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Apply online for Discover it® - Cashback Match™
About Our Ratings
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

Discover it® - Cashback Match™ Review

Pros & Cons

  • Five percent cash back in quarterly rotating categories – gas stations, ground transportation and wholesale clubs through March 31, 2017 – when combined with Cashback Match™ makes for a substantial opportunity for cash back.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees or over-the-limit fees, your first first late-payment fee is waived, there's no annual fee and Discover is known for its excellent customer service.
  • Winner of the 2017 CardRatings Editor's Choice Award for Best Cash-Back Card with No Annual Fee.
  • The card features bonus 5 percent cash-back categories on a rotating basis, but if you know you spend a lot in a particular category, you might be better off with a card that features a constant higher cash-back percentage in that category.

Top Features

Cashback on Gas
5%
Cashback on groceries
1%
Cashback on other
5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Annual Fee
$0

Full Review

Brooklyn Lowery Site Editor

Discover it® Cashback Match™ Essentials

When Discover it® Cashback Match™ says it will match all your cash back accrued during your first year, it means that new cardholders could earn a staggering amount of cash back on purchases made within the rotating 5 percent cash-back categories in their first year. Think about it: $200 in cash back will automatically become $400. That's the reason Discover it® - Cashback Match™ is the CardRating's 2017 Editor's Choice pick for best cash-back card with no annual fee.

That matched cash back in bonus categories is in addition to the match Discover is offering for all the purchases you make in the first year in regular, non-bonus categories. With a bit of strategy and some regular credit card usage, you could reap some serious cash back, particularly during your first year with the Discover it® - Cashback Match™ card.

In addition to the intro offer and with a fresh look and a focus on customer service, Discover it®- Cashback Match™ has redefined itself as a serious contender in the crowded cash-back credit card field (which the original Discover card invented in the 1980s). With no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and amnesty for many of the situations that cause most banks to hike their rates and fees, Discover it® Cashback Match™ has the potential to set a new standard for American rewards credit cards.

What Our Editors Like Best About Discover it® Cashback Match™

It's always nice to know that using your credit card is earning you rewards, and the Discover it® - Cashback Match™ does earn you rewards every time you swipe – at least 1 percent on all your purchases.

When you sign up and spend in one of the rotating categories each quarter, however, you boost your earning to 5 percent back on those purchases up to a quarterly maximum.

When the time comes, Discover it® Cashback Match™ then offers easy redemption of your cash-back rewards. You can use your points as credit toward Amazon.com purchases or to request immediate credit card statement credit through Discover's website, among several other options.

Furthermore, as part of Discover it®'s CashbackMatch™ launch campaign, you've probably seen a series of ads featuring cardholders talking to their doppelgangers at one of Discover's call centers. The company wants to tell the story that you'll talk to someone who'll treat you the way you'd want to be treated.

Exclusively based in the United States, Discover's call center agents have been empowered to waive your first late payment service charge, to expedite emergency card replacements, and to process same-day payments up until midnight Eastern time. Agents even have the authority to work out an adjusted repayment schedule if you lose your job and can't make your current minimum payment. It's an honest, refreshing approach to customer service that reflects today's economic realities for many families.

Discover's American support centers don't just handle questions about missed payments and lost cards. They also form the backbone of an identity theft detection and resolution system that has earned Discover top marks from some of the industry's toughest critics. According to experts at Javelin Strategy & Research, Discover excels at detecting potential fraud and proactively resolving problems with cardholders and merchants. Likewise, the International Quality & Productivity Center has cited Discover's agents for acting in their customers' best interests, even when industry practices might dictate otherwise.

Discover it® Cashback Match™ could rest on the laurels of just being a solid cash-back credit card, but when you consider the cash back match at the end of your first year of card membership, this card certainly sets itself apart.

Additionally, if you're the type who wants maximum rewards and is willing to think through the strategy a bit, Discover it® - Cashback Match™ pairs well in your wallet with a flat-rate, no annual fee credit card like Chase Freedom Unlimited℠. How does it pair well? Here's the deal:

  • Use your Discover it® Cashback Match™ to earn 5 percent cash back on all your purchases in the bonus categories each quarter.
  • Use your Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ to earn an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase-it's automatic. That's a half-percent more than you'd earn using Discover it® Cashback Match™.
  • Remember that Discover it®Cashback Match™ matches all your cash back in the first year; that means you'll want to employ a strategy like that mentioned above after your first year of card membership.

Potential Downsides of Discover it® Cashback Match™

As is the case with any rotating categories cash-back card, you have to be willing to use a bit of strategy if you want to realize the full potential rewards of this card. If you're not someone who wants to keep up with using your card in the quarterly bonus categories, you'd likely earn more rewards with a flat-rate credit card like the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card that offers a flat 1.5 percent back on all your purchases. Or, if you're wanting a little strategy, but not one that changes quarterly, you might consider a tiered cash-back rewards card like the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card that offers 3 percent back on gas, 2 percent on groceries and 1 percent on your other purchases.

How Discover it® Cashback Match™ Compares to Other Cash-back Credit Cards

Discover it® Cashback Match™ vs. Chase Freedom®

Discover it® Cashback Match™ offers a nearly identical reward structure to that of its closest competitor, the Chase Freedom® card. Neither has an annual fee, so it could be a good strategy to carry both cards and cash in on the two sets of rotating bonus categories when you sign up each quarter. Bargain hunters could maximize their 5 percent rewards on both cards with just a little extra strategic planning.

