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Discover it Cash Back Credit Card: BiggerPockets Reviews

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The Discover it® Cash Back card could be useful for real estate investors who can time their purchases according to the rotational 5% rewards calendar. The card may also be beneficial as a means of managing some debt, thanks to introductory APR rates on both purchases and balance transfers.


The Discover it® Cash Back credit card offers one of the highest reward percentages available, but there are a few catches that cardholders need to be aware of in order to fully take advantage of the card’s capabilities. In short, those flashy five percent cash back rewards are only available on a select few categories which rotate each quarter, and those offers must be activated manually by the cardholder. 

Savvy real estate investors may find the Discover it® Cash Back card useful, especially if they can plan investment purchases according to the schedule of five percent rewards. In the past, places like Amazon, PayPal, wholesale clubs, and even Home Depot have been selected for limited time five percent cash back. In addition, zero percent APR for fourteen months could help investors finance a renovation project, if used wisely. 

Before signing up for the Discover it® card, investors should take note of the quarterly five percent cash back calendar to see if the additional rewards can be utilized in their project timeline. Realizing the full extent of the card’s rewards will take some effort and pre-planning, but the benefits could pay off—literally! And the current sign up bonus is definitely icing on the cake. 


The stats

  • 0% APR for the first 14 months; variable 11.99 to 22.99% APR thereafter
  • Annual fee: none
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% through December 2020; 5% thereafter
  • Cash advance fee: $10 or 5%, whichever is greater 
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

CREDIT REQUIREMENTS
Reports indicate that the Discover it® Cash Back program requires a good or excellent credit score for acceptance. A minimum credit score of 700+ is advised, and higher credit scores may yield lower APR rates following the introductory period. 


Rewards

Every dollar spent on the Discover it® card earns at least one percent cash back, and each quarter certain purchases earn dive percent cash back. The five percent cash back categories change every three months, and cardholders must activate the offer in order to obtain the extra cash back benefits. 

For example, in 2020 between July and September, Discover it® members can get five percent cash back on PayPal and restaurant purchases. Then, between October and December the offer changed to five percent cash back at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com. Each quarter’s potential cash back rewards are limited to $1,500 in total spending. That means cardholders have a potential for up to $300 cash back per year—assuming the spending limit is maxed out each quarter—plus the regular one percent cash back on all other purchases.  

However, Discover it® cardholders have to stay on top of the quarterly offers in order to realize these extra cash back rewards. Activation is required; the rewards do not just automatically accrue. A calendar for each quarter’s additional reward categories is available online, so cardholders can prepare for activation and also plan their spending. 

Rewards gained from the Discover it® card can be easily redeemed in a number of ways, most of which do not require a minimum amount for redemption. Cash back rewards never expire, and cardholders can always change their method of redemption by accessing their account online. Cash back can be redeemed in the following ways:

  • Statement credit
  • Direct deposit to a bank account 
  • Donations to select charies
  • Amazon or PayPal shopping credits (requires linked accounts)
  • Gift cards or eCertificates ($20 minimum amount)
In addition to cash back rewards, the Discover it® card also provides security features for members, such as access to free FICO credit scores, credit report alerts, and social security number monitoring.



PROS

  • High five percent reward percentage on rotational categories
  • No minimum for cash back redemption
  • Cash back matching for 12 months
  • No annual fee
  • No reward expiration
  • Zero percent APR introductory offer
  • U.S. based customer service

CONS

  • Rotational rewards must be activated
  • Rotational rewards are subject to spending limits
  • Not accepted as widely as some other cards, especially in international areas 

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