discover it cashback matchUpdated: Feb. 1, 2017 

When it comes to cash back credit cards, there are seemingly endless options. While some offer generous rewards and others offer a hefty intro bonus, one of the best on the market right now is the Discover it Cashback Match. Although this card offers some top-notch cash back rewards, the Cashback Match program is really what sets it apart from all other cash back credit cards. That’s because Discover will automatically match all of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. So if you earned $500 in cash back, you’ll automatically get $1,000 — it’s as easy as that. And since the Discover it Cashback Match earns 5% cash back in rotating categories like Amazon.com, it means that you’re essentially earning 10% cash back in rotating categories for the first year! To help you determine if this is the best cash back card for you, we dug into the nitty-gritty. Here’s what we found out.

The highlights

The Discover it Cashback Match card is a good one to use year round, as it earns 5% cash back in rotating categories up to the quarterly maximum (then it’s 1%) as well as 1% on all other purchases. While you have to enroll to earn the 5% cash back in rotating categories, Discover will remind you when it’s time. As described above, since Discover is doubling all of the cash you earn for the first year, you’ll essentially be earning 10% cash back in rotating categories. From January through March of 2017, you’ll earn 5% back at gas stations, ground transportation (including Lyft and Uber) and wholesale clubs (including Sam’s Club, BJ’s and Costco online)! While Discover has not yet announced what the categories will be for the rest of 2017, it should be noted that the categories from April through June of 2016 were restaurants and movies and July through September’s categories were home improvement stores and Amazon.com and October through December’s categories were department stores, wholesale clubs and Amazon.com. As you can see, Discover offers an array of categories throughout the year.

When you decide it’s time to redeem your rewards, you can redeem them in any amount at any time in a variety of ways, including:

  • Credit to your account;
  • Gift cards or instant eCertificates ($20 minimum redemption required);
  • An electronic deposit into any account you designate;
  • Charitable donations to select charities;
  • Or pay with your rewards at select online retailers.

The cash back rewards aren’t the only thing you can expect from the Discover it Cashback Match, as it also has some other top-notch perks. To start, you’ll get a 14-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee). The Discover it Cashback Match card is available to those with excellent, good or average credit (usually a credit score above 670) and has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, which is great if you frequently travel overseas. And if you’d prefer to keep track of your credit score, Discover has you covered, as it includes your FICO scores for free on your statements and online. In the event that you ever lose or misplace your card, you can simply turn it off with the Freeze it feature, which (when activated) prevents new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers on your account. Then once you locate your card, you can turn it back on — it’s as easy as that. And Discover must be doing something right because for the second year in a row it’s J.D. Power’s highest ranked credit card issuer for customer satisfaction.

Things to consider

There aren’t too many downsides when it comes to the Discover it Cashback Match, as it’s a well-rounded cash back credit card. In fact, the only hiccup is the card offers 1% back on purchases that don’t fall into the 5% categories, which isn’t ideal if you regularly want to use the card for everyday purchases like groceries or gas, as it won’t earn you the most bang for your buck. That said, since Discover matches the cash rewards for your first year, you will essentially be earning 2% on all purchases throughout your first year of card membership. Still, if you’re looking for a card that’ll earn you a little more on gas and groceries, you may want to check out the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express (a NextAdvisor advertiser), which earns 6% cash back at supermarkets (up to $6,000/year, then it’s 1%), 3% at gas stations and select department stores as well as 1% on all other purchases. This card does have a $95 annual fee. If the fee is a deal-breaker, you may want to check out the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, which offers comparable rewards without the annual fee. It should be noted that Discover also offers a balance transfer credit card, called the Discover it — 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer, that offers the same kind of cash back rewards with a 21-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee), which is perfect if you’re looking for a card to complete a balance transfer and earn rewards on purchases.

Another thing we should point out is that since it’s a Discover card, you may not be able to use it everywhere. And while Discover claims it’s accepted at 9.6 million merchants worldwide, you may want to check that your favorite spots accept Discover cards before you apply. That said, if you’re a frequent Amazon.com shopper, the cash back you’ll get from shopping there may be worth it even if other merchants don’t accept Discover.

Should you apply for the Discover it Cashback Match?

As mentioned above, Discover it Cashback Match is an excellent cash back rewards credit card, especially when you consider the fact that Discover matches your rewards at the end of your first year. Throw in the 14-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers with all of the other perks and the fact that those with less-than-perfect credit may be approved, and you have one well-rounded cash back credit card.

Visit our Discover it Cashback Match review to learn more about this top-notch card and apply today.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.