MoneyGeek’s Take

Discover it® Student Cash Back Credit Card Review

If you have a poor credit history and need a card with excellent rewards, the Discover it® Student Cash Back may suit you. The card has no annual or foreign international fees and allows you to earn up to 5% in cash back rewards on select purchases.

Advertising & Editorial DisclosureLast Updated: 1/18/2023
Reviewed By     |  
Discover it® Student Cash Back Credit Card

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

The Discover it® Student Cash Back Credit Card allows students to build their credit score and earn rewards as they make purchases with the card. The card features attractive rewards, but it should be noted that your APR will increase if you carry a balance to the following month or miss payments.

Cardholders pay no annual fee and enjoy a 0% intro APR for the first six months, then a 17.24% – 26.24% variable APR will apply.

Card Details to Know Up Front
  • Bonus, Fee or Feature
    Has or Not
  • Has Annual Fee
  • Has Balance Transfer Offer
  • Has APR Offer
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Travel Rewards
Click to see this card’s rates, fees and how they compare to other cards in our dataset.

Discover it® Student Cash Back Credit Card at a Glance

If you wish to build your credit history and earn cash back rewards, you should make the Discover it® Student Cash Back Credit Card your top option. With this card, students can earn 5% cash back on select purchases, and no credit score is required to apply.

  • Discover it® Student Cash Back

    A good no-annual-fee students credit card with bonus cash back

    • Limited–FairRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1%–5% Cash backRewards Rate
    • 5xRewards Rate on Groceries
    • 5xRewards Rate on Gas

Pros & Cons Explained

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of a credit card before applying. To make the process easier for you, MoneyGeek outlined the benefits and drawbacks of the Discover it® Student Cash Back.


  • Benefits
  • No Annual fees
    Customers pay no annual fees for the life of the card, although this is a common feature in most student cards.
  • 0% intro APR
    You will be charged no APR for the first six months of opening your account at Discover Bank. Afterward, you will be charged between 17.24% – 26.24% annually, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • High cash back rewards
    Cardholders receive 5% cash back on qualifying purchases, including grocery stores, fitness clubs and gym charges, gas stations, restaurants, PayPal, Amazon and various digital wallets. These are redeemable rewards that never expire.
  • No fee for first late payment
    You won't need to pay any late fees on your first late payment.
  • No minimum credit score requirement
    You don’t need to have a specific credit score to qualify for the card.


  • Drawbacks
  • Complex reward program
    Cardholders can only earn a maximum of $1,500 per quarter in 5% cash back rewards.
  • Cardholders activate reward categories manually
    You will need to manually choose the purchase categories that you want to receive the 5% cash back bonus on.
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MoneyGeek analyzes each credit card in our database monthly and chooses the top options across each popular category. The Discover it® Student Cash Back does not rank top in any of the categories, you can check out other options from our review of the best student cards for 2022.

Bonuses & Rewards Explained

The Discover it® Student Cash Back comes with a 5% cash back bonus on select rewards offered on a quarterly basis. The card also offers a 1% cash back reward on all other purchases. However, the cash back bonus does not apply to balance transfers, purchases made using the rewards or any cash received in connection with a purchase at the point of sale including Discover Bank’s Cash Over feature. The rewards do not expire during the lifetime of your account, and you can redeem them in various ways.


Cash amount

You can redeem your cash back reward in the form of money that will be credited to your account.



If your account is closed or inactive for more than 18 months, you will receive your reward in a check.



You may also decide to donate the rewards to select charities or use them to make payments to select merchants.


Gift Cards

Additionally, you can redeem your rewards for gift cards and e-certificates from Discover Bank partners.

Other Features Explained

Aside from the Discover it® Student Cash Back benefits, the card has the following additional features:

  • Card Feature
  • Balance transfer
    The card allows you to transfer balances from other existing cards. It takes a minimum of 14 days after opening your account to be able to transfer payments to other accounts. Discover Bank balance transfers do not earn rewards, and you can transfer any amount below your total credit line. For the first six months, you’ll be subject to a reduced intro APR of 10.99%. After six months, your APR will increase from 16.74% – 25.74%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Account Freezing
    You can freeze your account to prevent Discover from authorizing any purchases, transfers and cash advances using the Freeze It feature.
  • Discover identity alerts
    This feature is only available online and includes daily credit report monitoring and alerts for when a new inquiry or account gets listed on your report.
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Discover Bank matches all cash back rewards accrued from the day your new account is approved through one year or the first 12 billing cycles, whichever is longer. To leverage the match, ensure that all your rewards get processed before the end of your match period.

