Analysis

4 Reasons I’m Considering Applying for the Discover it® Cash Back

My finances are currently on lockdown — and this is serious as it sounds. The reason? I’m waiting for my new mortgage to close, after which I will officially be a homeowner again, after a few years of dreaming, hoping, and above all else, saving money.

I haven’t worked this hard and waited this long to blow my chance by opening a new credit card account right now — it’s crucial for prospective homeowners to leave their credit status alone ahead of closing. Your mortgage lender will not be happy to see that you’re financing new furniture, for example — making a big purchase or opening a new credit card could even result in you losing the home loan.

But just because I can’t open a credit card right now doesn’t mean I can’t think and plan for the near future! In fact, I’ve narrowed my “next credit card” list to two options. The Discover it® Cash Back is one of them. Here’s why.

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1. Long 0% APR intro offer

Both of the cards on my shortlist have this in common: a period of at least a year without interest charges on purchases. In the case of the Discover it® Cash Back, that introductory 0% APR period lasts for 15 months (after which, the card reverts to its go-to rate of 17.24% – 28.24% Variable APR).

I have an emergency fund, and I also have a home warranty for my first year in the house. But if I have an expensive bill or I need to replace an appliance, I’d like to have the flexibility to pay it off over time. A card with a 0% APR intro offer will give me that option.

2. Rotating bonus categories

Like many Americans, I like cash back credit cards — they are the most popular type (according to credit card research from The Motley Fool Ascent), and it’s easy to see why. If you earn cash back on your spending and then turn around and redeem it for a statement credit, it will literally make your next credit card bill cheaper. What could be better?

Currently, my top rate on a cash back card is 6% — I earn that on grocery purchases I make with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (terms apply, see rates and fees). This grocery standout helped me earn $400 back on food last year, and I can’t argue with that.

But I’d like to see if I can get a higher cash back rate on other purchases, too. With the Discover it® Cash Back, I’ll have that chance. This card has 5% bonus categories that rotate every quarter — activate them in your account, and you can earn that 5% back on up to $1,500 of spending in that category. Max out the bonus categories, and you’ll earn a cool $300 in cash back for the year. Discover’s bonus categories should be easy for me to take advantage of, too, since they tend to be for the kind of spending most people do regularly, like gas purchases.

3. A unique welcome offer

Most cash back cards have a pretty boring welcome offer — you usually earn a set amount of cash back (say, $200) in exchange for spending a certain amount of money (perhaps $500-$1,000) in the first few months with the card. Not so with Discover it® Cash Back. Instead, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. Earn $400 back? Enjoy another $400 as your welcome bonus.

My colleague Steven Porrello earned more than $1,600 in cash back during his first year with this Discover card. Not going to lie, that figure made me sit up straighter in my seat when I read his story. I don’t expect to earn quite that much back, but being able to shift more of my spending to this card and then getting rewarded as a result is very appealing to me.

4. No annual fee

I’m not averse to cards with annual fees — my favorite travel rewards card has one, and for that matter, so does the awesome grocery rewards Amex I discussed above. Cards with annual fees often come with higher rates for cash back and points, along with other swanky perks.

That said, if I’m taking on the extra cost of a mortgage (not to mention homeowners insurance, maintenance, and all the other bits and bobs that make up the expenses of homeownership), I don’t need another card with an annual fee to worry about. The Discover it® Cash Back comes without an annual fee (and no foreign transaction fees, either).

All in all, it’s pretty easy to see why the Discover it® Cash Back has caught my eye. Will I end up applying for it? Only time will tell…

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This credit card is not just good – it’s so exceptional that our experts use it personally. It features a lengthy 0% intro APR period, a cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee! Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

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