Discover it® Chrome Card Review: Great for Gas & Restaurants with No Annual Fee

Discover it® Chrome
Full Review

The Discover it® Chrome card offers 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, but doesn’t quite stack up against similar cash-back credit cards. That said, you’ll get an introductory 0% APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers, double the cash back the first year, and a bevy of other benefits. Read our full review to see if it’s the right card for you.

Discover it® Chrome Quick Review

Annual Fee: $0

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

Sign-Up Bonus: 100% cash back match the first year

Benefits:

  • Earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations each quarter
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Identity theft monitoring alerts
  • Free access to your FICO credit score
  • No penalty APR
  • Zero-liability fraud protection
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 24/7 customer service

Minimum Payment: The greater of $35, 2% of the full balance, or $20 plus interest and fees.

Other Fees:

  • 5% cash advance fee ($10 minimum)
  • 3% balance transfer fee
  • Up to $37 for late payments; the first fee is waived
  • Up to $37 for returned payments

Why Apply for the Discover it® Chrome

The Discover it® Chrome is a relatively basic cash-back credit card, but offers features that make it worth considering:

Cash-back Match

While the card’s base rewards rate isn’t inspiring, Discover will match all the cash back you earn during the year. That gives you an effective rate of 4% at gas stations and restaurants, and 2% on everything else.

0% APR promotion

You’ll receive an intro APR of 0% for 14 months, then 13.99% to 24.99% on both purchases and balance transfers, giving you more than a year to pay down high-interest credit card debt or ongoing purchases.

Few fees

Many cash-back credit cards have no annual fee. But with the Discover it® Chrome, you also won’t pay foreign transaction fees or a late fee on your first late payment. What’s more, there’s no penalty APR, which can be as high as 29.99% with other credit cards.

Discover it® Chrome: Drawbacks and Downsides

Despite the Discover it® Chrome’s benefits, it may not be worth an application. Here are a few reasons why:

Discover caps rewards

You’ll only earn 2% back on the first $1,000 you spend at restaurants and gas stations each quarter. If you never spend that much, no problem. But if you do, you’ll earn just 1% cash back on dining and gas beyond that limit.

Low base rewards rate

Most of the purchases you make every day will net only 1% cash back. With so many cards that offer 1.5% or 2% back on every purchase, it doesn’t make much sense to get a card like this.

Limited overseas acceptance

You can use your Discover it® Chrome card most places in the U.S., but you’ll have a tough time using it while traveling abroad. Discover cards simply aren’t as widely accepted as Visa, MasterCard 

Discover it® Chrome Alternatives

Before you consider applying for Discover it® Chrome, consider these cards that may provide better value:

Discover it®

The card issuer’s flagship credit card can provide a lot more value over time. It gives you 5% cash back on up to $1,500 each quarter on rotating everyday spending categories. Beyond its more generous rewards structure, Discover it® offers all the same benefits as the Discover it® Chrome.

Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card will give you more value than the Discover it® Chrome on almost every purchase you make. It offers 2% cash back on every purchase you make by giving you 1% back at the time of purchase, and another 1% when you pay it off. Cardholders will also enjoy an introductory APR of 0% for 18 months, then 15.74% to 25.74% on balance transfers—though there’s no promotional APR for new purchases.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

If you want a great rewards rate and a more traditional sign-up bonus, consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The card offers a $150 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months, plus 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make. You’ll also get an introductory APR of 0% for 15 months, then 16.99% to 25.74% on purchases and balance transfers. That gives you a little extra time to pay down your debt interest-free.

Discover it® Chrome Credit Card FAQs

Here are answers to a few commonly asked questions about the Discover it® Chrome card:

Where is Discover accepted in the U.S.?

Ninety-seven percent of U.S. merchants accept Discover credit cards, which is close to Visa and Mastercard. That said, you may run across small businesses that don’t accept the Discover.

How do I activate my bonus rewards?

While the Discover it® requires you to activate your bonus rewards each quarter, the Discover it® Chrome’s bonus rewards come automatically. Keep the bonus cap in mind, however.

Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Discover it® Chrome?

Compared to other cash-back credit cards that require good credit, the Discover it® Chrome doesn’t provide a lot of value. Sure, you’ll get double rewards on gas and restaurant purchases, but those rewards are capped at an average of $333 a month. Additionally, the card’s base rewards rate will likely leave you wanting. If you want a good cash-back credit card, consider the alternatives we shared for more value.

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