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Best Discover Credit Cards 2023

  • Find out why Discover is one of the leading credit card companies
  • See what perks getting a Discover card can give you
  • Read about the pros and cons of getting a Discover card
  • Get advice from our experts on how to choose a card
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Holly D. Johnson - Contributor Updated: 26 January 2023 10 Min Read
Reviewed By Bestcovery - Editorial Team
Why Trust Us?

Discover is a credit card issuer that offers a wide range of credit cards based on your needs and credit score. Generally, customers need fair to good credit to qualify for Discover cards, but they also offer a secured credit card for those with low credit.

Like American Express, Discover issues credit cards and is a credit card network. Mastercard and Visa remain strictly card networks and cannot issue cards to their customers. Discover has quickly grown to be the sixth-largest issuer and remains a popular selection in categories like cash back rewards, balance transfers, travel miles, secured, and student cards.

Cardholders can earn cash back on combined purchases with their Discover card at different places like grocery stores, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, PayPal.com, Fitness Club & Gym Memberships, gas stations, restaurants, and digital wallets each quarter up to the quarterly maximum. That can represent a nice sum of money back each quarter.

Read our Discover credit card review for rewards structure, welcome offers, and other information for your next Discover card.

Our picks for the best discover credit cards

Best Discover Credit Cards 2023

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Discover it® Cash Back

Best for Unlimited Dollar-for-Dollar Cashback Match

Why we like it

Discover it Cash Back offers high rewards on rotating categories, which can be ideal for cardholders who are OK with keeping track of them. You’ll automatically earn 1% on all purchases and 5% any time you make a daily purchase at a gas station, grocery store, restaurant, or gym membership. If you like to plan by maximizing rewards, this is the perfect card. Not to mention its incredible unlimited cashback matching for your first year! 

Discover it® Cash Back provides an excellent rate for a no-annual-fee card, including a reasonable variable APR and incredible rewards on rotating categories. This is not a minimal effort card. You save money by earning money back on daily purchases, and you don’t have to worry about paying a fee every year, but you will need to keep an eye on those categories to get the best return.

If you don’t mind a little extra legwork, this could be an excellent fit for your wallet.

Discover it® Cash Back

PROS

  • Unlimited cashback match
  • Zero fees annually
  • Intro APR period

CONS

  • Caps on quarterly bonus rewards
  • Low rewards on some purchases
  • Not a simple rewards program

Discover it® Chrome

Best for Road Trips

Why we like it

Unlike the Discover it® Cash Back, which requires you to stay on top of rotating bonus categories, the Discover it® Chrome is much simpler, offering 2% rewards on dining and gas purchases and 1% on all other purchases.

For those who travel through the United States, commute, or eat out a lot, the simplicity of this card could work best for you. If you have a high credit balance on another card, you may want to take advantage of the 0% intro APR for 14 months that can be used on balance transfers, allowing you to pay down debt.

The bottom line is that this card offers an excellent cashback match without a yearly fee and low balance transfer fees for 14 months. Discover automatically matches what you buy with your card at the end of your initial year.

Discover it® Chrome

PROS

  • Cash rewards never expire
  • No fee annually
  • Cashback match bonus

CONS

  • High balance transfer fee
  • High cash advance fee
  • Less generous rewards structure than other cards

Discover it® Student Chrome

Best for Student Commuting and Dining

Why we like it

For a low-maintenance option, the Discover it® Student chrome is a great bet, especially if you spend a lot on gas or dining. Earn 2% cash back at petrol stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter, and automatically get unlimited 1% on all other purchases. For a first credit card, the simplicity of this card is a great draw for students. You automatically earn money back at filling stations and restaurants without needing to activate your rewards or keep track of rotating categories. Students can build credit with the Discover it® Student chrome, which can be very beneficial later in life.

Discover it® Student Chrome

PROS

  • Cash Back Match
  • Great introductory APR offer
  • Earn rewards while building credit

CONS

  • Rewards are less-than-stellar in comparison with other student cards
  • Reward earning is capped
  • Not as accepted internationally as other major credit cards

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Best for Rotating Bonus Categories for Students

Why we like it

Discover it Student Cash Back is an excellent option for students who want to build their credit while earning rewards in quarterly categories. Get 5% cashback of up to $1,500 on categories that change each quarter.

