Benefits of Discover it Cash Back

This card offers rich ongoing rewards in popular categories, a potentially lucrative sign-up bonus and a lengthy intro APR period.
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Written by Melissa Lambarena
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Edited by Kenley Young
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The Discover it® Cash Back offers a standout welcome offer and a high ongoing cash-back rate on popular spending categories that change every quarter (activation required).

With bonus categories that commonly include major line items in many people's budgets the Discover it® Cash Back is suitable as an everyday card, but it also pair nicely with a flat-rate cash-back credit card that earns a decent rewards rate on all purchases.

Here's a list of the benefits this card offers.

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

NerdWallet Rating
Annual fee


Spending rewards

1. Cash back in popular areas

The Discover it® Cash Back earns 5% back on rotating quarterly categories up to a maximum of $1,500 in purchases per quarter (requires activation). Other purchases, including in the bonus categories after hitting the quarterly cap, earn 1%. Previous bonus categories have included gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and others. Here are the current categories:

Discover bonus rewards categories for 2024

Q1 (Jan. 1–March 31)

  • Restaurants.

  • Drugstores.

Q2 (April 1–June 30)

  • Gas stations/EV charging stations.

  • Home improvement stores.

  • Public transit.

Q3 (July 1–Sept. 30)

  • Grocery stores.

  • Walmart.

Q4 (Oct. 1–Dec. 31)

  • TBD (In 2023: Amazon, Target).

2. Redemption flexibility

You can redeem your cash back in any amount whenever you like, and into any bank account you choose.

Other redemption options include gift cards, instant eCertificates, donations to charities, statement credit or purchases. (Gift cards and eCertificates do have a minimum redemption requirement of $5.)

Eye-catching introductory offers

3. A long 0% intro APR period

The Discover it® Cash Back offers a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 18.24%-28.24% Variable APR.

4. A valuable sign-up bonus for new cardholders

There's a potentially lucrative sign-up bonus, depending on how much you spend. Discover describes the offer this way:

INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

A considerate late-payment policy

5. No late fee the first time you pay late

You also won’t have to worry about a penalty APR raising your interest rate.

Light on fees

6. No foreign transaction fees

You won't pay extra to use the card abroad. However, Discover's international acceptance isn't as widespread compared with Visa's or Mastercard's.

Consumer-friendly features and benefits

7. An account-locking function

If you misplace your credit card, you can easily lock your card to prevent new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers. Access the website or mobile app to turn the switch on or off. (Some recurring bills and other transactions may remain active.) If you need a new card, Discover offers free overnight shipping for replacement cards to any U.S. street address. Terms apply.

8. Social Security number alerts

Discover monitors the web and your Experian credit report to protect you against identity theft. The issuer notifies you when your Social Security number is found on the dark web or if a new account is opened and listed in your credit report. You have to opt in to this feature.

9. Cash at checkout

This benefit can save you a trip to the ATM when you use your credit card at a qualifying register to get cash. You won’t pay a transaction fee, ATM fee or a bank fee, but your regular purchase APR will apply to the cash you request. You can get up to $120 per 24-hour period at certain stores.

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