Discover it Chrome Card Review
Why trust us? Investor.com has no financial relationship with any of the credit card providers whose products we analyze and review. Our opinions are based solely on data and our own extensive independent research — that means unbiased guidance for consumers. Rewards cards in our cashback credit card calculator are listed in descending order according to how much money they pay out annually based on the inputs.
2% cash back on gas and dining — and getting double the cashback you earn in the first year — makes idling in the drive-thru lane a lot less annoying.
Talk about odd pairings. Like serving red wine with fish (if you were raised by wolves, according to those who care about such things), Discover it Chrome’s highest (2%) cashback rate applies to gas station and restaurant purchases. Weird, maybe, but for 12 months — during which Discover will match all the rewards dollars you earn in the first year — we can stomach it. Less palatable is the $1,000 quarterly spending cap on bonus-rate purchases.
The basics: Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers and 3% balance transfer fee (versus 5%) for a limited time.
Discover it Chrome
Discover it Chrome pros and cons
- Automatic 2% cashback on gas and restaurants; 1% on all else
- Dollar-for-dollar match on all earned rewards at the end of your first year
- 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
- Accepted lots of places. Really!
- Low ($1,000) quarterly spending cap on 2% cashback categories
- Limited bonus rewards categories (just two — gas and restaurants)
- The double cashback setup ends after one year
Discover it Chrome cashback rewards spending categories
The following table shows the cashback rewards rate per $1 spent in the six most common spending categories. The “Bonus Rate” refers to the amount you can earn in excess of the card’s standard rewards rate.
Some cashback cards limit the spending amount eligible for the bonus rate (a.k.a. the “Spend Cap”). Once you hit that cap (e.g. $1,500 spending in a particular category during a defined time period), the rewards rate on future purchases in that category reverts to the lower “Default Rate.”
|Category||Default Rate||Bonus Rate||Bonus Spend Cap||Bonus Spend Period (Months)|
Note: The Discover It Chrome card will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
What we like
We’re crushing hard on Discover’s new cardmember deal. At the end of Year One it’ll match dollar-for-dollar every rewards buck you earn. That turns the Discover it Chrome card into a 2%-cashback-on-everything card, and 4% on gas and restaurants (on the first $1,000 combined purchases each quarter).
2% cashback on gas and restaurants is automatically applied to qualifying purchases. (No opting in!) Once you reach the quarterly spending limit (passionately dissed below), you’ll earn 1% cashback ad infinitum.
No minimum reward redemption amounts apply.
Charitable-minded cardholders can donate rewards earnings, though your benevolence is limited to select charities.
0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months gives you some cash flow wiggle room.
No foreign transaction fees is a boon for wordly types.
Provides a free FICO score for up to a year online or on your monthly statement.
Discover points out that it is accepted by 99% of places in the U.S. that take credit cards, and also in 200 countries and territories. (TL,DR: This used to be a thing.)
What we don't like
The $1,000 quarterly spending cap (quarterly!? C’mon!) on gas and restaurants combined is chintzy if you spend more than $330 and change per month. That limits your 2% cashback earnings to — drumroll, please — $20 per quarter. We’re withholding the cymbal crash.
And another thing … the Year One cashback match turns the $80 max you can earn annually on 2% rewards categories to just $160. It’s not nothing. But still.
p.s.: If you don’t hit the max one quarter, too bad. No carryovers allowed.
Choose your fill-up station and restaurants wisely. Gas purchased at supercenters/warehouse clubs does not qualify for the 2% cashback rate. And restaurants must be classified by Discover as full-service eateries (restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, fast food joints, etc.).
Gas station brand loyalists may be able to earn a higher cashback rate with a branded card.
Don’t bother rummaging through the Discover it Chrome glove box looking for extra perks like rental/travel insurance, extended warranties, etc.
If you don’t drive a gas guzzler (or have a long commute) or eat out on the reg, you’re probably better off with a card that offers a broader menu of bonus categories (like the Discover it Cash Back card) — many pay higher cashback rates.
The bottom line
Is the Discover it Chrome the best rewards card for your wallet? The answer depends entirely on your spending patterns. Let the numbers speak for themselves: Use the investor.com Cashback Credit Card Calculator to see which credit card pays back the highest rewards based on how much you spend each month.
Discover it Chrome fine print
Discover it Chrome rates, rewards and all that jazz.
Does the Discover it Chrome charge an annual fee?
No, there is no annual fee for the Discover it Chrome.
Roughly 14% of the consumer cashback cards we track in our database charge an annual fee. The average annual fee is $72.60, while the median is $95.
Does the Discover it Chrome offer a welcome bonus?
Yes, the Discover it Chrome has a welcome bonus of 2X Rewards your first year.
Of the more than 60 cashback credit cards in our database, 66% offer a welcome bonus. Currently, the average sign-up bonus on a new cashback card is $210.71, with the median being $200.
How much cashback can I earn with the Discover it Chrome?
The average American that spends $1000 per month will earn $154.20 in cash back per year using the Discover it Chrome. For comparison, the average annual rewards payout from the cashback credit cards in the investor.com database is $191.26, and $180 is the median.
These calculations are based on average consumer spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the reward payout rates from the providers we track. Of course, you’re so much more than an average data point (aka “consumer unit,” in BLS parlance). The amount you can earn in cashback rewards using the Discover it Chrome depends entirely on your unique spending habits.
Find out exactly how much you’ll rake in with the Discover it Chrome by tailoring the spending inputs in the calculator above.
The results of the investor.com Credit Card Rewards Calculator are based on the monthly spending amounts you enter and the annual dollar value of the rewards each credit card program pays per $1 spent. Credit card companies often express this payout amount as a percentage (e.g., 1.5% of every dollar spent) or on a points basis (e.g. ,1.5 points for every dollar spent). We converted all of them to a dollar amount (“Cash Back Per Year”) to make comparing offers easier.
To calculate the amount of cash back you could earn per year, we factored in:
- Spend category inputs: The default dollar values for each “Spend Category” in the Best Cashback Credit Cards tool — gas, groceries, travel, restaurant, entertainment, pharmacy, other — are based on average American spending data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also include additional spend categories (such as streaming services, online shopping, utilities, transit, Amazon and more) to help you see which rewards cards are most closely aligned with your actual spending patterns. We encourage you to customize the monthly spend inputs for the most accurate results.
- Tiered rewards rates: If a rewards credit card pays higher cashback rates on certain spending categories (also called “Bonus Rewards”), that difference is reflected in the total “Cash Back Per Year” tally.
- Rewards spending caps: Some cards impose category- or time-based limits (monthly, quarterly, annually) that affect the amount of rewards you can earn. For example, a card may pay 3% cash back on groceries on up to $1,000 of spending each quarter, then revert to the base/default rewards rate until the following quarter. We accounted for bonus spending caps and timeframe in the calculations.
- Default rewards rates: Purchases that exceed a spending cap are usually subject to a lower default rewards rate (e.g., 1% or 1.5%). We mathed that out too.
- Annual fees: If a rewards card charges an annual fee, we deducted that amount from the “Cash Back Per Year” total to provide a true accounting of a card’s annual rewards payout.
What’s not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total is the cash value of any sign-up/introductory bonus. We highlight any Welcome Bonus separately. While sign-up bonuses can be the most lucrative part of getting a new cashback rewards credit card, not everyone will want or be able to do what it takes to earn the extra cash. (It usually requires spending a certain amount in a specified time period after the card is activated.)
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