BEST OF

Best Discover Credit Cards of May 2021

NerdWalletApril 16, 2021
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ALSO SEE: Best credit cards of 2021 || Visa || Mastercard || American Express || Discover || Bank of America® || Capital One || Chase || Citi || US Bank || Wells FargoDiscover's credit cards don't charge annual fees and offer new cardholders a unique bonus in which the issuer matches all rewards earned in the first year. Nowadays you can use Discover in nearly as many places in the U.S. as Visa and Mastercard, although acceptance internationally is still quite limited. These are our favorite Discover credit cards.

NerdWallet's Best Discover Credit Cards of May 2021

Best Discover Credit Cards From Our Partners

Our picks for

Cash back

NerdWallet rating 

4.8

/5
Discover it® Cash Back

on Discover's website, or call (800) 347-0264

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-5%Cashback

Intro offer

Cashback Match

Rec Credit Score

690-850Good - Excellent

NerdWallet rating 

3.5

/5
Discover it® chrome

on Discover's website, or call (800) 347-0264

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-2%Cashback

Intro offer

Cashback Match

Rec Credit Score

690-850Good - Excellent

Our pick for

Travel

NerdWallet rating 

4.1

/5
Discover it® Miles

on Discover's website, or call (800) 347-0264

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5xMiles

Intro offer

Discover Match®Miles

Rec Credit Score

690-850Good - Excellent

Our pick for

Balance transfers

NerdWallet rating 

4.7

/5
Discover it® Balance Transfer

on Discover's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-5%Cashback

Intro offer

Cashback Match

Rec Credit Score

690-850Good - Excellent

Our picks for

College students

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Discover it® Student chrome

on Discover's website, or call (800) 347-0264

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-2%Cashback

Intro offer

Cashback Match

Rec Credit Score

630-689Average

NerdWallet rating 

4.9

/5
Discover it® Student Cash Back

on Discover's website, or call (800) 347-0264

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-5%Cashback

Intro offer

Cashback Match

Rec Credit Score

630-689Average

Our pick for

Building or rebuilding credit

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Discover it® Secured Credit Card

on Discover's website, or call (800) 347-0264

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-2%Cashback

Intro offer

Cashback Match

Rec Credit Score

300-629Poor

EDITORIAL PICKS: BEST DISCOVER CREDIT CARDS

Click the card name to read our review. Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

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 Amazon.com. 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.

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.

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. 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.

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 0% APR period ends. Read our review.

Our pick for: Small business and side hustles 

The no-fuss, no-hassle rewards of the Discover it® Business Card make it a great choice for entrepreneurs and side hustlers whose business expenses don't fall into the bonus categories on other small-business rewards cards (things like office supplies, advertising and so on). You also get Discover's signature "cash-back match" bonus your first year. Read our review.

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.

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.

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.

Last updated on April 16, 2021

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best 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 in multiple categories.