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May 21, 2009


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I have used discover as really my only credit card since about 2000. I find them to be consistently fair e.g., they don't send out the statement six days before the bill is due, thereby encouraging late fees.

I have the 'open road' card and get 5% cash back on all gas purchases.

I find that i have about $60 or $80 in cash back every six months or so. I have no complaints. In fact, they are easily the best credit card company I've dealt with.

Discover also has a ShopDiscover program that gives cash back for online purchases when you link to the site through the discover site. Cash back ranges from 5% to 20% depending on the retailer. This program is in addition to their general cash back program.

I've only ever run into a few companies/places that don't accept Discover.

They are one of the best companies I have ever dealt with. Anytime I've needed to call with a concern or problem, they've been friendly and helpful. My Discover card is my main card.

I use my Discover as my main card. And while there are fewer tricks and games to play to really maximize your rewards, I do get about $200-300 every year in rewards. Not the greatest in the world, but simple to get and easy to redeem.

The main reason I use them though is because my mom went through a messy divorce and they were the ONLY credit card company to play fairly. Other companies wanted to stick it to her for every cent, Discover just wanted their money back. I know most of us here are responsible and won't end up in that situation, but it's nice to see them being a good least in that one instance.

I use my Discover card as my main card.
I get 2% cash back on everything and 5% cash back in certain catergories that rotate every 3 months. It would be nice if Discover would tell you what the next three month categories are for example I have done some minor car repairs for 2% cash back only to have the next months category offer 5% cash back on car repairs.
Some months are better than others but Discover does have good customer service IMO.
In an average year I probably get back $700-900.

My Discover card has been my main card since I turned 18 (30 now) - but changes being instituted this month across the board have made me seriously look into what card to switch to.

Up until now, you can cash out at $20 for a credit to your bank account, credit to your account, paper check, or many gift cards.

It also very convenient - you can get cash from the card on purchases at Walmart (up to $60) and certain grocers (up to $50). This is charged just like a purchase, and does not incur any fees, and at times is much more convenient than going to the bank - plus you can wait a month to pay it. I pay this card off every month.

However, starting this month the cash out goes to $50 and they are reducing some cash back percentages.

This is going to lead me to minimize use of this card.

I use the Discover More card and I love it! We get 1% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on purchases in categories that rotate throughout the year. Most of the categories are relevant, although a couple are not. It's worked great for us.

I have one mainly because I have a membership at Sams, and that's what they took (though that's changed). Otherwise, I only use it for the 5% cashback categories (though some of their categories can be tricky. WalMart is not a department store to them .. it's a discount store. And there are limits to how much you can get back on the 5% rewards.)
The giftcard option on rewards is nice .. you can get a $25 card for your $20 rebate.
I've had no trouble with customer service. My DH has had problems getting the correct cashback credits to his account.

What Michelle said. I used to use Discover at least on the 5% categories, and whenever I would make purchases at Lands End (10% back), but with the new $50 minimum for cash-out of cash back, it becomes a less useful card for me (especially as the 5% is capped at $400 of purchases). The gift cards are an okay deal, but I have a strong preference for cash. The 1% is already only available at a certain tier of spending and if I remember correctly they are cutting the cash-back rate at the lower tiers significantly.

I expect I'll make an occasional charge on it to keep it open, as it is the oldest card I have by a long shot, but even with today's low interest rates on savings accounts I don't think it makes sense to "lock up" cash back money for that long.

(Oh, my strictly anecdotal impression that more places take Discover than take AmEx, but I have no idea if that corresponds to the hard data.)

For a person supposedly "in tune" with the finance world you seem to be missing the big problem: the new regulations the banks have to comply with are going to cost them a great deal of money.

The "golden age" of credit, freebies, rewards, and easy money are over. There is a new wave of trillions of dollars of ARMS that will be resetting this year and next and the bank capitalization problem is only going to rear its ugly head again.

I don't think it matters which credit card you switch to because in a few months they'll probably cancel or modify the rewards program again. Merchants will soon shy away from taking credit cards's a whole new ball game.

I have a Discover card, and find very few places where it's not accepted. I've used it at gas stations, stores, and the internet, and only found a couple of places that wouldn't take it. The cash back is decent, and the occasional 5% on certain purchases is nice. I even have my cell phone bill charged to the card to get more bonus dollars.

Now even most basic merchant service options for the smallest businesses accept Discover, so I don't think this is near as big an issue as it was just a few years ago. Even if you only carry one credit card, most people have a mastercard or visa check/debit card which can be used in those few instances, so if Discover has better rewards I'd go with them. I currently have Chase Freedom and haven't received the change letter yet, so haven't really looked into it yet.

I agree that it is a thing of the past regarding merchants that don't accept Discover. The only time I had trouble was going to Vancouver.

This was my first credit card when I was 18 (in 2000) and I have since switched to to Open Road because I commute 85 miles daily round trip. It definitely delivers great cashback considering other banks are cutting their rewards.

I have had the discover card for over 10 years and use it as my primary card. Some places still do not take the card so I have to use 2, I receive my rewards in a timely manner and US customer service is the best. They actually understand service. If they read this they will probably change that but for over 10 years they have been great.

I've had a Discover card since '91 and it is a great company as far as service goes. They have always treated me very fairly.

They are pretty widely accepted nowadays. I used them a lot initially but stopped using them when I got better rewards deals elsewhere.

For their rewards the 1% rate on normal purchases only kicks in above $3000. For the first $0-$3000 you only make 0.25%. Then above $3000 its 1%. You also only make 0.25% on "select" warehouse club purchases whatever you spend.

I think I've only had 1 place tell me they didn't accept Discover. I have the Discover Open Road card. I rarely use it though except I do put most of my gas on it. I get 5% back each month on up to $100 of gas purchases. After I hit $100 of gas in the month, I resort to my card which give me 2% cash back on everything.

I wonder if the first commenter above really is getting 5% back on all gas purchases. I used to get it on all gas purchases but about 8 months to a year ago they changed it to a maximum of $100/month.

The Discover is my main card as well. I like their quarterly 5% cash back specials - especially on gasoline!! I also like the ability to get additional money added on when using the cashback rewards - spend $20 and get $25 gift card. If you plan ahead then this works well. Our biggest problem has been actually remembering to redeem the bonus. We also have a relatively low limit $2,500 and we occasionally get really close to that.

I just carry a rewards mastercard for the rare times Discover isn't accepted. I would say that the Discover is as accepted as the American Express now.

I use the Open Roads Discover Card for gas purchases and whatever rolling category they have for that particular month if it applies. This month and last was for home improvement. Next month it's for restaurants.

I'm about to get my $20 credit which is basically free money since I pay my card on time.

This isn't my only card but I use it primarily for anything auto related as it applies for gas or any automotive supplies or repairs. If you don't have it, I'd recommend it as gasoline is one of those staples.

Good luck!

PS. Too boot, Home Depot and Lowes are offering military a 10% discount. I just moved in to my new house so I'll be utilizing that 10% discount along with my Discover Card. Double woot.

Trask -

Obviously I'm aware of what has happened with the recent credit card legislation. But as far I know, Congress didn't declare competition illegal as part of it.

While it's likely that credit card rewards will change over the short term, in the long term I think there are many reasons that businesses will continue to offer and accept credit cards, and some will even try to take advantage of the new changes to build market share, expose consumers to other products, etc. In the end, there's still money to be made by businesses both offering and accepting credit cards, so I don't think they (or all the rewards associated with them) are going away completely.

I may be wrong, time will tell. But to me your comment seems to be both an over-reaction and offer a simplistic view of business.

I use my rewards checking debit card more than my Discover card these days.

Getting 5% on the 25k account max is a bigger priority, but if I go over my 10 debit card swipes each month, I fall back to the Schwab Visa or Discover Cashback card.

"Merchants will soon shy away from taking credit cards's a whole new ball game."

LOL. You crack me up. Some people are so silly.

Here, let me try one.

Virus have changed everything. Companies will soon shy away from using's a whole new ball game.

How'd I do?

I have used Discover Card since I was 18 and I was getting 1% cash back and that's not too bad. Now I also have the Discover Open Road which gives 5% cash back on gas up to $100. I use Discover card as my primary card but also just got the American Express Blue card due to your recommendation but I have yet to move to it. I think its hard to get to the 5% with the amount of stores that take it here in Ohio.

Here's the thing with Discover. None of the cards will probably work very well as your "primary" card. Their most popular cards are probably the Open Road and the More card, which both are good as supplement cards. Open Road for gas and such and More for most online shopping (through Shop Discover) and their rotating 5% categories (gas, shopping, travel, home, etc.)

A plus in the rewards category for Discover is their redemption for gift cards. Some gift cards give an additional dollar amount up to double the amount if you trade in your cashback rather than take the cash. This works for some people who can use $200 in a gift card to a certain store than only $100 in cash.

Knowing you FMF, I think you'll be better off and more satisfied with the Schwab card and not have to deal with categories or limited acceptance (though I haven't had much of that problem inside the United States.)

Good luck!

