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Best Discover Credit Cards 2024

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Updated May 12, 2024

Discover is one of the best providers of introductory credit cards. None charge an annual fee, interest rates are on par with other credit card issuers, they earn cash back, and there are introductory offers for waiving interest on new purchases or balance transfers.

There are also options for people who don’t have a credit history, such as students or people with a low credit score. With a Discover credit card, you can build your credit score over time.

The following are the best Discover credit cards for various goals and credit scenarios.

Best Discover credit cards: Summary

  • Best for earning travel rewards: Discover it® Miles
  • Best for cash back: Discover it® Cash Back
  • Best for cash back for students: Discover it Student® Cash Back
  • Best for student purchases on gas and restaurants: Discover it Student® Chrome Card
  • Best for balance transfers: Discover it® Balance Transfer
  • Best for road trips: Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurant Card
  • Best for hockey fans: NHL® Discover it®
  • Best for low credit score: Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Our recommendations

There isn't a bad egg in the Discover credit card portfolio. They’re all solid cards with cash back earnings and no annual fee. There are Discover cards designed for different borrowers, however, so you’ll want to see whether any of the following cards makes sense for your spending habits.

Best for earning travel rewards: Discover it® Miles

The Discover it Miles is Discover’s travel card, though its redemptions are more like cash-back redemptions that can only be used as statement credits on travel purchases. The regular earning rate is good—1.5 miles per dollar spent. At the end of the first year, any miles you’ve earned will be doubled.

Pros:

  • No annual fee.
  • Earning miles is simple and unlimited.
  • Miles are doubled the first year.
  • Earn 1.5 miles on every $1.

Cons:

  • High APR.
  • Redemptions are limited to flat rate.
  • No travel rewards partners or program.

Best for cash back: Discover it® Cash Back

Cardmembers looking to earn cash back in a variety of everyday categories may want to consider the Discover it Cash Back. The card earns 5% cash back on rotating categories throughout the year, up to $1,500, plus 1% on everything else. There is a long 0% APR introductory period of 15 months (then 17.24% to 28.24%). All the cash back earned on the card in the first year is doubled at the end of the year.

Pros:

  • No annual fee.
  • Generous cash-back options.
  • 15-month introductory 0% APR.

Cons:

  • High APR.
  • Categories may be unpredictable.

Best for cash back for students: Discover it Student® Cash Back

The Discover it Student Cash Back credit card earns a lot in cash-back rewards—especially for a student card with no annual fee. Like the Discover It Cash Back card above, holders earn 5% cash back on a different category group each quarter, up to $1,500 in purchases, plus 1% on other purchases. There is no minimum credit score required, making the card perfect for students new to credit. For new cardholders, cash back is matched at the end of the year.

Pros:

  • No annual fee.
  • Generous cash-back rewards.
  • Pre-approval tool to see if you qualify.

Cons:

  • High APR.
  • High balance transfer fee.
  • High cash advance fee.

Best for student purchases on gas and restaurants: Discover it Student® Chrome Card

The Discover it Student Chrome Card earns a steady 2% cash back on gas station and restaurant purchases up to $1,000 each quarter and 1% on all other purchases. For students who commute, it’s a good amount of rewards, especially for a card with no annual fee. There is a cash-back match offer for the first year and no credit score required to apply.

Pros:

  • No annual fee.
  • Students are able to qualify for the card.
  • Prequalification tool.
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • Cash-back matched the first year.

Cons:

  • High APR.
  • Fewer bonus categories.
  • High balance transfer and cash advance fee.

Best for balance transfers: Discover it® Balance Transfer

The Discover it® Balance Transfer credit card offers 0% APR for 15 months for balance transfers. The balance transfer fee is 3% during the introductory period and 5% after. The card also earns rewards at the rate of 5% in rotating quarterly categories and has a cash back matching offer for the first year.

Pros:

  • No annual fee.
  • Long introductory balance period.
  • Earns rewards.

Cons:

  • High APR.
  • High cash advance and balance transfer fees.

Best for road trips: Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurant Card

If you drive and eat out frequently, you might want to consider the Discover it Chrome Gas and Restaurant credit card. It earns 2% on gas and restaurant purchases up to $1,000 each quarter, plus 1% on all other purchases. The card offers a 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.

Pros:

  • No annual fee.
  • Bonus rewards for gas and restaurants.
  • Cash back matched the first year.
  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.

Cons:

  • High APR.
  • 2% cash back bonus limited to $1,000 in purchases each quarter.

Best for hockey fans: NHL® Discover it®

The NHL Discover it credit card earns the same rewards as the Discover it cards at 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories. In the first year of card membership, cash back is matched. There is also a low introductory APR of 0% for 15 months. The only thing different about NHL Discover is the card’s design, which can be selected from one of 32 NHL teams.

Pros:

  • Custom NHL team card design.
  • No annual fee.
  • Low intro APR at 0% for 15 months.
  • Generous cash rewards.

Cons:

  • High APR.
  • High balance transfer and cash advance fees.

Best for low credit score: Discover it® Secured Credit Card

The Discover it Secured credit card offers a way for people with low credit scores to build credit. There is no minimum credit score requirement for approval, and a security deposit can be for as low as $200. The card doesn’t charge an annual fee and earns cash back at a rate of 2% at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 of combined purchases each quarter. There is also a cash-back match offer that doubles cash back at the end of the year.

Pros:

  • No annual fee.
  • Deposit as low as $200.
  • No minimum credit score requirement.
  • Automatic reviews every seven months.
  • Cash-back match at the end of the year
  • Pre-approval tool to see if you qualify.

Cons:

  • High APR.
  • Approval isn’t guaranteed, even as a secured card.

