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The Discover® Open Road Card may not be your top choice in a credit card. It has some weaknesses when compared to similar options. It may be fee-free, but its rewards program leaves you wanting more.
The Discover® Open Road Card is just not that rewarding. It takes great pride in offering 2% rewards on gas and dining purchases, but those earnings are severely limited. You can only earn 2% on the first $250 in qualifying purchases every month. Your maximum earning potential is only $2.50 extra per month on top of your base rate.
Maybe you don’t spend more than $250/month at restaurants and gas stations, anyway, in which case spending caps matter little. However, realize other cards offer higher return rates on a greater number of categories. We’ll show you a couple momentarily.
Another reason why the Discover® Open Road Card doesn’t measure up is its ongoing rewards rate. The base return rate on almost every rewards card is 1%. With this one, however, you’ll get a base rate is 0.25% for the first $3,000 spent annually, then 1% on everything after that.
The Discover® Open Road Card does have one redeeming factor. When you sign up, you get 0% for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.74% - 21.74% Variable. This can be helpful if you need to charge a large sum to your card or pay down debts. The balance transfer fee is low at 3%. This is a decent deal if you need a break from interest rates. But from a rewards perspective, the Discover® Open Road Card isn’t a great choice.
A similar but much, much better card is the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Like the Discover® Open Road Card, it has a $0 annual fee and yet its cash-back rewards are far superior. You earn 3% back at supermarkets, 2% at major department stores, 2% at gas stations and 1% everywhere else. Rewards are not capped, and the 1% base rate applies to every dollar you spend.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express card even has a signup bonus, something the Discover® Open Road Card lacks entirely: $100 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply. Plus, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.
If you’re interested in stepping up the game, there is a more advanced version of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express available. It’s called the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. It charges an annual fee of Special Offer: $0 intro annual fee for the first year of Card Membership, then $95, but the rewards easily make up the cost. You earn 6% back at supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually), 3% at major department stores, 3% at gas stations and 1% everywhere else. Again, you don’t have to worry about caps or reaching a spending threshold to achieve the 1% base rate. It’s simple, straightforward and remarkably rewarding.
Basically, applying for the Discover® Open Road Card will get you heavily restricted rewards programs. There are better options available.