up to 5% Cash Back

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Regular APR

12.99% – 21.99% Variable

Featured Reward

Unlimited Cashback Match – Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year with no minimum spending or maximum rewards

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 6 months on purchases

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Earns 5% cash back at gas stations, wholesale clubs and select streaming services on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment from April to June 30, 2021, then 1%
    • $20 statement credit each year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to 5 years
    • Discover matches your cash back after the first year
    Cons
    • Not the most rewarding cash-back card for non-bonus purchases
    • Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for- dollar match.
    • 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. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
    • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
    • Earn rewards while building your credit history that can help you after graduation. And, get your free Credit Scorecard that includes your FICO® Credit Score and important details that help make up your score.
    • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
    • Refer-a-Friend: Once you become a Discover it® Student cardmember, you can earn a statement credit each time you refer a friend and they’re approved. Over half a million students got Discover Cards from their friends’ recommendations.
    • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
    • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
    • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
    • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% – 21.99% applies.

    If you’re a student and over the age of 18, applying for your first credit card is a great first step in building credit and developing good financial habits for the future. However, getting approved for a credit card can be challenging if you’re young and have a limited credit history.

    Fortunately, some banks offer credit cards specifically geared to students or those who are just starting out with credit. The Discover it® Student Cash Back is a solid choice if you’re looking for a no-annual-fee card that earns cash-back rewards, offers student-friendly features, and doesn’t require a security deposit.

    With the Discover it® Student Cash Back, you can earn 5% cash back in popular rotating bonus categories when you activate, on up to $1,500 in combined spending each quarter (then 1% back), as well as 1% back everywhere else with no limits (from April to June 30, 2021, you can earn 5% cash back at gas stations, wholesale clubs and select streaming services on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment, then 1%). 

    While there’s no traditional welcome bonus, Discover will match all the cash back you earned with the Discover it® Student Cash Back after the first 12 months through its Cashback Match program, and there’s no limit to the amount matched. Cardholders can also apply for a “Good Grade Reward” of a $20 statement credit each year when they maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher, for up to five years.

    If you’d rather not keep track of rotating bonus categories, Discover issues another student card — the Discover it® Student chrome — which offers 2% back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter (then 1%), and 1% cash back on everything else.

    Keep in mind there are other student credit cards that do offer a welcome bonus, along with opportunities to earn rewards in different categories. For example, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students offers $200 in cash rewards after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

    Or if you want to earn points for travel, consider the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students, which offers 25,000 points (worth $250 in travel) after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. 

    *3% and 2% cash-back categories on the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students on up to $2,500 in combined spending each quarter, then 1% cash back

    The simplest way to use rewards from the Discover it® Student Cash Back is by redeeming for a statement credit or direct deposit to an eligible checking or savings account. There’s no minimum redemption amount, and your rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open. 

    Other redemption options include:

    • Paying with rewards directly at Amazon or with PayPal
    • Donating to Discover’s charity partners which include American Cancer Society, ASPCA, American Red Cross, Carbonfund.org, Children’s Miracle Network, Junior Achievement, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Make-A-Wish, Operation Homefront, and World Wildlife Fund
    • Gift cards to popular merchants (minimum redemption amount may apply, some merchants offer a bonus)

    Discover it Student Cash Back card benefits and features

    As you might expect from a student card with no annual fee, the Discover it® Student Cash Back doesn’t come with a huge list of benefits, but it does have a couple of handy perks that can save you money and help you stay on top of your finances.

    $20 Good Grade Reward

    Each school year (September to August) you have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, you can apply at Discover.com for a $20 statement credit, for up to five consecutive years from the date your account is opened.

    0% introductory APR on purchases

    The Discover it® Student Cash Back comes with an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first six months (then 12.99% – 21.99% Variable), which is helpful if you have a lot of school expenses to pay for upfront that you need a little more time to pay off.

    Just be sure you have the means and a plan to pay off your balance before the promotional APR period expires, otherwise, you could be on the hook for hefty interest charges.

    Free FICO score

    Discover it® Student Cash Back cardholders can access their FICO score for free, any time, through their online account. This makes it easy to keep an eye on your credit score and how it’s changed over time.

    Late payment forgiveness

    If you’re late with a payment on the Discover it® Student Cash Back, Discover won’t charge you a fee the first time it happens. After that, there’s a fee of up to $40. Paying late will not increase your APR, however.

    Unique card designs

    Discover it® Student Cash Back cardholders can choose from over a dozen colorful (and unusual) card designs that you don’t usually find on conventional credit cards. 

    Regular APR

    12.99% – 21.99% Variable

    Featured Reward

    Unlimited Cashback Match – Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year with no minimum spending or maximum rewards

    Intro APR

    0% intro APR for 6 months on purchases

    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Earns 5% cash back at gas stations, wholesale clubs and select streaming services on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment from April to June 30, 2021, then 1%
    • $20 statement credit each year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to 5 years
    • Discover matches your cash back after the first year
    Cons
    • Not the most rewarding cash-back card for non-bonus purchases
    • Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for- dollar match.
    • 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. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
    • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
    • Earn rewards while building your credit history that can help you after graduation. And, get your free Credit Scorecard that includes your FICO® Credit Score and important details that help make up your score.
    • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
    • Refer-a-Friend: Once you become a Discover it® Student cardmember, you can earn a statement credit each time you refer a friend and they’re approved. Over half a million students got Discover Cards from their friends’ recommendations.
    • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
    • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
    • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
    • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% – 21.99% applies.

    Discover it Student Cash Back card fees and costs

    The Discover it® Student Cash Back has no annual fee and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, so if you’re making international purchases or traveling abroad it’s a good pick. Just keep in mind Discover isn’t always as widely accepted as other credit cards, so if you’re traveling you might want to have a backup card just in case.

    As with most other cards, there are fees for late payments (except the first occurrence), returned payments, balance transfers, and cash advances.

    Jasmin Baron is an associate editor at Personal Finance Insider, where she helps readers maximize rewards and find the best credit cards to fit their lifestyles. She has covered credit cards, points and miles, and loyalty programs for over seven years, and she’s a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF).