Listen closely, college students: If you have a car or spend a decent amount of money eating out, the Discover it® Chrome Card for College Students could be a great way to make your purchases work for you.
This review will cover how the card can help you build credit (even if you’re starting from scratch) and accrue rewards simultaneously, as well as exploring some factors that may make a different card a better fit.
- No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, no fee for your first late payment
- 2% cash back on up to a quarterly cap of $1,000 in combined spending on gas and at restaurants (excluding purchases from warehouse clubs, wholesale distributors, and discount stores); 1% cash back on all other purchases
- No minimum credit requirements
- Cash back match for every dollar of cash back you’ve received in your first year
- Apply to receive $20 cash back for every school year you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above, for up to 5 years
- 0% purchase APR for 6 months after opening your account, after which the APR increases to between 13.99% and 22.99%
- 10.99% balance transfer APR for 6 months after opening your account, after which the APR increases to between 13.99% and 22.99%
At a glance
Discover it® chrome for Students
on Discover Card's website
- New! We’ll monitor your Social Security Number. Get an alert if we find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of risky websites.* Activate for FREE.
- Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
- 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter - no sign-ups needed. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
- Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
- No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
- Get 100% U.S. based customer service & your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
- Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
- 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.99% - 22.99%.
- Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
1% Cash Back
Discover it® Chrome Card for College Students deep dive
Find yourself spending a significant amount of money on gas and at restaurants? The Discover it® Chrome Card for College Students could be a good way to build your credit while earning cash back rewards. But it won’t fit everybody’s spending habits, so continue reading to see if it’s the right card for you.
Get it: If you’re a college student looking to build your credit while earning rewards for your purchases, plus bonus rewards for gas and restaurant spending
While many college students struggle to be approved for a credit card given limited credit history and little or no income, this card was designed specifically for students looking to build credit. It offers an opportunity to both build your credit while you’re a student and to earn cash back on all your credit card purchases.
Bonus rewards on this card are earned on gas and restaurant purchases, so those who have a car and/or who dine out frequently will gain the maximum value this card has to offer.
Some of the benefits of the Discover it® Chrome Card for College Students include:
- Fewer fees: With no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, no charge for your first late payment (the late payment fee increases to up to $37 thereafter), and no penalty APR, the Discover it® Chrome Card for College Students can help you avoid the unwanted fees that accompany many credit cards
- No credit history required: Discover recognizes that many students have little or no credit history, and therefore offers student cards with no minimum credit requirements. This means you’ll be able to earn great rewards without first proving your creditworthiness
- Good grades bonuses: For every school year that you achieve a GPA of 3.0 or above, Discover will reward you with $20 cash back on your Discover it® Chrome Card for College Students, for up to 5 years. You must apply for the bonus each year
- Cash back match for year one: Receive 100% match on all cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year with the card, as long as you’re a new cardholder
- Elevated cash back for gas and restaurant purchases: Earn 2% cash back on your first $1,000 in combined gas and restaurant spending per quarter, not including warehouse clubs, wholesale distributors, or discount stores. All other purchases earn 1% cash back, with no cap
- Introductory APR offers: Purchase APR on the Discover it® Chrome Card for College Students card is 0% for your first 6 months with the card. Balance transfers that post to your account by August 10, 2017, receive an introductory APR of 10.99% for 6 months from the transfer date. In both cases, an APR of 13.99% to 22.99% based on your creditworthiness applies after 6 months
- Reward redemption how and when you want it: Cash back from your spending on the Discover it® Chrome Card for College Students can be redeemed in any amount, at any time—and will never expire
- Peace of mind: You’re automatically protected against fraudulent charges on your Discover card and Discover will monitor your Social Security Number and alert you if your SSN is found on any of thousands of risky websites
Skip it: If you spend very little on gas or at restaurants, or you spend significantly more than $1,000 per quarter in these categories
While all purchases on this card earn 1% cash back, its value is fully realized when you use it for 2% cash back gas and restaurant purchases. Therefore, if you don’t drive or dine out frequently, you may be better off with a student card that offers rewards in different categories.
On the contrary, anything above a quarterly combined cap of $1,000 in spending will earn the base rewards rate of just 1% cash back, meaning those who spend big in these categories may be better suited to a card with a higher rewards rates or higher spending caps.
Consider these drawbacks of the Discover it® Chrome Card for College Student:
- Best value for gas and restaurant spenders: Given the 2% cash back rate on gas and restaurant purchases, this card is most valuable for those who spend near $1,000 per quarter (combined) in these categories. If you’re eating at a college dining hall, cooking for yourself, or don’t have a car, you might have some trouble spending this much, and might, therefore, be able to earn more rewards with a card that offers rewards bonuses in different categories
- A cap on the best rewards: With the Discover it® Chrome Card for College Students, you can only earn 2% rewards on your first combined $1,000 in gas and restaurant purchases per quarter, which you may max out if you’re a big driver or dine out frequently. In this case, it may be worth paying an annual fee for a card with higher rewards rates and/or higher rewards caps
- Not a one-card wonder for international travel: As with other Discover cards, you won’t be charged foreign transaction fees on the Discover it® Chrome Card for College Students, but you may experience difficulty finding merchants who accept Discover cards depending on which country you’re in. This is generally not a huge worry for college students, but may be a consideration if you’re planning to study abroad
Between generous welcome offers, no minimum credit requirement, and cash back for all your purchases, the Discover it® Chrome Card for College Students is a solid option for any student—and even more so for students who spend money on gas and/or groceries. If your spending falls into other categories, however, it may be worth checking out some other cards that offer bonus rewards for categories such as groceries, travel, or shopping.