Among the many great starter cards out there is the Chrome Gas & Restaurants card issued by Discover. Discover is known for being very beginner friendly, and if you find yourself spending a lot in gas and restaurants, this card may be a good fit for you to start out with. Even if you already have a couple beginner cards, the Chrome card can help fill in any gaps for dining and gas categories you may have in your budding credit card arsenal, can function as a temporary catch-all card, and pairs well with the rotating category cash back card offered by Discover as well.
Welcome Offer and Referral Bonus
Discover has unique welcome offer on their cards, the Unlimited Cash Back Match, of which Discover will match all of the cash back that you earn on your new card after your first year. This essentially doubles the cash back multipliers for your first year of having the card open with no limit to the amount that you can earn from this bonus! This helps make the Chrome card a very good starter card as you will want to primarily focus on using only one card for your first year of your credit card journey to learn healthy credit card usage and habits. This card also features a 15 month 0% introductory APR rate, but with healthy credit card habits and paying on time and in full, this should not matter much.
Referral bonuses for the Chrome card will get both you and the person you referred a $100 statement credit, and the person you referred will also get their cash back matched by Discover after their first year.
Cash Back Structure
As a beginner card, the Chrome card is very simple. As the card's full name implies, it main earning categories are gas and restaurants, earning 2% back in each category, on up to $1000 in combined purchases each quarter and will earn an unlimited 1% back on everything else. However, during your first year with Discover's Cash Back Match, you will essentially be earning 4% back on both gas and restaurants and 2% on everything else, making this card extremely versatile as a good dining, gas, and catch-all card for your first year while you build up your credit history and strengthen your portfolio for future card applications.
Although there aren't any credits offered by this card, Discover does allow you to check your credit score for free and offers free Online Privacy Protection that monitors the internet for any leaks of your personal information and offering some peace of mind. Discover also has a 100% U.S. based customer service that is ready to help you with any questions or issues you may have. Their mobile app and webpage is also very beginner friendly.
As per usual with beginner cards, the Discover It Chrome card comes with a $0 annual fee, allowing you to keep this card open long-term to strengthen your credit history at no cost to you. Remember that a good credit history requires that you pay on time and in full, and if you use your card responsibly, you should not have to worry about this.
When compared to its sibling, the rotating category Discover it Cash Back card, the Chrome Gas & Restaurants card is often overlooked. It can be an extremely powerful first card for people starting out on their credit card journey as in its first year it will give you 4% back on two categories that are typically pretty high in spending and 2% back on everything else. Despite the quarterly limits on the 2% cash back earnings, if you are in school, recently graduated, or are in a small household, this limit should not affect you much. This card is also available in a student version as well. After your first year with Discover, assuming this is your first credit card, you will have built at least 12 months of credit history which should make your credit history a bit stronger for your next card applications (especially with issuers like Chase) if you decide to continue playing the credit card game.
Once your first year is up and you receive your catch back match, the card can help fill in the gaps that your budding credit card arsenal may have, and when it eventually gets "sock-drawer-ed" (or put away in another safe location), it will continue to help weigh down your "average age of accounts", which contributes a small amount to a good credit score, ultimately helping you to set yourself up for success with your future credit card endeavors as long as you learn good financial habits, use your credit responsibly, and always pay on time and in full.
If you found any information in this article useful and decide that the Chrome card is right for you, please consider using my referral link and secure yourself that extra $100 statement credit!
Discover, Discover it, Discover it Chrome Gas & Restaurants card, Discover it Cash Back card, Cash Back Match, and any other properties mentioned in this article are property of Discover Financial Services and its subsidiaries. Chase is property of J.P. Morgan & Chase Bank. Mention of any properties in this article is for educational purposes and subjective review. This article is not financial advice. Use of any cards mentioned in this article is subject to their cardmember agreement. Bonuses and referrals are subject to change. See https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/cash-back/chrome.html?ICMPGN=ALL_CC_GAS_AND_RESTAURANT_CARD for more details.