Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Is turning their passion into a money-making venture
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need
Hits the road often, whether for work or play
The Discover it Business Card offers good value in the first year you have the card, with sizeable cash bonuses and no interest on purchases. After that, the rewards are more modest and you’ll lose the break on finance charges, though you won't pay an annual fee.
If you have good credit and your business is in growth mode, consider this card for big purchases like inventory or equipment over the next year. Then you should re-evaluate. Since there are other business cards that offer higher ongoing cash-back rates, the Discover it Business Card may only make sense if your normal operating budget is less than $19,000 a year or you want to avoid a more complicated rewards structure. (More on this below.)
Intro offer with 0% APR
No annual fee
Low rewards rate
Long wait period for cashback match
Few cardholder perks
Not as widely accepted
- Cash-back match: Everything you earn during the first year will be matched at the end of the year. This doubles your rewards and means you’re effectively earning 3% cash back on all purchases for the first year.
- Intro offer with 0% APR: Any purchases you make with your card won’t be charged interest for the first year. It’s best to pay off all of your charges in full at the end of each month, but this gives you some time to catch up on your bills at no cost. After 12 months, you'll be charged an APR of 14.49-22.49%, variable.
- No annual fee: You definitely want to avoid an annual fee if your business expenses are too low for you to recoup the cost through rewards.
- Low rewards rate: While the 1.5% cash back applies to all spending, it’s a relatively low rate. Competing cards offer 2% across the board or 2%-5% on specific spending categories like office supplies or dining out.
- Long wait period for cash-back match: This offer can be quite lucrative, especially if you spend a lot during your first year. However, you’ll need to wait the full year to get it. With most other sign-up bonuses, you’ll qualify for your rewards in three months.
- Few cardholder perks: Cards on Visa and Mastercard networks often offer a wide range of ancillary perks, such as auto rental insurance, extended warranties, insurance for stolen or damaged purchases, and more. Discover cards generally don’t come with any of those benefits.
- Not as widely accepted: While most places will accept a Discover card in the U.S., you may have a harder time using it in some parts of the world than you would a Visa or Mastercard. If you plan on traveling abroad a lot, you may want to consider another card. Or at least bring a backup.
Discover it Business Card’s Sign-Up Bonus
The cash-back match is an unusual sign-up bonus, particularly because you have to wait an entire year to get it. However much you’ve earned through the standard 1.5% cash-back rate will be doubled at the end of the year, and applied to your account within one to two billing cycles.
Unlike most sign-up bonuses, there is no limit to what you can earn, so there is tremendous upside value. But, this isn’t an excuse to go on a wild spending spree; you’ll still have to pay back all the money you borrow, and if you have to pay interest on it because you’ve rung up your balance, that could negate any earnings.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Discover it Business Card’s 1.5% rate is pretty standard for cards that pay you the same percentage on all of your purchases. You can find higher flat rates, but it’s not bad, especially for a card with no annual fee for you or your employees.
If a competing card offers 2% cash back but requires a $95 annual fee, the Discover it Business Card may still be the better value. It all depends on how much your business spends. If your annual budget is $10,000, you’ll earn $150 on this card and just $105 on the competing card (after the fee). But if it’s $30,000, you’ll earn $450 on this card, and $505 on the other one, once you account for the fee. The turning point is a budget of $19,000.
At the end of each billing cycle, your rewards will be added into your Cashback Bonus Account. They won’t ever expire, so you can let the money pile up as long as you want before redeeming. If you leave a balance longer than 18 months, the earnings will be credited to your statement. And if you close your account, you’ll still get them.
As with most cash back cards, redemption is simple. You can redeem your rewards at any time, no matter how little you have accrued (with the exception of gift cards, where the minimum is $20.) Call Discover or log into your online account or mobile app and choose to get your money as a statement credit, have it deposited into your bank account, or make a charitable donation.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
This card gets you 3% cash back in the first year, so take advantage by making any big purchases your business requires in those 12 months. After that, evaluate your budget to make sure it’s still the right card for you. If your business spends more than $19,000 a year, you may want to consider an alternative. Or, choose a companion card that offers a higher rewards rate on the types of purchases your company makes most.
You can find other cards with no annual fee that offer higher cash-back rates on restaurants, gasoline, internet service, or other specific spending categories. If you choose the Discover it Business Card as a companion to one of these tiered-rate cards, just be prepared to think about what you’re buying before you choose a card from your wallet.
If customer service is important to you, Discover takes the cake. It got the highest rating on J.D. Power’s 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which considered the opinions of more than 28,000 credit card customers in the U.S.
The company uses an entirely U.S.-based customer service team and offers several ways to get in touch. Besides the mobile app, you can call into a 24/7 hotline to speak with a representative or live chat online.
While many issuers provide a free VantageScore, Discover provides you with a free FICO credit score—the more widely used type. (Though you actually don’t need a Discover card to get access to this perk—anyone can sign up on the company's website.)
Discover doesn’t disappoint with its security features either. Perhaps one of the more useful is free fraud monitoring. Discover will monitor your Social Security Number on the dark web and notify you if it’s found in any shady places. It’ll also monitor your Experian credit report for fraudulent accounts.
In addition, you can lock your card from your online account or mobile app if it’s lost or stolen. If you lose your card, Discover will send a new one via overnight shipping for free.
Discover it Business Card’s Fees
The Discover it Business Card carries no annual fee and won’t charge you anything for your first late payment (after that it’s a $37 fee) or when you use your card overseas. Otherwise, the fees are fairly standard for a small business card.