In terms of credit cards, Discover is the little card that could. It’s not one that I write a lot about and it doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it is absolutely worth having one of their cards, and the January – March 5% bonus is just one more reason. Read on.
Discover Card Basics
I talk a lot about the “hard” benefits of the card, i.e., sign-up bonuses, lounge access, etc. The Discover it card (one of the Discover sub-brands), however, does “soft benefits” better than anyone else. What do I mean by soft benefits? It’s things that you don’t necessarily see but help your experience. For example:
- It has the best customer service in the industry. Friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. For those to whom it matters, you are guaranteed to get a US-based agent. But even if they did have an international team, those folks would be well-trained, as well.
- It won’t hit you with ridiculous fees. No annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
- And there are some good hard benefits, including the ability to redeem your points for cash.
- Most cards will match your first year earnings at the end of the year. So a 1% cash back card becomes a 2% card for a year.
The Good Stuff
The basic Discover it card (and, in this case, basic is better) has two features that no other card can match, and that’s where the biggest benefits come in.
- First, rotating categories pay 5% back on purchases up to $1,500 per quarter. Unlike many cards that offer rotating categories, Discover’s are categories that you may actually use. For instance, above is the rate for January – March. Many of us already spend $1,500 in those areas. You might as well get 5% back for it. You’ll never see an offer like “5% back on all calculators that you purchase in the quarter.”
- Discover has the single-best cashback shopping site at Discover Deals. 15% at Nike. 10% at Macy’s. 5% back at Apple. Etc. It’s hard to match those at any cashback shopping site.
- Remember, all earnings are doubled the first year. That includes the two bullet points above.
The Bottom Line
In a world where benefits are getting cut, Discover deserves some applause for enhancing their offering.
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