Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Discover it Chrome Credit Card Review

overall rating
3.9

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The Discover it Chrome card offers simple, and fairly valuable, cash back rewards at gas stations and restaurants. With no annual fee, it also has an exceptional cash back bonus offer for new cardmembers, doubling the rewards you earn during your first year. In addition, the card has an introductory 0% APR offer on new purchases and balance transfers, making it a decent low-cost financing option as well.

Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurants

overall rating
3.9
Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurants
On Discover's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

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

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 (%) 11.99% - 22.99% 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
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 14 Months
Balance Transfer Fee 3% if completed by September 10, 2020, and up to 5% for transfers made thereafter.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

The Discover it® chrome Credit Card is not one of our top rated rewards credit cards. You can review our list of the best rewards credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of Discover it Chrome Credit Card

Pros
  • Above-the-norm rewards at gas stations and restaurants

  • Valuable cash back match offer for the first year

  • 0% APR for 14 months on new purchases and balance transfers

  • No penalty APR

Cons
  • Cash back rewards are capped each quarter

  • Limited benefits beyond rewards

Pros Explained

  • Decent Rewards at Gas Stations and Restaurants: If you spend a lot of money at gas stations and restaurants, the Discover it Chrome card can help maximize your rewards. You'll earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. You’ll earn a standard 1% cash back on all other purchases. 
  • Cash Back Match: At the end of your first year as a cardmember, Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned during those 12 months. With that bonus, in its first year the card effectively offers an outstanding 4% in cash back on qualifying gas and restaurant purchases and a generous 2% on all other purchases. If you spent the maximum amount on gas and eating out that’s eligible for rewards, you could enjoy an additional $80 in cash back from your first year with the card.   
  • Introductory APR: If you're planning on making a big purchase or want to complete a balance transfer, this card is a good option. You’ll get a 0% introductory APR on purchases and on balance transfers for 14 months that post to your account by September 10, 2020, a fairly typical length for such offers, at least for cards with no annual fee. You’ll pay between 3% and 5% of the transfer amount, depending on when you make the transfer; again, these are typical fees, although some cards do waive them for introductory offers. Once that introductory offer expires, your APR will be 11.99% to 22.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. 
  • No Penalty APR: Unlike most cards, the APR doesn't increase to a penalty rate—usually the highest interest rate charged on the card—after you’ve been in arrears on payments for 60 days or more.

Cons Explained

  • Cash Back Rewards Cap: There’s a limit of $1,000 a quarter on the spending at gas stations and restaurants that’s eligible for that solid 2% cash back rate. After you hit that total, further purchases for the quarter only earn the standard 1% cash back. That’s a lower amount annually than some other cards that have caps, which often allow $6,000 in spending per year to be eligible for their best rates. And because the caps are totaled quarterly, with no ability to carry over any underspending, the card offers little flexibility to spend heavily during some parts of the year and minimally at others. If you tend to spend more than $1,000 per quarter at gas stations and restaurants, you may want to consider carrying another credit card for your spending above that limit. 
  • Limited Benefits: Beyond its rewards, the Discover it Chrome card has limited perks. Other cards—even those with no annual fees—typically offer a number of robust benefits, including rental-car insurance coverage, travel insurance, and extended warranty protection. You may want to also carry another card for select purchases where you require these and other extras.  

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Cash Back Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
    Cash Back Strategist
  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Head of Household Persona
    Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchases
    Head of Household
  • Avatar for Driver/Commuter Persona
    Incurs gasoline or other commuting expenses each month
    Driver/Commuter

This card is perfect for users who spend a significant amount of money at gas stations and restaurants, and want a card that rewards those purchases well—and for no annual fee. 

You'll earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in purchases at gas stations and restaurants each quarter. If you spent the maximum each quarter, you'd get $80 in cash back rewards. And, thanks to Discover’s cash back match, the company would double those rewards for the first year of purchases, earning you $160 in total. 

You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases, with no limit to the spending that’s eligible for that level of reward. Cash back earned at the 1% rate is still eligible for the cash back match after your first year, so the rewards can add up. 

Discover it Chrome Credit Card Bonus

Discover’s bonus works differently than most other offers. With many credit cards, you have to spend a certain amount within the first three months of opening an account to qualify for a bonus. 

