BEST CREDIT CARDSBEST CREDIT CARDSBEST DISCOVER CREDIT CARDS OF MARCH 2024
BEST OF

Best Discover Credit Cards of March 2024

Updated: Feb 23, 2024
Kenley Young
Written by
Assigning Editor
Caitlin Mims
Reviewed by
Content Management Specialist
Paul Soucy
Edited by
Fact Checked
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
Kenley Young
Written by
Assigning Editor
Caitlin Mims
Reviewed by
Content Management Specialist
Paul Soucy
Edited by
Fact Checked
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
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NerdWallet's Best Discover Credit Cards of March 2024

Best Discover Credit Cards From Our Partners

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Find the right credit card for you.

Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

Find the right credit card for you.

Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

Our pick for

Cash back

Our pick for

Travel

Our pick for

Balance transfers

Our pick for

College students

Our pick for

Building or rebuilding credit

🤓Nerdy Tip

In February 2024, Capital One announced that it had reached a deal to acquire Discover. Capital One has not offered details about what that might mean for Discover's lineup of credit cards, but its has said that the Discover brand will continue. The deal must be approved by banking regulators and shareholders before it can go through.

BEST DISCOVER CREDIT CARDS

Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

Discover it® Cash Back

Our pick for: Cash back

The Discover it® Cash Back earns bonus cash back in quarterly categories that you activate. In past years, those categories have included common spending areas like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and specific major retailers. Category activation can be a hassle, but if your spending aligns with those categories (and for most households, it probably will), you can rake in serious rewards. You also get the issuer's signature "cash-back match" bonus in your first year. Read our review.

Discover it® Chrome

Our pick for: Cash back

The Discover it® Chrome doesn't have rotating categories like some of Discover's better-known cards. Instead, it gives you extra rewards at gas stations and restaurants, with no activation required. You get the "cash-back match" bonus in your first year, too. Read our review.

Discover it® Miles

Our pick for: Travel

The Discover it® Miles is the rare travel credit card that lets you redeem your rewards for travel or for cash back at the same rate. (Also rare among travel cards is its intro APR period for balance transfers.) You earn unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar spent on purchases, and the miles are generally worth 1 cent apiece — that's a solid rate for a card with no annual fee. As with other Discover cards, this one matches the rewards you earn in your first year. Read our review.

Discover it® Balance Transfer

Our pick for: Balance transfers

What makes the Discover it® Balance Transfer stand out from other balance-transfer cards is its ongoing cash-back rewards, which give you a great reason to keep using the card regularly even after its introductory APR period ends. Read our review.

Discover it® Student Chrome

Our pick for: College students

Simplicity makes the Discover it® Student Chrome a standout for students searching for their first credit card. You'll earn bonus cash back at restaurants and gas stations with no activation required and no rotating categories to keep track of. Read our review.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Our pick for: College students

The Discover it® Student Cash Back gives students the same excellent rewards as the regular Discover it® Cash Back — notably, bonus cash back in rotating categories that you must activate. Activating and tracking categories might be too much of a hassle for some students brand new to credit cards, but if you're up for a little work, the rewards can be handsome. Read our review.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Our pick for: Building or rebuilding credit

Like other secured credit cards for people building or rebuilding credit, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card requires a cash security deposit. Unlike most others, it offers rewards. But what really makes it stand out from the competition is its upgrade possibilities. The issuer has a process in place for automatically reviewing accounts for possible transition to an unsecured card. Read our review. 

Other cards issued by Discover

  • NHL® Discover it® — the official credit card of the National Hockey League, this card operates just like the Discover it® Cash Back but also offers special discounts for hockey fans.

• • •

OTHER RESOURCES

What credit score do you need to get a Discover card? 

Discover's standard rewards credit cards require good credit to qualify, which is generally defined as having a credit score of 690 or better. But your credit score is just one factor that card issuers typically consider in evaluating applications; others include your income, credit utilization, the number of credit cards you already have, and major recurring expenses like your rent or mortgage.

Discover also offers cards designed for people who are building or rebuilding credit:

  • Students new to credit may qualify for the Discover it® Student Cash Back or the Discover it® Student Chrome. Neither of these cards requires a FICO score history.

  • The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is also an option. Like other secured cards, it requires a cash security deposit. But Discover also offers a clear upgrade process and automatic account reviews. After at least seven months of on-time payments, Discover may return your deposit and move you to a regular card.

What are the interest rates on Discover credit cards? 

As is the case with many card issuers, the ongoing interest rates on Discover credit cards can vary widely — in some cases by 10 percentage points or more. In general, the better your creditworthiness, the better the chance you'll qualify for a rate at the lower end of the range for a given card.

