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Quick take: Discover it Student Cash Back is a student credit card that offers a variety of student benefits. Some of the benefits offered by this credit card include quarterly 5% cash back tiers, unlimited cash back matching, and no fees on your first late payment. Although it may have some drawbacks, this card is a great choice for anyone looking to start building their credit.
- Variety of categories
- Annual fees
How did we calculate this?
- 5% Cash Back Categories
- No annual fee
- Cash-back game for the first year
- No late fees on your first late payment
- Bonus categories must be activated quarterly
- 5% cash back limited to $1,500 in spend per quarter
- Only 1% cash back on other purchases
Check Out Student Cash Back Card Overview
The Discover it Student Cash Back is a cash back credit card for students. It has several advantages, including no late fees on your first late payment. It forgoes the sign-up bonuses that other credit cards have in favor of cash back for your freshman year, which may be better for students on a budget. Discover will match all of the Cash Back you earn in your first year, dollar for dollar, with no minimum or maximum spend.
Let’s take a look at the main features of Discover it Student Cash Back.
The Discover it Student Cash Back has a 0% APR on purchases for six months from the date the account is opened. After that, the APR increases to , which is consistent with other credit cards. It also has a lower balance transfer APR of 10.99% for six months, which means this card can be used for balance transfers. After the first six months, its Balance Transfer APR is the same as its Purchase APR.
This credit card earns 5% cash back in two bonus categories on up to $1,500 in spend each quarter. Bonus categories change quarterly and must be activated manually. For your first year, Discover will match any rewards you earn dollar for dollar. So if you spend the maximum $6,000 in bonus categories in the first year and earn $300 in cash back, Discover will match your $300 dollar for dollar, for a total of $600 in cash back.
Variety of categories
There are two bonus categories for each quarter. Bonus categories are usually everyday expenses for most people, such as restaurants, gas stations, and groceries. Groceries does not include Walmart and Target, but Target may be a category on its own.
Although the rewards are capped at $1,500 per quarter, they’re generally when people will actually use them. Examples include signing up for a gym in January to fulfill your New Year’s resolution or spending money at Amazon during the holiday season. You may find that there are bonus categories to match these trends, allowing you to maximize reward accumulation.
There is no annual fee to use the Discover it Student Cash Back card, making it a great choice for students.
How the Discover it student cash back card stands out
The Discover it Student Cash Back is unique in several ways. Cashback matching, 5% bonus categories, and waiving your first late payment fees are some of its standout features.
Other student credit cards may offer 5% cash back (or even more), but these point accruals are generally more restrictive. For example, they may reward you with 5% cashback only when you book hotels and rental cars through the card issuer’s travel portal. Conversely, the Discover it Student Cash Back card lets you earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in quarterly spend on purchases that fall into its bonus categories.
Comparable Student Credit Card Options
There are a few other student credit cards that also allow you to earn cash and other rewards. Here are two alternatives to consider.
Capital One Quicksilver Student Rewards Card
The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students card is an attractive choice if you don’t want to track bonus categories. Instead of quarterly 5% categories, it lets you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. But it also lets you earn 5% cash back on hotel and rental car bookings booked through Capital One Travel. Additionally, there is a $100 sign-up bonus, which you can earn by spending $100 within the first three months of card ownership.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students also gives you 1.5 unlimited points for every dollar spent. It also comes with a sign-up bonus of 25,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. It also has an introductory APR of 0% for your first 18 billing cycles. After this period, the APR of the card increases to 16.24%-26.24%.
How to register
You can apply for the Discover it Student Cash Back card by completing the online form. It asks a few basic questions, such as your name, date of birth, rent/housing payment, and monthly or annual gross income. The form also lets you choose from a number of different card designs, with everything from a dog to a tape as your background.
Who is the Discover it Student Cash Back Card for?
Of course, this credit card is best for students. But to delve deeper into this, it is best for those who want to maximize their credit card rewards with 5% bonus categories. To earn the most, you’ll need to activate your bonus categories every quarter, so you need to be ready to commit to them. It’s also best for those who may have difficulty meeting sign-up bonus requirements, such as the $1,000 spending requirement in the first 90 days for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card for Students.
The Discover it Student Cash Back Card is a credit card with no annual fee. This allows you to earn great rewards, potentially without ever paying a fee. This requires you to activate your bonus categories each quarter and track the categories for the current quarter. Additionally, the 5% bonus categories are capped at $1,500 in spend per quarter; after that you earn 1% cash back.
Although its rewards potential is somewhat limited, the Discover card offers other benefits, such as cash back and no charge for your first late payment. Overall, it’s a solid choice for college students looking for their first cash back credit card.
- What credit score do you need for Discover it Student Cash Back?
- According to Discover, no credit score is required to claim the Discover it Student Cash Back. It also indicates that students with no credit score may qualify for the card. However, it says that if you have a credit score, it may factor that into its assessment.
- Do you have to be a student for this Discover it card?
- Yes. When you apply for the Discover it Student Cash Back card, the application asks for your year in college, from freshman to senior year. You can also be a graduate student.
- How much income do you need for a Discover student card?
- Although the Discover student card application asks for your gross income, no specific income is required. Discover’s student credit card FAQ states that income is only one factor that will be taken into account and you may be able to include another person’s income in some cases.
- What is the difference between Discover it Cash Back and Student Cash Back?
- These two cards are similar in many ways; both cards have 5% bonus categories and a cash back match for your first year. In general, it should be easier for students with limited incomes to qualify for the student card; In addition, the waiver of your first late fees is unique to the student card. Meanwhile, the Discover it Cash Back has more attractive promotion including 0% APR for both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. After the introductory period, its APR increases to 14.24%-25.24%.
Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise specified, prices are updated periodically. All other account information is accurate as of September 6, 2022.
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