Discover’s dollar-for-dollar match can be an asset for a tight budget. If you don’t mind staying on top of rotating categories, you could benefit from stacking rewards (and saving money.) Even if the categories don’t match your spending needs, you’ll still earn 1% back on all purchases, which is a great offer for a student card.

This card is perfect for students who don’t want to pay a high fee every year but still want rewards on their purchases, but it may not be so good for students who wish for a sign-up bonus and high rewards for all purchases.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

PROS

  • High rewards
  • It matches your first-year purchases
  • Zero fees annually

CONS

  • Activate bonus categories each quarter
  • Caps bonus rewards
  • Rewards on all other purchases can be low

Discover it® Miles

Best for Frequent Travelers

Why we like it

Discover it Miles is a travel card with a unique rewards structure. Instead of a sign-up bonus, the issuer will match every mile you earn in the first twelve months of opening an account.

However, you need to use the card extensively to reap the introductory rewards bonus. This card is perfect for cardholders who want flexibility in redeeming their rewards and are interested in maximizing the first-year bonus. This may not be the ideal card if you are interested in luxury travel perks.

We love the Discover it Miles for great travel rewards since you have the potential to earn unlimited points throughout your first year. The generous miles earning program spans all categories and can double your dollar. You can redeem through statement credits for cash back or for travel.

Discover it® Miles

PROS

  • Intro APR period
  • 1.5 miles per dollar earned
  • Zero fee annually

CONS

  • Must have good to excellent credit
  • No luxury perks
  • No welcome bonus

Discover it® Balance Transfer

Best Choice for Cash Back Categories

Why we like it

While plenty of credit cards offer promotional rates, few can match Discover’s 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers. You can even enjoy a six-month 0% APR on your purchases.

If you don’t mind activating your categories each quarter, you can earn even more with 5% cashback on rotating quarterly categories and 1% back on all other purchases.

Discover it® Balance Transfer

PROS

  • 0% intro APR for first six months
  • Unlimited cashback match
  • No-annual-fee

CONS

  • Short balance transfer intro period
  • Must activate bonus categories
  • Requires good/excellent credit

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Best for Credit Building

Why we like it

This is a really solid option for a secured card. Not many secured cards will offer rewards, much less at a rate of 2% which you can earn any time you eat out or fill out your car. You can earn 1%  for all other purchases to be redeemed for cash or statement credits. You can also take advantage of Discover’s cashback match which doubles all your rewards at the end of your first deal, a generous bonus for a secured card.

This card shies away from fees, so you don’t have to worry about one-time fees, yearly fees, foreign transactions, or even monthly fees! It seems the only real fee is their cash advance fee, which is either 5% or $10 of the total cash amount, whichever is greater.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

PROS

  • No pesky fees
  • Unlimited cashback rewards
  • Build your credit responsibly

CONS

  • Rewards are capped
  • Not the same perks as traditional cards
  • Requires a refundable deposit

Compare the Best Discover Credit Cards

Learn about the top credit cards
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About Discover credit cards

Discover is a steadfast credit card company with reliable rewards and solid products.

Known for its incredible cash back rewards, it is a comprehensive credit card issuer that partners with domestic and international merchants, allowing you to use it wherever you choose to go. Discover also helps you improve your finances by offering student loans, online banking, personal and home loans, and much more.

Unlike other major credit cards, you won’t find big sign-up bonuses or complicated rewards structures. Instead, Discover remains steady with easily redeemable and simplified rewards. As a customer, you get identity theft protection, free FICO scores to keep up with your credit, small business help, and much more. Additionally, Discover offers cards that reward combined purchases. Students and those rebuilding their credit history have available card options.

Finally, Discover ranks high in 24/7 customer service and satisfaction.

Discover provides eight different types of cards, including:

Benefits of choosing a Discover card

Discover is a generous credit card issuer with incentives like no foreign transaction fees, free FICO scores, the ability to freeze your account, Social Security alerts, and no late fee for your first missed payment.

