Applying for your first credit card can be really daunting. The pressure to make a perfect choice is multiplied exponentially by the horror stories you may have heard about people being forced to keep their oldest card or decimate their credit score. Not to mention the fear of racking up substantial credit card debt. That’s right, you’ll want to keep your first card active for a long time, so don’t get stuck with a yearly fee or disadvantageous terms.
Why the Discover it® Student Cash Back Card?
The Discover it® Student Cash Back card is designed for college students to build credit, with no credit history required to apply and no annual fee.
The online application considers parental support in addition to your own income when calculating your credit limit, which is essential for students without a full-time job. Applying only takes minutes, and there are 18 snazzy card designs to choose from.
Annual Fee: $0
Rewards Rates and Categories
5% Cash Back in quarterly rotating categories (up to $75)
- Jan-Mar: Grocery stores, fitness club, and gym memberships
- Apr-Jun: Target and gas stations
- Jul-Sep: Restaurants and Paypal
- Oct-Dec: Amazon (perfect for gift-giving season) and digital wallets
Unlimited 1% Cash Back for all other purchases
All cash back bonus points are matched by Discover at the end of your first year, effectively doubling the money you earn. These points can be redeemed towards your monthly statement, online purchases, or exchanged for gift cards with extra added value (ex. a $10 card for only $9.50), all trackable on Discover’s highly rated mobile app.
Once a year, get a $20 Good Grades reward with a GPA of over 3.00.
You can also get a $50 statement credit by referring a friend (They’ll get this bonus too!).
In fact, apply now using my referral link to get $50 after making your first purchase with Discover.
When traveling, no foreign transaction fees are charged, ever.
My Experience With the Discover it® Student Cash Back Card
I’m personally a Discover it® Student Cash Back card holder, and I can attest that the Discover app is incredibly intuitive (it has 3.6M reviews on the App Store, with an average rating of 4.9 stars).
You can customize all the notification settings (I have text notifications set up for my transactions) and Discover reminds you when to pay your bill with both email and in-app notifications. The quarterly 5% cash back categories are activated with a single tap of your finger!
Honestly, I have not changed my spending habits after getting this card. I simply added it to ApplePay and continued to live my life — but meanwhile, I’m earning extra rewards each month!
The Bottom Line
When you graduate, the Discover it® Student Cash Back Card automatically converts to a regular Discover it® card, and credit line increases are easy to apply for. While these cash back rewards may seem basic compared to many of the other cards featured on The Smart Wallet, someone looking for a starter card can’t do better than the Discover it® Student Cash Back card.
Who would say no to building credit history and earning free money?