In this comprehensive review, we delve into the Discover it Student Chrome card, an ideal choice for students looking to build their credit history while also maximizing rewards. This card offers a unique combination of benefits, including a cash match program at the end of the first year, generous cash back deals, and more. However, we will also explore its limitations, particularly for students planning to use the card during their study abroad experiences. Let’s dive into the details!
Overview of the Discover it Student Chrome card
Rewards Rate: 1% – 2%
Annual Fee: $0
Intro Offer: Cashback Match™
Regular APR: 18.24% – 27.24% Variable APR
Recommended Credit: No Credit History
Rewards and Benefits
The Discover it Student Chrome card stands out among starter credit cards for students due to its rewarding cash back program. It offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Additionally, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. For students who frequently dine out or refuel their vehicles, these rewards can significantly boost their savings.
One outstanding feature is the Cashback Match™ program, where Discover matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. This generous offer sets it apart from many other student cards, making it a lucrative choice for those new to credit.
Pros and Cons
- No annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or penalty APR
- Excellent cash back rewards program for a student card
- Unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of cash back earned in the first year
- First late fee waived, after that, up to $41
- Limited international acceptance, which may not be suitable for students studying abroad
- Some other student cards offer higher rewards, such as the Discover it® Student Cash Back card
A Closer Look at the Card Offer
Current Sign-up Bonus
One of the most attractive features of the Discover it® Student Chrome card is its unlimited Cash Back Match™ intro offer. Discover will match all the cash back you earn at the end of the first year, with no minimum spending requirements or caps. This is a particularly generous offer compared to other student cards.
Earning cash back with this card is straightforward. Students can earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined quarterly purchases) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Given that dining out and refueling are common expenses for students, these categories can provide significant rewards.
In addition to these rewards, eligible cardmembers can benefit from Discover’s referral bonuses. You can receive a $50 to $100 “Refer-a-Friend” statement credit (annual maximum listed in your card terms) if your friend applies via your specific offer link by the end of the year. Referred friends also receive a bonus statement credit after making a purchase within their first three months.
How to Redeem Rewards
Your cash rewards will never expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing. You have various options for redeeming your rewards, including electronic deposits, statement credits, gift cards, and even using them instantly at Amazon.com.
The value of your rewards depends on your spending habits. With 2% cash back on gas stations and restaurants, every $100 spent in these categories earns you $2. For other purchases, you’ll earn $1 back for every $100 spent. The Cashback Match™ offer effectively doubles the value of these rewards, making them quite generous for students new to credit.
Additional Cardholder Perks
For students just starting with their first credit card, this card offers valuable credit education resources and account protection benefits. It includes the “Freeze it” feature, available through the mobile app or website, which allows you to prevent any cash advances, purchases, or balance transfers with your card.
Discover also provides easy access to your FICO credit score on monthly statements or on demand. You can set up free alerts to receive notifications if your Social Security number is found on dark web sites, if any new credit accounts appear on your credit report, or if someone pulls your credit.
Rates and Fees
The Discover it® Student Chrome card comes with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. It also forgives your first late fee if you fall behind on one payment (None the first time you pay late; after that, up to $41). This can be particularly reassuring for students who are still getting the hang of credit card payments.
Cash advance fees are either $10 or 5% of the amount, whichever is greater. Additionally, balance transfers have an introductory fee of 3% of the amount of each transfer, with a future balance transfer fee of up to 5% (see terms). The card offers a 10.99% intro APR for balance transfers for the first six months, followed by a variable APR of 18.24% to 27.24%.
Comparing the Discover it Student Chrome to Other Student Cards
When searching for the best student credit card, it’s crucial to weigh your options. The Discover it® Student Chrome card is a solid choice for students looking to establish credit and manage their finances independently. Its ease of earning and redeeming rewards makes it a valuable tool for stretching a student’s budget.
However, it’s important to note that Discover cards may not be as widely accepted outside the United States as some other cards. If you plan to study or travel abroad, you might want to consider cards with broader international acceptance.
When comparing the Discover it® Student Chrome to other student credit cards, it’s essential to consider various factors to determine which card aligns best with your financial needs and goals. Here’s a comparison of the Discover it® Student Chrome with some other popular student cards:
Discover it® Student Chrome vs. Discover it® Student Cash Back:
Both cards come from Discover and offer cash back rewards to students, making them attractive options. Here’s a brief comparison:
- Discover it® Student Chrome: This card is designed for students who spend on gas and dining. It offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined quarterly purchases) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. It also includes the Cashback MatchTM program, where Discover matches all cash back earned in the first year. There’s no annual fee.
