Discover it Chrome Credit Card Review

Discover it® chrome

Get rewarded with the Discover it® Chrome

Discover it Chrome offers a convenient way to earn 2% cash back rewards in two popular categories — gas and restaurants — and an unlimited 1% on every other purchase you make. There’s no signing up for revolving categories, no guesswork and no annual fee. You just use your card and get redeemable cash back automatically.

Another nice thing about Discover it Chrome is its generous sign-up bonus. Discover doubles the cash back rewards you earn in the first year, and there’s no limit to the amount of cash back matched. The card also offers an introductory 0% APR for 14 months on both purchases and balance transfers, and until March 10, 2020, the balance transfer rate is only 3%. This allows you to pay down debt or make installment purchases on a big-ticket item without racking up interest charges.

What to expect from the Discover it Chrome card 

  • APR: 0% for the first 14 months on purchases and balance transfers; 13.49%-24.49% thereafter.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Reward Rates: 2% cash back on all gas station and restaurant purchases (up to $1,000 in combined category purchases each quarter); 1% unlimited cash back on everything else.
  • Intro Offer: Discover automatically matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. 

Even better

  • In addition to the 0% introductory APR rate for the first 14 months, Discover has also lowered the balance transfer fee to 3% if you make the transfer before March 10, 2020. Thereafter, the fee reverts to 5%.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 0% fraud liability — you will never be responsible for unauthorized purchases on your card.
  • You can redeem your cash back any time, for any amount, and these rewards never expire.
  • View your FICO score for free each month on printed statements, mobile and online.
  • The Freeze It® on/off switch prevents new purchases, cash advances and balance transfers from happening in seconds.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service is available whenever you need them. 
  • No late fee on your first late payment, and late payments won’t raise your APR. 

But keep your eyes open for pitfalls 

The beauty of Discover it Chrome is there are no revolving reward categories to keep up with each quarter. In a way, though, that’s the card’s drawback as well. Discover it Chrome is an okay deal for people who spend big at the pumps and tend to dine out regularly, but you’ll only be earning 2% cash back until you hit the limit of $1,000 each quarter in the combined categories. In other words, the most you can earn in the 2% cash back reward categories is $80 a year ($160 the first year with Discover’s introductory bonus). In essence, the card delivers an unlimited 1% cash back reward with a small additional bonus.

For people with very good to excellent credit, there are better cash back reward cards out there. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers 6% cash back on supermarket purchases, while the Chase Freedom offers revolving 5% categories each quarter.

Another problem with Discover it Chrome lies in the fact that Discover is accepted at fewer businesses than Visa and Mastercard. If you tend to dine out the most when traveling and are counting on racking up cash back rewards that way, this could be a real drawback. In some parts of the world, including Europe, the Discover card is virtually unknown. Before you apply for the card, you should check to see if the restaurants and gas stations you use regularly accept the Discover card.

How to maximize your Discover it Chrome rewards 

The 2% cash back reward caps out after $1,000 each quarter in the combined categories, for a total value of $80 a year. It’s not terribly important that you go out of your way to meet the cap, except in the first year, when Discover will match your cash back rewards. That first year, you should put as many of your everyday purchases on the card as possible. Assuming you meet the gas and restaurant category caps and spend a total of $1,000 a month, you’ll get $320 cash back rewards that year. Because Discover it Chrome will match all of cash back rewards you earn, though, you could potentially earn much more than that.

Another way to maximize your Discover it Chrome card is to take advantage of the introductory 0% APR rate on purchases and cash advances. The introductory rate lasts 14 months, and until March 2020, you can transfer balances for a lower 3% fee. You could potentially save hundreds of dollars in interest by moving a balance from another card, especially if you pay down the entire balance you transfer by the end of the introductory period. You can also use the introductory rate period to make a large purchase and pay it down in installments to avoid any credit card interest charges.

Bottom line

Discover it Chrome is not the best cash back card out there for people with very good to excellent credit. Its top cash back reward rate, at gas stations and restaurant, is 2% (you’ll earn an unlimited 1% on every other purchase), and that maximum reward caps at $1,000 each quarter. Signing up for revolving 5% reward categories, or paying an annual fee to earn a higher reward rate, will earn you more cash back dollars.

But the Discover it Chrome should not be overlooked. Discover will match all the cash back rewards cardholders earn in the first year, while at the same time offering an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 14 months. These two offers combined can help cardholders pay down debt while at the same time putting extra cash in their pockets.