Discover it Chrome Gas & Restaurants Card Review

Disclosure: We are committed to recommending the best products for our readers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products, but this never affects our reviews or recommendations.

The Discover it Chrome Gas & Restaurants Card is a basic rewards card for people who want consistent cash back on some of their most common expenses. Just make sure you have a modest budget, since there’s a pretty low limit on what you can earn. 

Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurants

overall rating
4.4
Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurants
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
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 2% at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% on all other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 14 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.7
for Fees
4.3
for Rewards
3.8
for Credit
4.0

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

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Jet Setter Persona
    Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free
    Jet Setter
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play
    Road Warrior
  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things
    Adventure Seeker

If you’ve got good credit and want a little something back on some of your most common everyday expenses, the Discover it Chrome Gas & Restaurants Card is a no-fuss cash-back card. Unlike the Discover it Cash Back Card, there are no rotating categories that must be activated for bonus rewards, so if your budget is pretty regular, your rewards will be too. 

That said, this card does not reward big spenders. You’ll regularly earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, but only up to $1,000 in combined purchases each calendar quarter. What’s more, you can find higher rewards-earnings rates on competing cards with no annual fee, so don’t choose this card unless it appeals for other reasons too. A 0% introductory APR and Discover’s reputation for customer service might help tip the scales for cash-back seekers.

Pros

  • First-year cash-back match

  • 0% introductory interest rate on purchases and balance transfers

  • Minimal fees

Cons

  • Rewards are capped (and not the best)

  • Potentially tough to use when abroad

Pros Explained

  • First-year cash-back match: Discover cards are known for this unique sign-up bonus structure, and for good reason. And the end of your first year, Discover will double all of the cash-back rewards you’ve earned. It takes longer to get than typical new cardholder incentives, but depending on how much you use your card, it can be quite lucrative.
  • 0% introductory interest rate on purchases and balance transfers: We don’t recommend carrying a balance, but if you do, it’s nice to get a break on your finance charges, especially while you’re earning cash back toward that first-year match. You’ll have 14 months interest-free, giving you some wiggle room to make any bigger-than-average purchases in order to maximize your match amount. And once your promotional period is over, the ongoing variable APR of 13.49%-24.49% is on the low end among comparable cards, particularly for the most creditworthy customers. 
  • Minimal fees: Not only are there no annual or foreign transaction fees, but if you’re late to make your monthly payment, you’ll get a one-time free pass. (After that, you’ll be charged up to $39.) 

Cons Explained

  • Rewards are capped (and not the best): The 2% cash back only applies to the first $1,000 a quarter (about $333 a month) you spend on gas and dining out combined, and many people spend almost as much in just one of those categories. A couple of competitors pay 2% cash back on everything, with no limits, and there are many tiered cards with even higher percentages in similar categories. 
  • Potentially tough to use when abroad: Although Discover cards are accepted by merchants pretty widely in the U.S., that’s not always the case abroad. Countries such as France and Russia have low merchant acceptance, according to Discover, and the card isn’t taken at all in many parts of Africa. 

Sign-Up Bonus

This card doesn’t offer a traditional sign-up bonus where you get a lump sum for charging a certain amount to your card in your first three or six months. Instead, at the end of your first year as a cardholder, Discover will double the amount of cash back you’ve earned in that year, with no limit.

If you use this card exclusively, and spend about what the average U.S. household spends, ($24,297 in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) we’ve calculated you’d earn about $283 a year in cash back—$80 on the first $4,000 in gas and restaurant purchases (earned at the 2% rate) and $203 on all your remaining charges (earned at the 1% rate).  

Compare a $283 cash-back match to a bonus of $150-$200 (usually earned after spending $500-$1000 in the first three months after account opening), and the Discover offer is quite respectable among cash-back cards. Then again, you’ll get your bonus in less time if you get a competing card and, if you don’t have a big budget, by spending much less.

Earning Points & Rewards

You’ll earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each calendar quarter (beginning Jan. 1, April 1, July 1, and Oct. 1.) Any gas and restaurant charges over the quarterly cap, as well as all other purchases, will earn 1% cash back. Again, these are not the best rewards rates, not only because the $1,000 cap is quite low, but because some cards offer 3% or 5% back on popular everyday spending categories.

Still, perspective helps. The average American spent $3,459 and $2,109 on dining and gas, respectively, in 2018, meaning they would have likely missed out on about $16 a year in cash back because of the cap on this card. But with a card offering an unlimited 3% back on both categories, you’d earn $167 on those purchases each year—$87 more than with this card.

While the 2% cash back is limited each calendar quarter, there is no limit on the total amount of cash back you can earn. 

Redeeming Rewards

With cash back, you can use your rewards for whatever you want and, unlike some travel points, it will always have its original value. You can get a credit on your statement in any amount at any time, or request that your cash be deposited directly into a bank account. If you’re feeling charitable, you can make a donation to a cause you care about. Or, you can use your rewards at the Amazon checkout. You can even purchase gift cards with more than 100 popular brands, starting at $20.

The rewards do not expire, and your account will even be automatically credited if it’s closed or you have not used the rewards within 18 months.   

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

The cash-back match is one of the big selling points of this card, so make sure to maximize it by front-loading any big purchases you may be planning. You’ll have some extra time to pay it off, thanks to the 0% introductory APR offer, so just make sure you don’t spend money you won’t have within the 14-month period. 

After the first year, consider pairing this card with a rewards card that offers extra payouts on other purchase categories.

A category cash-back card like the Discover it Chrome Gas & Restaurants Card can complement a travel rewards card that’s focused on airline or hotel bonus categories.

Customer Experience

Discover has been the reigning champ in J.D. Power’s credit card customer satisfaction survey for two years now, and the company got the highest ranking in the marketing firm’s 2019 study of credit card mobile apps and websites too. 

Discover boasts 100% U.S.-based customer service that can be accessed 24/7 by phone or online. And it’s nice that you have until midnight Eastern Time on your due date to get your payment in. Cardholders also get free FICO credit scores online and on their monthly statements.

Security Features 

This card comes with Discover’s Freeze it app feature, which lets you switch your account on and off in seconds if you misplace your card. If you enroll in special alerts, Discover will notify you if your Social Security number is found on any Dark Web sites or if there’s any suspicious activity showing up on your credit report.

Fees 

Discover is known for being pretty reasonable about fees. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, foreign transaction fee, or late fee the first time you pay after the due date. And, there’s no penalty APR. It’s worth noting that the balance transfer fee is 3% of the transaction amount during the introductory period (on transfers made by March 10, 2020) but then increases to 5%. 

For Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurants
Compare This Card
See how this card stacks up to the competition
CURRENT CARD
Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurants
overall rating
4.4
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
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 2% at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% on all other purchases.

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.