Credit Card Review: DiscoverIT with Possible Chip & PIN?

The DiscoverIT credit card is a solid card that is a great addition to any person who values cash back. It comes with many benefits such as a free FICO score and one of the best reward malls available. After an interesting conversation with a Discover representative today, could it be an option for traveling where Chip and PIN is needed?

Sign-Up Bonus:
Currently there is no sign up bonus for the DiscoverIT credit card. Discover periodically offers sign up bonuses, most recently they gave $150 after spending $750 or more in the first 90 days.

If you don’t have this card now, I would probably wait until there is a bonus again.

5% categories for 2015
5% categories for 2015

Earning Rate:
The DiscoverIT is very similar to the Chase Freedom, where there are quarterly 5% bonus categories. You will earn 5% cash back on the first $1500 spent each quarter, which is an extra $75.

All other purchases will earn 1% cash back.

Annual Fee:
Here is some great news! The DiscoverIT has no annual fee, so this is another great card to keep long term.

Interest Rate:
Hopefully, if you have travel or cash back credit cards you do not hold a balance on them. The interest rates are very high.

If you had to hold a balance on a credit card and pay if off over time, the DiscoverIT credit card actually has 0% interest for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, then it balloons to 10.99%- 22.99%!

Other Perks:

  • Free FICO score
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No late fee for first missed payment- Hopefully you never have to use this!
  • No increase in interest rate if payment is late

Discover Deals:
This is probably one of the better online reward malls available. Discover has shifted this around recently, it is now more like AMEX Offers, which I like. The offers can earn you extra cash back or statement credits. Most of the offers are online, but there are some offers which you can use in stores.

Unlike other portals where you can use any card you want,you must use your Discover card to earn the bonus. For some, they might not want to lose out on extra points. I think some of the offers that are available  are better than what you could earn in points.

For example:
You will earn an extra 10%, when you book a Royal Caribbean Cruise through Discover Deals. If the cruise was $1,000, you will earn $110 cash back (1% for everything + 10% extra). If you were to use your Chase Sapphire Preferred, you would earn 2,000 Ultimate Reward points. Which is very valuable, but even if you valued them at 2 cents each, that is $40 in travel. Thats almost 3 times as much!

Earn an extra 10% cash back on a Royal Caribbean Cruise!
Earn an extra 10% cash back on a Royal Caribbean Cruise!

They offer great cash back on many travel deals and products. They are always adding new offers and you can view and purchase right from your phone.

Earn 5% extra cash back shopping at Apple!
Earn 5% extra cash back shopping at Apple!
The next best is 2% for Apple!
The next best is 2% for Apple!

Not all purchases will be best through Discover Deals, so always do your homework! There could be better portal payout for your purchase!

Redeeming Rewards:
Discover has recently changed one of their redemption options. While most banks require you to have a minimum amount of cash back before you can redeem, Discover does not. You can redeem any cash back, even $0.01!

You are able to redeem your cash back for:

  • Statement credit
  • Direct deposit to bank account
  • Gift cards
  • Pay directly at Amazon.com
  • Donate

Redeeming for statement credit, depositing into bank account and using on Amazon.com, you will redeem 100 points for $1. Meaning in this option, all points are worth 1 cent.

Get 11% more when you redeem for Hyatt gift card
Get 11% more when you redeem for Hyatt gift card

I think redeeming for gift cards is a better option. When redeeming for gift cards you can earn anywhere from 11% to 100% more! This even includes travel gift cards like Hyatt, Universal Studios Resorts, Sandals Resorts and others!

If travel isn’t what you are looking to spend your cash on, there are plenty of gift cards for you as well! Many of which, you will redeem for 25% more!

Redeem for a Nike gift card and get 25% more!
Redeem for a Nike gift card and get 25% more!

International Use?
Discover is accepted more readily in the US than in other countries, but there are many countries that do accept Discover. Over the past few days, I have been trying to see which banks will be converting to Chip and PIN.

Today, while I was chatting with Discover about acquiring a card with a Chip, I again asked about Chip and PIN. This is a small piece of our conversation, which now makes me think this could be an option when traveling abroad.

Discover adding an option of PIN?
Discover adding an option of PIN?

It seems that the DiscoverIT will be a Chip and PIN! Just like the Barclay Arrival.  If this is true, Discover could be a potential option while traveling abroad. Especially for people who do not have the Barclay Arrival Plus. I will be curious if the DiscoverIT will actually be a Chip and PIN card.

This card falls into my rotation when the 5% bonus category works best for me. It is very similar to the Chase Freedom in it’s quarterly rotating categories and since categories don’t overlap, they’ll both get some use this year.

The ability to redeem the rewards for any amount of cash back or gift cards redeeming for 11%- 100% more value, makes this a better option than cash. The possibility of Discover making this card a Chip and PIN makes this an intriguing card for traveling abroad.

What do you think about the DiscoverIT? Do you think the DiscoverIT will actually have Chip and PIN?

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