Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card Review

With the Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card, you can build your credit history and earn up to 5% cash back in select spending categories.

As a college student, you’re eligible for the Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card. This card not only allows you to build your credit history while you’re in school but also gives you up to 5% cash back in rotating spending categories that change every quarter. And you can take advantage of Discover’s cash-back match to double the rewards you earn your first year. 


Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card Rewards

Instead of offering a flat rewards rate on all purchases, the Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card’s rewards program is a little more complex. You can earn up to 5% cash back on purchases within certain spending categories, up to quarterly maximum. You must activate each spending category ahead of time to earn the 5% cash-back rate. 

For 2022, the following categories apply:


January through March 2022

April through June 2022

July through September 2022

October to December 2022

5% at grocery stores, fitness clubs and gym memberships on up to $1,500 in purchases

5% at gas stations and Target on up to $1,500 in purchases

5% cash back at restaurants and PayPal on up to $1,500 in purchases

5% at Amazon.com and Digital Wallets on up to $1,500 in purchases


All other purchases earn 1% cash back automatically, with no cap on how much you can earn. 

You can redeem your rewards for statement credits, direct deposits or gift cards. You can also use your rewards to complete purchases through sites such as Amazon or to make charitable donations. 

Discover Cashback Match

Discover has a unique program that can be incredibly valuable. Through its Cashback Match program, Discover will give you a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. So if you earn $100 in cash-back rewards, Discover will turn it into $200. 


Other Card Benefits

Besides its rewards and Cashback Match programs, the Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card has some other valuable benefits and perks for cardholders: 

  • Good Grade Reward: Through Discover’s Good Grade Reward program, you can get a $20 statement credit each school year that your GPA is 3.0 or higher, for up to five years. 
  • Introductory APR: With this card, Discover offers students 0% APR on purchases for the first six months after account opening. Once the introductory period ends, a variable APR of 12.99% to 21.99% applies. 
  • Keep the card after graduation: After you graduate, you can keep your card and many of its benefits; you may even qualify for a credit line increase. Just contact Discover after leaving school to update your contact information and income. 

Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card APR and Fees

The Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card doesn’t charge annual fees, but there are other charges you should consider before applying for it: 


Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card

Annual Fee 

$0

Purchase APR

0% APR for first six months; after that, 12.99% to 21.99% (variable) 

Cash Advance APR

24.99% (variable)

Penalty APR

None

Balance Transfer APR

12.99% to 21.99% (variable) 

Cash Advance Fee

Either $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater

Balance Transfer Fee

5% of the amount of each transfer

Late Fee/Return Payment Fee

None for the first late payment; after that, up to $40

Foreign Transaction Fee

None


All rates and fees accurate as of Feb. 13, 2022.

Two major points to keep in mind: 

  • Cash advances: With the Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card, you can take advantage of cash advances, meaning you can withdraw cash at the register or ATM. However, cash advances are subject to higher APRs, and you’ll also pay a cash advance fee. 
  • Late fees: Discover will waive late payment fees the first time you miss a payment. After that, the fee is up to $40. 

Who Is Eligible for the Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card? 

The Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card is for current undergraduate and graduate students. To apply for the card, you must: 

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a U.S. mailing address
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Show proof of education
  • Provide monthly rent or housing payment
  • Provide total gross income

Discover doesn’t require applicants to have a credit score for this card, making it a good option if you’re building credit from scratch

Is the Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card Right for You? 

For students without credit histories, the Discover Student Cash Back Credit Card can be a useful addition to your wallet. You can qualify for it even if you don’t have a credit score, and you can earn up to 5% cash back on select purchases. Plus, Discover offers benefits such as its Cashback Match and Good Grade Reward programs, putting more money back in your wallet. 


Paying for College

As a college student, there are a lot of demands on your budget. Besides a student credit card, it’s a good idea to explore your student loan options. By shopping around, you may be able to find undergraduate and graduate loans with better rates and terms, making your payments more affordable. 

Whether you’re in college or going to graduate school, you can use Juno to find student loans with the lowest possible rates. 


Kat Tretina
Written By
Kat Tretina

Kat Tretina is a freelance writer based in Orlando, FL. She specializes in helping people finance their education and manage debt. Her work has been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, MarketWatch, and many other publications.

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