Update: The Discover More has been replaced by the Discover it card.
Right now these are the two of the better cash back credit cards in the 5% rotating category space, but how do they compare? Here’s a straightforward Chase Freedom vs Discover More comparison to show your the pros and cons on each…
The rewards program on this card has been changed up a few times over the years and here’s what you need to know about the current version.
- 5% cash back in categories which rotate every quarter (usually 2 or 3 categories during a given quarter). Please note that enrollment is required each quarter to earn the 5%.
- Straight 1% cash back on all other purchases
- No annual fee
- The amount of 5% you can earn is capped – at the time of writing it was a max of $1,500 of category spending during a quarter (so a max of $6,000 in spending per year would be eligible for the 5%)
Discover More Card
Note: This card has been replaced by the Discover it card.
This card has been a solid rewards card for several years now and was the first to offer the 5% in rotating categories.
- 5% cashback bonus in rotating categories – they typically rotate every quarter, but once in a while there will be extra bonus categories only featured for a month. Examples include restaurants, grocery stores, department stores, clothing stores, home improvement stores, gas stations, cruises, hotels, airlines, movie theatres, movie rentals
- Get up to a double cashback bonus when you redeem your rewards for gift cards instead of cash – for example, every $20 in rewards will buy you $40 in gift cards to use for a Sandals Resort vacation. There are around 140 different gift card partners participating with varying levels of rewards boosting.
- Up to 1% cashback bonus on all other purchases
- No annual fee
- Like the Chase Freedom, the Discover More caps the amount of 5% you can get, however it’s not a set cap (it differs by quarter). For example, During the winter months it might be 5% on travel purchases (airlines/hotels/cruises/car rentals) up to $800 in combined spending.
- The 1% on other purchases is given after account spending exceeds $3,000 during a calender year. Before that it is 0.25% and the 5% categories don’t count towards reaching that $3k threshold.
It really depends on your spending. For those that want one card for everything, the Freedom is probably best since it gives a straight 1% on other purchases too. However the Discover is very lucrative because it allows you to bolster your rewards by redeeming them for gift cards instead of cash.
So who’s the winner of the Chase Freedom vs Discover More matchup? Well they both are. What I actually do is use both – that way when I max out the 5% on one card, I switch to the other. Their 5% categories are usually different too, so it’s nice having both available.