I signed up for the Discover Miles because of the introductory offer but have stuck with them since. I like their secure credit card feature and the option to generate new numbers for one time use when I shop on the web. I considered switching to another card for the introductory offer but they had never even heard of that option so I stayed w/ Discover. Last time I went home to Sweden I had enough miles to get $300 off the ticket price which was nice. I'm definitely not switching any time soon.

We use Discover as our primary card and rarely run into merchants that do not accept it. I've found that though some merchants will not advertise that they take Discover, if I ask they say they do.

Our experience is that they have wonderful customer service and overall are a great card to deal with.

Use discover as our primary card and charge just about everything to that card. Similar to other responders I've found few places that done't take the card. When I can't use the card I use a UPromise mastercard (now issued by BofA).

Agree with others also that Discover is very easy to work with. I usually get the bill 3 weeks before it's due. Conversely, Citi was annoying when they ran the UPromise program. I'd get my bill less than a week before being due and they were a pain to deal with particularly when my account was compromised. We used to charge our kids daycare to UPromise so we could, in our minds, justify the cost of daycare as going towards their future education...

I use my Discover card for the 5% categories. We already hit the 400 cap for this quarter 5% spending on retail. The wife got a new job and we had used it for clothes.

I was not happy about the bump from 20 to 50 dollar cash credit. We are right at 38, so we have to get another 12 just to cash out.

They do have the best customer service. I lost my card and they overnighted me a new one. Also, their call centers are in the US so you can actually understand what they are saying

I've been using Discover for about 17 years now. No issues with them. They aren't used at all outside the US so beware of that. Actually I like using it when ordering stuff that ships to my US address while I am staying and working overseas. Because I feel pretty good that nobody will steal the number as it's useless overseas!

One thing to be aware of on the cashback bonus... I believe the first $2500 spent in the calendar year gives a cashback of 0.25%, the next $2.5k gives a cashback of 0.5%, the next $2.5k is 0.75% and above $7500 K is the full 1% cash back. That used to be the case, please let me know if this has changed.


Discover is my primary card, and I use it for everything possible - love it love it love it. And FYI - the "categorized" 5% Cashback awards are posted for several months in advance at - and you can just sign up there for them. Right now they are:
Jan-March 2009 - Arline, Hotel, Car Rental, Cruises
April-June 2009 - Home, Fashion
June only - 2009 - Restaurants
July-September 2009 - Gas, Hotel, Theme Parks
One thing to keep in mind is that merchants are categorized by credit card companies only as ONE primary type, and in this Discover example, the 5% Cashback is applied accordingly - even if they have several business lines - for example, my local Safeway also has a gas station, but my fuel purchases there show up as "supermarket" because the majority of that store's business is grocery/supermarket.
However I also travel to another state regularly and stop at the same roadside Safeway gas station along the way, and the majority of THEIR volume is fuel, so even if I buy groceries there, they are categorized as "fuel". Another example to be aware of are Wal-Mart 24-hour Superstores - I buy nearly all my groceries there - but this particular store is categorized as "merchandise/retail" instead of "supermarket". So I just make sure to buy fuel at the stations that have shown up on my statement as "fuel" during the 5% Cashback window for fuel!
And the 5%-20% discounts you get for shopping online through can certainly be worth it, if you are shopping online already with your Discover card - especially at places like Best Buy, Sears, etc. I have used it in the past to send flowers and got the additional discount, simply by logging into the ShopDiscover site to order.

I am using Discover as one of my two main cards (Chase is the other) because it is my oldest card, highest limit and the cash back on the rotating categories every three months is great.

I also love the bonus $5 you can get for redeeming for gift cards!!!! I get the cards for restaurants that I like or for CVS to get free stuff.


Which Discover card gives you 2% back on *anything* routinely, let alone everything?

Do you mean you get back the 1% that's tiered and can double that if you use your bonus to buy a giftcard or other scrip from one of their more overpriced reward partners?

I have held a DC since 1986. Back when 1% cash back across the board was pretty much as good as it got (DC was one of the first), it was my go-to card and I used it wherever I could. Paid my property taxes in full with no surcharge for a couple of years. For a brief time, it was the only card accepted by Costco (then Price Club). Customer service has always been good.

There was a time when they felt compelled to change my account twice within a year when there was a security issue (I think part of a large data breach, not due to activity on my specific account) and--had this been the only card in my pocket--I would have been left stranded as they didn't exactly rush to put a replacement in my pocket either time.

Now I only use my card for the rotating 5% categories, or for other Discover-only exclusive discount promotions (e.g. $10 off $50 at Lowe's). I am able to make use of them, but the spending caps per quarter, usually $400, are fairly low for serious spenders in those categories. They are obviously counting on folks getting in the habit of using the card and then going over the cap.

