Skip to Main Content

Best Discover credit cards for February 2024

Updated February 26, 2024

Discover offers a variety of credit cards for everyday shoppers, travelers, students and business owners. Furthermore, the Discover brand is known for customer service and the fact that its credit cards charge no annual fee. To find the best Discover credit cards, we considered rewards rates, perks, benefits and more for you to decide which Discover card to add to your wallet.

Best overall cash back card

Discover it® Cash Back

Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
4.4
Info
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Recommended Credit

Intro offer

Info

1% - 5%

Rewards rate

Info

Annual fee

Regular APR

Best for balance transfers

Discover it® Balance Transfer

Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
4.6
Info
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Recommended Credit

Balance transfer intro APR

Regular APR

1% - 5%

Rewards rate

Info

Annual fee

Best travel card

Discover it® Miles

Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
4.1
Info
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Recommended Credit

Intro offer

Info

N/A

Offer valuation

Info

1.5X

Rewards rate

Info

Annual fee

Regular APR

awards-badge
2024 Bankrate Awards Winner
Best overall student card

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Rating: 5 stars out of 5
5.0
Info
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site
No Credit History
Info
Recommended Credit

Intro offer

Info

1% - 5%

Rewards Rate

Info

Annual fee

Regular APR

Best for gas station purchases

Discover it® Chrome

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
4.0
Info
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Recommended Credit

Intro offer

Info

1% - 2%

Rewards rate

Info

Annual fee

Regular APR

BEST GAS AND DINING CARD FOR STUDENTS

Discover it® Student Chrome

Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
4.1
Info
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site
No Credit History
Info
Recommended Credit

Intro offer

Info

1% - 2%

Rewards Rate

Info

Annual fee

Regular APR

awards-badge
2024 Bankrate Awards Winner
BEST FOR BUILDING CREDIT

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
4.5
Info
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site
No Credit History
Info
Recommended Credit

Intro offer

Info

1% - 2%

Rewards Rate

Info

Annual fee

Regular APR

Compare Bankrate’s top Discover credit cards

Card Name Best For Cash Back Highlights Bankrate Review Score

Cash back

5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter when you activate (up to $1,500 in combined purchases, then 1%) with 1% on all other purchases

4.4 / 5

Info
(Read card review)
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site

Balance transfers

5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter when you activate (up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases, then 1%) with 1% on all other purchases

4.6 / 5

Info
(Read card review)
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site

Travel

Unlimited 1.5X miles

4.1 / 5

Info
(Read card review)
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site

Students

5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter when you activate (up to $1,500 in combined purchases, then 1%) with 1% on all other purchases

5.0 / 5

Info
(Read card review)
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site

Gas purchases

2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1%) with 1% on all other purchases

4.0 / 5

Info
(Read card review)
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site

Gas and dining for students

2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1%) with 1% on all other purchases

4.1 / 5

Info
(Read card review)
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site

Building credit

2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1%) with 1% on all other purchases

4.5 / 5

Info
(Read card review)
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site
On This Page

What to know about Discover credit cards

Discover is one of the four largest credit card networks in the country. As a network, it processes and verifies transactions among merchants, customers and banks. Discover is also a credit card issuer, which means unlike other major credit card networks like Visa and Mastercard, it doesn’t need to partner with other companies to offer you a line of credit.

As a credit card network, Discover has a 99 percent acceptance rate from merchants in the U.S., but you may notice that fewer stores abroad accept your Discover credit card. Regardless, Discover offers a variety of credit cards with high customer satisfaction ratings and few fees that make them appealing to consumers.

Lightbulb

Bankrate Insight

Discover has a track record of excellent customer service satisfaction, earning top marks in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, with a score of 629 out of 1,000 points. It’s behind American Express, which earned 657 out of 1,000 points in the study.

Pros and cons of Discover credit cards

Pros

  • Checkmark

    Welcome offer:: We can’t highlight this enough — Discover will match your cash back or miles rewards at the end of your first year with the card, essentially doubling your earnings.

  • Checkmark

    FICO credit score updates: Cardholders can check their FICO score for free on their Discover credit card account.

  • Checkmark

    Low redemption minimum: You can redeem your rewards starting at $1 or 1 mile, giving you more flexibility in redemption options.

  • Checkmark

    High customer satisfaction: Discover scored high in the most recent J.D. Power’s U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, so you can enjoy terrific customer service.

Cons

  • Limited travel rewards: While Discover’s travel card earns 1.5X miles on purchases, better travel rewards cards with higher rewards rates are available.

