Discover offers a variety of cash-back and travel credit cards to serve a variety of consumers, and this includes the popular Discover it® Chrome Card. This cash-back credit card gives you 2% back on certain purchases each year and 1% back on everything you buy. Better yet, Discover will double all the rewards you earn during the first 12 months.

Once you sign up, you can also qualify for a generous 0% APR offer that lets you avoid interest payments for up to 14 months. If you’re angling to earn rewards and avoid interest for a limited time, keep reading to learn more.

Discover it® Chrome Card: The details

  • Earn 2% back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined spending each quarter
  • Earn 1% back on all other purchases
  • Discover will double all the rewards you earn the first year
  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 14 months, followed by a variable APR
  • 3% balance transfer fee until November 10, 2019; 5% fee thereafter
  • Free FICO score on your monthly credit card statement
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

Who should get the Discover it® Chrome Card?

If you spend a lot of money on gas stations and restaurants, you may want to consider the Discover it® Chrome Card. This card rewards you with 2% back on up to $1,000 in combined spending on dining and gas each quarter plus 1% back on everything else you buy. And remember, Discover will double all the rewards you earn the first year.

It’s easy to see how this card could benefit you — especially if you max out the bonus categories. Let’s imagine for a moment you do, but that you also spend $1,000 per month on regular bills, groceries and other purchases. In that case, you would earn $80 in bonus spending each year and $120 in rewards on regular purchases. After 12 months, Discover would double your $200 in rewards to $400.

If you have high interest debt to pay off or a large purchase you want to make and pay down slowly over time, this card will also grant you 14 months at 0% APR. A 3% introductory balance transfer fee does apply until November 10, 2019, but after that you’ll pay 5% upfront. Still, you can easily save hundreds or thousands of dollars on interest by taking advantage of this offer.

Finally, don’t forget the other benefits this card offers. You’ll get a free FICO score on your credit card statement and 100% U.S.-based customer service. You won’t be charged a late fee on your first late payment and paying late won’t result in a penalty APR. Best of all, this card doesn’t have an annual fee and there are no foreign transaction fees.

Where the Discover it® Chrome Card comes up short

It’s hard to complain about a cash-back credit card that doesn’t even charge an annual fee, but there are a few areas where the Discover it® Chrome Card could improve. For starters, this card doesn’t really come with a signup bonus as many competing cards do. Discover will double all the rewards you earn after the first year, but it’s not the same thing.

Also, the Discover it® does have some pretty limiting rewards caps on its bonus categories. Earning 2% back at gas stations and restaurants is nice, but that benefit only extends to the first $1,000 you spend in those categories each quarter. From there, you’ll only earn 1% back.

Lastly, the Discover it® Chrome Card offers limited redemption options. You can cash in your rewards for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise, but this card isn’t really made for travel.

How to use the Discover it® Chrome Card

If your goal is using your new card to earn rewards or pay down debt, the first thing you should know is that these two goals rarely mix well. You can absolutely use your card to earn rewards on purchases you make, but you can easily wind up trouble if you use your card to make a big purchase and fail to pay it off before your 14 months at 0% APR are up.

Here are some tips that can help you maximize this card for rewards or debt repayment — but not both at the same time.

If you have high interest credit card debt, you can:

  • Sign up for the Discover it® Chrome Card and transfer your balances over before November 10, 2019 to score a 3% balance transfer fee
  • Pay off as much debt as you can during the first 14 months with no interest
  • Avoid using your credit card for purchases so you don’t rack up more debt you have to pay off

Also note that, whenever you use a balance transfer offer, your 0% APR won’t last forever. After 14 months, your interest rate will reset to the standard APR. For this card, that’s 14.25% to 25.24% depending on your creditworthiness.

If you don’t have any debt, you can use this credit card in an entirely different way. Here are your next best steps:

  • Sign up for the Discover it® Chrome Card and use it for everything you buy, but especially restaurant and gas station purchases
  • Pay your credit card bill in full each month to avoid interest
  • See all your rewards double after 12 months

The bottom line

Using this card is a piece of cake, but you need to avoid debt if you don’t want to end up paying lots of interest on your balance in the long run. Like other credit cards, the best way to maximize the Discover it® Chrome Card is by planning ahead.