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Is Discover a Good Credit Card for Your Needs?

Published February 12, 2024
5 min read

Key points about: Discover credit cards

  1. Figure out what type of credit card you want–travel, everyday purchases, cash back rewards–to help determine if a Discover® Card would be good for you.

  2. Secured and student credit cards can be good options for those with limited or no credit history.

  3. Your Discover rewards card will earn cash back or Miles on everyday purchases, big or small.

Searching for a new credit card can feel overwhelming. For some, it can seem like there are too many options to choose from. For those with poor credit or a lack of credit history, it can feel like there aren’t enough options available. Whether you’re looking for a new credit card or your first credit card, there’s a wide array of rewards card choices from Discover that may meet your needs.

Reasons a Discover Card may be good for you

What are you looking for in a credit card? A card you can use for everyday purchases that charges no annual fees? A travel credit card you can use overseas? Or, do you plan to make a large purchase that you can’t pay off in one month, and want a low introductory APR on purchases so you can save money on interest?

Discover credit cards offer all of these benefits and more:

Relief on fees: Some rewards credit cards may charge you an annual fee to use them and take advantage of their rewards, but Discover has no annual fee on every credit card. Discover Cards also have no late fee on your first late payment, and no interest increase for late payments.1

Discover Mobile App: No matter where you are, you can instantly access your credit card information with the Discover mobile app. It’s simple to make an on-the-go payment or manage your spending from your Apple or Android phone, tablet, or watch.

Online privacy protection: Discover will help you regularly remove your personal info from at least 10 people-search websites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the Discover app.2

Customer Service. If customer service is important to you, then you may have another reason to consider a Discover credit card. Discover offers 24/7, U.S.-based, live customer service.3

Did you know?

Are you curious about which Discover Card you may be approved for? Use the Discover Credit Card pre-approval form to see if you’re pre-approved with no harm to your credit score.4

Discover Card options even if you have bad, good, or excellent credit

Having good to excellent credit can improve the chances of getting approved for the credit card of your choice. If you have good credit, research the types of benefits you'd like to get from your credit card, as that may be the deciding factor in the card that you choose.

However, if you want a new credit card but don’t have good or excellent credit, you still have options. Discover has credit cards available for those with poor credit or limited credit history that can help to build credit with responsible use.5 A secured credit card is typically one of the easiest credit cards to get and can give you the opportunity to build or rebuild your credit. A secured credit card operates just like a traditional credit card, except you have to put down a cash security deposit prior to opening an account.

With Discover, you can get the Discover it® Secured Card, which comes with no annual fee and no credit score required to apply.6 You can earn 2% Cashback Bonus® at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.7

With Discover, you can get your deposit back after 6 consecutive months of on-time payments and maintaining good status on all your credit accounts, and if you qualify, we will increase your credit line.8

If you’re a student looking to establish credit, a student credit card can be a good option. A student credit card functions like a regular, unsecured credit card but typically offers better terms for someone with limited or no credit. Student credit cards also usually have a lower limit than a regular credit card, which can be good for those who are just getting started and learning to practice responsible credit card use.

Discover offers a selection of student credit cards that have no annual fee and no credit score required to apply.9 And if you’re looking for a student cash back card, Discover offers the benefit of earning cash back rewards with Discover student credit cards.

Discover Card rewards that may be good for you

If you’re still questioning whether Discover is a good credit card for you, consider these additional benefits and rewards.

Cash back credit card. Discover credit cards can be a good option for those looking to earn cash back rewards. Discover it® Cash Back lets you earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. And, get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, automatically. There is no limit to how much we’ll match.10

Travel. For those who love to travel, with Discover it® Miles, automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase. And we’ll automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year.10 Your Miles never expire11 and you won’t lose your Miles, even if your account closes.

Gas and restaurants. If you spend a lot filling up your vehicle or eating out at restaurants, the Discover it® Chrome Card may be good for you. Earn 2% Cashback Bonus® at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically.7

To find out which is the best Discover credit card for you, and to compare against other credit card issuers, check out the Discover credit card comparison tool.

Is a Discover credit card a good fit for you?

Whether you have good credit, low credit, or no credit, Discover may have a credit card to fit your needs. Plus, Discover credit cards come with no annual fee on any card, cash back rewards, and Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.12

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  1. No Late Fee and No APR Increase: Only eligible for Discover it® Cards (including all new Chrome, Miles, Secured, and Student Cards)
  2. Online Privacy Protection: Online Privacy Protection is offered by Discover Bank at no cost and only available in the mobile app. About every 90 days we will scan at least 10 people-search sites for your online personal information and help you submit opt-out requests. Types of personal information found on these sites will vary.

  3. 100% U.S. Based Customer Service: You can reach a live agent any time by calling 1-800-Discover (1-800-347-2683). Certain specialized customer service agents may not be available 24/7.

  4. There is no hard inquiry to your credit report to check if you’re pre-approved. If you’re pre-approved, and you move forward with submitting an application for the credit card, it will result in a hard inquiry which may impact your credit score. Receiving a pre-approval offer does not guarantee approval. Applicants applying without a social security number are not eligible to receive pre-approval offers. Card applicants cannot be pre-approved for the NHL Discover Card.

  5. Build credit with responsible use: Discover reports your credit history to the three major credit bureaus so it can help build/rebuild your credit if used responsibly. Late payments, delinquencies or other derogatory activity with your credit card accounts and loans may adversely impact your ability to build/rebuild credit.

  6. No Credit Score Required to Apply (Secured): Based on 2022 Discover it Secured credit card application data, applicants without a credit score may qualify. You must meet other applicable underwriting criteria. When we evaluate your creditworthiness, we consider all the information you provide on your application, your credit report, and other information. If you have a credit score, we may use that in our evaluation.
  7. 2% Cash Back at gas and restaurants: You earn a full 2% Cashback Bonus® on your first $1000 in combined purchases at Gas Stations (stand-alone), and Restaurants each calendar quarter. Calendar quarters begin January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. Purchases at Gas Stations and Restaurants over the quarterly cap, and all other purchases, earn 1% cash back. Gas Station purchases include those made at merchants classified as places that sell automotive gasoline that can be bought at the pump or inside the station, and some public electric vehicle charging stations. Gas Stations affiliated with supermarkets, supercenters, and wholesale clubs may not be eligible. Restaurant purchases include those made at merchants classified as full-service restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, fast-food locations, and restaurant delivery services. Purchases must be made with merchants in the U.S. To qualify for 2%, the purchase transaction date must be before or on the last day of the offer or promotion. For online purchases, the transaction date from the merchant may be the date when the item ships. Rewards are added to your account within two billing periods. Even if a purchase appears to fit in a 2% category, the merchant may not have a merchant category code (MCC) in that category. Merchants and payment processors are assigned an MCC based on their typical products and services. Discover Card does not assign MCCs to merchants. Certain third-party payment accounts and digital wallet transactions may not earn 2% if the technology does not provide sufficient transaction details or a qualifying MCC. Learn more at Discover.com/digitalwallets. See Cashback Bonus Program Terms and Conditions for more information.
  8. Monthly reviews start your seventh month as a customer. We will refund your security deposit if you have made all payments on time for the last six consecutive billing cycles on all your Discover accounts including any loans, and you've remained in “good status” on all credit accounts you are responsible for whether they are Discover accounts or not. “Good status” means: (1) your credit report shows no delinquencies, charge-offs, repossessions, or bankruptcies for the six months prior to our review; and (2) your Discover Secured Card is not in a prohibited status at the time of our review, including, but not limited to: closed, revoked, suspended, subject to tax levy, garnishment, deceased, lost/stolen, or fraud. Monthly reviews may be delayed if you change your payment due date. When you qualify to upgrade to a standard, ‘unsecured card’, Discover will also consider you for a credit line increase.  We typically process your refund in 2-3 business days based on your delivery preference. If you close your account and pay in full, we’ll return your deposit within two billing cycles plus ten days.
  9. No Credit Score Required to Apply (Student): Based on the preceding 12 months of Discover Student credit card application data, applicants without a credit score may qualify. You must meet other applicable underwriting criteria. When we evaluate your creditworthiness, we consider all the information you provide on your application, your credit report, and other information. If you have a credit score, we may use that in our evaluation.
  10. Cashback Match: We'll match all the cash back rewards you've earned on your credit card from the day your new account is approved through your first 12 consecutive billing periods or 365 days, whichever is longer, and add it to your rewards account within two billing periods. You've earned cash back rewards only when they're processed, which may be after the transaction date. We will not match: rewards that are processed after your match period ends; statement credits; rewards transfers from Discover checking or other deposit accounts; or rewards for accounts that are closed. This promotional offer may not be available in the future and is exclusively for new cardmembers. No purchase minimums. Discover Match®: We'll match all the Miles rewards you've earned on your credit card from the day your new account is approved through your first 12 consecutive billing periods or 365 days, whichever is longer, and add it to your rewards account within two billing periods. You've earned Miles rewards only when they're processed, which may be after the transaction date. We will not match: rewards that are processed after your match period ends; statement credits; rewards transfers from Discover checking or other deposit accounts; or rewards for accounts that are closed. This promotional offer may not be available in the future and is exclusively for new cardmembers. No purchase minimums.
  11. Rewards Redemption: Rewards never expire. We reserve the right to determine the method to disburse your rewards balance. We will credit your Account or send you a check with your rewards balance if your Account is closed or if you have not used it within 18 months.

  12. Acceptance: According to the Feb 2023 issue of the Nilson Report.

  • Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.