Discover it® Student chrome review

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Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History

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Best for good grades rewards

Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% for 6 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
10.99% for 6 months
Regular APR:
12.99% - 21.99% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

Bankrate Rating

Best for students getting a first card

  • Rewards rate: 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter; 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: Match all cash back earned at the end of your first year
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase intro APR: 0 percent for 6 months
  • Balance transfer intro APR: 10.99 percent for 6 months (transfers must post by April 10, 2021)
  • Regular APR: 12.99 percent to 21.99 percent variable

Rewards are hard to find when shopping for a starter card. But the Discover it Student chrome has quite a generous reward structure, making it an interesting option among starter credit cards for students.

Also attractive are the benefits, value and security features of this card, which have been customized for college students’ needs.

Current sign-up bonus

A popular mainstay on Discover’s cards for good credit, the Unlimited Cash Back Match intro offer is one of the most attractive features of the Student chrome card. Discover will match all cash back you earn during the first year. There are no minimum spending requirements or cap on how much the card will match. Since bonuses on other student cards are typically minimal if at all available, this is a particularly generous offer.

The Student chrome card’s “Good Grades reward” is another intro perk. Each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher, for up to the first five years you hold the card, you’ll receive a $20 statement credit.

Finally, having the first six months interest-free (intro offer for new purchases, ongoing 12.99 percent to 21.99 percent variable APR thereafter) to finance any necessities at college might make this card attractive enough all on its own. Parents will appreciate students having a bit of breathing room while getting settled and learning the credit card ropes. Just pay the balance in full after the first six months, or interest can quickly negate all the cash back benefits you’ll earn.

Cash back

Earning cash back is easy with the Discover it Student chrome, as it provides rewards for common student spending categories.

Earning cash back

Students can earn 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined quarterly purchases) and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.

Redeeming cash back

Cash back rewards never expire while the account is open and in good standing. You can redeem rewards for cash back at any time, use them instantly at Amazon.com or opt for a variety of other redemption options. The full selection of redemption options includes:

  • Card members can redeem their Cashback Bonus for a physical or digital Partner Gift Card with 5% to 20% added value to the each gift card (depending on merchant). Partner Gift Cards range from $5 to $200 in increments of $5.
  • Charitable donation to select charities
  • Credit to your account
  • Electronic deposit into any account you designate
  • Pay with cash back at select merchants

Benefits

For students just getting started with a credit card for the first time, credit education resources and account protection benefits are invaluable.

Account protection

With the Discover it Student chromethe account essentially has an on/off switch. If you misplace your card, you can freeze your account in seconds on the mobile app or website.

Free credit score access and protection

Easily view your FICO credit score on monthly statements or on demand. When you activate free alerts, Discover will notify you if:

  • Your Social Security number is found on one of thousands of dark web sites.
  • Any new credit card, mortgage, car loan or other account shows up on your credit report.
  • Anyone pulls your credit, so you can recognize possible fraud.

Rates and fees

This card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.

Discover also forgives your first late fee if you fall behind on one payment. Paying late won’t raise your APR, and you won’t incur a fee if you happen to exceed your limit. After excusing that first late payment, the fee going forward is up to $40.

Cash advance fees are either $10 or 5 percent of the amount, whichever is greater.

Finally, balance transfers have a fee of 3 percent intro balance transfer fee, up to 5 percent fee on future balance transfers (see terms*), with a 10.99 percent intro APR balance transfer offer for the first six months. After that the variable APR of 12.99 percent to 21.99 percent applies.

How the Discover it Student Chrome compares to other low interest cards

When looking for the best student credit card, it’s important to weigh your options.

The Discover it Student chrome card will be a solid candidate for many students looking to establish credit and manage their own finances. Earning and redeeming rewards is easy with this card and can help stretch a student’s budget.

But if your main goal is racking up rewards, and you don’t mind tracking the revolving door of categories, you may benefit more from the Discover it® Student Cash Back card.

Alternatively, the Journey Student Credit Card from Capital One has a flat rate of cash back on all purchases, so you don’t have to keep track of bonus categories at all.

Card Rewards rate Annual fee APR
Discover it® Student Cash Back
  • 5% cash back on rotating quarterly bonus categories, up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1% (enrollment required)
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
$0 12.99% to 21.99% (variable)
Journey Student Credit Card from Capital One
  • 1% cash back on all purchases
  • 25% bonus points when you pay on time
$0 26.99% (variable)

Best cards to pair the Discover it Student Chrome with

Where this card falls a bit short is for students planning to study or vacation abroad. Discover cards aren’t as widely accepted outside of the U.S. as some other cards out there. If that’s the case, other student credit cards might be better suited for your lifestyle.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the Discover it Student Chrome worth it?

The answer is yes if you are a student looking to establish your credit history and take advantage of cash back rewards that are quite uncommon for student credit cards.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Cash back reward program
  • Unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of cash back earned in the first year
  • Annual $20 statement credit incentive for good grades
  • First late fee waived, then up to $40

Cons

  • Poor international acceptance history
  • A few other student cards have higher rewards