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Life as a college student can be expensive, but a rewards credit card can help students earn a little cash back on their spending. The problem is that not all rewards cards are within reach of young borrowers, who often lack the credit history and income required to qualify.

However, the card_name checks the boxes for students, with cash back rewards on all spending, no credit score requirement, no annual fee, and even an intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration offer. Here’s a look at the card’s features and why it might be the right choice for you.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Credit score needed


TIME’s Take

The card_name is a great choice for eligible college students looking to establish credit history, avoid annual fees, and earn some rewards along the way. With an introductory 0% APR offer, 5% bonus spending categories, and a cash back match for the first year, the card_name is fairly lucrative for a student card.

That said, while earning 5% cash back sounds fantastic, it only applies to specific spending categories that will change quarterly. What’s more, cardholders must remember to activate the offer each quarter for it to apply.

There also isn’t a welcome bonus, and the 0% APR offer only applies to purchases for six months, so it might not be the best fit for someone looking to make a very large purchase upfront or who wants to consolidate existing debt with no new finance charges.

Pros and cons


  • No annual fee
  • No credit score requirement
  • Earn up to 5% cash back


  • Quarterly categories mean ever-changing rewards
  • Short 0% APR offer on purchases only
  • No consumer protections

Who is the card for?

As you might already guess, the card_name is designed for, well, students. With no annual fee, this card is an affordable option if you’re looking for a first credit card or just want to add a rewards credit card to your wallet at no additional cost. It also has an easy rewards redemption process.

There is no credit score requirement for the card_name . You can also check to see whether you qualify before applying, without impacting your credit. That makes it a great option for eligible students who are just starting to build credit history and want to make sure that each new hard inquiry is worthwhile.


Here’s a closer look at some of the features of the card_name and how each works.

No annual fee

Discover is known for its no-annual-fee credit cards, and this product is no exception. Not only will you pay $0 in annual fees to carry this card, the first late_payment_fee will be waived.


As mentioned, the card_name offers 5% cash back on quarterly bonus categories. You’ll need to opt in and activate this offer each quarter to earn the bonus rewards, but they often include everyday purchases like gas, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

With Cashback Match, Discover doubles your cash back earnings for the entire first year. So, if you earn $250 in the first 12 months, you’ll receive $500. You can redeem your rewards at any time, and in any amount for cash, or to make online purchases through Amazon or Paypal.

No credit score is required

Since this card is designed for students, the threshold for eligibility is lower than for other rewards credit cards. In fact, you don’t need a credit score to qualify for the card_name.

Introductory APR

The card_name comes with an introductory 0% APR offer for six months on new purchases, as well as a reduced 10.99% APR on balance transfers for six months. This can be helpful if you need to spread out the repayment of a big purchase or want to consolidate existing debt at a lower interest rate.

After six months, any remaining balance not fully paid off will be subject to your standard variable interest rate.

The fine print

As with any credit card, always read and understand the fine print before you apply. This will help you avoid any surprises like hidden fees or reward limitations.


While this card doesn’t have an annual fee, there are some potential costs to keep in mind. These include:

  • Intro balance_transfer_fees of 3% and 5% after that.
  • cash_advance_fee of 5% (minimum $10).
  • reg_apr,reg_apr_type of up to $41 (beginning with your second late payment).
  • Returned payment fee of up to $41.

Interest charges

After your six-month introductory APR period ends, any remaining credit card balance will be subject to new finance charges if you don’t pay your statement balance in full each month. These reg_apr,reg_apr_type vary from 18.24% to 27.24%, depending on creditworthiness. For cash advances, this interest rate is 29.99%.

Additional hidden perks

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the card_name offers a few other perks.

Free FICO credit score

Discover uses your TransUnion credit report information to provide you with an updated FICO credit score. This allows you to track your progress and identify issues that may arise. However, it’s important to note that this score may not be the same score that a lender looks at when you apply for a new loan or line of credit, and is meant for reference purposes only.

Discover Identity Alerts

Discover customers can enjoy free credit and identity alerts based on Experian credit data. These alerts will inform you when a new account or inquiry is posted on your credit. They will also tell you if your personal information, such as your Social Security Number, is found on Dark Web sites.

What could be improved

The card_name is aimed at students with limited credit history who want to earn rewards. With no annual fee and a solid cash back earning rate, there isn’t too much to complain about. However, there is always some room for improvement.

One improvement could be the addition of permanent bonus rewards categories. Instead of having to remember to opt into the quarterly categories (which are constantly changing), Discover could offer the same rewards rates and categories throughout the year.

There also isn’t a welcome bonus available, regardless of your initial spending. While this card matches your earnings from the first year, a solid welcome bonus can be a great way to earn extra cash, points, or miles immediately.

Bottom line

The card_name is a solid option for eligible college students looking to build credit, earn rewards, or pay off an initial purchase at 0% APR for up to six months. While this card doesn’t offer a welcome bonus or high rewards rate, you can earn 5% cash back in quarterly spending categories and double your rewards for the first year (bumping them to 2% and 10% back, respectively).

There is no annual fee or credit score requirement, putting it within reach for students who are new to credit and don’t want a costly credit card.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Credit score needed


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How does cash back work with the Discover it Student?

The card_name earns 5% cash back on purchases made in eligible quarterly categories, as well as 1% cash back on all other purchases all year long. Earned cash back is also doubled at the end of the first year, effectively making it 2% and 10% back, depending on the category. Rewards can be redeemed in any amount at any time for cash or toward purchases on Amazon or through Paypal.

What is the minimum credit limit for card_name?

There is no published minimum credit limit requirement for the card_name. Each cardholder’s eligibility and limits will be determined by factors such as their creditworthiness, income, and existing debt.

What are the cons of the card_name?

The card_namedoesn’t offer a welcome bonus and has a relatively short introductory 0% APR period (only six months), which only applies to new purchases. Its bonus rewards categories also change throughout the year, so you’ll only earn 5% back in those categories for three months before it reverts to 1%.

Are there late fees on the card_name?

The card_name doesn’t charge a late fee the first time you have a late payment. However, there is a late fee of up to $41 beginning with the second late payment and $41 fee for returned payments.

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