Discover it Chrome for Students Review

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The Discover it Chrome for Students lets credit newcomers build up their credit profiles while earning rewards. This card is ideal for someone who wants to ease into the world of credit and earn cash back without paying an annual fee.

Discover it® Chrome for Students

overall rating
3.7
Discover it® Chrome for Students
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.74% - 23.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 6 Months
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.6
for Fees
4.3
for Rewards
3.3
for Credit
4.0

Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

Top Rated For

  • Best Credit Cards for Students

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Student Persona
    Looks for deals that make a limited budget go further
    Student
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly
    Credit Builder

The Discover it Chrome for Students is a good card for young adults who want to build credit and earn cash back, but it may be especially beneficial for people who spend a lot on gas or dining. This card is also a smart choice for anyone who prefers to redeem their points for cash back, gift cards, or merchandise. 

Pros

  • Rewards with no annual fee

  • Credit-building features

  • Waives first late fee

  • Good starter credit card

Cons

  • Caps on rewards categories

  • Limited card acceptance

Pros Explained

  • Rewards with no annual fee: Gas and dining are great rewards categories for any spender, including students. While student credit cards generally have no annual fee, it’s still good to know you won’t have to worry about extra costs while in school.
  • Credit-building features: The Discover it Chrome for Students makes it easy for consumers to build credit, since it’s relatively easy to qualify for. You get a free FICO score on your monthly statement (which you can also access through the mobile app), which lets you monitor your score and progress over time. 
  • Waives first late fee: Don’t get in the habit of missing your payment, because it can really hurt your credit score. But if you slip up once, Discover won’t charge you an extra fee for paying late.
  • Good starter credit card: The Discover it Chrome for Students is available for consumers with “fair” credit, which makes it easier to qualify for than most rewards credit cards. 

Important

Applicants younger than 21 will have to show they have independent income capable of supporting credit card payments, per the CARD Act.

Cons Explained

  • Caps on rewards categories: If you spend a lot on gas and dining, you may be disappointed to know you’ll only earn bonus rewards on the first combined $1,000 you spend in these categories each quarter.
  • Limited card acceptance: If you plan to use this card outside the U.S., know that cards that use the Visa or Mastercard networks have more international acceptance than Discover cards, according to Nilson Report.

Discover it Chrome for Students Sign-Up Bonus

Discover will match all the cash back you earn in your first 12 months as a cardholder. So if you earn $100 in cash back over the course of the year, Discover will add $100 to your cash-back balance. The nice thing about this bonus structure is you don’t have to meet a minimum spending requirement in a short period of time to earn extra rewards, which is how many sign-up bonuses work.

Earning Rewards

The Discover it Chrome for Students offers 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined spending on dining and gas each quarter (1% cash back after that). You’ll also earn 1% back on everything else you buy. 

Redeeming Rewards

Once you begin earning rewards with the Discover it Chrome for Students, you’ll have several options to choose from when it comes to cashing in your points. For example, you can:

  • Redeem for gift cards or eCertificates, starting at $20
  • Make a charitable donation
  • Redeem for statement credits in any amount
  • Cash in rewards for a deposit into your bank account
  • Redeem rewards for merchandise from select retailers

Note

The cash back you earn never expires. 

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Other than using the card for your regular gas and dining purchases, focus on your studies: You get a $20 annual bonus each year you earn at least a 3.0 GPA. You can qualify for that bonus for up to five years.

Customer Experience

J.D. Power ranked Discover No. 1 in its 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which considered the input of over 28,000 customers across 12 credit card issuers. 

If you do a lot of your banking on your smartphone, you’ll also be happy to know that Discover earned the No. 1 ranking in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study, with 890 out of 1,000 possible points. 

Finally, don’t forget that this card gives you free access to your FICO score on your monthly statement. 

Security Features

The Discover it Chrome for Students gives you the opportunity to sign up for free Social Security number account alerts and free alerts for new credit accounts opened in your name. It also has a feature that lets you freeze your card if it’s lost or stolen. Discover also offers free overnight card shipping to any U.S. address if your credit card is lost or stolen. 

Discover it Chrome for Students Fees

The Discover it Chrome for Students doesn’t charge any outrageous fees. In fact, it won’t charge a late fee on your first late payment and won’t even charge a penalty APR.

For Discover it® Chrome for Students

Compare This Card

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CURRENT CARD
Discover it® Chrome for Students
overall rating
3.7
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.74% - 23.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 6 Months

Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.