Your first credit card that’ll allow you to earn rewards.
As a rule, student credit cards are useful only in 2 cases: if you’re the one who wants to learn how to manage your credit and if you are a young person who need to start building his/her credit score.
The card we are going to tell you about today seems to be one of the best options that you can find at the market. It comes with a sign-up bonus that’s given to students with good grades, rewards in the form of cash back and a set of tools to help you learn how to manage your credit. You can get all that at rather low fees. Let’s have a look at the facts about this outstanding card that many students like to have in their wallets.
General information concerning the card
- Once you start using the card, you can earn 5% cash back for the purchases made in bonus categories.
- You can get the card even if your credit score is above average.
- There is a list of bonus categories that imply higher rewards rates.
- Being a cardholder, you’re not required to pay any fee for using the card.
- You can make purchases with the card abroad without the need to pay any additional fees.
- The card implies an interest free period of 6 months for purchases and balance transfer operations.
- Special APR Offer: no interest applies on the purchases made within the first 6 months. The rate for the balance transfer operations carried out within the same period of time amounts to 10.99%.
- Standard APR varies from 13.99 to 22.99%. Cash Advance APR amounts to 25.99% but is also a subject to changes.
- No annual fee that you’re expected to pay.
- Special Offer: At the end of the 1st year of you using the card you’ll automatically get cash back for each dollar spent during the period of time.
More information on the card:
- Being a new cardholder, you’ll get cash back on all the sums of money spent with the card within the first 12 months. The cash back will be credited to your account automatically at the end of the 1st
- The purchases made on Amazon and Target with the card go under the rate of 5% (spending limit amounts to $1,500). Once you exceed the limit, the rate of 1% will apply. This offer expires in the beginning of 2018.
- In case your GPA is at least 3.0, you’ll be rewarded $20 additional cash back each year (for as long as your GPA stays at the level mentioned or gets higher).
- The card doesn’t cost anything to carry. In addition to it, there is no penalty fee that applies in case you fail to pay off on time.
- All cardholders are granted the access to the FICO Score for free. we believe it’s great since you’ll be able to see all the information you need to know about how your credit is built.
- There is a new feature that’s now available with the card. Here is how it works: each time you visit websites, a special monitor system will send you alerts if any of the websites seem to be suspicious.
- If you want to prevent any new purchases, cash advance and balance transfer operations, you can use the Freeze It® feature.
- Keep in mind that once the interest free period is over, the APR of 13.99 – 22.99% applies.
The card comes with low fees
Actually, the card doesn’t require you to pay much. This is common for all credit cards that are designed for students. This card is no exception. Let’s see:
- There is no fee to be paid each year just for using the card.
- There are no additional fees as far as purchases made abroad go.
- In case you fail to make your first payment on time, you may not worry about the need to pay a penalty fee. If such a situation occurs in future, you’re required to pay $37. However, your interest rate won’t be increased.
- You can pay off your purchases without any interest for 6 months. The same applies to the balance transfer operations you carry out. After that, you’ll need to pay 3% fee for each balance transfer operation you need to carry out. As for the purchases, the variable APR of 13.99 – 22.99% will apply.
- Cash Advance fee amounts to either $10 or 5% off the total sum (depending on whichever is greater).
Some facts to know about the rewards system offered by the card
We’ve already stated the fact that the card comes with changing bonus categories (each of which has a spending limit of $1,500). Once you exceed the limit, your effective rewards rate will amount to 1% even if you continue making purchases in bonus categories. Remember that you need to activate the bonus categories for which you want to have the highest reward. This should be done every 3 months. There are the following categories available for you:
- Category №1 (available starting from the 1st of October and up to the 31st of December 2017). The category implies high rewards for the purchases on Amazon and Target.
- Category №2 (available starting from the 1st of January 2018 and up to the 31st of March). The category implies high rewards for the purchases at gas stations and wholesale clubs.
- Category №3 (available starting from the 1st of April and up to the 30th of June). The category implies high rewards for the purchases at grocery stores.
- Category №4 (available starting from the 1st of July and up to the 30th of September). The category implies high rewards for the purchases in restaurants.
- Category №5 (available starting from the 1st of October and up to the 31st of December). The category implies high rewards for the purchases on Amazon and at wholesale clubs.
The card offers no sign-up bonus. Instead of it, there is a bigger reward that new cardholders get at the end of the first year. If you decide to become one of those new cardholders, you’ll get the reward on the total sum spent with the card within the first 12 months.
One more thing that’s worth mentioning is the additional bonus that those whose grades are good can get. In particular, you’ll get $20 if your GPA is at least 3.0. That sounds good for those who love to study!
A different option that you may be interested in
If you’ve read the information provided above carefully, you may come to the conclusion that the Discover it for students isn’t the card for you due to its bonus categories. You may simply not spend that much in these categories to earn rewards.
In this case, we have one more option for you – the Discover it® chrome for Students that rewards you 2% cash back for purchases made at gas stations and in restaurants. The offer is beneficial for those students who often use a car to go somewhere. However, there is one little thing to keep in mind – there is a spending limit of $1,000 for this category of purchases.
Once you exceed the limit, the rate of 1% applies (the same rate applies to all the rest purchases you make). The card may be better for you because there are no bonus categories that you need to activate. Instead of it you just earn cash back for every purchase made.
All in all, the rewards you can earn less rewards with this card ($20 per quarter) than with the card we talked before ($75). These are the rewards you earn when making purchases in the categories with high rates. Apart from it, both the cards offer the standard effective rate of 1%.
Some facts about the interest rates implied by the card
The truth is that even student cards don’t have any interest free period. That’s a common rule. This card is a great exception. It comes with an interest free period that lasts for 6 months.
In other words, you can make a big purchase and pay it off successfully without paying any extra money. Keep in mind that the APR that applies right after the period is over amounts to 13.99 – 22.99%.
Besides, you’re expected to pay 3% fee for each balance transfer operation once the period is over.
Other perks to take advantage of
The card has a certain feature that allows you to prevent any fraudulent activity on your account in case you lose the card or it gets stolen. As a rule, the issuers offer you to suspend your account if you call and tell them that your card is stolen. This card is different. It allows you to take the necessary measures yourself. You can turn the Freeze It® feature on and off either via the official website or via the official application.
The thing that makes this feature so great is that your recurring payments won’t be “frozen”. This is very convenient if you set up an automatic payment of you cell phone’s bill.
The card also grants you a free access to your credit score which is very useful.
Drawbacks that may be a big deal for you
- The card isn’t widely accepted abroad. Since this card isn’t MasterCard or Visa, you may have some p0roblems when trying to use it abroad. That’s why we think you’d better have a different card with you just to be on the save side (if you’re going to study abroad).
- There is no opportunity for you to ask your parent to co-sign if you want to get the card. Discover stopped doing it back in 2016. Earlier it was easier to get the card since one of your parents was allowed to co-sign. We’ll this is not a big deal because the emitting bank still aims at helping those who only start building their credit scores.
Our tip: You should know that the fact that you’re a student doesn’t mean that you’ll be immediately approved for the card. If you’re under 21, you need to have proof of income when applying for student cards.
Summary: Is this the card that a student will find to be beneficial?
We believe that the card is really designed for those who’ve never dealt with credit in their lives. It becomes clear based on the facts about the card. First of all, it has no annual fee and implies low interest rates. Actually, the card does more for you than that – it allows you to earn rewards for using it.