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NerdWallet’s Best Discover Credit Cards of 2016

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Want a credit card with rewards, 0% financing, no foreign transaction fees and free access to your FICO score? You might want a Discover card. Take a look at our favorite Discover cards.

For travel: Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

Apply Now on Discover's secure website

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • No annual fee
  • 10.99% for 12 mos on transfers
  • No foreign transaction fee

Bonus Offer

50,000 Miles could turn into 100,000 Miles with Discover Match®. We'll automatically match all the Miles you earned at the end of your first year. Only for new cardmembers.

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% on purchases for 12 months and 10.99% on balance transfers for 12 months

APR

  • APR: 11.24% – 23.24% Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • 50,000 Miles could turn into 100,000 Miles with Discover Match®. We'll automatically match all the Miles you earned at the end of your first year. Only for new cardmembers.
  • UNLIMITED 1.5x Miles on every dollar you spend on purchases.
  • Redeem in any amount for a credit to your statement to cover travel purchases.
  • NO BLACKOUT dates. Fly any airline, any time.
  • NO ANNUAL FEE.
  • Automatic credit of up to $30 a year for your in-flight Wi-Fi fees.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match® details & other information.
If you prefer travel rewards, the Discover it® Miles is a great option. It gives you 1.5 miles for every $1 spent anywhere, redeemable for travel statement credit or cash back via direct deposit. This card also offers a sweet promotional bonus: “50,000 Miles could turn into 100,000 Miles with Discover Match®. We'll automatically match all the Miles you earned at the end of your first year. Only for new cardmembers. ” Plus, you’ll get an annual Wi-Fi credit of up to $30 for your in-flight Internet use.

The card’s annual fee is $0, and there are no foreign transaction fees. If you accidentally pay late, your first late payment fee will be waived, and your APR won’t increase. And speaking of APR, the Discover it® Miles offers 0% on purchases for 12 months and 10.99% on balance transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.24% – 23.24% Variable.

For everyday spending: Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Apply Now on Discover's secure website

Pros

  • Cash back match at the end of your first year
  • Bonus cash back categories
  • No annual fee
  • 0% on purchases for 12 months and 0% on balance transfers for 12 months

Cons

  • Slightly less merchant acceptance for Discover in US - acceptance outside of US can be an issue
  • No sign-up bonus
  • If you value simplicity, a flat rate cash back card may be better

Bonus Offer

You could turn $200 into $400 with Cashback Match™. We’ll automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. New cardmembers only.

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% on purchases for 12 months and 0% on balance transfers for 12 months

APR

  • APR: 11.24% – 23.24% Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • You could turn $200 into $400 with Cashback Match™. We’ll automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. New cardmembers only.
  • Earn 5% cash back in new bonus categories like gas, restaurants, Amazon and more - up to $1500 every quarter you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • FICO® Credit Scores for free on statements and online.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
For general purchases, check out the Discover it® - Cashback Match™. It offers 5% cash back on quarterly rotating bonus categories, up to $1,500 spent each quarter (1% after that), and 1% on all other purchases. Here are the bonus categories for 2016:

Q1 (Jan. 1 – March 31)Gas and ground transportation
Q2 (April 1 – June 30)Restaurants and movies
Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)Home improvement and Amazon.com
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)Amazon.com, department stores and Sam's Club

Want extra rewards? The Discover Deals bonus mall is one of our favorites in the industry. You can use it to get 5%-20% off your purchases at select online retailers. There’s also a mobile app for savings in-store. In addition, there’s a great incentive for new cardholders: “You could turn $200 into $400 with Cashback Match™. We’ll automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. New cardmembers only.”

There are actually two versions of this card. Each has an annual fee of $0, and the cards have the same rewards and fees. The only difference is in their 0% APR periods:

For college students: Discover it® for Students

Discover it® for Students

Apply Now on Discover's secure website

Pros

  • Qualify with average credit
  • Bonus cash back categories
  • No annual fee
  • 0% on purchases for 6 months and 10.99% on balance transfers for 6 months
  • No foreign transaction fee

Bonus Offer

Discover matches all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year - automatically. Only for new cardmembers.

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% on purchases for 6 months and 10.99% on balance transfers for 6 months

APR

  • APR: 13.24% - 22.24% Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • Discover matches all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year - automatically. Only for new cardmembers.
  • Earn 5% cash back in new bonus categories like gas, restaurants, Amazon and more - up to $1500 every quarter you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & FICO® Credit Scores for free on statements & online.
  • Freeze It℠ on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.24% - 22.24%.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Like its general-purpose counterparts, the Discover it® for Students offers 5% back on rotating bonus categories, up to $1,500 in spending per quarter, and 1% on everything else. The categories are the same as those for the Discover it® - Cashback Match™:

Q1 (Jan. 1 – March 31)Gas and ground transportation
Q2 (April 1 – June 30)Restaurants and movies
Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)Home improvement and Amazon.com
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)Amazon.com, department stores and Sam's Club

The Discover it® for Students has an annual fee of $0 and an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 6 months and 10.99% on balance transfers for 6 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 22.24% Variable.

Last updated June 17, 2016. 

Erin El Issa is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: erin@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @Erin_Lindsay17.