Is the Discover It Cash Back Card Worth It?

The main goal of the Discover It cash back card is to give you as much back as possible. In fact, you can get anywhere from 1% to 5% cash back on your purchases. Discover does it a little differently, though. Most people will agree that 5% is a high enough cash back percentage for regular purchases, but in order to get the 5%, customers will have to buy from bonus categories, and you’ll also have a quarterly maximum. So instead of one bonus after a year’s end, you can earn up to $75 every 3 months from the $1,500 cash back maximum quarterly. That’s kind of a nice twist for an average cash back card.

In addition to that, if you’re a new cardmember, Discover will double your cash back by the end of your first year. However, this only happens during the first year, so don’t expect it afterwards. Still, it’s a nice perk, especially if you take advantage of it as soon as you get your credit card. The Discover It also falls in the category of cash back cards that don’t have an annual fee. It’s surely one of the best things about owning this card; you don’t have to worry about paying any fees even if you don’t use the card as often as you expected to.

Other details for this card include the 1% cash back on all purchases automatically. Your rewards will never expire, and you can redeem any cash back amount you might need to anytime you want. This means that you can roll over your cash back rewards to accumulate the money for larger purchases. That’s certainly a benefit that not a lot of cash back cards can boast of. If you happen to be an avid Amazon shopper, you can even use your rewards at checkout.

To understand the 5% bonus cash back further, you’ll just have to follow along with a quarterly calendar. The months of the year are divided into four, 3-month groups, and each quarter will earn you the rewards depending on how much you shop that quarter for that specific category. From January to March, you can earn 5% bonus cash back by using your credit card at gas and wholesale clubs. From April to June, you can earn the 5% back by swiping at any and all grocery stores. You can earn the 5% cash back from July to September every time you use your Discover It card at restaurants. And lastly, when you use your card on Amazon.com and wholesale clubs from October to December, you’ll be getting the 5% bonus cash back reward on your credit card. Of course, the limit of $1,500 applies to every quarter.

Looking at the maximum possible returns you can get with the Discover It card, it is already a better cash back card when compared to others in its category. Given that you can have an annual maximum reward limit of up to $6k each year ($1.5k multiplied by the 4 quarters of every year), you can easily have annual savings of up to $300 just on your bonus cash back alone. The 1% cash back may not be much in comparison, but at least you’re still getting something in return even if you’re not spending in the quarterly category for the 5% bonus.

All in all, the Discover It cash back card is absolutely worth it if you’re going to be proactive in your spending. Not many people may want to keep track of quarterly categories and goals, but it really isn’t much work if you think about it, especially if you’re in the business of saving money. When put side by side to other cards with comparable seasonal bonus categories, the Discover It card is as attractive as they get. The Discover It card may earn you just slightly less in rewards, but you really can’t go wrong with a $0 annual fee versus the $95 that the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express will take from you annually. There are other credit cards with $0 annual fees, and if you’re worried about having the Discover logo instead of the more widely accepted VISA or Mastercard, then you should probably opt for the Capital One Quicksilver or the Chase Freedom credit cards. Otherwise, the Discover It has just the right things going for it to be worth having in your wallet.


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