Chase Freedom® offers its rewards in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, which are transferable among different Chase products. If you already have a Chase card in your wallet, it could pay to stick within the Chase family.

Discover it® Cashback Match™ vs. Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer has simplicity going for it in that cardholders receive 1 percent cash back when they make a purchase and another 1 percent back when they pay their bill. That means cardholders stand to make 2 percent cash back on all their purchases, which is a better return then Discover it® Cashback Match™ offers in its non-bonus categories.

For those who don't want to deal with rotating categories, the Citi® Double Cash Card could be a better option. Keep in mind, however, that the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer does have a 3 percent foreign transaction fee, so if you plan to travel abroad the no-foreign-transaction-fee Discover it® Cashback Match™ could be a better fit.

Discover it® Cashback Match™ vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

If you're a big spender at grocery stores and gas stations, the rewards offered by the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express could add up for you more quickly than they would with Discover it® Cashback Match™. You earn 6 percent back at grocery stores (up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1 percent), 3 percent at gas stations and 1 percent on everything else with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, so it certainly tops the cashback offering of Discover it® Cashback Match™ in the top two categories.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express does come with an annual fee of $95, however, so you'll need to spend enough to offset it; whereas, Discover it® Cashback Match™ is free to carry.

Who Should Get This Card?

Discover it® Cashback Match™ is a no-brainer for anyone who is willing to take a few minutes each quarter to sign up for the bonus categories and then spend strategically within those categories to maximize their rewards. With no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee and that awesome first-year matching cash back, it's a fantastic option for even the occasional credit card user.

Discover it card designsLastly, to add some fun to the decision-making surrounding a new credit card, Discover it® Cashback Match™ gives cardholders the option to select their favorite card design from an array of eye-catching colors. Royal purple? Chocolate brown? Striking silver? In other words, this card can fit both your financial and personal style.

This card compared to other cash back cards

Cashback on Gas
5%
3% at U.S. gas stations
2% at U.S. gas stations
Cashback on Groceries
1%
6% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
3% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
Cashback on other
5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
Earn 10% cash back on purchases at U.S. Restaurants in the first 6 months, up to $200 back. 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
Purchase Intro
APR:
0%
Period:
14 months
APR:
0% on Purchases
Period:
for the first 12 months
APR:
0% on Purchases
Period:
for the first 12 months
Purchase APR
11.49% - 23.49% Variable
13.74%-23.74% Variable 
13.74%-23.74% Variable 
This card is best for consumers who want to earn cash back with no annual fee and are looking for a low introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers.
CardRatings.com Editorial Staff

Discover it® - Cashback Match™ details

Purchase Intro
APR:
0%
Period:
14 months
Purchase APR
11.49% - 23.49% Variable
Balance Transfer Intro APR
0%
Balance Transfer Intro Period
14 months
Annual Fee
$0

What Discover says about this card

  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements and online.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.

Credit Card Consumer Average Ratings:

Overall Ratings
Reward Program
Card Benefit
Customer Service

Credit Card Consumer Reviews:

  1. Overall Ratings:
    Reward Program:
    Card Benefit:
    Customer Service:
    Dana ( Mar 4, 2014 at 11:13 am)

    This card is amazing. All the other CC's harass my mailbox daily, but then offer me a credit limit $3000 less than Discover did. How is that even possible? I love the free FICO score checker I can use when I log in too. The other day they emailed me a $5 starbucks card for being a member. It really seems like they're kissing my ass but I don't care I love this card!


  2. Overall Ratings:
    Reward Program:
    Card Benefit:
    Customer Service:
    joe ( Jan 6, 2014 at 9:30 am)

    card has many "NO"s but beware. If you're not planning on carrying a balance, you should find most of those things useless anyways. International fee is ZERO. rewards are at least 1% cashback but gifft card redemptions bumps the reward $$ to a higher percentage (redeem at 10% disc or 6% disc). Rotating categories are also helpful. effectively raising rewards rate on discount stores (walmart, target) to above 1% CON: no solid CB on supermarkets (gocery stores) gas only rotating. discover is not as accepted as Visa and MC, but sams club take them.


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Special offers
Currently available on the Discover it® - Cashback Match™
Cashback Match™
We'll automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. New cardmembers only.

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Apply online for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Limited Time Offer: Apply by 5/3/17 - Earn 10% cash back on purchases at U.S. Restaurants in the first 6 months, up to $200 back.
  • Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Everyday Cash Back: 6% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 3% at U.S. gas stations; 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No rotating reward categories. No enrollment required.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. You can only earn cash back on eligible purchases.
  • $95 Annual Fee. 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.74% to 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms Apply.
Terms and Limitations Apply
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good
Apply online for Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • Limited Time Offer: Apply by 5/3/17 - Earn 10% cash back on purchases at U.S. Restaurants in the first 6 months, up to $200 back.
  • Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Everyday Cash Back: 3% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 2% at U.S. gas stations; 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No rotating reward categories. No enrollment required.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. You can only earn cash back on eligible purchases.
  • No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.74% to 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms Apply.
Terms and Limitations Apply
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good