  • Earning caps: Higher cash back earning categories come with spending caps that cardholders need to watch out for.

  • Lower merchant acceptance: Discover isn’t accepted by as many merchants worldwide as cards in the largest two networks, Visa and Mastercard.

  • No consumer flat-rate cards: None of Discover’s consumer cash back cards offer an elevated flat rate on all purchases.

Tips on choosing the best Discover card

Several Discover cards are available, and the one you choose should be based on your financial goals and needs. For example, students with little or no credit history might choose one of Discover's student credit cards. If you need to work on your credit, Discover offers secured cards for credit-builders, and if you’re a cash back enthusiast, you might consider a Discover cash back card.

Discover also has a unique welcome offer: Through its Discover Match® and Cashback Match program, Discover automatically doubles all the rewards you earn in your first year as a cardholder. Instead of a few months to earn your welcome offer, you have a whole year to build up rewards and see their value double.

To help decide which card would fit your needs best, check out our tips below.

Still unsure if a Discover credit card is right for you? Check out our Credit Card Spender Type Tool where you can get personalized credit card recommendations based on your credit score, spending habits and daily needs.

Expert advice on Discover cards

Discover cards offer a ton of benefits, but there are some common mistakes you might want to avoid as well.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Maximize your Discover card

    You can take advantage of many of Discover's credit card features with these tips:

    • Take advantage of first-year offers. Plan ahead so you can reap the most value from Discover's Match® and Cashback Match programs. If you spend strategically during your first year, the Discover welcome offer can easily beat out welcome bonuses available on most no-annual-fee rewards cards.
    • Activate bonus categories. To earn Discover's elevated cash back rewards rates on its flagship cash back cards, you need to activate the bonus category every quarter. Discover sends emails to cardholders every quarter to activate the categories, but it can help to set up a calendar reminder.
    • Use its intro APR offers. If you want to finance a big-ticket item or transfer a balance, a Discover card with a lengthy intro APR offer might help you temporarily avoid interest charges.
  • Lightbulb

    Avoid Discover card pitfalls

    Discover cards have a lot of attractive perks, but avoiding these mistakes can help you prevent credit card debt and ensure a more positive experience as a cardholder.

    • Use alternative payment abroad. If you travel internationally, Discover cards may not be the best option. Though they charge no foreign transaction fee, Discover cards aren’t as widely accepted as cards on the Visa or Mastercard network, so you'll need a backup payment method in case your card isn’t accepted.
    • Don't overspend. It can be tempting to spend more if you have a Discover rewards card. But make sure you can handle the payments to avoid credit card debt, which can have a negative impact on your credit.
    • Don’t let interest eat into rewards. If you're paying interest on your balance, it won't matter how much cash back you can get or how much you save on fees. Paying interest will eat into any rewards you might earn.
  • Circle Check

    Are Discover credit cards worth it?

    Discover offers various no-annual-fee credit cards that come with the following features many will find appealing:

    • Zero fraud liability
    • Mobile wallet access
    • Contactless payments 
    • Online privacy protection
    • FICO credit score access
    • Account alerts and freezing
    • Mobile finance tracking, such as a spending analyzer and more

    Discover’s rewards program, high rates of customer satisfaction and competitive welcome offer also make these credit cards worth a look. On top of that, Discover cards also are low on fees. You won't pay foreign transaction fees or a penalty APR. Plus, there's no fee on your first late payment (up to $41 afterward).

    When it comes to deciding if a card is worth it, you’ll have to evaluate whether any of the cards Discover offers align with your financial goals. That said, we love the Discover it® Cash Back, and many other Discover cards can be great in the right person’s wallet.

How we assess the best Discover credit cards

Document
250+
cards rated
Congrats
50+
rewards programs valued
Search
5000
data points analyzed
Credit Card Reviews
40+
perks evaluated

When evaluating the best Discover credit cards, we take into account several factors, including how cards score in our proprietary card rating system and whether they offer features that fit the priorities of a diverse group of cardholders, from earning rewards to scoring a large sign-up bonus to saving on interest. 

We analyzed over 250 of the most popular credit cards and selected standouts that Discover offers. We scored each card based on the factors most relevant to its primary category, including its rewards rate, estimated annual earnings, intro APR period, ongoing APR, perks and more to determine whether it belonged in this month’s roundup. 

Here are some of the key factors that we considered: 

Have questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.

 

Frequently asked questions about Discover credit cards