The Discover it® card makes a habit of saying no. No annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, no overlimit fee and no APR hike for a late payment. Discover’s latest incarnation of cash back cards aims to simplify the relationship between cardholder and card issuer into one of easy cooperation.
Discover it Card maintains 5 percent cash back on featured items, subject to spend cap and provided you remember to sign up at the start of each promotional period. However, your other purchases earn a consistent 1 percent cash back with no required spending threshold. Real rebate hackers may find better percentages with some of Discover it’s competitors, but the consistency makes tracking rewards very easy.
An initial experience informed by high tech unboxing
Speaking about the new Discover it card with company spokeswoman Laura Gingiss, I learned that the team behind this new account wanted to bring back some of the glamour and excitement around getting a new credit card. That’s why the Discover it card arrives at your home with some of the trappings usually reserved for a bank’s most elite cardholders.
Your card arrives inside a rectangular box, decked out in faux brushed metal. Inside, you’ll find a silver card of significantly better build quality than the typical bank card. If it feels like what happens when you open a product from Apple or Bose, that’s by design. Discover wants you to feel good about using this card, and that emotional connection starts with this premium experience.
Service and support from real, live people
Discover emphasizes that you’ll have access to a live human being inside the United States when you call for support. It’s a standout feature in an environment when many other banks have resorted to offshore service centers and automated attendants. It’s an expensive move, but immediate assistance from Discover’s award winning service and fraud resolution teams can win your loyalty for life.
Discover doesn’t want you to wait for an emergency to call, either. When booking your next trip or buying a big ticket item, the customer service team can uncover bonus rewards or special discounts from Discover’s business partners. With their help and with easy online redemption through partners like Amazon.com, some Discover it customers have received rebates as high as 20 percent on gifts and travel purchases.
Surviving the toughest times, with job loss support
Discover survived last decade’s credit crunch in much better shape than many other consumer lenders. Their confidence shows up how the company now talks about what happens to cardholders in the event of a job loss or other financial emergency. Credit card companies earned a bad reputation for taking such news poorly, often with little notice and applying penalty rates whenever possible.
Discover’s approach to customer loyalty intends to change that perception, at least among Discover it card customers. The company’s new direction is to address such emergencies with compassion, empowering call center agents to drop minimum monthly payments or to lower APRs for the duration of the issue. Helping you make your payments on time can help preserve your credit score during a crisis, making it easier to recover in the long run. Plus, free FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.*
Building brand loyalists, one silver box at a time
Having expanded into student loans and personal mortgages, Discover hopes that your positive perception of their brand will translate more business. Even the act of making a credit card you want to use can inspire you to ask more retailers to accept your Discover it card. The Discover team has produced an account that restores the dignity — and a lot of fun — to carrying a credit card.
Discover also offers other variations of this card that may better suit your needs. Be sure to read these additional reviews:
The Discover it® card arrived on the market with heavy fanfare, including lots of television ads and billboards touting personal service and a new rebate structure that frees customers from most cash back traps. Discover’s 18 month introductory balance transfer deal hits a sweet spot if you’re among the millions of Americans trying to shed an “average” credit card balance. Plus, free FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.*
Discover it for Students
Discover’s made strong inroads into student borrowing over the past few years. Discover it® for Students represents the bank’s latest foray onto college campuses, with pricing and features that resemble full-featured credit cards more than the typically watered-down student accounts on the market.
Discover it for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus
The Discover it® for Students with $20 Cashback Bonusis a great way to get a taste of what credit card signup bonus are all about — without getting in over your head. After making your first purchase using your new Card within three months of approval you’ll receive a promotional award of $20; that’s in addition to the cash back bonus you’ll earn on all purchases.
*Click on the card name links in this article to be directed to Discover it application page to see rates, rewards and other information.
Updated June 3, 2014 and originally published March 1, 2013. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.