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Discover vs. Discover it: What’s the Difference?
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
Today, all Discover credit cards fall under its Discover it® suite of credit card products. This can be confusing to people who were issued Discover cards years ago and aren’t familiar with the company’s “it” products.
Discover originally had a line of credit cards that included Discover More Card, Discover Open Road Card and Discover® Motiva Card.
In 2013, Discover discontinued those cards and launched its line of “it” cards. You are not able to apply for the old Discover cards — the only cards available on Discover’s website are the new “it” cards, which offer better rewards and features.
As a bank and issuer, Discover is the sole provider of Discover cards. Discover offers a range of credit cards for all levels of credit as well as other financial products and operates PULSE, Discover Network, and Diners Club International.
Should I upgrade my old Discover cards to Discover it cards?
Yes, it’s best to upgrade your old Discover cards to Discover it cards. With the newer “it” cards, you receive a better rewards program. Below is a breakdown of the rewards program for old Discover cards versus the Discover it cards.
Discover More Card vs. Discover it® Cash Back:
Discover More Card: This card came with a 5% Cashback Bonus Get More program, which allows cardmembers to earn more rewards in popular categories that change four times a year, like grocery stores, gas stations, Uber and Lyft, restaurants, and Amazon.com. Ability to earn up to 1% Cashback Bonus automatically on all purchases.
Discover it® Cash Back: Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically
Winner: Discover it® Cash Back because of the flat 1% rate on all other purchases (the Discover More Card only offers “up to” 1% on every purchase).
Discover Open Road Card vs. Discover it® chrome:
Discover Open Road Card: Earn 5% cashback bonus on the first $1,200 in annual gas and auto maintenance purchases, plus up to 1% unlimited cashback bonus on all other purchases.
Discover it® chrome: Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
Winner: Discover it® chrome because of a larger spending threshold for gas spending.
Discover® Motiva Card vs. Discover it® Cash Back:
Discover® Motiva Card: Earn up to a 1% cashback bonus on every purchase.
Discover it® Cash Back: Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Winner: Discover it® Cash Back because of the higher cash back rate in quarterly bonus categories and flat 1% rate on all other purchases (the Discover® Motiva Card only offers “up to” 1% on every purchase).
How to convert your card
You can convert your card for free by calling the number on the back of your card and ask about changing your account to one of the many “it” cards available. While your conversion request is pending, you will still be able to use your card, and any rewards you earn will be the same rewards up until the conversion is official.
See below to learn what happens to your existing rewards when you change to the “it” rewards program:
- Discover More Card / Discover Open Road Card / Discover® Motiva Card to Discover it® Cash Back or the Discover it® chrome: Any accumulated cashback bonus will remain in your “Cashback Bonus” bank.
- Discover More Card / Discover Open Road Card / Discover® Motiva Card to Discover it® Miles: Currently this option is not available.
Discover has a range of credit cards for consumers with a variety of credit scores. Best known for its credit options for those new to credit or have fair credit, Discover provides the tools to build and re-establish credit. If you’re a student who wants to build credit or someone who has fair credit, Discover offers cards that will help you monitor your credit score while also earning rewards.
Great perks of all Discover cards include $0 annual fee or foreign transaction fees, rewards programs, Cashback Match at the end of your first year, and the freedom to redeem your rewards for any amount at any time.
There are several security features that allow you peace of mind: $0 fraud liability, monthly free FICO® Score, “Freeze it” feature to lock your account with the press of a button, and free Social Security number alerts. These features make having one of the eight Discover it® cards worthwhile.
Unlike competing issuers Mastercard and Visa, who have issuing banks around the globe, Discover has to rely on its own network to provide cardholders’ usage. If you travel outside of the U.S., your card may have limited use and you may need to rely heavily on the Diners Club network.
Here are the networks used overseas:
- Central America: Discover
- South America: Diners Club
- Caribbean: Discover
- Europe: Discover, Diners Club
- Asia: Diners Club, China UnionPay, JCB
- Africa: Diners Club
- Oceania: Discover, Diners Club
Which Discover it card is right for you?
