Most people know about the three main card issuers: Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. However, there are other companies for issuing cards that give the clients more choices so that they are not restricted to those three. Discover is one of those other card issuers and it is one of the biggest card companies in the US. Although it is not as popular as the three most dominant cards, it gives its holders the same perks as its rivals and at the same time some benefits that are unique to it.
Discover owes its origin to Sears, the US’s biggest retailer. Nowadays, the Discover credit card is offered by the Discover Bank and is processed through the Discover Network. On the other hand, the processing of Discover debit card is done through the Pulse payment system. For some reason, a significant number of US card users prefer Discover credit card over Visa and MasterCard, which are issued by several banks.
So, what are some of the pros and cons of Discover credit cards?
Advantages of Discover credit cards
- Annual fees and other charges and extra resources
While most of the credit cards on the market have annual fees, Discover cards have tried to remain true to their roots of charging no annual fees, which is one of their greatest advantages. What’s more is that Discover doesn’t impose a late fee for missing or paying late on your first payment. Clients also get a free FICO score with each of their monthly payments. This additional resource is of great value to clients because it enables them to know what their credit score is and to take remedial measures if it is dropping.
- Great cashback offers
Some of Discover’s credit cards like the Discover More card have among the best cashback offers. The More credit card gives clients 5% cash back on certain categories and offer their holders up to 20% for doing shopping online in selected stores. The best part is that there is no limit on the amount of rewards you can earn and they have no expiry dates.
- Customer service
J.D. Power ranked Discover the highest in customer service in its 2018 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Discover customers are happy and satisfied with their cards, and this can only mean that the company is doing everything the right way and does not play dirty games with its clients.
- Internet and mobile banking features
Clients enjoy convenient mobile and internet banking features that allow them to be on top of their spending and rewards. Excellent customer service also eases things a great deal.
Disadvantages of Discover credit cards
- Demand excellent credit score
If your credit score is not good, forget about Discover cards as they only approve credit cards for those with impressive scores. Those with a damaged credit history have almost no chance of getting approved for Discover cards.
- Small network
Compared to global payment systems like Visa and Master Card, the Discover Network is small. While you can comfortably and conveniently use Discover cards in the US, you may have problems in other countries.
Cashback is not as convenient
Although clients with the more card enjoy 5% cashback on specific categories, it is not one of the most convenient since the clients have to choose and register in the new 5% category every three months. As such, the clients have to readjust their spending habits to be in line with the prevailing 5% category to optimize gains from the cashback.
Discover credit cards are great cards thanks to their incredible rewards and no annual fees as well as excellent customer service among other features. However, the Discover network is not as extensive as those of the three main card companies, so using the cards outside of the US may be a problem. Another drawback is that getting approved for these cards requires a good credit history and score, so you may not qualify if your score is bad.