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Busting Common Myths About Discover Card’s Acceptance

Last Updated: March 31, 2022
4 min read

When you’re making multiple purchases in a day — from picking up your share of the tab at a happy hour with coworkers to grabbing gas on the route to work — you need to be confident that the card you have in your wallet will be accepted. And for all of those purchases — the small, large, and anything in between — you can feel comfortable with choosing Discover. That’s because Discover is accepted at more places than you might imagine — Discover is accepted nationwide by 99 percent of the places that take credit cards*. Consider these common misconceptions about the acceptance of Discover’s credit cards and learn what the facts really are:

Myth: Most merchants don’t accept Discover.

Reality: According to a February 2022 Nilson report, 99 percent of U.S. merchants that take credit cards accept Discover credit cards

Myth: If I don’t see my card’s logo displayed, that means that the merchant doesn’t accept my card.

Reality: Some merchants may not display acceptance decals for all cards, and some acceptance decals may be different than the name on your card. For example, a merchant or restaurant that displays a Diners Club acceptance decal may also accept Discover cards. Abroad, Discover’s partnerships and alliances with local banks may mean that Discover is accepted at a retailer who displays a different decal than you may be accustomed to seeing. For example, in Japan, Discover is accepted wherever a JCB logo is displayed. Bottom line: Make sure to ask the retailer what cards they accept.

Myth: My Discover card won’t work in an ATM or bank.

Reality: It’s possible to get cash using your Discover card at more than 415,000 ATM locations. You need PIN (personal identification number) activation, so you may need to call customer service to obtain a PIN. If you’re requesting cash from a bank or credit union, you also need a form of ID. You can search to find surcharge-free ATMs, or you can use Discover’s cash over option, where you can pay for a purchase at checkout and then ask for cash. Your purchase APR will apply for the cash over option, and your cash advance APR will apply for the other methods to get cash.

Myth: A Discover card won’t be reliable for online retailers.

Reality: With some online merchants, you may even be able to earn more rewards for the places where you shop the most. For example, if you have a Discover it® or Discover it® Miles card, you can link these cards to your Amazon.com account to maximize rewards. Not only will you get reward points for Amazon.com purchases, but you can also pay with your Cashback Bonus at Amazon.com

Myth: I’ve heard Discover may be rejected for payment at local stores.

Reality: Retailers ranging from big box merchants to small mom-and-pop shops accept Discover cards. Over the past decade, Discover has created partnerships around the United States and across the globe, making Discover one of the leading credit cards in terms of acceptance. If you’ve heard a rumor that a store doesn’t accept Discover, it may be a good idea to ask and find out for yourself, after all Discover is accepted at 200 countries and territories (and growing) and 99% of places in the U.S. that take credit cards accept Discover*. Chances are, you’re likely to find out that the retailer does accept Discover.

Myth: Discover offers less competitive rewards than other cards.

Reality: Whether you want to earn miles or cash back, or you’re exploring secured credit cards to build your credit history, Discover has an option for you. For example, the Discover it® Cash Back card offers 5 percent cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com1, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal2, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.  Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.  If you’re still building credit, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card offers Cashback Match, where Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.3 There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards, just dollar-for-dollar match. And you can rest easy knowing that every Discover card has No Annual Fee.

*According to the Feb 2022 issue of the Nilson Report

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