Discover offers a range of credit cards for building and re-establishing credit and earning rewards. When picking a credit card, you first need to know your credit score. This will allow you to see what credit cards you can qualify for. Discover offers access to your free credit score, regardless if you’re a cardholder or not, with Credit Scorecard.
A great way to see what Discover credit cards you may be approved for is to check if you prequalify. This performs a soft pull of your credit reports and will not harm your credit score.
If you’re new to credit cards, you most likely want to build credit. If you have existing credit cards, you may want to assess your current rewards and see if you can get better rewards. Maybe you have poor credit history and want to improve your credit score.
Once you have an idea of what you want from your credit card, then you can settle on the best credit card.
What Discover it cards are available?
Discover offers six consumer credit cards that benefit a range of consumers. The categories of cards that Discover has include: cash back, miles, secured and student. Here’s a quick summary of the benefits of each card.
Cash back in rotating quarterly categories
The Discover it® Cash Back offers a cash back rewards program with higher rates for rotating bonus categories. You can earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Keep in mind you need to activate the bonus categories each quarter to enjoy the higher rate.
This card is also a good option for people who have an existing credit card. When paired with a flat-rate card like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, the Discover it® Cash Back will allow you to earn a higher rate in bonus categories throughout the year, while maximizing rewards for spending in categories not included on the Discover card by using the backup card.
Cash back for gas station and restaurant spending categories
The Discover it® chrome card offers a higher cash back rate in set categories. Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
Spending $333 or less a month in combined grocery and gas purchases will allow you to benefit from the higher rewards rate; anything over $333 per month and you will get the 1% rate. This card is a good option for people who may not spend in the quarterly rotating categories of Discover it® Cash Back and typically spend enough on groceries and gas to enjoy the higher rate.
Discover only offers one travel rewards card — Discover it® Miles. If you’re a traveler looking for a good flat-rate miles program, this card is worth considering. You will earn automatically earn unlimited 1.5x miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee. At the end of your first year, Discover will also match the miles you’ve earned for new cardmembers. This is a great intro bonus that will increase your miles earned in year one.
You can redeem miles for cash as an electronic deposit to your bank account or for a credit for travel purchases on your statement made within the last 180 days. Travel purchases include airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites and commuter transportation. It’s important to note that Discover isn’t widely accepted outside of the U.S., so it’s best for U.S.-bound travelers.
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a great option for people who have limited/bad/poor credit. This card offers a cash back rewards program, which is atypical of secured cards, where you can earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Although your primary purpose with a secured card is to build or rebuild credit, rewards are a nice bonus.
Another great benefit of this card is the monthly reviews (which start after eight months) that Discover performs to see if you can be transitioned to an unsecured card.
They facilitate your move to an unsecured card and take the guesswork out of wondering when you’re ready to upgrade.
Discover gives you your free FICO® Score each month, which is a great way for you to monitor your score and see it rise with proper credit behavior. If you’re in the market for a secured card, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a great option.
It’s important to start building credit as early as possible, and student credit cards are a great way to do that. Discover offers two student credit cards — Discover it® Student Cash Back and Discover it® Student chrome. Both cards are designed with students in mind and provide the resources for students to build credit while also earning rewards.
The Discover it® Student Cash Back offers the same cash back rewards as the Discover it® Cash Back, plus added benefits. Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
If you’re a student with good grades, Discover will give you $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next five years.
And don’t worry if you miss a payment one time — Discover doesn’t charge a late fee on your first late payment. Use this as a reminder to set up auto pay. If you’re a student looking to establish credit and don’t mind rotating bonus categories, the Discover it® Student Cash Back card is for you.
Another option for students is the Discover it® Student chrome. This card doesn’t have rotating bonus categories and will earn you 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
This is a good card for students who commute to school. You can also benefit from a $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next five years.
Make it a point to pay your bill on time and in full so you don’t get charged interest or a late payment fee (the first late payment fee is waived). If you’re a student who commutes to school and doesn’t want to deal with bonus categories of the Discover it® Student Cash Back card, the Discover it® Student chrome card is a good card to build credit and earn rewards.