## Best Discover credit cards compared
Discover Credit CardBest forIntro offerAPRAnnual feeMinimum credit score
Earning travel rewards
0% APR for 15 months, matching miles for the first year
17.24% to 28.24%
$0
Good, excellent
Cash back
0% APR for 15 months, cash back match the first year
17.24% to 28.24%
$0
Good, excellent
Cash back for students
0% APR for 6 months
18.24% to 27.24%
$0
Fair, new
Student purchases on gas and restaurants
0% APR for 6 months, matching cash back for the first year
18.24% to 27.24%
$0
Fair, new
Balance transfer
0% introductory APR for 15 months
17.24% to 28.24%
$0
Good, excellent
Road trips
0% APR for 15 months, cash-back match the first year
17.24% to 28.24%
$0
Good, excellent
Hockey fans
0% APR for 15 months, cash-back match the first year
17.24% to 28.24%
$0
Good, excellent
Low credit score
Unlimited cash-back match the first year
28.24%
$0
New, rebuilding

Methodology

Discover has a variety of credit card offerings. We evaluated annual fees, cash-back offers, APRs, and introductory offers. The best were chosen for their unique features geared toward specific cardholders. These include cards for cash back, travel, gas, restaurants, balance transfers, and rebuilding credit.

How to pick the best Discover credit card for you

Picking the best Discover credit card depends on your credit profile and what you want to earn. Do you have good credit and want to earn the most cash back? Are you rebuilding your credit and just need a card that doesn’t charge a ton of fees? There are Discover cards to match a variety of priorities.

Decide what you want to earn

The two main things you’ll earn on a Discover credit card are cash back and miles. Discover is known for its cash back, and the miles rewards are similar. If you’d rather earn miles than cash back, you can apply for the Discover it Miles credit card. Every other Discover card earns cash back, even the student and secured cards.

Pick a card that matches your credit profile

  • Student. Discover has credit cards perfect for students, with qualification requirements suitable for those with little or no credit history. They’ll even earn you rewards, to boot. As we explained in detail above, the Discover it Student® Cash Back and Discover it Student® Chrome Card both earn rewards.
  • Rebuilding credit. If you’re on the path to rebuild your credit, the Discover it Secured credit card may be the way to go. There is no credit check and the security deposit can be as little as $200.
  • Traveler. The Discover it Miles Card is Discover’s card for award travel. Redemptions are made at a fixed value of 100 miles = $1, which is much like Discover’s cash back redemption. You’ll need good to excellent credit to be approved.
  • Household shopper. If most of your expenses are for household goods, you might be happy earning cash back from one of the Discover cash-back cards. Take a look at what you currently spend money on the most and choose a card that earns bonus points in those categories. For example, if you spend a lot of money on gas, you may want to go for the Discover it Gas and Restaurant Card. A good-to-excellent credit score is required.

More on Discover credit cards

If you’re seriously looking at Discover cards, you might be considering the following:

What credit score do you need to get a Discover card?

The credit score needed for a Discover card depends on the type of card you’re getting. Student cards and the secured card don’t have a credit score requirement. However, the other cards require at least a good credit score, which FICO defines as 670 or above.

If you’re worried about being approved for a card, you can try Discover’s pre-approval tool which can check your approval likelihood without a hard credit check.

How can I apply for a Discover credit card?

You can apply for a Discover credit card online.

You’ll need to provide:

  • Zip code
  • Last four numbers of your Social Security number
  • Birthdate
  • Name
  • Home address
  • Employment status
  • Bank accounts owned
  • Housing payment
  • Total gross income
  • Email address

You’ll choose your card design (if applicable) and accept the terms to proceed with your application.

Discover credit card fees

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cash advance: $10 or 5% for each cash advance
  • Late payment: Up to $41
  • Returned payment: Up to $41
  • Balance transfer: 3% during the introductory period, 5% after

What is the APR on Discover credit cards?

Discover credit cards currently have APRs that range from 17.24% to 28.24%.

What credit limit can I get with a Discover card?

Discover credit limits start at $500 for all cards except the secured card, which can start at $200. Over time, with a regular payment history and reported income increases, you may see your credit limit increase.

What are the benefits of Discover credit cards?

Some of the benefits of Discover credit cards include strong cash-back offers, FICO Credit Score monitoring, 0% introductory APRs, and various redemption options.

Which Discover card is easiest to get?

The easiest Discover cards are the ones with the lowest credit score requirements. These include the Discover it Secured Card, Discover it Student® Cash Back, and Discover it Student® Chrome.

Will a Discover card help me build credit?

Yes, a Discover credit card can help you build credit. If you establish good habits, such as paying off your balance, paying on time, and keeping your purchases far below your credit limit, you may see a positive credit history start to build.

TIME Stamp: Discover credit cards are great for earning cash back and building credit

Discover credit cards aren’t the flashiest cards around, but they are solid—especially for those new to credit. None of the cards charge an annual fee and the APRs are on par with other cards. The cash back earnings and redemptions are average, and introductory offers include a matching cash back offer for a year and 0% APR for an introductory period.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which Discover card is easier to get?

The Discover it Secured Credit Card is easiest to get because it does not require a credit check. Instead, you need to provide a security deposit—the amount serves as your credit limit.

Is a Discover card worth having?

A Discover credit card is a solid cash back earner and doesn’t charge an annual fee—even for higher risk, new borrowers like students. As far as the cash back rewards go, it depends on how you’re able to use it to make it worth having.

How many Discover cards can you have?

You can have two different Discover credit cards at the same time.

Is a Discover card a Visa?

No, a Discover card is not a Visa card. Discover has its own payment network.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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