Discover it Chrome for Students Review: Earn Bonus Rewards on Dining and Gas

Discover it® Chrome for Students
Full Review

The Discover it Chrome for Students is Discover’s non-rotating category card for students. It offers a simple reward structure and even a bonus for earning good grades. As far as student cards go, it’s

As a bonus, you can get a copy of your FICO score every month and get a short 0% interest period to help you get a handle on using a credit card.

Discover it Chrome for Students Highlights

Here are the highlights of the Discover it Chrome for Students:

Annual Fee: $0

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

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

Benefits:

  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, up to $1,000 per quarter
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Get a $20 statement credit for each school year where your GPA is a 3.0 or better
  • Free FICO score updates each month
  • 100% U.S.-based customer service

Discover it Chrome for Students Minimum Payment:

The greater of:

  • $20
  • Any past due amount, plus the greater of
    • 3% of the new balance
    • $15 plus interest charges, late fees, and debt protection fees

Discover it Chrome for Students Fees:

  • No fee for the first late payment, then up to $37
  • Up to $37 for returned payments

Why Apply for the Discover it Chrome for Students

There are a few reasons to apply for the Discover it Chrome for Students.

Simple, non-rotating bonus categories

Discover’s other student credit card, the Discover it Card for College Students, has rotating bonus categories. You’ll earn 5% cash back on bonus categories, but those change every three months. That also requires tracking and spending in those categories.

The Discover it Chrome for Students simply pays 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% cash back everywhere else. These categories don’t change. While that’s not a huge amount of cash back, it also doesn’t require much thought.

Huge potential sign-up bonus

Credit card sign-up bonuses typically require you to spend a lot of money in a short time. For example, you may have to spend $3,000 in three months to earn a $500 bonus.

The Discover it Chrome for Students offers a different kind of bonus. After the first year with the card, Discover will match all of the cash back that you’ve earned. That effectively doubles your earnings rate for the first year. In other words, you’ll earn 4% cash back on gas and dining for that first year, and 2% back on everything else. Just be sure to not spend beyond your means in an effort to earn more rewards.

Discover it Chrome for Students: Drawbacks and Downsides

There are some drawbacks to think about before you apply for the Discover it Chrome for Students.

Mediocre bonus rewards

Few students will take full advantage of the Discover it Chrome for Students’ bonus categories. Eating out can quickly get expensive, and many students don’t drive much—some don’t even have cars. Other cards may offer bonus categories more in line with a typical student’s spending.

So-so overall rewards rate

For a student credit card with an annual fee of $0, the Discover it Chrome for Students has a lot to offer. But it only earns 1% cash back on most purchases. That’s definitely more than zero, but not a whole lot. Plenty of cash-back credit cards earn 1.5% or even 2% cash back. Ideally, you could earn more than 1% for most of your purchases.

Discover it Chrome for Students Alternatives

Before you apply for the Discover it Chrome for Students, take the time to look at these alternatives.

Discover it Card for College Students

If you want a credit card that offers the opportunity to earn a high cash back rate, consider the Discover it Chrome for Students’ sister card, the Discover it Card for College Students. This card is largely identical, but instead of offering a fixed 2% cash back on gas and dining, it offers 5% cash back on categories that rotate every three months. Unless you spend a ton on gas and dining, you’ve probably got a better shot at earning more on the rotating categories, as they have historically included things like grocery stores, Amazon.com, and dining, just to name a few.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Student

If you want to earn travel rewards instead of cash back, apply for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students. This card’s sign-up bonus of 25,000 points can easily pay for a big chunk of your next vacation. You’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar, plus an extra 0.15 points if you also have a Bank of America checking or savings account. That’s a great option on its own, and even better if you bank with Bank of America.

Discover it Chrome for Students FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions that people have about the Discover it Chrome for Students.

What is the Credit limit for Discover’s student cards?

When Discover issues a student credit card, the cardholder is guaranteed a credit limit of at least $500. If you have a strong credit history and a good credit score, you could get a higher limit that reaches into the thousands of dollars.

Do most places take Discover?

Many people think that Discover is not widely accepted. The truth is that Discover is one of the most commonly accepted cards on the planet. The difference is just that Discover card acceptance is more clustered in specific countries. Its use has particularly grown in China. You should also be sure to look for where Diners Club cards are accepted, as that’s a sign you can use Discover, too.

In the United States, Discover lags behind Mastercard and Visa, but is ahead of American Express.

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

The Discover it Chrome for Students is a great card for students who spend on gas and dining. It also offers a great cash-back match if you use it extensively for the first year. If you’re like a lot of students, though, and don’t spend a ton of money on those bonus categories, you might be better off in the long run with a card that earns a higher flat rate. Still, the Discover it Chrome for Students is a great place to build positive spending habits—and you can’t go wrong earning rewards for how you already spend.

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CARDS MENTIONED IN ARTICLE
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