NHL Discover it Review: 5% Cash Back, Plus Puck Perks

On top of its hockey-related benefits, this card offers a high rewards rate in rotating categories, a good intro APR offer and an unusual bonus that could become a windfall.

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Our Take

4.8

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: If you don't mind keeping track of bonus categories that change every three months, this card is a winner either as an everyday card or as part of a multicard rewards-maximizing strategy.

NHL® Discover it®

NHL® Discover it®

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers
  • Sign-up bonus
  • Bonus offer and rewards program

Cons

  • Complicated rewards program with rotating categories for 5% cash back
  • No luxury perks
  • Requires good/ excellent credit

Alternate Pick: Customizable rewards

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Pick your own bonus categories

Unlike the NHL® Discover it®, which picks bonus categories for you, this card earns 5% cash back in two categories you choose, on up to $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter; unlimited 2% cash back in another category you pick; and 1% on everything else. There's a solid sign-up bonus and no annual fee.

NerdWallet rating 
Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

The is a superb credit card for any hockey fan. Heck, it's a superb card even if you're not a hockey fan, since it's basically the same product as the standard card, with a few extra goodies thrown in for NHL enthusiasts.

As with the regular version, you earn 5% cash back in rotating categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter, and 1% on all other spending. The offers the same new-cardholder bonus, the same 0% introductory APR period and the same annual fee.

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Card type: .

Annual fee: .

Sign-up bonus:

Rewards:

NHL discounts: 

Rewards redemption: You can redeem cash back in any amount, except in the case of gift certificates and eCertificates, which start at $5. Redemption options include:

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Balance transfer fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*.

Other benefits:

The card's current quarterly bonus categories are listed below:

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The hockey-related benefits aren't the most noteworthy feature of the , but since the card is called the "," we might as well start here. Custom card designs are available for all 31 teams in the NHL (or 32 when the new Seattle franchise begins play in 2021). Cardholders can also get discounts at the NHL's online store and on the league's streaming TV service.

You would be hard-pressed to find a card with no annual fee that earns more than 5% cash back in bonus categories, which for Discover's cards have recently included things like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more.

If you maxed out the 5% rotating quarterly category rewards every year on this card — that is, if you activated and spent up to $1,500 in those categories each quarter all year — you would earn $300 in bonus cash back, plus 1% back on every other purchase. For many shoppers, those lucrative ongoing rewards make this card a keeper.

The comes with an uncommon bonus for new card members:

For example, if you earned $500 in rewards, Discover would give you another $500 in cash back at the end of your first consecutive 12 months of being a cardholder. For folks who plan to do a lot of spending on the card during that time, this unusual offer could prove incredibly valuable.

The offers plenty of breathing room for paying off balances after opening the account. It comes with a generous offer: . The balance transfer fee is a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to a 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms) of the amount being transferred, which is on par with other balance transfer cards.

Looking at cards that offer 5% cash-back rewards on rotating quarterly categories? Chances are the has been on your radar, too. At first glance, this card seems like a near-clone of the . But if you look a bit closer, a few important differences stand out (besides, of course, the hockey-related benefits of the ).

For more information about how these cards differ, read NerdWallet's article

The isn’t the best fit for everyone. Here’s why you might want to look elsewhere.

With rotating bonus categories that require quarterly activation, the is a relatively complicated card. If you want something more straightforward, try the .

This card offers an impressive 2% cash back on everything — 1% back on purchases and 1% back when you pay them off. With it, you can rake in big rewards for everyday spending without having to mess with bonus categories. Its annual fee is .

With the , you don't have a say in which categories earn 5% cash back. With the , it's a different story. You earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (from a list of six); 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 per quarter in combined spending in the 3% and 2% categories, then 1%); and 1% cash back on everything else. For the 3% category, you can choose from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement/furnishings, and you can change the category each month. The annual fee is . New cardholders can earn .

And if you want to see how this card compares with other rewards cards, refer to our list of.

If you prefer a no-fuss credit card, you might want to pass on the . But if you’re willing to put in some extra effort for top-notch cash-back rewards, it might be the perfect fit for you. And if you want to be able to flaunt your NHL team loyalty with every purchase? The choice is obvious.