The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Saturday, May 28, 2022

Discover Card (Credit Score Needed + Top 5 Discover it® Cards)

Discover Card Credit Score

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer

Written by: Brittney Mayer

Brittney Mayer

Brittney is a Credit Strategist and Finance Expert who has spent years honing her knowledge of the credit industry both personally and professionally. Brittney applies her more than a decade of research experience to crafting in-depth consumer guides designed to help CardRates readers make better, more informed financial decisions.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian is a Content Editor who brings her journalism experience in business and consumer finance to ensure CardRates news articles and reports have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. Her primary goal is to assure editorial content meets the highest level of quality and precision.

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Advertiser Disclosure

If you’re in the market for a new Discover card, credit score will be a crucial factor in determining which one you may qualify for. But the well-established issuer has a card for every credit score.

Finding the right credit card in the sea of options can be as difficult as finding a specific fish in the ocean, and without the fun Finding Nemo hijinks. In fact, with so many cards on the market seeming to offer the same rewards, it can feel more like finding Nemo — in a tank of clownfish.

At the end of the day, picking the best credit card from the group comes down to selecting an issuer with great customer service and helpful features that can actually help make your credit card experience an enjoyable one.

With awards for customer service three years running, the Discover it® line is an obvious choice for great credit cards. With their popular FICO credit score tracking feature and awesome rewards, there’s a Discover card perfect for just about anyone.

Requirements | Compare & Apply (5) | Other Options | Reconsideration

Credit Score Needed, Plus Other Requirements

Your credit score is an important part of the credit card approval process. That said, advances in data collection and analysis are starting to have an impact on how companies determine credit risk. Your overall credit profile is becoming just as important as your numerical score.

Sources Suggest a Minimum 648 FICO Score

Most card companies don’t actually have a hard and fast minimum score for approval. That said, if you have a low credit score (below 620 FICO), you’ll likely need an issuer that deals specifically with subprime consumers.

For Discover it® cards, most reports indicate a FICO score between 680 and 720 should get you a good offer. One myFICO user reports being approved with a credit score of 648, suggesting Discover may have more flexible credit score requirements.

Of all the Discover cards, however, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is specifically designed as a credit-building card, making it an option for those with less-than-perfect credit. Keep in mind you’ll need to make a security deposit to be approved; your credit limit will be equal to the size of your deposit.

Good Overall Credit Profile

Perhaps because their credit score requirements are so flexible, Discover is known to look closely at your overall credit profile — not just your credit score. If you have a history of missed payments, have opened too many recent accounts, or carry too much of a balance on your cards, you could be rejected. Other credit red flags, such as recent bankruptcy discharges, may also be cause for rejection.

Positive History with Discover

If you already have a Discover card or have had one in the past, you should consider your relationship with Discover — because they will. If you haven’t been paying your bill on time, had a delinquent Discover account in the past, or have otherwise soured your relationship, you’ll likely be rejected for additional Discover cards.

Compare Discover it® Cards & Apply Online

The specific Discover card that’s right for you will depend on your specific needs, but they’ll all offer the same great benefits, like free FICO credit score tracking.

For Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back provides a generous cash back rate on quarterly rotating merchant categories that include restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, Amazon.com, and more. Quarterly activation is needed, and purchases that earn the top rate are capped.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • NEW Intro APR: Get a 0% intro APR‡ for 15 months on purchases. Then 12.24% to 23.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
12.24% - 23.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good/Average

As an intro offer, Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. You can redeem cash back any amount, any time, and your rewards never expire. See the current Discover bonus rewards calendar for more details.

For Travel Rewards

For the avid traveler, or just the odd vacation-goer, miles can be a great way to make your journey more affordable. The Discover it® Miles card offers rewards in miles for every dollar spent and can be redeemed without worrying about blackout dates.

Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • New Intro APR: 0% intro APR† for 15 months on purchases. Then 12.24% to 23.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR will apply.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
12.24% - 23.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

While you can cover your airfare with miles, some airlines may require other fees, so be prepared to spend a little out of pocket to cover miscellaneous costs.

For Balance Transfers

It’s never a good idea to carry debt, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. To take the interest-rate sting out of carrying a credit card balance, the Discover it® Balance Transfer offers an introductory APR on balance transfers for a promotional period (transfer fee will apply).

Discover it® Balance Transfer Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING
★★★★★
5.0
OVERALL RATING
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • No annual fee.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 6 months
0% Intro APR for 18 months
12.24% - 23.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good/Average

Make sure to pay your balance before the end of your offer term to avoid paying interest.

For Everyday Use

For the everyday meals and tank fill-ups, the best card is the Discover it® chrome, which comes with bonus cashback rewards for restaurants and gas station purchases.

Discover it® chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • NEW Intro APR: Get a 0% intro APR‡ for 15 months on purchases. Then 12.24% to 23.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
12.24% - 23.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good/Average

Unlike the rotating categories, you don’t need to sign up to activate your bonus rewards for this card. Bonus rewards will have quarterly limits.

For Students

Getting started on the path to a good credit history should begin early. To start building good credit, try the Discover it® Student chrome, which offers student-centric perks.

Discover it® Student chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★
4.0
OVERALL RATING
  • No credit score required to apply.*
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.24% - 22.24% applies.
  • Refer-a-Friend: Once you become a Discover it® Student cardmember, you can earn a statement credit each time you refer a friend and they’re approved. Over half a million students got Discover Cards from their friends' recommendations.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 6 months
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months
13.24% - 22.24% Variable APR
$0
Fair/New to Credit

Using your student credit card responsibly is the key to building a positive credit history. Pay the balance in full and on time every month.

If You Didn’t Get Approved Due to a Low Credit Score

If you were rejected for a Discover credit card because of a low credit score or poor credit history, your best option is to take time to rebuild your credit before reapplying. The appropriate method for building your credit will depend on your particular circumstances, but here are a few general tips:

  • Pay off existing debt balances to lower your utilization rate
  • Avoid late fees or missed payments by automating bills
  • Check your credit report regularly and remove errors

Rebuilding good credit can take time, so be patient. Your diligence will be rewarded with better spending limits and interest rates in the future.

Try Reconsideration as a Last Resort

In the event you are rejected due to inaccurate or erroneous information, you can try calling Discover and asking for a re-evaluation of your application. Use the number below to reach Discover customer service:

1-800-347-2683

Though not guaranteed to work, by any means, explaining your situation to a person who can look at your report firsthand may get you an approval. Remember to remain polite during the call, though, or you’ll likely be stuck fishing for another card.

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