Understanding the Fine Print

  • Card Feature
    Amount or Rate
  • APR
    17.24% – 26.24% variable
  • Annual Fee
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Rewards Rate
    1%–5% Cash back
  • Airline Benefits
  • discount icon

    Regular APR

    The Discover it® Student Cash Back features an intro APR of 0% for the first six months, after which you will pay between 17.24% – 26.24% annually based on your creditworthiness. Based on MoneyGeek’s analysis, this is a high APR in comparison to other credit card providers.

  • balanceTransfer icon

    Balance Transfer APR

    For this card, you will get an intro balance transfer APR of 10.99% until six months after the date of the first transfer. After the intro period, the APR will be 17.24% – 26.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.

  • graph icon

    Cash Advance Rates

    You will receive a cash advance at a fee of either $10 or 5%, whichever is higher. The cash advance APR is 29.24%, which is considered a very high APR.

  • wristwatch icon

    Late Payment

    Cardholders pay nothing the first time they miss a payment. After that, they will pay up to $40.

  • coins icon

    Balance Transfer Fees

    There is an intro fee of 3% of the amount transferred until April 10, 2023. After this period, the fee will be 5% of each transfer amount.

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In addition to considering this Discover it® Student Cash Back review, you should also look at other student cards for associated fees and interest amounts. To find out more information on one of your existing cards, you can consult your latest billing statement or search your online account or mobile app.

You may also use the information on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's credit card agreement database.


Who Should & Shouldn’t Consider Discover it® Student Cash Back Credit Card?


Other Considerations for Discover it® Student Cash Back Credit Card

Before submitting your Discover it® Student Cash Back application, you should think about how you plan to use the card. Whether this will be your first credit card or one of many credit cards, there are several implications to consider.

Things to Consider if This Will Be Your First or Only Credit Card

If this will be your first or only credit card, it’s important to keep in mind the card’s high-interest rates while paying for items. Failing to make on-time payments could increase the APR even further.

But if you’re confident you can make payments on time and are looking for a card with good rewards on most purchases, the Discover it® Student Cash Back may be ideal for you. However, you should be aware that the 5% cashback bonus only applies to purchases in specific categories, including groceries, fitness clubs, gas stations and digital wallets.

Things to Consider if This Will Be an Additional Card in Your Wallet

If this will be one of many cards in your wallet, you may consider using it for international purchases. The card has no international transaction fees and comes with attractive rewards on most purchases. You may also use the card to build your credit score since it has no annual fee and allows balance transfers.

But again, it’s important to be mindful of the card’s high APR when making purchases. If you don’t pay off your balance before the due date, your interest rate may increase even more. You may also want to avoid balance transfers and cash advances since these are also subject to high APRs.

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To select the best credit cards across different categories, MoneyGeek followed a streamlined process. Our methodology entailed obtaining information from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau database, standardizing comparison data points, estimating average spend profiles, establishing long-term value and conducting regular reviews.

How Discover it® Student Cash Back Credit Card Compares to Other Cards

The Discover it® Student Cash Back offers various benefits compared to other student cards. Cardholders pay no annual and international fees. They also do not need a specific credit score to apply. However, comparing the card with other available options can help you make the best choice for your needs.

Quick Comparison of Discover it® Student Cash Back

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Discover it® Student Cash Back

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase APR: 17.24% – 26.24% variable
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 6 months, then 17.24% – 26.24% variable APR will apply
  • International transaction fee: $0
  • Cash back rate: 1%–5%
  • Travel benefits: None
  • Credit score: None
  • Best for: Students who plan to make international purchases and earn rewards on specific purchases
creditCard1 icon

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Card for Students

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase APR: 18.24% – 28.24% variable
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 18 months, then 18.24% – 28.24% variable APR will apply
  • International transaction fee: 3%
  • Cash back rate: 1%–3%
  • Travel benefits: Yes
  • Credit score: None
  • Best for: Students focused on rebuilding their credit score and those who intend to travel outside the U.S.

Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As

MoneyGeek responded to some commonly asked questions about the Discover it® Student Cash Back to help you determine whether the card is best suited for your needs.

Still not sure about this card? Consider these options.

If you aren’t sure whether the Discover it® Student Cash Back is ideal for you, consider reviewing other student cards available through different providers. If you do not need a student card specifically, you can check out other categories, including balance transfer cards or rewards cards.

Learn more about credit cards in general

*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.
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