Discover it® Business Card review: No annual fee and 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Discover it® Business Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, automatically, with no limit to how much is matched. So you could turn $350 cash back into $700 thanks to the Discover Cashback Match™.
- Enjoy no annual fees and earn 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent on all purchases.
- Track business expenses and download transactions easily into Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel. Plus get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
- While this is a great card for people who don't want to think about how much and where they spend, those who spend a lot of money in specific categories may earn more with a tiered or rotating category rewards card.
If the Discover it® Business Card was a prospective employee, you'd likely hire it. In other words, this is a very capable credit card for any business owner who is looking for something simple, with no annual fee, a very cool welcome bonus and solid ongoing rewards.
With this card you'll receive 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, with no cap. Meanwhile, the welcome bonus is pretty generous, too. After your first 12 months of card membership you'll receive an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match on all the cash back you earned that year, automatically, and there's no limit to how much you can earn. So you could turn, say, $350 cash back into $700, just for using your card to handle business purchases you'd need to make anyway.
But, look, we know, as with hiring an employee or applying for a credit card, you're not going to do it based on one quick, positive recommendation. You want to do some due diligence first - so we'll lay out the case for applying for and "hiring" the Discover it® Business Card.
- Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
- $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95.
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- Terms Apply.
As noted above, there is no annual fee. Sure, there are a lot of good credit cards without an annual fee, but it's rare to find a really good business credit card with a generous rewards package and no annual fee. We aren't saying that you can't find business credit cards with better rewards, because, sure, there are a lot of great options out there, but the Discover it® Business Card offers a lot for nothing, which we like. The Cashback Match™ welcome bonus offers a lot of potential for new cardholders, and the ease of earning ongoing rewards can't be overlooked.
Honestly, there is no major downside of the Discover it® Business Card to point out. It's a pretty good business credit card - 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no cap is a solid offer. However, if you spend a lot in certain categories such as travel or gas, you might benefit more with a card that earns bonus rewards on specific purchases, instead of a flat rate on all purchases. Or if you'd rather a higher cash back rate overall, and aren't worried about paying an annual fee, you might consider an option such as the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, which earns 3X points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories, and 1X on all other purchases.
Do you qualify for the Discover it® Business Card? Since you don't necessarily need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to qualify for a business credit card, your odds may be better than you might think.
The list of people who can apply for a small business credit card includes quite a few professions, such as freelancers/self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs, small business owners/officers, owners/officers of established businesses, and owners/officers of startups. Most credit card companies have a pretty broad definition of a "business" when it comes to deciding who will be granted a small business credit card. To qualify for a business credit card, you need to be an "authorized officer" of a company. In other words, you must have the legal right to enter into borrowing arrangements with financial institutions on behalf of a business. As you've likely guessed, if you are the owner of a sole proprietorship business or the sole owner of a small business, you are already an "authorized officer." It can be more complicated determining who ranks for businesses that have multiple owners, though. That said, most owners, even multiple ones, are also "authorized officers."
Credit card issuers consider each application on its own merits, so let them make the decision on whether you qualify - rather than assume you aren't a good fit simply because your business doesn't appear to fit a standard business model. And some hopefully helpful FYI: your personal credit history will likely be what is used to determine your eligibility and/or credit limit on a business card before you've built up a credit history for your business.
If your business doesn't have a tax ID number (EIN), you can enter your personal social security number instead, but in general, you'll want to try and have the following information available when you apply:
- Business name
- Business name as you want it to appear on the card
- Business address
- Type of business Tax ID number (or your social security number)
- Number of employees
- Annual revenue/sales
- Monthly expenses
- Number of years in business
- Ownership type (publicly traded, privately owned, etc.)
- Business structure (LLC, corporation, non-profit, etc.)
To learn more about who can qualify for a small business credit card, and how to apply for one, be sure to check out our "Small Business Credit Cards 101" guide.
Discover it® Business Card vs. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
These are two credit cards that have a lot in common.
The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card has no annual fee - and offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
That should sound familiar. As we've already mentioned, Discover it® Business offers the same.
So is there anything that separates the two credit cards? Well, the welcome bonuses are a bit different, for starters. With the Chase card you can earn $750 bonus cash back after spending $7,500 on purchases in the first three months of account membership. With the Discover card the welcome bonus doesn't kick in until after a full year. It could theoretically be better than the Ink Business Unlimited® card's welcome bonus, if you spend a lot and get a lot of cash back – or you might not do as well if you only use the card sporadically.
The cards differ in some smaller ways, too. For example, the Discover Business card doesn't charge any foreign transaction fees, so it could be a good card to travel overseas with. The Ink Business Unlimited® card, on the other hand, charges 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars when traveling abroad.
Discover it® Business Card vs. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Both cards have no annual fee and are both solid picks for a business owner, but there are definitely some differences between these two options. Whereas the Discover it® Business Card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, Ink Business Cash® Credit Card users earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limits.
So which card is better? It really depends on your business spending. Chase Ink Business Cash® has generous rewards (including $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening), but there is a cap on the amount of rewards you can earn at a bonus rate. If you know you'll spend far more than $25,000 in the 5% or 2% cash back categories, or you don't want to keep up with categories or how much money you spend, the Discover it® Business Card may make more sense.
Discover it® Business Card vs. Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business
Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business is another no annual fee option offering 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
There are some slight differences between the two cards though. The Capital One® Spark® card offers $200 once you make $3,000 in purchases in the first three months, while with the Discover it® Business, after a year is over, offers a match on all the cash back you've earned. So you basically, the first year, get 3% cash back on everything, with no caps, and so theoretically, you could end earning a lot more rewards with the Discover card. Really though, it all comes down to what you spend, and how you feel about waiting a full year to get that match. Maybe you like the idea of potentially pocketing an extra $200 in only three months instead.
Yes, absolutely. Again, some business owners who make a mint and spend a fortune and who don't mind spending an annual fee may do better, but if you don't want to bother with tracking spending categories, and you just want a straightforward generous rewards package, you may be very happy with Discover it® Business Card. It's also worth noting that employee cards are free, so if the card is a hit with you and your staff, your business could be getting a lot of cash back on purchases. A great deal, especially in the first year thanks to the Discover Cashback Match™.