On top of that, Discover pioneered the unlimited cash back match for your first year. Many of Discover’s cards come with standard perks, including allowing cardholders the option to withdraw cash any time they make a purchase at participating retailers.

Other perks include 24/7 account monitoring, so you will always be notified if your personal information has been compromised. Many Discover cards also offer 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases, returning to standard APR after the timeframe

People of all credit levels can apply for a card. If you hold a Discover card, you can earn 1% cash back on every purchase you make, and Discover will match new accounts earnings within the initial year.

What types of rewards do Discover cards offer?

As a credit issuer, Discover offers its members the following rewards and benefits:


Since most Discover cards offer cash rewards, you might be pleased to learn you can easily redeem them for:


If you have Discover Miles that you racked up with the Discover it Miles card, you can redeem them for everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, Paypal, or on travel.

You can transform miles at a 1:1 rate for cash back that is directly deposited into your bank account. You can even use your miles to help pay your Discover card balance.

The good news is that Discover rewards never expire as long as the account is still active.

Who should get a Discover credit card

Discover cards can benefit anyone whether you are rebuilding your credit, looking for high rewards, need low introductory interest, and much more.

In fact, Discover has a wide range of cards to choose from for daily purchases, students, travelers, and business owners.

These groups may benefit most from a Discover card:

Credit builders

If you made some poor choices in your credit past, Discover’s secured cards give you the chance to reestablish yourself and work your way towards a traditional card.

Travelers

Discover it Miles is a wonderful travel credit card that earns 1.5X miles on your spending, with no expiration date. No fees and flat-rate rewards are a handsome offer for those who enjoy adaptability.

Students

Discover’s two student cards allow first-time cardholders to sample the same rewards as traditional cards with room for building credit.

Daily shoppers

Discover it Cash Back allows you to earn maximum cash back rewards, while Discover it Chrome is ideal for those who frequently eat out, travel often on the road, or are looking for an everyday card for grocery store purchases and more.

Small business owners

Discover’s business card is easy-to-use and can help you establish and grow your business with 1.5% cash back on every business purchase.

You can start your credit journey or continue extending your credit with Discover.

How to choose the right Discover card for you

It can be challenging to find the right Discover card for you. By understanding all your card options, you can find the right fit for you, your credit history, and your spending habits.

You should first determine what your credit score is. By checking your FICO score, you can decide which cards you qualify for and which perks work best for you. Discover often offers free credit checks, or you could check with one of the three major credit bureaus.

Generally, there are three types of cards you can choose from:


Choosing the right card for you means looking for features that match your specific needs. For example, if you don’t like to travel a lot, a travel rewards card isn’t the way to go.

Secured or student cards are great if you need to rebuild or build credit. Bear in mind that most secured cards require a security deposit of at least $200. The deposit will be refunded if you keep your account in good standing. If you are looking to save on interest, you may want to look into 0% APR or balance transfer cards.

Discover has a lot of options for those looking for cash back or travel rewards, especially if you can pay off your balance each month without recurring interest. The higher APRs are offset by rewards and sign-up bonuses. It may be good to note that there are no co-branded Discover credit cards currently.

How we selected our top cards

In selecting our top Discover cards, we considered factors like cash back, miles, rewards, benefits, and more to help you determine which card is the best to add to your wallet, including:

Best Discover credit cards FAQ

Holly D. Johnson
Holly D. Johnson Contributor

Holly D. Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer who covers topics like insurance, investing, credit and family finance. As a leading voice in the travel and loyalty space, Johnson has traveled with her family to more than 50 countries over the last decade. 

The author has also written extensively on the power of household budgeting, and she even co-authored a book on the topic. Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love was originally published in 2017, and it teaches families how to use zero-sum budgeting to reach their financial goals. She is also the co-owner and founder of the family finance and travel website, ClubThrifty.com.

Johnson’s 10+ years of writing have focused on helping families make important financial decisions at each stage of their lives. The author also applies the financial principles she teaches to her own life, and she is currently on track to retire in her late 40’s with her partner. She currently lives in Central Indiana with her husband and children, and she is a regular contributor for Bankrate, CNN, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report Travel and many other notable publications.