Discover it® Chrome
vs. Discover it® Cash Back Card

Updated: June 24, 2024

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The Discover it Chrome and Discover it Cash Back cards both entice with no annual fees, cash back rewards and introductory APR offers. The Discover it Cash Back edges ahead with its higher rewards rate in rotating categories, ideal for those who don't mind keeping track of these changes.

However, the Discover it Chrome is beneficial for those who prefer consistent rewards on gas and dining without tracking rotating categories. Both cards are strong contenders, but your choice may depend on whether you prefer simplicity or maximizing rewards.

Credit Card logo for Discover it® Chrome
Discover it® Chrome
Credit Card logo for Discover it® Cash Back Card
Discover it® Cash Back Card
MoneyGeek Rating
3.8/ of 5
MoneyGeek Rating
3.8/ of 5

  • Regular APR
    18.24% - 28.24% variable
    17.24%–28.24% variable
    0% APR Offer
    0% for 6 months on purchases
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    Intro Offer
    Cashback Match
    Matches cash back earned at the end of the first 12 months
    Rewards Summary
    Earn 1%–2% cash back
    Earn 1%–5% cash back
    Balance Transfer Offer
    0% for 18 months on balance transfers
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    Balance Transfer Fee
    5% of the amount of each transfer after intro fee
    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)
    Annual Fee
    $0
    $0
    Recommended Credit
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    Penalty APR
    None
    None
    Not sure?

Which Card Is Better for You?

You might prefer the Discover it Cash Back if you're adept at maximizing rotating bonus categories and don't mind activating them quarterly. With 5% cash back on rotating categories like groceries and gas (upon activation), and a cash back match in the first year, this card is great for maximizing rewards on diverse spending patterns.

You might prefer the Discover it Chrome if you frequently spend on gas and dining out. This card offers a straightforward 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus, the longer 0% APR period on balance transfers can be beneficial for those looking to manage existing debt.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Card Details and Features

Evaluating APRs, fees, credit requirements, rewards, introductory offers and other features will illuminate which card best suits you. For instance, if you spend frequently on gas and dining, Discover it Chrome's 2% cash back in these categories could be appealing. Alternatively, maximizing rotating categories with the Discover it Cash Back might suit your strategic spending.

    discount icon

    Regular APR: Discover it Cash Back

    Discover it Cash Back offers a lower starting APR of 17.24%, compared to Discover it Chrome's 18.24%.

    annualFee icon

    Annual Fee: Tie

    Both the Discover it Cash Back and Discover it Chrome cards offer a $0 annual fee.

    lowInterestAPR icon

    Introductory 0% APRs: Tie

    Both cards offer valuable 0% introductory APRs, but for different needs. Discover it Cash Back provides a 0% intro APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers, appealing for those planning to make new purchases. Discover it Chrome has 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, better for those focusing on transferring existing balances despite its higher transfer fee after the introductory period.

    coins icon

    Rewards: Discover it Cash Back

    The Discover it Cash Back card is better for rewards, offering 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases in various categories, then 1% and 1% cash back on all other purchases. In contrast, Discover it Chrome provides 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, with 1% on all other purchases.

    rewards icon

    Welcome Offers: Discover it Cash Back

    The Discover it Cash Back edges out with a slightly higher return on investment (ROI) for its welcome offer even though both cards match cash back at the end of the first year.

    creditApproved icon

    Recommended Credit Score: Tie

    Both the Discover it Chrome and Discover it Cash Back require a credit score range of 670 to 850, indicating they are equally accessible to individuals with good to excellent credit.

    autopay icon

    Penalties and Fees: Tie

    Both the Discover it Chrome and Discover it Cash Back have identical penalties and fees structures, with no late fee for the first instance, then up to $41 thereafter, a cash advance fee of either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater, and no foreign transaction fees. Neither card imposes a penalty APR.

    points icon

    Issuer Satisfaction: Tie

    Since both cards come from Discover Bank, they have the same issuer satisfaction scores of 4.5.

    airplane icon

    Other Features & Perks: Tie

    Both Discover it Chrome and Discover it Cash Back offer unique perks such as free overnight card replacement and assistance with minimizing online exposure of personal data, activated via the mobile app.

Rewards Comparison

The Discover it Cash Back has rotating 5% cash back categories, which can be highly rewarding if your spending aligns with these categories. However, it requires quarterly activation and has a cap. In comparison, the Discover it Chrome offers a steady 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, which may be more consistent for some users' spending patterns.

While both cards offer cash back on general purchases, the Discover it Cash Back has the potential for higher rewards in its bonus categories, making it the superior choice for maximizing cash back if you can manage the rotating categories.

For those who frequently dine out or spend on gas, the Discover it Chrome card provides a simple and consistent rewards structure without the need to track rotating categories. It's a good choice for users who prefer straightforward rewards on specific everyday spending.

Please refer to the table below for a detailed comparison of the bonus categories for each card.

Category
Discover it Cash Back
Discover it Chrome

Gas Stations

1%

2% on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically

Restaurants

1%

2% on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically

Category

Rotating categories: 5% on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases, then 1%

1%

All Other Purchases

1%

1%

Redeeming Rewards

Both the Discover it Cash Back and Discover it Chrome cards offer versatile redemption options. Cardholders can redeem their cash back for gift cards, statement credits or direct deposits. The Discover it Cash Back allows redemptions at any amount and any time, ensuring you can use your rewards when it suits you.

However, although rewards don't expire, they can be forfeited if your account is inactive for 18 months. In contrast, the Discover it Chrome card also allows cash back to be used at Amazon.com checkout and for charitable donations, with the added benefit that rewards never expire.

Methodology

MoneyGeek evaluates credit cards like Discover it Chrome and Discover it Cash Back using a tailored scoring system for various uses. In this comparison, both cards are assessed based on their performance in balance transfers.

The factors influencing their scores include the quality of balance transfer offers and the terms of introductory APR on purchases. For a deeper understanding of our comprehensive ranking process, you're welcome to explore our ranking methodology.

FAQ: Discover it Chrome vs. Discover it Cash Back Card

What are the main differences in rewards between Discover it Chrome and Discover it Cash Back?
Which card offers a longer introductory APR period?
Are there any annual fees for either the Discover it Chrome or Discover it Cash Back cards?
How do the bonus categories work for the Discover it Cash Back card?
Can I use either of these Discover cards internationally without incurring fees?

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


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