How to Check Your Discover Application Status + 7 Best Cards

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: May 11, 2017
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

Discover issues several types of credit cards, and applying for a Discover credit card couldn’t be simpler. The Discover it® Cashback card is one of our most sought-after offers and stands out from the competition because of its year-end bonus and many consumer-friendly features. This no-annual-fee card lets you redeem your rewards for cash whenever you want, in any amount, and the cash-back percentage on quarterly rotating categories is one of the most generous rewards programs in the industry. While many people apply for the card, only some are left wondering about their pending status.

The online process moves quickly and you get your status right away – accepted, denied, or pending. In the latter case, a human analyst is required to complete the process, which naturally takes longer. You can check your status in a couple of ways if you are awaiting a final decision.

Online | Phone | DenialsBest Discover Cards (7)

Check Online with Your SSN & ZIP Code

Discover makes it easy to check your approval status online. Simply go to the Check Status page and enter your Social Security number and your ZIP code. It only takes a few seconds to get your update, and you can check as often as you like.

Screenshot of Discover Card Application Status

Check the status of your pending Discover card application online as often as you like.

This method is the quickest way to check your pending application status and the process is completely secure.

Call 1-800-DISCOVER to Connect with an Agent

If you prefer, you can call 1-800-DISCOVER to get your current application status. After dialing, press # and then 4. This shortcut lets you avoid listening to all the tedious options available to callers.

Reasons Your Application Could Be Denied

Pending status usually denotes that some of your information needs further verification. Often this can arise due to differences in an address, misspellings, or perhaps a transposed number. The credit card issuer is doing you a favor by rechecking information because it helps prevent identity theft. If Discover cannot confirm your identity, it can’t issue you a credit card.

Unfortunately, a percentage of Discover applicants will be denied. You can look to your credit history and credit scores as the main culprit. Every major credit card issuer has minimum standards for acceptance that can trip you up, be it a low credit score, certain derogatory marks (bankruptcy, foreclosure, defaults, etc.), or a scant credit history. Before you apply for credit, check your credit reports and scores issued by the Big Three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Correct any incorrect information and add comments when necessary to explain negative data.

Credit Score Pie Chart

You can improve your credit scores in several ways. One is not to apply to multiple creditors within a short time period – piling up creditor inquiries drives down your credit score, although the impact is usually small. Simply opening too many new accounts in rapid succession can also hurt your score by reducing your average account age. Also, check your credit utilization ratio – the amount of credit you are using versus the amount approved.

Generally, values above 30% hurt, while ratios below 10% to 20% help. If you first pay down your existing balances, you have a much better chance of qualifying for a new credit card.

Whatever the cause, a denial from Discover will not necessarily prevent you from obtaining a credit card from another issuer. Each card comes with its own standards, and some are more forgiving than others. Most issuers allow you to pre-qualify before they hard-pull your credit and drive down your score. Whether your credit is good, bad, or non-existent, there is a credit card perfect for you.

7  Best Discover Cards to Apply For

With Free FICO Score tracking, travel benefits, fraud protection, superior customer service, and top-notch rewards, it’s no wonder Discover cardholders have rated their experience with the issuer a 4.8 out of 5 based on more than 25,000 reviews. Below are our expert’s seven favorite Discover cards to apply for, with options for every credit standing.

Good Credit (4) | Student Cards (2) | No/Limited/Bad Credit (1)

Cards for Good Credit (FICO Score 700+)

FICO scores range from 300 to 850. If your score is excellent, (i.e., above 750), you can pick just about any credit card on the market. You also have many alternatives if your credit score is good, between 700 and 750. Discover offers four great options for those with good credit, whether it’s cash back, air miles, or an extended 0% balance transfer period you’re after.

