Discover it Student Chrome Review: Build Credit with Rewards at Gas Stations and Restaurants

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Discover it® Student chrome
Discover it® Student chrome
Editor’s Score: (3.9/5)
Discover it® Student chrome
Editor’s Score: (3.9/5)
  • Intro offer:
    Cashback Match™
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.24% – 22.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    (No Credit History)
Rewards rate:

Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Earn rewards on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • No credit score required to apply
  • 0% intro APR for purchases
Cons
  • Potential for high ongoing APR
  • Few cardholder benefits
  • Cap on 2% cash back
  • Separate intro APR for balance transfers
The Bottom Line
The Discover it Student Chrome makes it possible to earn rewards while you build credit, even if you have no credit score when you apply. With no annual fee and rewards in select categories, you can use this card to establish credit and build positive credit habits you’ll use throughout life and after graduation.

Additional Card Details

  • Discover will double all the rewards earned during year one through its Cashback Match program
  • 0% APR on new purchases for six months (followed by a variable APR of 13.24% to 22.24%)
  • 10.99% APR on balance transfers for six months from date of the first transfer, for transfers that post to your account by June 10, 2022 (followed by a variable APR of 13.24% to 22.24%)
  • Free FICO score
  • Get preapproved for this card without a hard inquiry
  • Establish and build credit
  • Access to the Discover mobile app

Discover it Student Chrome Full Review

Card Type

The Discover it Student Chrome is a student credit card, best suited for college students who have no credit or limited credit history.

Annual Fee

There’s no annual fee for the Discover it Student Chrome, so you can use it to earn rewards and build credit for no cost, as long as you pay down your balance each month.

Welcome Offer

At the end of your first year, Discover will double all the rewards you’ve earned so far through its Cashback Match program. This means if you earn a total $200 back, you could double that to $400 after the first 12 months of card membership.

Introductory Offer

This student card offers separate introductory offers for purchases and for balance transfers. 

You’ll get an intro 0% APR on purchases for six months, followed by a variable APR of 13.24% to 22.24%. This can be useful if you have a large purchase to make, and want the flexibility to pay it off over a few months rather than upfront.

The introductory balance transfer offer is not a 0% deal  — you’ll pay 10.99% APR on balance transfers for six months from the date of the first transfer, for transfers that post to your account by June 10, 2022. After that, a variable APR of 13.24% to 22.24% applies. 

Rewards

With the Discover it Student Chrome, you can earn 2% back on up to $1,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each quarter (then 1% back), and 1% back on all other purchases. If you’re able to max out the 2% category, that’s equal to $20 in rewards each quarter, plus any added rewards you earn at the 1% rate. 

You can redeem your Discover rewards for cash back in any amount, as well as for gift cards or purchases made through PayPal or Amazon.com.

Pro Tip

If you want a Discover student card with higher rewards value, check out the Discover it Student Cash Back. This card offers 5% back on up to $1,500 spent in quarterly bonus categories (then 1% back) and 1% back on other purchases.

Fees

There’s no annual fee to carry this card, and it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees if you use it for purchases abroad. 

If you decide to use the balance transfer offer, you’ll pay a 3% balance transfer fee for transfers that post to your account by June 10, 2022, or a 5% fee for transferred balances thereafter. 

There’s no late fee for your first late payment with the Discover it Chrome. After that, late payments can result in up to a $41 late payment fee. Returned payments also incur a fee up to $41.

Other Benefits

The Discover it Student Chrome is very light on benefits, which is common among student credit cards. Some benefits include a free FICO score and access to the Discover mobile app. Discover also offers preapproval for this card without a hard credit inquiry.

Benefits of Discover it Student Chrome

If you are a student who wants to build credit and earn rewards at the same time, the Discover it Student Chrome should be on your radar. You can apply and get approved with limited credit history or no credit at all, and you get the chance to earn cash back while you improve your credit score over time.

This card’s introductory APR offer can help you save on interest for a limited time, especially if you have a large upcoming purchase and want to take advantage of the 0% intro APR for new purchases. Just remember that your rate will revert to the regular variable interest rate once your introductory period ends.

Drawbacks of Discover it Student Chrome

The biggest downside of the Discover it Student Chrome is its rewards rate. After all, there are other student credit cards — including the Discover it Student Cash Back card — that offer up to 5% back on select purchases, as well as cards for students that offer a higher flat rate of up to 1.5% cash back on all purchases. While the Discover it Student Chrome does offer 2% back at gas stations and restaurants, those 2% rewards are limited to just $1,000 in spending per quarter, before reverting to the standard 1% cash back. 

Also, if you’re looking to make a balance transfer, this card isn’t the best option. For a credit card that lets you save on interest while you consolidate debt from other cards, consider other balance transfer credit cards that offer 0% APR for a limited time.

How to Use Discover it Student Chrome

Maximize your Discover it Student Chrome to build credit and earn rewards by using it for regular spending and bills that you can afford to pay off on time each month. After all, payment history is most important factor used to determine your credit score.

Also pay attention to the credit limit you’re assigned. To improve your credit, keep your monthly balance well below the limit. This will keep your credit utilization ratio (the second-most influential factor in your credit score) low; experts recommend maintaining utilization of 30% or less.

As you build credit, earn rewards on your regular spending. You can prioritize using your card at gas stations and restaurants to maximize the boosted 2% cash back rate on those purchases, at least until you reach the quarterly $1,000 cap. And at the end of the first year, look out for the Cashback Match offer from Discover, which will double your rewards earned.

Discover it Student Chrome Compared to Other Cards

Discover it® Student chrome

Discover it® Student chrome

Editor’s Score: (3.9/5)
  • Intro offer:
    Cashback Match™
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.24% – 22.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    (No Credit History)
Discover it® Student Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro offer:
    Cashback Match™
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.24% – 22.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    (No Credit History)
Learn More externa link icon
Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Editor’s Score: (N/A)
  • Intro offer:
    $50
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    15.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site

Is the Discover it Student Chrome Right for You?

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

Since you don’t need a credit score to apply, the Discover it Student Chrome is a good choice for people with no credit or limited credit history. You can even get preapproved before undergoing a hard credit check, and Discover will report your credit movements and payments to the three credit bureaus to help you build credit over time.

But this card’s rewards and benefits are limited. This can make a great starter credit card, but once your credit score is high enough, consider upgrading your Discover it Student Chrome or applying for a better rewards credit card to replace it.

Before you apply, also take time to compare other student credit cards and non-student cards designed for people with little or no credit history. The right combination of rewards and benefits best suited for your spending can help you save money as you build lasting great credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Discover it Student Chrome report to the credit bureaus?

Yes, the Discover it Student Chrome reports to all three credit bureaus.

What credit score do you need for the Discover it Student Chrome?

The Discover it Student Chrome is a credit-building card that you may be able to qualify for even without a credit score. Discover says it considers all the factors in your application for approval though, including a credit score if available.

Does the Discover it Student Chrome do a hard pull?

You can get preapproved for the Discover it Student Chrome without a hard inquiry. However, a hard inquiry is required to move forward with a full application.

Is the Discover it Student Chrome a secured credit card?

No, the Discover it Student Chrome is not a secured credit card. The Discover it Student Chrome is an unsecured credit card for students.