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The best Discover credit cards of December 2021
Discover offers a wide range of credit cards for different types of consumers, and its cards have a lot going for them.
For starters, Discover credit cards never come with an annual fee, and Discover is well known for the quality of its customer service and the entire cardholder experience. Some Discover credit cards even waive your first late payment fee, and many offer identity protection perks like Social Security Number monitoring and free overnight card replacement in the event your card is lost or stolen.
Read more: Guide to the best no-annual-fee credit cards
Discover credit cards also make things easy by letting you redeem your rewards at any time you want, and in any increments you want. And as a Discover cardholder, you get free access to your FICO score.
If you're thinking of applying for a Discover credit card and wondering which one suits your needs best, you'll need to consider what you hope to gain and the type of customer you are.
Best for travel: Discover it® Miles
The Discover it® Miles keeps things simple by earning 1.5 miles for each dollar you spend, and remember that all your miles will be matched after the first year. From there, you can redeem them for travel purchases charged to your card at a rate of 1 cent per mile.
Read more: Discover it Miles credit card review
You can also redeem miles for cash back or statement credits to cover other charges made to your card, so you aren't tied down to just travel redemptions. There is no annual fee to keep this card, and you can get access to your FICO score for free on your monthly statements.
Best for cash back: Discover it® Cash Back
The Discover it® Cash Back is similar to the Chase Freedom Flex℠ in that it lets you earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in bonus categories once activated (then 1%) Discover It Cashback rotation.
Read more: Discover it Cash Back credit card review
Discover has already shared all of its bonus categories for 2022, which include grocery stores and fitness club/gym memberships (January to March), gas stations and Target (April – June), restaurants and Paypal (July – September), and Amazon.com and digital wallets (October – December).
Best for students: Discover it® Student Cash Back
The Discover it® Student Cash Back is basically a student version of the Discover it® Cash Back. You'll earn the same 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in rotating quarterly bonus categories after activation, then 1%. You'll also earn 1% cash back on everything else you buy Discover It Cashback rotation.
Read more: Discover it Student Cash Back card review
Best secured option: Discover it® Secured
Where many secured credit cards charge annual fees, application fees, and other fees, the Discover it® Secured doesn't charge any fees. You do have to put down a cash deposit to get started, but your deposit is fully refundable provided you close your account in good standing.
Read more: Discover it Secured credit card review
You'll also Discover it® Secured, as well as 1% back on everything else you buy. Like other rewards from Discover, you can earn unlimited cash back that never expires, and you can redeem it for cash back, statement credits, and gift cards.
You can get free access to your FICO score on your credit card statement each month, which can help you monitor and improve your credit over time. Further, you won't pay a late fee on your first late payment, and there aren't any over-the-limit fees with this card, either. Automatic reviews start at eight months to see if Discover can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
Best for balance transfers: Discover it® Balance Transfer
If you're carrying high-interest balances on other credit cards, it can make sense to transfer your balance to a card with a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers. The Discover it® Balance Transfer is one of only a handful of cards that offers a long intro 0% APR period and earns substantial rewards.
New cardholders receive a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months (after that, there's a Discover it® Balance Transfer APR) — and the card offers a generous cash-back rewards structure. You'll earn 5% cash back in popular rotating quarterly bonus categories after enrollment, on up to $1,500 in combined spending (then 1%), and 1% back on all other purchases Discover It Cashback rotation.
Read more: Discover it Balance Transfer card review
The card offers the same Cashback Match program as other Discover cards, and there's also an intro 0% APR on on purchases, but for a much shorter time frame (just the first six months, followed by a Discover it® Balance Transfer APR).
Best Discover card for business: Discover it® Business Card
The Discover it® Business Card is a solid option if you're looking for a business credit card without an annual fee. You'll earn 1.5% cash back for each dollar you spend, as well as a FICO score on your credit card statement each month.
Read more: Discover it Business card review
Perks for your business include business expense tracking assistance and free employee cards. You also get free Social Security Number alerts that can help you protect your identity, as well as a $0 fraud liability guarantee.
Discover credit cards — Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do Discover cards charge fees?
Discover credit cards never have annual fees or foreign transaction fees, so they're a good choice if you're trying to minimize your out-of-pocket costs.
Like most other credit cards, there are fees for balance transfers, cash advances, late payments, and returned payments.
Where are Discover credit cards accepted?
Discover says its cards are accepted nationwide at 99% of the places that accept credit cards. That said, you might encounter a few merchants — like Costco — that don't accept Discover cards.
You can also use Discover cards overseas in 200 countries, and you'll still earn rewards for your purchases wherever you are. To find out where Discover is accepted internationally, enter the name of the country at this link. For example, in Japan, Discover cards are accepted wherever you see the "JCB" logo, and in many countries when you see the "Diners Club International" logo.
How does Discover Cashback Match work?
New eligible Discover credit card holders qualify for Discover Cashback Match (called Unlimited Bonus with the Discover it® Miles card). After 12 months, Discover will match all the rewards you earned the first 12 months with no limits — even on bonus categories.
For example, if you earned $500 in rewards in the first year of having the Discover it® Cash Back, Discover would match that for a total of $1,000 back in the first 12 months.
How many Discover credit cards can you have?
You can have a maximum of two Discover cards at one time, but you'll have to wait at least a year after opening your first card before you can get approved for a second.