Discover it® Chrome Review

The Discover it® chrome is a cash-back reward credit card with no annual fee. The card targets users aiming to earn money back on their gas station and restaurant purchases. Unlike its counterpart, the Discover it® Cash Back, the rewards categories don’t rotate each quarter. Discover is a fully digital banking platform that offers an array of financial products, such as checking, savings, and retirement accounts, as well as loans.

The Essentials of the Discover it® chrome

  • APR: 0% for the first 14 months, then 13.49% – 24.49% variable
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Primary Feature: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
  • Introductory Bonus Offer: Cash-back match at the end of the first year of earning rewards

What’s Interesting about the Discover it® chrome

Deciding which credit card to go with is a challenge. The Discover it® chrome has a lot of exciting features. This card has no annual fee, which is pretty standard across rewards credit cards. However, the dollar-for-dollar cash-back match at the end of the first year is a perk — and brings an opportunity to earn $80 back once you hit the one-year mark.

One aspect of this card is that its rewards are straightforward. The card provides 2% cash back on all purchases made at gas stations and restaurants, up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter (every 3 months). These categories never rotate, and you don’t have to remember to activate them each quarter. For all other spending, you’ll earn 1% cash back.  Additionally, the APR is 0% on purchases and balance transfers for the first 14 months and then will fall between 13.49% – 24.49% variable.

There’s no fee on your first late payment, and it won’t affect your APR to submit a payment after the due date. Discover also provides free credit monitoring and Social Security number monitoring for its members that sign up. Furthermore, there’s no charge for a replacement card, and you can receive a new card overnight.

Things to Consider

A cash-back rate of 2% at the highest is not as good as other offers out there. Plus, the maximum cash back only applies to 2 categories — restaurants and gas stations. If you don’t drive much or you don’t eat out a lot, this might not be the best card for you. Furthermore, if you frequently fill up your car at a gas station associated with a supermarket, that purchase may not be eligible for rewards.
On the other hand, restaurants include fast-food joints and cafeterias.
Additionally, Discover has no foreign transaction fees, but it can be challenging to find places that accept Discover overseas. More stores abroad accept Mastercard and Visa than Discover, so keep this in mind when thinking about how often you would need to use the card for travel.

How to Get the Most from this Card

To get the maximum cash back on this card, you’ll have to spend at least $1,000 every quarter on gas and restaurants. That way, you’ll max out the rewards for that category. The rest of your purchases will get 1% cash back, as well, so using your credit card for most of your purchases will help you earn rewards.
With a Discover it® chrome, your cash back never expires. What’s the best way to redeem the rewards? Discover offers a flexible redemption plan with many ways to redeem your cash back, including:

  • Gift cards or e-certificates for one of over 100 partner companies, such as Bed Bath & Beyond and Fandango
  • Donate to a charity
  • Credit your account
  • Deposit into a separate account
  • Pay with Cashback Bonus at select retailers, such as Amazon.com

With Discover, you can choose the reward that best suits your needs.

Other Card Options that Might Interest You

Not quite sure the Discover it® chrome is for you? Here are two alternative rewards credit cards that are worth looking into: the Chase Freedom Credit Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card. The Chase Freedom Card involves a bit more work but offers higher rewards. You can earn up to 5% cash back on revolving categories each quarter, such as gas stations, grocery stores, and stores like Amazon.com and Target. Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in various categories throughout the year. The main difference is that the rewards aren’t automatic, like with Discover it® chrome. Plus, you’ll have to sign up each quarter. However, this card’s APR is 16.49% – 25.24% variable, which is higher than that offered by Discover.

Another great option is the Citi Double Cash Card. The cash-back system sounds a bit complicated, but it’s not. You get 2% cash back on all purchases, and it comes in 2 payments: 1% when you buy the item, and 1% as you pay for those purchases. You must pay at least the minimum payment on time to get the other 1% cash back. The APR is 15.49% – 25.49% on this card, which is slightly higher than the rate on the Discover card.

The Final Word

Who might get the most out of the Discover it® chrome? A person who drives a lot — and therefore needs to fill up their tank often — or eats meals out frequently would likely benefit from this card. Also, someone who wants cash-back rewards without the added responsibility of having to activate the rewards every 3 months might appreciate the ease of this card.
Who should consider skipping this card? A person who is looking to earn money back aggressively can find more earning potential elsewhere. It will merely take a little more effort on your part. Or, someone who travels a lot and needs to use this card overseas could be better off with a card in the Visa or Mastercard networks because so few locations accept Discover abroad.

Tiffany Verbeck

Personal Finance Contributor

Tiffany Verbeck is a personal finance expert. She uses her storytelling skills gained from a master’s degree in writing to run a freelancing business focused on helping people make and manage their money.