(Updated Oct 3, this is still on valid.) Right now Discover has a referral program where you can refer a friend to sign up for the Discover it credit card and both you and the new cardholder will get $50 cashback after they make their first purchase within 3 months.
An offer got mailed to me to open a Discover Checking account, so I decided to give it a try. I am currently using this account to pay all my online bills. This checking account is online only, includes free checks and a debit card. Withdrawals are free and reimbursed from any ATM. The biggest benefit is the 10 cents you get for every debit card purchase, online bill pay and check that you write. While this isn’t much, it’s still good for those times that I can only use online bill pay for such as paying for utilities such as gas or electricity, as well as paying off credit card bills. So on top of the points you earn for using your credit cards, you will get another 10 cents for paying off that credit card. There is also a promotion going on right now that will last until July, all debit card purchases will earn double rewards (20 cents).
If this isn’t a big enough incentive (which I admit is quite small), you can check out my other post about the best banking combo that I’ve come across. Both the Santander and Apple Bank offers are still available.
Also, the access to this checking account will be combined with your Discover credit card log in. If you have 2 Discover credit cards like I do, you will need to decide which account to link this checking account to. Reward redemption can either be transferred to your credit card or transferred to the checking account, but will need to be manually redeemed. There are no minimum redemption amount.
After going through all the available credit card options out there, I decided to apply for the Discover it Card.
Discover it card is now Discover’s it card. Discover no longer offers any other credit card. The Discover it card gives you 1% cashback on all your purchases. On top of that they have quarterly rotating categories that will offer you an additional 4% making it a 5% cashback bonus (only subject to the first $1500 spent quarterly.)
One of the biggest draw of a Discover credit card is probably their ShopDiscover portal, a shopping hub that gives you a steady 5-20% cashback on top of Discover’s normal 5% cashback rotating categories. This shopping hub is similar to sites like Ebates and BigCrumbs where you get a certain percentage for each purchase, but made easier to redeem when it’s part of your credit card’s normal rewards.
Reward redemption also has a few flavors as well. If you choose to redeem as a statement credit, you can only redeem at $50 intervals. Gift cards start at $20. But the easiest is probably redeeming your rewards at Amazon.com’s checkout page. Here you can redeem your rewards at any value, every $1 cashback is $1 you can use to apply at checkout.
Some other perks I see with this card – no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Though this might not be as enticing since Discover is not accepted at many locations aboard. The Discover website has an interactive map that shows you where Discover is accepted internationally. You also get an monthly FICO score with your statement so you can easily track your credit. And last but not least, the cool factor of carrying a shiny metallic credit card in your wallet. =)
There are 2 different signup offers right now for the Discover it Card. You can get a $150 bonus after a $750 spend in the first 3 months by signing up here (link from Slickdeals). Or if you don’t think you can spend $750, you can also sign up directly through Amazon to get a $100 gift card credit after your first Discover it card purchase (though the reviews seems to be quite conflicting).
Currently from October to December, the rotating categories are for all online purchases and department store purchases are a 5% cashback bonus. Made even better with the Shop Discover.