments will help you make the most of this card. Otherwise, interest charges and late fees could undo any rewards you earn.

The bottom line

The Discover it Student Chrome card is a good option for college students looking to earn cash back rewards. Since Discover reports your payment history to the three major credit reporting bureaus, this card can help you establish credit.

However, you may be able to find better cash back rewards with another card, including some offered by Discover. Be sure to explore your options and check out our full list of the top student credit cards before you apply.

Written by
Jamie Johnson
Contributor
Jamie Johnson is a contributor for Bankrate and a Kansas City-based personal finance and credit expert. Her past and current clients include Credit Karma, Business Insider, Bankrate, Rocket Mortgage, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Quicken Loans and The Balance.
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Part of  Introduction to the Discover it Student Chrome Card