That said, several Discover cards offer an introductory 0% APR period. They include:

  • Discover it® Cash Back: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%-28.24% Variable APR .

  • Discover it® Chrome: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%-28.24% Variable APR .

  • Discover it® Miles: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%-28.24% Variable APR .

  • Discover it® Balance Transfer: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%-28.24% Variable APR.

  • Discover it® Student Cash Back: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months, and then the ongoing APR of 18.24%-27.24% Variable APR.

  • Discover it® Student Chrome: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months, and then the ongoing APR of 18.24%-27.24% Variable APR.

What credit limit can I get with a Discover card? 

Your credit limit on a Discover card will depend on your individual circumstances; factors that may go into the calculation include your income, your credit score, your total credit utilization, your other available credit and your outstanding debt. Discover won’t set your credit limit until it reviews (and approves) your application.

The exception is the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. As is the case with most secured cards, the security deposit determines your credit limit. So if you put down a deposit of $300, you get a $300 credit limit. The minimum deposit on the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is $200.

What are the benefits of Discover credit cards?

Discover offers a range of benefits. To start with, all Discover cards have no annual fee, and none of them charge foreign transaction fees.

Although the specific earning rates vary by card, all Discover cards earn rewards — cash back, in most cases — with no limit on how much you can earn and no minimum redemption amount. This includes Discover’s secured and student cards.

If Discover has a signature benefit, though, it's the issuer's bonus offer for new cardholders. At the end of your first 12 months after getting a card, Discover will automatically match all the rewards you earned in that first year. So if you earned $350 cash back in that first year, Discover will kick in another $350. If you've earned 41,262 miles with the Discover it® Miles card, Discover will give you 41,262 more miles. Note that the matching bonus comes as a lump sum at the end of the 12 months — Discover doesn't match rewards as you earn them.

Discover also has a fully U.S.-based customer service team, available 24 hours a day. Discover consistently rates in the top tier in customer service surveys for major credit card issuers.

Which Discover card is easiest to get?

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is the easiest Discover card to get. The security deposit serves as insurance for the issuer in case a cardholder doesn't pay their bill. That reduces the risk, so the issuer can make the card available to people with bad credit or no credit at all. Keep in mind, however, that approval is not guaranteed for any credit card, even a secured card. If you don't have income, for example, or if you have a pending bankruptcy, an issuer might still decline your application.

If you’re a student new to building credit, the Discover it® Student Chrome and Discover it® Student Cash Back are great options, both requiring no deposit, no annual fee and no FICO credit score history.

All three of these cards offer a path to upgrade to a "regular" Discover card as your credit improves.

Will a Discover card help me build credit?

When used responsibly, a Discover card can be a great tool to help you build credit for the first time, or to rebuild a less-than-stellar credit history. Discover regularly reports account information to all three major financial bureaus, helping you establish a history of on-time payments.

• • •

NerdWallet's Jaime Hanson contributed to this article.

Last updated on February 23, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best credit cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen as among the "best" in multiple categories. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

Frequently asked questions

Rewards earned with your Discover credit card don't expire as long as your account remains in good standing. If you close your account or it goes inactive for more than 18 months, Discover will apply your rewards as a credit toward any remaining account balance, or send you a check for the remaining rewards value.

Discover doesn’t charge an annual fee on any of its credit cards. One caveat applies to the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. It doesn't have an annual fee, but it does require a refundable security deposit upon opening the account.

Discover credit cards don’t charge foreign transaction fees. This applies not only to the issuer's dedicated travel card, the Discover it® Miles, but also to its cash-back cards. Be aware, though, that Discover's international acceptance is generally lower than that for Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Once you receive your new Discover card in the mail, you can activate it using the issuer’s online activation page, or by calling Discover customer service at 800-347-2683. Activation information will also be provided in the mailing when your new card arrives.

To cancel your Discover card, call Discover customer service at 800-347-2683. Keep in mind, though, that closing a credit card can hurt your credit score, especially if it’s an older account. Since Discover cards don't charge an annual fee, you may be better off keeping the card open, even if you're not actively using it.

If you do choose to move forward with canceling your Discover card, there’s no fee for doing so, and you don’t have to pay off your full balance before canceling. However, you will have to continue making payments after closing, and interest will continue to accrue until your balance is paid in full.

Discover recommends redeeming all rewards before you cancel your Discover card. Any unredeemed rewards will be applied to your remaining balance as a statement credit.

If you’ve applied for a Discover card and are waiting for notice of approval, you can check the status of your application online or by calling 800-347-3085. In both cases, you’ll need to provide your Social Security Number and ZIP code to see the status of your application.

About the author

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Kenley Young

Kenley is an assigning editor at NerdWallet covering credit cards. He has worked for Yahoo and FoxSports.com as an editor and producer. Read more
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