Discover is known for its 100% USA-based customer service, often receiving top marks on surveys by consumer groups. All cards in Discover’s portfolio offer rewards in the form of cash back or miles. Some cash-back cardholders have the potential to earn even more thanks to revolving quarterly categories that provide as high as 5% cash back on categories that range from gas to restaurants and much more. And, thanks to Discover's Cashback Match™ program, eligible new cardholders could earn up to 10% cash back in those categories during the first year.
Although it's known for credit cards, Discover is also a bank. Or if you prefer, an all-services financial company. If you go to Discover.com, you'll quickly discover that you can get credit cards, do online banking, apply for student loans, personal loans and home loans.
In some ways, Discover is fairly new and doesn't have a storied history, though if you want and look through at the bank through a narrow prism, you can go back a long way to its origins.
Sears actually created Discover in 1985, but Sears, of course, has been around for a long time. It was founded in 1893. Also in 1985, Discover purchased The Greenworld Trust Company, a financial institution that was founded in 1911.
Still, for all practical purposes, Discover has been on the map since 1985. Compared to other banks, Discover is a toddler.
Fun fact about Discover: Granted, this isn't the trudge through the blizzard to get my money story, but it's worth noting that if you like to find credit cards without an annual fee, you can sort of thank Discover for that, even if you don't have a Discover credit card.
When it first came on the scene, Discover didn't have annual fees - and it offered a larger credit limit than its competitors. So suddenly consumers were quite interested in Discover, and competing credit issuers started, on some and then many cards, scrapping their annual fee.
To this day, Discover credit cards don't have annual fees.
Sometimes, annual fees are completely worth it. The rewards are incredible, and you can easily justify spending the annual fee. But thanks to Discover, these days, if you're asking people to apply for a credit card that includes an annual fee, you need to demonstrate to a skeptical consumer that it's worth paying for.
CardRatings has named several Discover credit cards to its best credit cards of 2020 lists, including:
If you're a consumer looking for a credit card, there are a lot of Discover credit cards out there. As noted, they don't have annual fees, and many of Discover credit cards are nonetheless full of perks and healthy welcome bonuses and rewards.
Discover it® Cash Back (This card is not currently available on CardRatings) is a good example of what Discover has to offer. You do have to keep track of bonus categories that switch on you every three months, and some cardholders aren't fond of that, but if you are willing to do that, you can do very well. You'll earn 5% cash back on every day purchases every quarter, on different categories such as supermarkets, restaurants and gas stations, and you'll receive unlimited 1% cash back on everything else. And, of course, this card has no annual fee.
Discover cards compare well against the following cards from other banks:
Both of these cards offer a cash-back rewards program and neither charges an annual fee. However, with the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer you can earn 1% cash back per $1 spent on each purchase plus another 1% cash back when they pay for those purchases, which is essentially like earning 2% cash back on all of your purchases. That a simple rewards structure that encourages responsible credit card use.
The Discover it® Cash Backon the other hand, earns you 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories on up to $1,500 spent quarterly, then 1% (quarterly enrollment is required) and 1% back on your other purchases. That means you could earn more, but you'll need to employ a little more strategy to make sure you're maxing out your 5% quarterly earning.
Plus, at the end of your first year, Discover matches your rewards so that 5% – effectively becomes 10% cash back in those categories and 2% back on all your other purchases. The Citi card also does not offer a traditional welcome bonus, which could be disappointing for some cardholders. Citi is a CardRatings advertiser
If you need to transfer a balance from a high-interest credit card, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card provides one of the longest duration intro 0% APR periods. It offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (when made within the first four months) as well as purchases for 18 months then 14.74% - 24.74% Variable.