Overall, it's a pretty good card. Obviously it can't be the only card you carry since acceptance is still spotty, especially in locally-owned businesses.

The number of places that don't take Discover is infinitesimal. Maybe once/twice a year do I *need* to use the MasterCard. I run everything I possibly can through it and then just pay it off every month. There may be some cards that give you a bit better cashback on some items, but its just never seemed worth the hassle of researching. I get in excess of $600 a year in cashback.

I noticed last night that the cap on purchases in the June category (restaurants) was $200, not $400. I don't know if that's a permanent change, but it's kind of making a mockery of the rotating categories. 5% of $200 is $10. Everything else will get paid at the usually well sub-1% rates.

Discover is my main card right now. I use it not because of the points (which are decent) but because they are one of the few remaining cards that offered me 0% on purchases for 12 months.

I used to work for Discover. I just recently quit. They are very focused on keeping the Customer happy. A lot of you are stating that some places don't accept Discover. Which is true for the time being. Discover just recently bought out Diner's Club. So with in a few years I would expect it to be as big as Visa and Mastercard If not bigger. Diners Club used to be very large in America with it being the first credit card. The network for Diner's Club is HUGE. I believe it's accepted in something like 200 countries world wide. So expect to see that happen within the next few years.

"I noticed last night that the cap on purchases in the June category (restaurants) was $200, not $400. I don't know if that's a permanent change, but it's kind of making a mockery of the rotating categories. 5% of $200 is $10. Everything else will get paid at the usually well sub-1% rates."

The June program for restaurants is an extra program that they came out with. The cap is so low because they still have another program going on at the same time. ( The 5% CBB on Home Improvement, Department, and Clothing Stores with a cap of $400 From April 1st - June 30th. )

"I've been using Discover for about 17 years now. No issues with them. They aren't used at all outside the US so beware of that. Actually I like using it when ordering stuff that ships to my US address while I am staying and working overseas. Because I feel pretty good that nobody will steal the number as it's useless overseas!

One thing to be aware of on the cashback bonus... I believe the first $2500 spent in the calendar year gives a cashback of 0.25%, the next $2.5k gives a cashback of 0.5%, the next $2.5k is 0.75% and above $7500 K is the full 1% cash back. That used to be the case, please let me know if this has changed.


The CBB Tier level was just changed this month.

for your anniversary year
$0 - $3000; 0.25%
$3000.01 - Unlimited; 1 %

It used to be
0- $1500: .25%
$1500- $3000: .50%
$3000.01 - unlimited .1%

We agree with a number of ya! Loved discover for years. But with new changes they need to change the name of their "cash back bonus card” to "third party partner’s reward card.” The new 50 dollar minimum for cash rewards and lower tier value will take months to get near the "cash back" target for most. The reward is so far out you have nothing to look forward to.

Can’t see this any other way than a stab in the back from discover to churn more customer rewards dollars to their partners. We'll continue to use our discover card at a fraction of normal use.

If you’re curious were moving the 2k a month previously put on the discover to a chase visa "perfect" card (3% back on fuel, 1-2% back on most other purchases). We don’t like chase, but the card allows us to credit our rewards monthly whether it be 3 dollars or 20 dollars. I guess we'll stick with chase for awhile, hopefully discover offers a fair cash back program again in the future. Chase does have a bad reputation for often changing card holder policy to stick it to their customers (their online site is also not as nice as discovers, discover was our favorite website interface).

In the past few months discover has sent out several notices of odd card holder policy changes, the new cash back bonus hit being the nail in the coffin for us. Come on discover (like they'll actually read this), take care of your customers and you'll come out ahead.

I have been using and loving it. I believe discover offers more value than others simply becoz discover has better customer service. I used amex and citi for over 10 yrs and finally switched to discover forver now.

Overall I like my Discover More card. But in New York City many restaurants do not accept it. Also, I pay all of my bills with my credit card, and Verizon still does not take it. So I do still have to have another active Visa or Mastercard to fill in the gaps.

But I agree that the customer service is good. Possibly the best I've experienced from a bank. My main bank is Chase (in New York City they're on every street corner) and I have a few Chase credit cards. When I cash in rewards on my Chase Business Mastercard, they insist on mailing me a check (even though my checking account and card accounts are linked on-line) and it can take 10 days. Discover uses ACH to get the money into my Chase account in 2 days. That really sums up the difference in attitude between the two companies.

Verizon totally takes Discover Card. I've been paying my Verizon bill automatically with my Discover Card for at least a year now.

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