Discover it® Student chrome Review

This card offers students the opportunity to earn 2% cash back on up to $1K spent quarterly at gas stations and restaurants and 1% back elsewhere. Plus, Discover will MATCH all the cash back new cardholders earn during their first year.
By Brooklyn Lowery  CardRatings Senior Manager  | Updated

Discover it® Student chrome

Discover it® Student chrome
Our Rating:   
Fair, New to Credit

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • The rare student card that offers cash-back opportunities: 2% back at restaurants and gas stations (up to $1,000 each quarter) and 1% back on all other purchases. Plus Discover will MATCH all the cash back new cardholders earn during their first year.
  • Once you are a cardmember, you can earn a statement credit for each friend you refer who is approved.
  • If you don't spend much on eating out or at gas stations, you could earn more cash back with a student cash-back card, such as Journey Student Rewards from Capital One that offers bonus cash back with no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.
Terms and Limitations Apply.

What Discover Says About This Card

  • No credit score required to apply.
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match - 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 into $200. There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.74% - 22.74% applies.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.
See More

Top Features

 Cash Back on Gas
Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
 Cash Back on Groceries
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
 Cash Back on Other
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

Discover it® Student chrome Essentials

College is an excellent time to learn about financial responsibility, and a student credit card is a great way to do that. Especially because for many, college can be a tough time financially, so using a rewards credit card during this time can be particularly useful. What student doesn't need cash back on purchases? Or their credit card company to know they're students and cater to them?

Discover it® Student chrome does just that. Some of the top features of this card include:

  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases and on gas station and restaurant purchases after you reach the quarterly cap.
  • Earn a MATCH of all the cash back earned at the end of your first year (new cardmembers only).
  • Rewards are all yours and you can redeem them in any amount, at any time; they never expire.

What Our Editors Like Most about Discover it® Student chrome

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 to deadlines to remember without keeping up with a quarterly need to sign up for rewards. The Discover it® Student chrome removes that hassle from your to-do list. Cardholders earn 2% back on gas and restaurant purchases up to $1,000 each quarter, and 1% on everything else. Those 2% categories are perfect for the road-tripping college student or even just for quick weekend drives home to see Mom and Dad.

Another attractive feature is that all the cash back you earn in year one, will be matched. 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. Think about, if you earn $150 in cash back in your first year, that will automatically become $300 at the end of that year.

What's another sticking point? Refer your friends and when they're approved, you can earn a statement credit. Plus, students can pay their bill up to midnight the day it's due - perfect for night-owl college kids who have been known to procrastinate from time-to-time (or at least, I seem to remember that from my days as a co-ed).

Potential Downsides of Discover it® Student chrome

While Discover it® Student chrome 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 offered by Discover it® Student Cash Back can add up fast. Having rotating categories allows you to plan your spending habits to maximize your rewards. If you enjoy higher rewards and spending strategically, the Discover it® Student Cash Back might be a better fit for you - as long as you're organized enough to handle the quarterly sign-ups.

How Discover it® Student chrome Compares to Other Student Cards

Discover it® Student chrome vs. Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Though the cash back isn't as high with the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One, you are financially rewarded for good behavior with a 25% boost in cash rewards if you pay on time, as well as the opportunity for a credit limit increase in as little as six months. You also get to choose your own due date.

Unfortunately, the Capital One Card does not offer your FICO score free, or let you use points at checkout like Discover it® Student chrome.

Still, if you don't spend disproportionately on gas and restaurants (or perhaps you easily reach the cap in those categories and your cash back would revert to 1%), the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One could be a solid option for you with its opportunity to earn 1.25% on all your purchases as long as you pay on time. 

This decision will come down to whether you think you'll maximize the rewards offered in the bonus categories with Discover it® Student chrome or if you prefer more flat-rate rewards.

Who Should Get This Card?

This card is designed specifically for students who don't have time to sign on to activate rewards every month. These students, however, spend money on food and gas, so having these categories offer bonus cash back if they use their Discover it® Student chrome card is ideal.

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.

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.

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