Discover, however, has no such spending minimum. Instead, the company will automatically match all of the cash back you earned during your first year as a cardmember. If you earned $250 in cash back rewards, Discover will match it, giving you a total of $500 in rewards.

There’s a $1,000 limit every quarter, as noted, on the spending that’s eligible for the highest cash back rewards, on gas and restaurant purchases. But there’s no limit on the rewards at the regular cash back rate that are eligible for this doubling up of cash back. 

Rewards Earning Details

You'll earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 spent each quarter. The quarters are three-month periods that begin on Jan. 1, April 1, July 1, and Oct. 1.

To qualify for the 2% cash back rate, your gas station or restaurant purchases must be made at merchants classified as gas stations, full service restaurants, cafes or fast-food locations. Wholesale clubs, warehouse clubs and discount stores don’t qualify. 

Rewards Redemption Details

You can receive your cash back as a credit to your account, where they can be applied to your balance at any time, or sent electronically to your bank account. There’s also an option to use them directly as payment at certain retailers, including Amazon.com, or to direct them to charities. An additional, potentially lucrative option is to exchange the cash back for a gift card at Discover partners. A bonus of at least $5—it varies by the merchant—is added to the value of the gift card for every $20 you redeem. Partners include American Eagle, Banana Republic, Gap, L.L. Bean, Bath and Body Works, Omaha Steaks, Old Navy, Black Angus, Foot Locker, Nike, and Under Armour.

You must accrue at least $20 in rewards to redeem them for gift cards. For the other redemption methods, you can redeem rewards when you have earned as little as one cent.  

Your rewards never expire. If your account is closed or if you haven't used your card in 18 months, Discover will credit your account with your cash back bonus. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

To get the most value from your card, use the Discover it Chrome card to pay for all of your purchases at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 spent each quarter, which earn the card's higher cash back rate of 2%. 

If you're a typical household, though, you may well exceed that spending cap. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average household spends approximately $2,000 per year (or $500 a quarter, assuming your spending was even throughout the year) on gasoline, and a further $3,450 (or about $860 a quarter) on eating out, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s nearly $1,500 more than the annual limit for the top cash back rate for the Discover it Chrome. 

Any spending over the $1,000-per-quarter limit will still earn you rewards, but at the lower 1% rate. If you tend to spend more than the limit at gas stations and restaurants, then, you may want to consider using another card in addition to your Discover card to maximize your rewards, one that offers better than 1% as its default rate. For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card allows you to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make. 

Standard Benefits

  • Free FICO credit score
  • Discover identity alerts and account monitoring
  • Freeze it on/off switch to prevent unauthorized charges

Cardholder Experience

According to the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Customer Satisfaction survey, Discover is most satisfying card issuer out of 11 card companies surveyed. It has a score of 842, compared with the average of 806 in the survey. 

Discover says its customer service is based in the United States. It's available over the phone, on its website, or through the mobile app. Help is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-DISCOVER or you can contact customer service online, including via live chat. 

Security Features

Discover, as with many other card issuers, allows you to freeze and unfreeze your account as needed and to monitor your credit report online or through the mobile app. The company will notify you if there is suspicious activity, and you’re never responsible for unauthorized charges, which are also standard features. 

Our Verdict

If you're looking for a basic, no-cost credit card, the Discover it Chrome card is a smart choice. Offering 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent each quarter at restaurants and gas stations, you can earn a solid rate of return on some of your regular spending. And those rewards are supercharged as a one-time offer, with all cash back earned being matched at the end of your first year of using the card. 

Offering 14 months at 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers, the card is also a good option for those looking to finance big purchases or pay off high-interest credit card debt. 

However, those who spend more than the $1,000 quarterly spending limit at gas stations and restaurants will likely be better off with another credit card with a higher—or no—rewards spending limit. 

While the absence of a foreign transaction fee is a nice plus, Discover cards have limited acceptability abroad, and the company's card lack such travel perks as insurance coverage for rental cars. Travelers should consider carrying another card on trips, and especially those outside the U.S.

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For Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurants
on Discover's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurants
overall rating
3.9
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 (%) 11.99% - 22.99% 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.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.