NHL® Discover it® Review

The NHL® Discover it® card offers hockey fans a chance to show their team allegiance while earning 5 percent cash back in quarterly bonus categories, 1 percent on all other purchases and enjoying 10 percent off purchases made at Shop.nhl.com.
By Brooklyn Lowery  CardRatings Senior Manager  | Updated

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NHL® Discover it®

Our Rating:   
Excellent, Good

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • Discover will MATCH all the cash back new cardholders earn in their first year, meaning $200 becomes $400.
  • You can earn 5% cash back in different categories each quarter you activate at popular locations such gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and Amazon.com, up to the quarterly maximum. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earning 5% cash back is great, but you'll need to be organized enough to actually spend in those categories (and sign up each quarter).

NHL® Discover it® Card Essentials

Are you a die-hard hockey fan? You can show your allegiance to your favorite team by carrying the official card of the NHL® - the NHL® Discover it®.

Not only can you earn 5 percent cash back on up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate in rotating bonus categories, but you can also earn 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. And what hockey-fan credit card would be complete without a discount? The NHL® Discover it® offers 10 percent off all purchases made at Shop.nhl.com. Card holders also have the option to carry a card designed with the image and logo of their favorite NHL team.

Currently, new NHL® Discover it® members also earn a dollar-for-dollar match for all cash back earned at the end of the first year of card ownership, automatically. After the first 12 billing periods, Discover will match all cash back rewards earned and apply them to your account. That means if you earn $200 cash back in your first year, Discover will match that amount and bring your total cash back to $400.

Additional perks of card ownership include:

  • No annual fee.
  • $0 fraud liability - you're never responsible for unauthorized purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Top Features

 Cash Back on Gas
 Cash Back on Groceries
 Cash Back on Other

What Our Editors Like Most about the NHL® Discover it® Card

In general, this is a solid cash-back reward card if you're in the market for a rotating categories cash-back card. Sure, it takes a bit of planning and organization to maximize your rewards, but you stand to rake in some substantial cash back, especially in your first year, after which Discover matches all your cash back earned.

The cash-back rewards themselves once earned never expire and can be redeemed for cash in any amount, at any time. NHL® Discover it® members can earn 5 percent back on rotating categories each quarter (up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate, then 1 percent after that). Historically, categories have included everything from gas to eating out to purchases at home improvement stores to Amazon purchases.

Cardholders can also freeze their account in seconds with an on/off switch available on either the mobile app or through Discover's website to prevent new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers should they temporarily misplace their card.

Primary cardmembers can keep track of their credit score with free access to their FICO® Credit Score through Discover.

But this is a hockey fan's credit card after all, so let's not forget that NHL® Discover it® cardholders receive a 10 percent discount on their purchases at Shop.NHL.com.

Lastly, unlike many niche credit cards, the NHL® Discover it® is a member of the Discover it® family, so feel free to travel abroad with the card knowing that you won't be on the hook for foreign transaction fees.

Potential Downsides of the NHL® Discover it® Card

Those rotating rewards category every quarter are a great path to rack up cash back, but only if you use them. Discover isn't the only credit card company with rotating rewards, but it does make it challenging for the cardholder, especially if the categories one quarter aren't for you.

Even if the categories DO align with your spending, you have to remember to activate each quarter or you won't earn the bonus cash back. In other words, if you'd prefer simplicity to maximum reward opportunities, you'd probably do better with a flat-rate or tiered cash-back credit card.

How the NHL® Discover it® Card Compares to Other Cash-Back Cards

NHL® Discover it® Card vs. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

The NHL® Discover it® Card has no annual fee compared to the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card which has a $39 annual fee. With both cards, your cash-back rewards never expire and you have $0 fraud liability on unauthorized purchases. Neither raises your APR if you make a late payment and neither comes with over-limit or foreign transaction fees. The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is, however, a flat-rate credit card with which cardholders earn 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, while NHL® Discover it® offers that 5 percent back on bonus categories and 1 percent cashback on all other purchases.

If you're willing to keep up with the categories, and those categories fit your regular spending habits, you'll likely earn more with the NHL® Discover it® Card.

NHL® Discover it® Card vs. Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Neither of these cards has annual fee or over-limit fees and both include cash-back rewards that never expire and $0 fraud liability, but that's where the similarities end. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is a tiered cash-back credit card with a new offer: Maximize your cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishing. Now earn 3% cash back in your choice category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), and unlimited 1% on all other purchases. You can update your choice category for future purchases once each calendar month using the mobile banking app or online banking, or do nothing and it stays the same.

This card is a nice in-between for people who don't want the complexity of a rotating-categories card but do want more earning potential than a flat-rate card offers. 

NHL® Discover it® Card vs. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, like the NHL® Discover it® Card, comes with no annual fee, rewards that never expire, $0 fraud liability and no over-limit fees, but the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is another tiered rewards option. Cardholders can earn higher rewards with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express -- offering 3 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases annually, then 1 percent), 2 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1 percent cash back for all other purchases. If supermarkets are where you find yourself often, this could be a great choice for you. (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees.

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, however, does charge a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.. (Terms apply. See Rates and Fees.) Although it's lower than the rates other cards charge, the NHL® Discover it® Card has no fees for foreign transactions, so it's a better choice for your travels outside the U.S.

Who Should Get This Card?

If you are looking for a card that allows you to earn cash-back rewards, pay no annual fee and offers some flexibility if you make a late payment, NHL® Discover it® is a great card for you, provided you are fine with rotating rewards options and have excellent credit.

Oh, and have a particular passion for the puck.

To see the rates and fees for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please visit the following link: See Rates and Fees.

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