- Discover it® Student Cash Back: This card provides more flexibility in rewards categories, with rotating quarterly bonus categories that can earn 5% cash back (up to a quarterly maximum) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Like the Chrome version, it also includes the Cashback MatchTM program and has no annual fee.
Discover it® Student Chrome vs. Journey Student Rewards from Capital One:
- Discover it® Student Chrome: Offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, making it suitable for students who spend on these categories. It also has a welcome offer of Cashback MatchTM, no annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees.
- Journey Student Rewards from Capital One: Provides a flat-rate 1% cash back on all purchases, making it a straightforward choice for students. While it doesn’t have a welcome offer, it offers 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. However, it has a higher APR than the Discover it® Student Chrome.
Discover it® Student Chrome vs. Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card:
- Discover it® Student Chrome: Designed for students, offers cash back rewards, and does not require a security deposit. It’s an unsecured card tailored to students.
- Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card: This is a secured credit card, which means it requires a security deposit as collateral. It doesn’t offer cash back rewards like the Discover it® Student Chrome, but it can help individuals with no credit history or poor credit build or rebuild their credit.
The choice between the Discover it® Student Chrome and other student cards depends on your spending habits and credit goals. If you spend on gas and dining, the Discover it® Student Chrome with its cash back rewards can be a great fit. However, if you prefer a simple flat-rate rewards structure or have limited credit history, other options like the Journey Student Rewards or secured cards may be more suitable. Consider your specific needs and financial situation when making your decision.
Is the Discover it® Student Chrome worth it?
Our opinion is yes, if you are a student looking to establish your credit history and take advantage of cash back rewards that are quite uncommon for student credit cards. Plus, the intro purchase APR period, low rates and few fees provide excellent incentives for students.
However, it’s worth noting that if you have a study abroad trip coming up, you should see if Discover is accepted in the areas you’ll visit. Although there are no foreign transaction fees, Discover has a marginally lower international acceptance rate than larger card networks like Visa and Mastercard.
In conclusion, the Discover it Student Chrome card offers a compelling package of benefits for students. Its cash back rewards program, including the unique Cashback Match™ offer, can significantly boost your savings. The card’s account protection features and educational resources are also valuable for students new to credit.
While the card has limitations when it comes to international use, it remains a strong choice for students focused on building their credit history and maximizing rewards. However, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and spending habits when choosing the right credit card for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What credit score do you need for the Discover it Student Chrome card?
This card is designed for students with no credit or limited credit history. So, you might be approved without a credit score.
Do I need a full-time job to apply for the Discover it® Student Chrome?
No, but you will need to report a source of income on your card application. This income comes from a regular allowance or a part-time job. Whatever income value you put down can also affect the credit limit you’re offered.
Can I use my Discover it® Student Chrome when I’m no longer a student?
Yes, but you should call the issuer to update any income changes for potential credit limit increases or product upgrades.
What is the minimum credit limit on the Discover it® Student Chrome?
Students that are approved for a Discover It Student Chrome card are guaranteed a credit limit of at least $500. However, the credit limit Discover or any other issuer will offer you is determined by many factors including your income and credit worthiness.
Is the Discover it® Student Chrome a good card for international travel?
No, the Discover it® Student Chrome may not be the ideal choice for international travel due to its lower international acceptance history. You might want to consider cards with wider international acceptance if you plan to use a credit card extensively abroad.
What sets the Discover it® Student Chrome apart from other student credit cards?
The Discover it® Student Chrome stands out with its Cashback Match™ program, where Discover matches all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. This offer is particularly generous compared to other student cards.
Can I use my cash back rewards instantly at Amazon.com?
Yes, you can use your cash back rewards instantly at Amazon.com, providing a convenient way to redeem your earnings.
Are there any annual fees or foreign transaction fees with the Discover it Student Chrome card?
No, the Discover it® Student Chrome card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, making it a cost-effective choice for students.
What should I consider when comparing the Discover it Student Chrome card to other student credit cards?
When comparing credit cards, consider factors such as rewards, fees, international acceptance, and additional cardholder perks. Your choice should align with your specific financial needs and spending habits.
What’s the difference between the Discover it Student Chrome and the Discover it® Chrome?
The primary difference between these cards is the intended consumer. Since one card is designed for students and the other is not, they carry different features, advantages and disadvantages. For example, the student version of the card has less strict credit requirements for approval, but also a less generous intro APR offer on purchases and balance transfers than the non-student version.
In other article, Credit Building for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide