The Best Discover Credit Cards

If customer service matters to you, Discover credit cards should be on your radar. Discover has ranked highest for customer satisfaction four out of the last five years by J.D. Power.

But Discover’s not only good for how it treats customers: The company’s credit cards also offer great rewards and competitive benefits. Here’s what you need to know about the top Discover credit cards.

The Best Discover credit cards

Which Discover credit card is best for me?

There’s no single best credit card out there for everyone, and it’s no different for Discover credit cards. Ultimately, the right card for you depends on your credit score, spending habits and preferences.

For example, most Discover credit cards require at least good credit to get approved. If you’re not quite there yet, you may want to apply for the Discover it® Secured or one of the student credit cards if you’re in college.

Also consider where you spend most of your money. If the areas include the Discover it®’s rotating categories, which, in 2019, feature grocery stores, gas stations, ridesharing, restaurants, and Amazon.com, that card may be best for you.

But if you don’t spend a lot in any one area, you may be better off with the Discover it® Miles, as it offers high but flat rewards rate.

Additionally, you should consider other features you want in a card. Some offer varying 0% APR promotions, and different benefits and redemption options. Compare each option carefully to find the best card for you.

How good is Discover card customer service?

Every year, J.D. Power ranks the top credit card issuers on customer satisfaction. The research firm measures satisfaction on six factors, including:

  • Customer interaction
  • Credit card terms
  • Communication
  • Benefits and services
  • Rewards
  • Key moments

In 2018, J.D. Power interviewed more than 24,000 credit card holders and gave Discover a score of 836 out of 1,000—the highest of any card issuers. That narrowly edged out American Express, which scored 830.

Discover offers 24/7 customer service with a U.S.-based team, allows cardholders to freeze their card account directly in the mobile app or online, and doesn’t charge annual fees on any of their cards. It’s a great company to do business with.

Where is Discover accepted?

When it comes to acceptance within the U.S., Discover credit cards nearly match Visa and Mastercard with 97% acceptance. That said, you may still come across physical and online businesses that don’t take Discover.

Internationally, Discover partners with a handful of payment networks, including Diners Club, JCB in Japan, and RuPay in India. But unlike Visa and Mastercard, these payment networks aren’t accepted virtually everywhere.

What’s more, just because an overseas merchant accepts one of Discover’s partner networks, doesn’t mean it has to accept your card. Despite Discover credit cards not having foreign transaction fees, it’s a good idea to keep a Visa or Mastercard credit card as a backup when you travel internationally.

What are some Discover card fees to watch out for?

Discover is unique among credit card issuers in that it doesn’t charge an annual fee on any of its credit cards. There are also no foreign transaction fees across the board.

Even so, you may incur other charges, and those vary from card to card. In general, though, here’s what to expect:

  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the transfer amount.
  • Cash advance fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • Late payment fee: $0 on your first late payment; after that, up to $37.
  • Returned payment fee: Up to $37.

What kind of 0% APR promotion do Discover cards offer?

The introductory 0% APR promotion you get with Discover credit cards is a true 0% APR. That means if you have a balance left over at the end of your promotion, you’ll only be charged interest on what remains.

In contrast, deferred interest promotions give you a period with a 0% APR. But if you don’t pay the bill in full before the promotional period ends, you’ll owe interest based on the original balance.

Discover credit cards’ 0% APR promotions are generous, but they’re not the longest out there. Check out other 0% APR credit cards to compare.

What other benefits do Discover cards offer?

Discover cards come with a handful of benefits, including fraud protection, Social Security number alerts, no foreign transaction fees, and free access to your FICO credit score.

That said, Discover has axed several benefits recently. In 2018, the card issuer announced that it would be dropping the following perks:

  • Extended warranty protection
  • Return protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Rental car insurance
  • Flight accident insurance

Later in the year, the bank announced it would also be killing its price protection perk, as well as its Discover Deals platform. Many of these benefits are commonplace among credit cards, so getting rid of them puts Discover cardholders at a bit of a disadvantage.

As another example, Discover told Discover it® Miles cardholders that beginning April 1, 2019, they would no longer receive an annual $30 in-flight Wi-Fi credit.

Where can I get a Discover credit score?

If you have a Discover credit card, you get free access to your FICO score through your online account. If you’re not a customer, you can get that same access through Discover Credit Scorecard.

Lenders primarily use FICO scores in their lending decisions. As a result, this credit tool is a great alternative to free credit monitoring services that offer access to your VantageScore or other non-FICO scores.

How many credit cards can you have with Discover?

If you’re a big fan of Discover, you may want to have more than one card from the bank in your wallet. The maximum number of Discover cards you can have, though, is two. What’s more, your first card needs to be open for at least a year before you can apply for a second.

That said, these restrictions only apply to you as a primary cardholder. You can be an authorized user on as many Discover cards as you want.

Can I apply for a Discover credit card with no credit?

The Discover student credit cards are designed specifically to help college students start building their credit. Also, the bank’s secured credit card is ideal if you’re looking to establish a credit history and you’re not a student.

While you may qualify for these cards with no credit, you’ll still likely need a decent income for approval. That’s because the Credit CARD Act requires card issuers to assess your ability to repay any debt you incur with a credit card.

If you’re in school and work a few hours a week or not at all, you may need to wait to apply.

Is there a Discover Bank near me?

Discover has only one physical branch in Greenwood, Delaware. If you prefer to have a credit card from a bank with branches near you, Discover won’t be the best fit.

If, however, you do all of your banking online and don’t mind getting help over the phone or through secure online messages, you’ll do just fine.

What are the Discover card design options?

Discover’s basic card designs are simple, but fairly sleek. But if you want something that feels more personal, you can choose from a few variations. Options include a mixtape, a beach, a skyline, rainbow colors, and more.

If you have the NHL® Discover it®, you can choose your favorite team’s logo as your design. If you want a different design, log into your online account and start the process there. You’ll typically get your new card within a week.

Discover card details

Discover it®

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% for 14 months, then 13.99% to 24.99%

Bonus: Cash-back match for your first year

Pro: Offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in categories that rotate every three months.

Con: Offers only 1% cash back on non-bonus categories.

Read full Discover it® details here.

Discover it® Miles

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% APR for 14 months, then 13.99% to 24.99%

Bonus: 100% miles match the first year

Pro: Offers high flat-rate rewards on every purchase, at 1.5 miles per dollar.

Con: Discover isn’t widely accepted overseas, making it a poor choice for international travel.

Read full Discover it® Miles details here.

NHL® Discover it®

Annual fee: $0

APR: 0% for 14 months, then 13.99% to 24.99%

Bonus: 100% cash back match during your first year

Pro: Offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in categories that rotate every three months, plus discounts on NHL purchases and streaming.

Con: Offers only 1% cash back on non-bonus categories.

Read full NHL® Discover it® details here.

Discover it® Chrome

Annual fee: $0

APR: 0% for 14 months, then 13.99% to 24.99%

Bonus: 100% cash back match the first year

Pro: You’ll get double the cash back during the first year and a nice 0% APR promotional APR.

Con: Bonus rewards are capped, and they don’t stack up well against similar cash-back cards.

Read full Discover it® Chrome details here.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Annual fee: $0

APR: 0% for 6 months, then a 14.99% to 23.99%

Bonus: 100% cash back match your first year

Pro: Offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in categories that rotate every three months.

Con: Offers only 1% cash back on non-bonus categories.

Read full Discover it® Student Cash Back details here.

Discover it® Student Chrome

Annual fee: $0

APR: 0% for 6 months, then 14.99% to 23.99%

Bonus: 100% cash-back match your first year

Pro: You’ll get all your cash back doubled at the end of your first year and a nice 0% APR promotion.

Con: Bonus rewards are capped, and they don’t stack up well against similar cash-back cards.

Read full Discover it® Student Chrome details here.

Discover it® Secured

Annual fee: $0

APR: 25.24% variable APR

Bonus: 100% match on cash back your first year

Pro: One of the few secured credit cards that offers cash back, plus the opportunity to have your deposit refunded in as few as eight months.

Con: Requires a security deposit equal to your credit limit.

Read full Discover it® Secured details here.

The bottom line

Discover credit cards aren’t heavy hitters when it comes to massive sign-up bonuses and extra frills. But for people who love good customer service and a simple, but useful set of features, Discover’s definitely worth considering.

That’s especially the case if you spend a lot and can take full advantage of Discover’s first-year cash back or miles match.

As with any credit card decision, though, be sure to shop around before you make a final decision. Discover credit cards are can’t compete with premium cards when it comes to ancillary perks, and you may find cards elsewhere with rewards programs that better fit your spending habits and preferences.

Take the time to consider these cards, as well as cards from other issuers, before you submit your application.

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