Discover it® Student Chrome review

This card offers students the opportunity to earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent quarterly at gas stations and restaurants and 1% back elsewhere. Plus, Discover matches all cash back new cardholders earn during their first year.

Written by
Jennifer Doss
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Student Card

Discover it® Student Chrome

  • Rewards
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Welcome Bonus
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 cash back into $200. There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Regular APR
  • 18.24% - 27.24% Variable APR
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5.0
Credit Score: Fair, New to Credit
Terms and Limitations Apply

Key Features

Editor Analysis:

Pros
  • This is a rare student card that offers cash-back opportunities: 2% back at restaurants and gas stations (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter) and 1% back on all other purchases. Plus Discover will match all the cash back new card members earn during their first year.
  • New cardholders get an intro 0% interest rate on all new purchases for the first six months after the card is issued before regular RegAPR applies.
  • Once you are a cardmember, you can earn a statement credit for each friend you refer who is approved.
Cons
  • If you don't spend much on eating out or at gas stations you might have difficulty taking full advantage of the rewards this card offers.
ALTERNATE CARD TO CONSIDER

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CardName benefits

College is an excellent time to learn about financial responsibility, and a student credit card is a great way to do that. And as students can almost always use a little extra cash, a rewards credit card can be particularly helpful.

CardName understands the spending habits and priorities of college students and has been designed to cater to their needs.

The automatic cash-back rewards on gas and restaurants are what struck a chord with us first. With classes, schoolwork and socializing, college students are crazy busy and have enough deadlines to remember without keeping up with a quarterly need to sign up for credit card rewards.

The CardName removes that hassle from your to-do list. Cardholders earn 2% back on gas and restaurant purchases up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% on everything else. Restaurant purchases include dining out on date night, a quick bite at the drive-thru or even late-night pizza deliveries.

Those 2% categories are perfect for the road-tripping college student or even just for quick weekend drives home to see family.

Another attractive feature is that all the cash back you earn in year one, will be matched. No limits. So not only will students get paid to buy everyday items, you’ll see that cash back amount jump up at the end of the year. If you earn $150 in cash back in your first year, Discover will add a matching $150 at the end of the year to bump up the total to $300.

Free is a word that is music to the ears of every college student and the CardName card has a annual_fees annual fee.

In addition, new cardholders get an intro 0% interest rate on all new purchases for the first six months after the card is issued. No interest puts money directly into your pocket. After six months, your interest rate moves to RegAPR, depending on your credit worthiness.

CardRatings Tip

A credit card can be a powerful financial tool, but remember, it’s important to use it responsibly. If you’re not paying your balance in full and on time, you could quickly find yourself buried in interest charges. Only charge to your card what you can afford to pay off. The rewards earned with this card are nice, but they won’t offset the cost of interest charges, so don’t spend money you don’t have just to earn those rewards. And if you take advantage of that introductory APR period, make sure you pay off your balance before the introductory period expires. Otherwise, regular APR will apply to any remaining balances, which can put you in a far worse position than you started in.

Who is eligible to apply for the CardName?

You must be at least 18 years of age, have a U.S. address and a Social Security number. When you apply, you will also need to provide proof of your school enrollment.

No credit? No problem. You’re still eligible to apply for the CardName. A student credit card is terrific way to start building a positive credit history.

Can you use CardName once you graduate?

Absolutely. Discover is hoping that your experience with the CardName is the first step in a lifetime financial relationship. When you graduate, you should call Discover to update your personal information such as income, housing information, e-mail and address. This may make you eligible for credit line increases. At this point, you might even be eligible to graduate to one of Discover’s non-student cards, but you can certainly continue using your student card if you’re pleased with its offerings and terms.

What are the potential downsides of the CardName?

While CardName offers a ton of perks for college students, the low cash-back rates stand out as a downside, especially if you are a big spender in categories other than gas and restaurants. The difference between 1% and 5% up to the quarterly maximum in categories that rotate (activation required) offered by CardName can add up fast (more on this below).

Even with the 2% cash back on combined gas and restaurant purchases, there is a $1,000 quarterly spending cap. That works out to just $76 per week. Given the price of gas and recent increases in the cost of dining out, that $1,000 threshold can be reached quickly. That said, if you’re on a meal plan while away at college, perhaps you’ll stay well under that cap.

Ultimately, you’ll need to decide whether the Chrome rewards are right for your lifestyle and budget. If not, you can consider one of the options compared below.

How do cardholders rate the CardName?

CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results for the CardName:

  Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 72.6 80.9
Features Satisfaction 6.4 8
Customer Service 7.7 8.3
Website/App Usability 7.8 8.3
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.2 8.6
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 7.8 7.7
Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

How does the CardName compare to other student cards?

CardName vs. CardName

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These sibling cards have more similarities than differences. The biggest difference is in the cash-back rewards program. Rather than a flat 2%/1% cash-back program, CardName has a rotating calendar of featured categories. Cardholders can earn a hefty 5% cash back on purchases in a featured category up to $1,500 spent in the category (activation required) during the designated quarter of the year. Some of these potential categories include: grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations.

All other purchases earn 1% cash back.

This card also offers a cash-back match at the end of the year for all new card members, and finally, this is also a no-annual-fee card.

CardName vs. CardName

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CardName offers a slightly higher flat rate of cash back of 1.5%. It offers a premium cash back of 5% but only on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Also, for a limited time, earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024. All other purchases earn 1.5% which is nice if you don’t want to think about where you’re spending money, and instead just want to earn on all purchases.

Instead of a cash-back match, CardName offers an early spend bonus of $50 when you spend $100 with the card in the first three months of opening an account. This is nice for those who want the bonus right away (well, in around three months) instead of having to wait until the end of the first year of card membership.

Who is a good fit for the CardName?

CardName is an excellent choice for students with little or no credit, who are looking to build a positive credit history. No annual fee means you’re not immediately starting in a hole and a 0% introductory APR on purchases for six months gives new cardholders a chance to build some positive fiscal momentum (after the intro period a RegAPR applies).

This card is designed specifically for students who don’t have time to sign on to activate rewards every month. These students, however, spend regularly on food and gas.

It’s likely not the best choice for people who relish the opportunity to strategically use their credit cards to rack up maximum rewards in categories that change quarterly, but for the average college student it’s an above-average option.

Frequently asked questions

The credit limit for CardName varies depending on your credit history, income, and other financial circumstances. That said, student credit cards often have lower credit limits compared to regular credit cards. This is because students typically have limited credit histories and lower incomes compared to more established consumers.
No, the CardName does not have an annual fee.

Our Methodology

Survey methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September 2023 to conduct surveys among 1,869 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2023-Aug. 31, 2023 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents’ scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to “How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?” was double weighted. Current Scores reflect scores from the most recent survey (2023); “Past Scores” reflect scores from the 2022 survey.

Disclaimer:The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.


This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.


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