Discover it® - Cashback Match™ Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

  • Our Take: "One of our favorite cards, with long 0% intro APRs, low ongoing APRs, awesome cash back rewards, and lots more.
  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly, up to $1,500 per quarter when you sign up for the quarterly bonus
  • 1% cash back on all your other purchases
  • With Cashback Match you could turn $200 into $400, as the card matches the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers)
  • No limit to the amount of cash back that can be matched"
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.74% – 23.74% Variable
$0
Excellent, Good
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

DISCOVER® RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.9/5.0
  • Our Take: "With a ridiculously good deal on balance transfers, low APR's, and a generous cash-back program, we can see why this card is so popular.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories that rotate quarterly, up to $1,500 per quarter when you sign up for the quarterly bonus
  • 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Matches the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers)
  • No limit to the amount of cash back that can be matched"
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
0% for 18 months
11.74% – 23.74% Variable
$0
Excellent, Good
Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

DISCOVER® RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Our Take: "If you're looking for a card that gives you air miles, your search is over. This card helps you earn free flights with multiple airlines, awards very generous bonuses, and offers a low APR to boot.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar spent
  • Cover travel costs by redeeming the miles in any amount for a statement credit
  • Fly any airline, any time
  • No blackout dates
  • At the end of your first year, the card automatically matches the miles you've earned (only for new cardmembers)"
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
10.99% for 14 months
11.74% – 23.74% Variable
$0
Excellent, Good
Discover it® chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

DISCOVER® RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Our Take: "What's not to love? Great intro rates, low ongoing APR, cash-back rewards, and great customer service make this card a solid choice
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, up to $1,000 per quarter
  • 1% cash back on all your other purchases, with no limits
  • Matches the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers)
  • No limit to the amount of cash back that can be matched"
 
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.74% – 23.74% Variable
$0
Excellent, Good

+See More Cards for Good Credit

Cards for Students

Discover has some of the most desirable student cards on the market. This is due to its solid cash back rewards program that rivals many non-student cards available to those with good credit. This is a big deal because these student offers are most applicant’s first credit card.

Use it responsibly to build upon your credit history so when you’re no longer a student, you can still qualify for cards with the best rewards programs — it wouldn’t be ideal to go from a card like one below to another with lesser benefits!

Discover it® chrome for Students Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

DISCOVER® RATING
★★★★★
4.5
OVERALL RATING
4.0/5.0
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter - no sign-ups needed. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.74% - 22.74%.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
13.74% - 22.74% Variable
$0
Fair
Discover it® for Students Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

DISCOVER® RATING
★★★★★
4.5
OVERALL RATING
4.5/5.0
  • Our Take: "The lack of fees, combined with great perks like cash back and free credit score tracking, make this credit card a solid deal for college students.
  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly, up to $1,500 per quarter when you sign up for the quarterly bonus
  • 1% cash back on all your other purchases with no limits
  • No annual fee
  • $20 cash back each year your GPA is 3.0 or higher (maximum 5 years)"
 
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
13.74% - 22.74% Variable
$0
Fair

+ See More Cards for Students

Cards for No/Limited/Bad Credit (FICO Score <650)

Bad credit is associated with black marks, such as defaults, bankruptcies, foreclosures, late payments, or scant credit history. But take heart, Discover still offers a credit card for consumers with imperfect credit. Here is our top-rated Discover card for folks who fall into this category.

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

DISCOVER® RATING
★★★★
3.7
OVERALL RATING
3.7/5.0
  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • A security deposit of $200 or more will establish your credit line (up to the amount we can approve). Automatic monthly reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an account with no security deposit.
  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus. Plus, get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Tools to assist you; email alerts, text reminders and 24/7 customer service.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
10.99% for 6 months
23.74% Variable
$0
Please refer to issuer's website

+See More Cards for No/Limited/Bad Credit

Discover the Best Card for Your Wallet

Applying for one of the many Discover credit cards is very much worth your while, as their flexible rewards program is just one of the many perks cardholders enjoy. If your application was denied, you can call Discover to discuss why. Sometimes, the problem may be resolved by clarifying or correcting some data. If you can’t get to ‘’yes” with Discover, another issuer might fit the bill a lot better. By understanding your credit score and choosing among our top picks, you’ll be able to identify the card that best fits your lifestyle.


Photo credits: Thebalance.com