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Discover Credit Cards: The Basics

Discover is one of the biggest and most well-known credit card brands. It offers various other banking services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, and loans.

Discover prides itself on customer service and their “consumer-first” mentality: customers will be pleasantly surprised when they switch from credit card providers with subpar customer service to Discover. 

And of course, Discover offers credit cards with some of the best rewards on the market, for those looking to get extra cashback or miles when applying for a new card. 

If you’re looking for a new credit card, at least a few Discover cards should be on your list.

What Types of Credit Cards Does Discover Offer?

Discover has credit card options for everyone, from a student who is just starting to build credit to the fearless traveler who wants to rack up miles.

The categories of cards they provide include travel rewards, cashback rewards, student, secured, and business. 

Next, I’ll dig deeper into each category.

Discover Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Travel rewards cards allow you to earn miles and apply them to your travel purchases. Discover has one travel rewards card: the Discover it® Miles card. 

With Discover it® Miles, you can earn 1.5x miles per dollar on every purchase with no annual fee. Discover will also match the miles that you earn within your first year of owning the card, so you automatically double your benefit with no limit.

The miles can be used with any airline: no restrictions or blackout dates. They can also apply to a wide variety of other travel-related purchases, like hotels, rental cars, rideshares, etc. 

You can even choose to redeem the miles for Cash within your Discover account.

Discover Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards

Cashback rewards cards give you a certain percentage of your money back on purchases. Often, specific purchase categories have more associated rewards. 

Discover has two different cashback rewards cards: the Discover it® Cash Back card and the Discover it® Chrome Gas and Restaurant card.

With Discover it® Cash Back, you will earn unlimited 5% everyday purchases at different places every quarter up to a quarterly maximum (some examples include purchases at grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, rideshares, etc.). 

All other purchases garner 1% cashback. Discover also offers a dollar-for-dollar cashback match on all Cash back earned for the first year on this card. There is no annual fee.

As one might expect, the Discover it® Chrome Gas, and Restaurants card offers exclusive cashback deals on purchases made at gas stations and restaurants: 2% cashback on up to $1000 in combined purchases each quarter. 

All other purchases earn 1% cashback, and like with their other cards, Discover will match all cash back earned during your first year. This card also has no annual fee. 

Discover Business Rewards Credit Cards

If you are looking for a reliable small business credit card, Discover offers a credit card with their signature cashback rewards and match called the Discover it® Business card. 

The card offers 1.5% cashback on all purchases with cashback match for the first year. As with most Discover cards, it has no annual fee.

This card is useful for small business owners or managers who want to keep their business expenses separate from personal expenses and also may want to distribute cards for their employees to make business purchases with customized spending limits.

Discover Student Credit Cards

Discover has two credit card offerings for students widely considered some of the best in the industry. Both options mirror the standard cashback cards but have slightly different benefits and restrictions. 

The Discover it® Student Cash Back card gives 5% cash back on purchases at specific everyday businesses every quarter (with 1% cashback on all other purchases). 

The Discover it® Chrome for students has 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 combined purchases every quarter and 1% cashback on all other purchases. Both cards offer a reward for good grades, have no annual fee, and offer cashback match for the first year.

Discover Secured Credit Card

Discover also offers a secured card for those who are building or rebuilding credit. It requires a security deposit that is refunded when your account is closed or upgraded. 

With the secured card, you can earn 2% cash back on gas and restaurant purchases up to $1,000 every quarter, as well as 1% cashback on all other purchases.

It does not have an annual fee, and it does offer a cashback match. 

Low Intro APR and Cards with No Annual Fee

Nearly all cards at Discover offer low intro APR and no annual fee. 

In fact, there isn’t a card in the Discover line-up that carries an annual fee. 

Only one card doesn’t have 0% APR for the first 14 months – the Discover it® Secured card, which starts at 22.99% variable APR. 

How do I Apply for a Discover Credit Card?

You can apply for a Discover credit card on the Discover website or over the phone. 

You’ll need to provide several personal information items, including name, contact information, date of birth, social security number, employment status, gross income, citizenship status, monthly housing payments, and bank account details. 

Discover will let you know if you’re approved pretty quickly. You can also reach out to Discover directly if you have any questions about its decision.

How do I Contact Discover if I Need Help With My Credit Card?

Discover is known for customer service, so they have several ways to get in touch if you need help with your credit card. 

  • Live chat with an agent on their website or in their app.
  • Call their customer service line at 1-800-DISCOVER (1-800-347-2683), available 24 hours a day.
  • Visit the “Help” section of the Discover website for answers to common questions.

What do I do If I Lose My Discover Credit Card?

If you have lost your Discover credit card or believe it was stolen, immediately log into your Discover account online and request a freeze on your account and a replacement card. 

If you think someone may wrongfully gain access to your account through a stolen card, you may require an account transfer to close your account and destroy/deactivate all existing cards. 

If you have any questions about the process or want someone to guide you through it, reach out via live chat or call the Discover customer service line.