Is Discover a good credit card or not?

Q: Every credit card I’ve had has either been a Visa or MasterCard. I’ve seen those commercials for 5 percent cash back from Discover but I have no experience using them. Is Discover card good to have or not?

A: Just take a look at our Discover forum, and you’ll find many satisfied – but also a fair number of dissatisfied — customers. That’s because the word “good” is subjective – and no credit card will make everyone happy. I’ll present you with the facts so you can draw your own conclusion.

Part 1: The Customer service

Discover has a solid reputation when it comes to customer service. The bank is based in the U.S. and when you call, they actually tell you where they’re located — usually their Utah or New York call center (and yes, they’re actually telling the truth).

But don’t take my word for it … in its 2013 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, J.D. Power & Associates ranked AmEx and Discover as the two top-rated credit card companies for “customer interaction.” That’s statistically significant proof that there is customer service quality present, not just marketing hype.

Part 2: The rewards

cash back to gift card conversionsIs Discover good for rewards? Yes, as long as you understand how they work. Keep in mind that Discover Card has undergone some changes over time, most recently replacing its previous 5 percent card (the Discover More) with the Discover it in 2013. With the More card, for non-category spending (purchases which were not part of the 5 percent), there was a tiered system in place: You got percent cash back only after spending $3,000 in a year. But the “it” card gives a full 1 percent from the start. This is a much, much better program.

The best way to stretch your cash-back rewards with the “it” card is to redeem them for partner gift cards, which you can often get for less than face value. Read this Discover It card review to learn more.

Part 3: The benefits

Discover offers a lot of benefits – here’s what you can expect in 2016 …

  • No annual fee – Previously, Discover issued cards with and without fees. But they’ve consolidated many of those offerings into the “it” card, which charges no annual fee.
  • Travel assistance – this includes emergency medical referral (helpful if you’re in a foreign country).
  • Travel insurance benefits – There’s car rental collision damage insurance (secondary coverage) and flight accident insurance for airline tickets.
  • Account management tools – Calling these special would be a stretch, but Discover probably does have the best online account interface. Very easy to use and tons of budgeting tools for analyzing your spending.
  • Extended warranty – On qualifying purchases that come with a manufacturer’s warranty, Discover will extend the coverage period by up to 1 additional year for free.
  • Purchase protection – Up to $500 in coverage for qualifying items that are damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase.
  • Return Protection – You can return new purchased items to Discover within the first 90 days, even if the store won’t take them back.
  • Price protection – This is a relatively rare benefit for cards to offer. If you find a lower price within 90 days of purchase, under eligible circumstances Discover will refund you the difference, up to $500.

Part 4: Card acceptance

Contrary to popular belief, Discover now actually has good acceptance – more than 90 percent of merchants in the U.S. who accept Visa/MasterCard also take Discover.

On the other hand, their international acceptance could use some improvement — which is a shame because the card charges no foreign transaction fees. Their acceptance is growing every year but still isn’t on par with Visa or MasterCard.

Part Five: Approval requirements

A drawback with Discover is that you generally need a fairly excellent credit score to qualify. Although they don’t publicly disclose the minimum and it’s pure speculation on my part, it seems to be that you need at least a 720 FICO to get approved. If you’re in college, go here for the student online application. Luckily, their student product doesn’t require as high of credit score and is designed with those with little or no credit history in mind. However, you must be enrolled in an accredited four-year college or university to be considered.

Written or last updated August 1, 2016

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

I love the credit they gave me from the beginning!! I never thought I could ever get that much! Thank you!

My cl now is $19500. I did a balance transfer of $14000 so I am not going to be charged any interest rate for one year. Before I made it, I called the customer service asking them if they can wave the fees. She was a nice lady said yes No problem. Really Discover card is the best.

Better than chase or Bank of America be away fro them !!!
Discover IT the Best !!!!!!

I just got my discover it card in the mail today and the presentation was fantastic. I’m new in the credit world since I just graduated college, but now I feel like I’ve made it the big leagues. Calling and activating it was nice since I got to speak with an actual person and all I had to do was give my name and poof it is now ready to use. I’m looking forward to being a discover member!

My new credit limit now is 18000 . Thank you discover , I started with 1500 in the last june of 2012

Just applied for mine this Sunday 10/27/2013. Approved. so excited. Waiting for it in the mail.

I am still rebuilding my credit, but with a fairly decent Experian credit score of 692 I applied for this card and was approved with a credit limit of $4,675. I’m surprised…….

When I applied for thia card back to 2011 . My cl that time was only 1500 $ . After been reaponsable and pay my bills on time within 6 months my cl went up to 8000 $ . Then I waited another 6 months after using the card and got good cash . I requested cli . My cl now is 17000 wow I love discover . By the way I have nfcu cash rewards and I got penfed . But discover is the number one

Do you have the it card? I just received a letter of preapproval in the mail and i was inquiring about it, glad to hear your having a good time with it

Yes I have discover it . And the good thing that I liked about . When you buy even a single banana from walmart or kroger . You can get cash over purchase up to 60 $ at the register . 120 $ every 24 hours without being paying interest if you pay your statement before the due date . Hope you get it . Good luck

I just requested my Discover credit card! The process didn’t take too long. I feel very confident that I chose the right credit card with awesome features as well great benefits.

Hi friends!!

Well I love to share my experience with Discover IT…

I have the card since January 2012. My CL star was 1,000.
Then after 1 year went to 2,500. Then after 1 month went to 4,500. Now is December 2013. My CL is now 9,000. My goal is to reach to 15,000 in March I will call them to see if am qualify for that increase. Guys the secret is spend 1000 make strong payments. For example if my balance is 1500 my payments is 500 twice a month 0n the 15 and 0n the 30. Call them and they told me No problem!!! Approved !!!:-)

Great card great people great family low interest APR my star at 22.99 now they lowered to 15.99

Good luck and enjoy your holidays!!!!!