The Discover it for Students card is a cash back credit card marketed towards students who want to establish their credit history while still in school. Compared to other student credit cards it offers decent cash back rewards. New account holders receive a 0% introductory annual percentage rate on purchases for the first six months but this does not apply to balance transfers. Discover cards are not as widely accepted as Visa and MasterCard (especially outside of the U.S.) but the Discover network continues to grow. The Discover it for Students card is currently accepted at more than 9 million locations nationwide.
Unlike the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students which offers 2,500 bonus points to new members this card does not come with a signup bonus. Cardholders earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases (up to $1,000 quarterly) made at restaurants and gas stations and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
As stated, new members receive a 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first six months that the account is active. After this promotional period ends, the annual percentage rate for purchases will be 12.99% to 21.99% depending on your creditworthiness. Your specific APR is determined at the time of approval.
New account holders get an introductory APR of 10.99% for six months on balance transfers. Balance transfers must post to your account by May 10, 2015. The six-month promotional period begins from the date of the first balance transfer. After this time, your APR will be 12.99% to 21.99%, again based on your credit score and payment history.
Cash back rewards do not expire and can be redeemed for any amount at any time. Card members can use their rewards to pay for purchases made at Amazon.com ($1 cash back = $1 at checkout). Cardholders can also earn up to a 20% cash back bonus when shopping at popular online stores through ShopDiscover.com.
The Discover it for Students card also gives these benefits to its card members:
- No penalty APR
- 100% U.S.-based call center service
- No foreign transaction fees
- Free monthly access to your FICO credit score
Cardholders are not charged an annual membership fee.
Below we have broken down the specific details of the Discover it for Students card to help you decide if it’s worth signing up.
0% introductory APR on purchases:
This card offers new members a 0% introductory APR on all purchases made in the first six months your account is open. After this time, the APR will vary between 12.99% and 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
Lower introductory APR on balance transfers:
While there isn’t a 0% introductory APR offered to new account holders for balance transfers, you can get a six-month lower APR of 10.99%. All balance transfers must post to your account by May 10, 2015. The six-month promotional period begins on the date you make your first balance transfer. After this time, the APR reverts to the standard range of 12.99% to 21.99% (based on your credit score).
Uncomplicated rewards program:
It’s easy to earn cash back rewards with the Discover it for Students card. Card members earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases made at gas stations and restaurants. This purchase amount is capped at $1,000 per quarter in combined purchases. All other eligible transactions earn 1% cash back.
Cash back rewards never expire. You may redeem them at any time and for any amount.
Easy to redeem rewards:
Card members can redeem rewards for cash. Whatever amount you redeem can be used as a statement credit or can be deposited into your checking account. Cardholders have the option to use rewards as payment for merchandise purchased at Amazon.com and other select online retailers (through ShopDiscover.com).
No annual fee:
There is no annual fee associated with this card.
Free access to FICO score:
Account holders have free access to their FICO credit score each month. This benefit can help you maintain control over your finances and credit.
No foreign transaction fees:
Cardholders are not charged a foreign transaction fee for any purchases made on the card outside of the U.S. Many other rewards cards charge between 2.7% and 3% on the total amount of purchases made while traveling abroad.
100% U.S.-based call center:
Card members have 24/7 access to a 100% U.S.-based customer service call center.
No penalty APR:
Most credit cards apply a high penalty APR (29%+)as soon as you have one late payment. The Discover it for Students card does not do this. However, you should always make your payments on time to avoid the late fee ($35) and interest charges. Your first late payment fee is waived with this card.
No signup bonus:
There is no signup bonus offered with this card to new account holders.
No 0% introductory APR on balance transfers:
There is a slightly lower APR of 10.99% offered to new members but this is only for six months. All balance transfers incur a fee of 3% of the total amount.
Cap on spending:
Combined spending at restaurants and gas stations is capped at $1,000 per quarter to earn the 2% cash back rewards. Any purchases over that amount earn only 1% cash back as do all other eligible purchases made on the card.
Not universally accepted:
The Discover network is not as large as its competitors, Visa and MasterCard. This is especially true overseas.