Discover it Chrome for Students: Build Your Credit And Earn Valuable Rewards

Earn rewards with the Discover it Chrome, one of Discover’s two student credit card offerings.
Last updated May 17, 2021 | By Kevin Payne

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Not all student credit cards are created equal; some are designed to simply help you build credit while others offer valuable rewards. Discover it Chrome for Students is one of the few that can not only help you build credit but also reward you for everyday purchases and doing well in the classroom — you get a $20 statement credit every year your GPA is 3.0, for up to five years.

While this card does come with some perks for students, how does it compare to similar student credit cards?

Earn Cash Back for Good Grades

Discover it Chrome for Students

Discover it Chrome for Students

Discover it Chrome for Students

Benefits

  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months
  • Up to 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations
  • $20 statement credit each year for 3.0 GPA or higher
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • Into APR period is relatively short

In this Discover it Chrome for Students review:

Who should get the Discover it Chrome for Students card?

Students looking for their first credit card should consider the Discover it Chrome for Students. If you have a limited credit history, it might be perfect for helping you build credit, which will come in handy in the future. Having a good credit score can make it much easier to qualify for things like mortgage loans, and it might also help you get better rates too. As you use your card for purchases and pay off the balance each month, you could potentially raise your credit score and develop healthy financial habits.

Just because you’re getting a student credit card doesn’t mean you can’t earn rewards too. With this card, you'll earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations (up to $1,000 quarterly). You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. All of your spending puts cash back in your pocket with Discover it Chrome. In terms of rewards, it’s one of the best credit cards for students.

Card basics

Card type Student
Credit card issuer Discover
Annual fee $0
Intro bonus Discover will automatically match the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year — and there's no limit
Rewards rate 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, up to $1000 per quarter; and 1% automatic cash back on all other purchases
Recommended credit score Good, Fair
Intro APR 0% for 6 months

Discover it Chrome for Students benefits and perks

  • Cashback rewards: You can earn a generous 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, up to $1000 per quarter; and 1% automatic cash back on all other purchases.
  • Cashback match: Discover will automatically match the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year — and there's no limit. This can translate to a lucrative cashback bonus if you use this card for most of your spending. 
  • Introductory APR: Take advantage of a 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 6 months. Consider making any large purchases, like educational expenses, and paying them off over time.
  • No annual fee: Discover it Chrome for Students has a $0 annual fee. With all the expenses that come with being a college student, it’s good to know someone is looking out for you.
  • No first late payment fee: If you accidentally miss a payment due date and pay late, Discover will waive your late fee the first time. You'll need to pay a late fee for any subsequent missed payments, though, so be sure to set up autopay.
  • Credit score access: As a cardmember, you can view your FICO score (based on your TransUnion credit report) for free through the Discover mobile app.  
  • Security alerts: Discover it Chrome cardholders can opt to receive a variety of security alerts, such as new account alerts and potential fraud alerts. You can also sign up to receive alerts if Discover finds your Social Security number on the Dark Web.
  • Good grade reward: Discover gives you more than just the satisfaction of knowing you did your best when you get good grades. They reward you with a $20 statement credit every school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to five years.

Drawbacks to the Discover it Chrome for Students

  • Acceptance: Discover cards aren't as widely accepted as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express credit cards. If you're interested in earning cash back on all of your purchases, you may need a backup card just in case. 
  • Spending cap: While this card does offer cashback rewards, there's a quarterly spending cap of $1,000 on its 2% earning category. All purchases exceeding the $1,000 amount will earn 1% cash back. 

Earning & redeeming cash back with the Discover it Chrome for Students

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your cash back can add up with the Discover it Chrome for Students.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $790

Year two earnings: $395

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model which takes a look at points earned via spending and the sign-up bonus. 

Best ways to earn

Earning cash back is simple with the Discover it Chrome. College students on the go can take advantage of 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations (up to $1,000 quarterly) on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.

Students will also earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. That means you’ll earn cash back on all of your education expenses, like school supplies, electronics, clothes, and more. Making Discover it Chrome for Students your primary credit card will maximize cash back earning potential.

Categories Rewards rate
Restaurants and gas stations (up to $1,000 quarterly) 2%
All other purchases 1%

Maximizing your redemptions

Cashback rewards can be redeemed at any time with your Discover it Student Chrome card. Redemptions come in many forms, including cashback rewards for statement credits, electronic deposits into your bank account, or gift cards. Rewards can also be used to pay for your Amazon purchases or donated to your favorite charities, as well.

Discover it Chrome cardmembers can redeem rewards easily through their online account or by phone.

Discover it Chrome for Students FAQs

What is the difference between the Discover it Cash Back for Students and Discover it Chrome for Students?

Discover’s two student credit card options are very similar. The main difference is that Discover it Chrome for Students offers 2% cash back in specific categories, and Discover it Cash Back gives 5% cash back in spending categories that change quarterly.

Is Discover it Chrome for Students a good card?

If you’re looking to build credit while earning rewards, the Discover it Chrome for Students is a solid addition to your wallet. It’s a perfect first credit card. You won’t be weighed down by annual fees and can even get rewarded for good grades.

How do I qualify for a student Discover Card?

To qualify for a student credit card from Discover, you must be a current college student. You’ll be asked to provide proof of your education status. Applicants are also subject to a credit check to determine creditworthiness and verify identity.

Does Discover raise your credit limit?

Cardholders can request a credit line increase online by logging into their account and completing a request. You can also request an increase by calling Discover at 1-800-DISCOVER. Updating any changes to your personal information, such as income and housing, may help you become eligible for limit increases.

Other cards to consider

If you are interested in earning rewards, another rewards credit card to consider is the Citi Rewards+ Student Card. New cardmembers earn 15,000 bonus points after $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. The points you earn from this card round up to the nearest ten on every purchase, no matter how small. Plus, you’ll earn 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations for first $6,000 in purchases each year, and 1x points on all other purchases. The Citi Rewards+ Student Card also offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 15 months.

Students looking for a cash back card that offers higher bonus rewards can also look to Discover’s other student credit card. Discover it Student Cash Back has a $0 annual fee and you can earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Earn Cash Back for Good Grades

Discover it Chrome for Students

Discover it Chrome for Students

Discover it Chrome for Students

Special Offer

Discover will automatically match the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year — and there's no limit

See how these cards compare:

Citi Rewards+ Student Card
Citi Rewards+ Student Card
  • 15,000 ThankYou Point welcome offer
  • 2X ThankYou Points at supermarkets and gas stations
  • 10% ThankYou Points back for the first 100,000 redeemed per year
  • Automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on each purchase
  • No annual fee
Discover it Student Cash Back
Discover it Student Cash Back
  • 0% intro APR on purchases
  • 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories quarterly
  • Matched cash back at the end of your first year
  • $20 statement credit each year for 3.0 GPA or higher
  • No annual fee

Author Details

Kevin Payne Kevin Payne is a freelance writer specializing in student loans, credit cards, personal finance, and travel. He is a regular contributor to Club Thrifty, Millennial Money, and Student Loan Planner. As the budget and family travel expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com, Kevin recently turned his writing side hustle into his full-time career. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids.