Discover it Cash Back vs. Discover it Student Cash Back: Which is best for you?

If you’re a student shopping for your first credit card, or a parent comparing cards on your kids’ behalf, you may be wondering whether to apply for a card that’s designed specifically for college students, or if you should stick with a more general credit card.

The answer depends, in part, on what kind of student card you’re considering, how old a student is and what limits you want to set. Discover, for example, offers a student cash back card, the Discover it® Student Cash Back card, that’s not too different from Discover’s flagship cash back card. However, its terms are more restrictive, and it includes a slightly higher APR and less generous introductory APR.

The Discover it® Cash Back card, in contrast, offers a bigger credit limit than you’ll get on the student version and a more generous promotion, including a 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers (then a variable APR of 11.99% to 22.99%). But it doesn’t have as many safeguards as the Discover it Student card, so students could potentially get into bigger trouble with it. Young adults new to credit are also unlikely to qualify for the Discover it Cash Back card. Discover doesn’t allow co-signers, so a student would need to have a significant credit history and income to qualify.

Discover it Cash Back vs. Discover it Student Cash Back

Card Discover it Cash Back
Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back
Rewards rate
  • Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back in rotating categories (up to $1,500 per quarter)
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
  • Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back in rotating categories (up to $1,500 per quarter)
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
Sign-up bonus Matches your cash back at the end of the first year

Matches your cash back at the end of the first year

Annual fee $0 $0
Estimated rewards value in first year ($1,325 monthly spend) $442 $398

Introductory APR

Again, the Discover it Cash Back has a 0% intro APR for 14 months on new purchases and balance transfers, though there is a 3% balance transfer fee (and future balance transfer fees can go up to 5%). The Discover it Student also has a 0% intro APR, but only for six months on new purchases, then the regular variable APR will rise to 12.99% to 21.99%.

For parents who fear their child will spend a lot with the freedom of plastic, forget payment deadlines and carry debt, the longer intro APR on the Discover it Cash Back makes more sense. However, the shorter intro APR and higher regular APR on the Discover it Student card are also strong deterrents to students who’ve never had a credit card before and may end up training them to have better payment habits.

If the thought of your student amassing a huge debt without your knowledge terrifies you, you could always apply for the Discover it Cash Back card yourself and add your kid as an authorized user. Discover doesn’t allow co-signers, but it does allow authorized users. As an authorized user, even if account holder bears the responsibility for payment, you could build credit history and increase your credit score. It also gives kids an opportunity to earn a significant amount of cash, without the risk of owning their own card.

Annual fee

Good news: Both the Discover it Cash Back and the Discover it Student Cash Back have no annual fee, which is good for students considering education these days is getting more and more expensive. For either card, you’ll earn a solid amount of cash back without paying anything for the card itself.

Other perks

Discover it Cash Back

Discover it Student Cash Back

  • Choose your credit card color or design
  • Free FICO credit score
  • No late fee on cardholders’ first payment
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Free Social Security alerts
  • Free Experian credit monitoring
  • Ability to freeze account in seconds
  • Choose your credit card color or design
  • Free FICO credit score
  • No late fee on cardholders’ first payment
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Free Social Security alerts
  • Free Experian credit monitoring
  • Ability to freeze account in seconds

Both cards have other benefits that suit students incredibly well including viewing your FICO credit score for free on the Discover account, no late fee on your first late payment and no foreign transaction fee, in case you decide to spontaneously visit your friend studying abroad. If you lose the card or it gets stolen (anything can happen at school), you can easily freeze it until you have time to report the loss and request a new card.

Discover it Student Cash Back: Best for undergrads and credit newbies

If you’re still in college and under 21, then you won’t qualify for either card unless you can prove you earn an independent income. The Credit CARD Act of 2009 requires underage cardholders to show they have enough income coming in to afford their own card, or they need to get a co-signer to help out. Since Discover doesn’t allow co-signers, and if you’re determined to be the cardholder (versus an authorized user), you’ll have to look elsewhere if you’re underage and don’t have a part-time job.

Nevertheless, the Discover it Student Cash Back is one of the strongest student credit cards out there. The 0% intro APR for six months, simple rewards structure, late payment fee waiver and no annual fee are all features designed for students who are new to credit. The credit limit on the Discover it Student is also likely to be fairly low, preventing students from significantly overcharging.

Discover it Cash Back: Best for grad students or people who live off campus

In contrast, the Discover it Cash Back suits grad students or upperclassmen who live off campus – people who earn more and spend more. The card awards larger credit limits, but you must have a good or excellent credit score and, therefore, some credit history, to be approved. Unlike the Discover it Student card, this is a card you can use regularly for everyday purchases, considering the Discover quarterly bonus categories calendar. The categories include gas stations, grocery stores and Target, which students who live on campus are unlikely to charge.

The gas and grocery categories perfectly suit those who commute to school or eat at home every day, rather than those with a campus meal plan.

Bottom line

For most young students, the Discover it Student card is a clear winner. Students without any credit history are not only more likely to qualify for it, but the card’s strong limits also make it more difficult for them to rack up a lot of debt.

The Discover it card, by contrast, is more difficult to get and riskier. However, it’s also more flexible and potentially more lucrative since it gives cardholders more room to charge new purchases, earning greater rewards. Older students and those who live off campus may also get more out of the Discover it card since it offers bonus cash back on purchases they’re more likely to make, such as gas and groceries.


How to get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card is one of the most powerful steps you can take toward keeping your business organized.

It’s a great way to keep your business expenses separate from your personal ones. But beyond that, using a business credit card can help you build a strong credit profile for your business. Credit bureaus track business credit cards and loans when tabulating a credit score for a business.

If you develop a track record of paying your business credit card bills on time and don’t max out your card, it will help you continue to build business credit. So how do you apply for a business credit card? Here are the steps to take.

1. Check your personal credit score

Generally, you will need to personally guarantee a business credit card, and credit card companies will evaluate your loan application based in part on your personal credit history.

If your credit card score needs buffing up, spend three to six months working on lowering your credit utilization — the percentage of your available credit you use — and making sure you pay your bills like clockwork. It’ll make it easier to get a business credit card.

2. Decide which kind of business card fits your needs

If you need a little time to build profits, a business credit card can help by allowing you to carry a balance within a preset credit limit from month to month, as long as you make a minimum monthly payment. This can be helpful if cash flow is tight — especially if you can get a deal offering 0% interest for several months.

A dedicated credit card for your business can help you build business credit – but only if the issuer reports to business credit-reporting agencies. Not all do. Before you apply for a card, ask and make sure the issuer reports your progress where it counts.

check your company’s credit? There are three bureaus that track business credit: Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and Equifax. Each has a free search tool you can use to check whether they are actually tracking your business.

It’s important to analyze your business’ needs and expenses before choosing a credit card for it. If you’re trying to save money, a simple flat-rate cash back credit card with no annual fee, such as the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card, may be just what you need.

But a business credit card with a hefty annual fee may prove worth it for your business. For example, if your business requires a lot of travel, a card such as The Business Platinum Card® from American Express will give you (and possibly your employees) rewards and perks you can use for business travel.

3. Gather the business information you’ll need for your application

Review the application before you start entering information so you have all of the documents you need in one place. An application for a business credit card will typically ask you to enter your:

  • Legal name of business (such as Acme LLC)
  • Business name on card
  • Business mailing address and phone number
  • Type of business (general industry, category)
  • Tax identification number (otherwise known as EIN)
  • Annual business revenue
  • Number of employees
  • Years in business

If you don’t have an EIN, you can apply for an EIN for free through the IRS.

4. Gather the personal information you may need

Issuers of business credit cards require you to provide personal income and sometimes monthly expenses. Most ask for the same info they request when you apply for a personal card, in addition to your business information.

For example, under “personal information,” applications for Chase Ink business cards ask for your “title as authorizing officer,” home address, date of birth, primary phone number and email address, and total gross annual income.

5. Submit your application

Many credit card companies allow you to submit your application online, and you can apply for many cards through Apply for only one card at a time and see how you fare.

What to do if you get rejected for a business credit card

If you get rejected because you have not built sufficient credit, all is not lost.

If have no credit or bad credit, you may need a secured business card at first. A secured business credit card often requires you to put down a deposit for the privilege of using the card. While this setup isn’t ideal if you are short of cash, if you can come up with the deposit, it will give you a chance to prove you can use credit responsibly.

If you build up a steady track record of paying your card on time and ideally more than the minimum balance, you should be able to graduate to better credit card deals in the near future.


Is the Capital One Platinum worth it?

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is targeted toward people with less-than-perfect credit. Capital One markets its Platinum card as requiring fair credit, which is in the range of a 580 to 669 FICO score.

Unlike the similar-sounding The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Capital One Platinum card is a fairly bare-bones card. It does not offer rewards or a sign-up bonus, and the benefits it does offer are fairly meager. One nice feature is that Capital One’s Platinum card comes with no annual fee, which can make it useful if you’re looking to build up your overall credit profile at no extra cost.

When is the Capital One Platinum card worth it?

The Capital One Platinum has no annual fee and a few benefits that may come in handy in certain situations. One perk is that you will be considered for a higher credit line if you make six consecutive on-time payments. So even if you don’t get a high credit line right away, know that it will likely increase over time as long as you stay current on your account.

Increasing your credit line can be a great way to improve your credit score. That’s because one of the key credit score factors is your overall credit utilization ratio. Increasing your available credit can raise your credit score, as long as you keep your monthly balance low or at zero.

Another great way to raise your credit score is by showing that you are responsible with the credit that you have been given. If you pay all of your bills with cash, checks or money orders, you’re typically not getting credit for making on-time payments for those bills (although some programs like Experian Boost can help with that).

By opening up a credit card and making regular, on-time payments, you will raise your credit score. That can make you eligible to sign up for credit cards that offer potentially lucrative rewards.

When is the Capital One Platinum card not worth it?

If your credit score is good enough that you’ll qualify for other credit cards, the Capital One Platinum card probably isn’t for you. You may be able to qualify for a card with a sign-up bonus and rewards for everyday spending.

Even if you have fair credit, you may be better suited for the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which gives 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The QuicksilverOne card does come with a $39 annual fee, so you’ll have to run the numbers to see which card makes more sense for you.

But as your credit score and overall credit profile improve, you’ll have plenty of other options that offer better rewards than the Capital One Platinum card. A card like the Citi® Double Cash Card has no annual fee and earns 2% back on all purchases (1% when you make a purchase and the other 1% when you pay it off on time).

The no-annual-fee Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card also earns 2% on all purchases and has a $200 cash bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first three months. So while it can be worth it to sign up for the Capital One Platinum card if your credit score is low, you’ll have plenty of better options as your credit score inches up out of the fair range.

Should you get the Capital One Platinum card?

The Capital One Platinum card is a no-frills credit card. It has a few benefits, but if your credit score is good to excellent, there are many better credit cards out there. But if your credit score is still in the fair range, the Capital One Platinum card could be a decent option.

With automatic credit line reviews, it can be a good starter card to get you into the Capital One ecosystem. Then you can work on paying your monthly statement on time each month and improving your credit score, potentially giving you access to other Capital One cards that offer rewards.

Bottom line

If you’re wondering whether the Capital One Platinum card is worth it, the answer is going to depend on your specific financial situation. If your credit score is good or excellent, you almost certainly have better options. In that case, you don’t want to bother applying for the Capital One Platinum card.

But if you are still working on improving your credit score, consider the Capital One Platinum card. It has no annual fee, and while it also has no sign-up bonus or rewards program, benefits such as an automatic credit limit increase for consistent on-time payments could make it worthwhile. By building up your score, you’ll have access to a wider range of cards.


Credit score needed for the Discover it Miles card

The Discover it® Miles card is a popular travel credit card from Discover. It offers 1.5X miles on every purchase, which you can redeem for cash or travel purchases. It also offers other perks, including no annual fee, flexible reward redemption and a match for all your miles at the end of the first year.

Are you considering adding this travel credit card to your wallet? If so, you’ll have to meet Discover’s credit score requirements. Keep reading to learn what credit score you need for the Discover it Miles card, what to do if your application is denied and how you can boost your score to qualify for this card.

What credit score is needed for the Discover it Miles card?

To qualify for the Discover it Miles card, you’ll need either a good or excellent FICO credit score. A good credit score is one anywhere from 670 to 739, while an excellent credit score is one that’s 740 or higher.

Keep in mind that while your credit score is one of the most important factors Discover will consider when deciding if you qualify for this card, it’s not the only factor. The company will also look at your credit report for a history of late payments or other disqualifying factors. Your income, credit utilization and other factors will also determine if you qualify.

What if my application is denied?

If Discover denies your application for the Discover it Miles card, you may not be entirely out of luck yet. First, like most credit card companies, Discover has a reconsideration line you can call to ask them to take another look at your application. The number for Discover’s reconsideration line is 1-800-347-2683.

Asking Discover to reconsider your credit card application doesn’t mean the answer will change. However, even if Discover doesn’t agree to approve your application, calling the reconsideration line can give you some helpful information as to why you were denied. You can use that information to improve your financial situation so you’ll be approved the next time around.

A few things to check for are whether you made any mistakes on the application, whether there are items on your credit report you need to fix and whether your credit score is actually in the good or excellent range.

How can I improve my credit score to get this card?

If your application for the Discover it Miles card was denied based on your credit score, you have a few options to help increase your credit score.

Improve your payment history

Your payment history is the single most important factor in determining your credit score, accounting for 35% of the calculation. Therefore, one of the best ways to increase your credit score is to improve your payment history.

First, be sure you’re making every monthly payment on time. Even one late payment on your credit report can have a huge impact on your credit score and prevent you from getting a new credit card. Additionally, catch up on any past-due accounts. Those late payments will remain on your credit report for seven years, but getting caught up on the bills can help minimize the damage.

Dispute credit report errors

A 2021 survey from Consumer Reports found that about 12% of respondents had an error on their credit report the last time they checked it. Errors can have a serious impact on your credit report and can pull your score down, so it’s important to find them as soon as possible

If you do find errors, you can dispute the errors directly with the credit bureaus. Unless the credit bureau can provide proof that an item is legitimate, it’ll be removed from your credit report.

Decrease your credit utilization

Your credit utilization is the percentage of your available credit that you’re using, and it’s an important factor for your credit score. In general, it’s recommended that you use no more than 30% of your available credit.

There are two ways to decrease your credit utilization: decreasing your debt and increasing your available credit. If you currently use credit cards, you can boost your credit score by paying off any remaining debt on them and using no more than 30% of your available credit each month – and less is even better. You can also contact your credit card company and ask for a credit limit increase. Some companies allow you to request this directly from your online account, while others have a customer service number you can call.

Expand your credit history

Having too short a credit history can hold you back when it comes to boosting your credit score and qualifying for new credit. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to grow your credit history without access to new credit, and it can feel like an endless cycle. Luckily, there are a couple ways to expand your credit history without access to new credit.

First, you can become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. Doing so can increase your available credit and, therefore, decrease your credit utilization. Plus, depending on how old the credit card is, it may increase your average age of credit, another factor that affects your credit score. Finally, you’ll get credit for all the on-time payments the cardholder has made on that card over the years.

Before you decide to become an authorized user on someone else’s card, be sure they’ve used the card responsibly. The last thing you want is a card with a poor payment history or high utilization showing up on your credit report.

Another way you can expand your credit report is through a service like Experian Boost, which allows you to add your monthly bills to your credit report. You’ll get credit for your monthly phone bill, streaming services, utilities and more. It’s also entirely free to use.

As a final option, you can apply for a secured card, which you can get without a good credit score or long credit history.

Bottom line

The Discover it Miles card is one of many popular travel credit cards on the market. It stands out with its 1.5X miles on all purchases, the bonus miles after your first year and the fact that it doesn’t have an annual fee. But you won’t be approved for the card unless you meet the card’s requirements for your credit score and other eligibility factors.

If you don’t think you’ll qualify yet, you can use the tips in this article to work on boosting your credit score to help ensure your application is approved when you’re ready.


Bank of America Premium Rewards card benefits guide

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is a mid-tier travel credit card. At $95 per year, it earns 2 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points per dollar on all other purchases.

The card also offers a few desirable perks, which can make it a solid choice for frequent travelers who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars in annual fees on premium rewards cards. The benefits include TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credits, airline incidental credits, travel protections and more.

In this benefits guide, you’ll learn what the Bank of America Premium Rewards card has to offer and how you can use the card to maximize its value.

Bank of America Premium Rewards card benefits

For a credit card with a comparatively modest annual fee, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card has a few exciting things going on.

TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credits

Credits to reimburse the cost of a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership are a popular credit card perk among travelers. However, it’s typically associated with more expensive credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express.

See related: Best credit cards for expedited airport security screening

If like most travelers, you like the idea of expedited airport security screening, you can get up to $100 in statement credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry once every four years with the Bank of America Premium Rewards card. Considering that offsets the card’s fee, that’s an excellent deal.

Annual credits for airline incidentals

Another premium-level benefit on the Premium Rewards is statement credits for airline incidentals, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments. Once again, this is a perk typically reserved for the most expensive travel card offerings.

The Amex Platinum, for instance, offers up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year on airline incidental charges. But Amex makes it somewhat complicated to use this benefit: You need to pick an eligible airline in January and stick to it throughout the year.

With the Bank of America Premium Rewards, on the other hand, you’ll get up to $100 in annual credit for airline incidentals which you’ll be able to use with any airline.

Not too bad for a mid-tier rewards card, especially considering the difference in annual fees – the Amex Platinum is a whopping $600 more expensive.

Travel protections

The Bank of America Premium Rewards also comes with some valuable travel protections, including:

  • Trip delay reimbursement, which allows a cardholder and their family members to receive coverage for delays in eligible cases.
  • Trip cancellation or interruption protection, which provides coverage for eligible prepaid travel expenses for canceled trips due to a covered reason.
  • Baggage delay insurance, which covers essential items when bags are delayed.
  • Lost baggage reimbursement, which covers luggage and its contents stolen or lost due to misdirection by an airline.
  • Emergency evacuation and transportation coverage, which covers eligible medical services and transportation if a cardholder or their family member is injured or sick while traveling.
  • Roadside dispatch program, which provides emergency roadside assistance.
  • Rental car insurance, which kicks in when you decline the collision damage waiver offered by the car rental agency.

Better rewards for Preferred Rewards program members

The Preferred Rewards program is available to Bank of America and Merrill customers with large checking, savings and investment account balances. The program offers appealing benefits like discounts on fees, higher rewards rates and interest rates on savings and more.

There are three tiers in the Preferred Rewards program, based on combined qualifying balances:

  • Gold – $20,000 to $49,999
  • Platinum – $50,000 to $99,999
  • Platinum Honors – $100,000

If your combined balances meet any of these thresholds, here are what your rewards rates on the Premium Rewards card may look like:

Preferred Rewards tier Points boost Points per $1 spent on travel and dining Points per dollar on general purchases
Not a Preferred Rewards member None 2 1.5
Gold 25% 2.5 1.875
Platinum 50% 3 2.25
Platinum Honors 75% 3.5 2.625

Simple rewards redemption

Speaking of rewards, the Premium Rewards card makes redeeming your points easy. You don’t have to worry about the point value – whichever redemption option you choose, you’ll get 1 cent per point.

You can redeem for travel, gift cards, statement credit or direct deposit. To pay for travel with points, you can use Bank of America’s Travel Center. Alternatively, you can get reimbursement for travel you’ve already purchased.

Unfortunately, Bank of America doesn’t have transfer partners, limiting your ability to maximize the point value. If you’re interested in transferring points, look into another mid-tier travel card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. At the same $95 per year, it offers outstanding perks and allows access to Chase Ultimate Rewards and the program’s excellent transfer partners.

No foreign transaction fees

The Bank of America Premium Rewards is also a good card to take with you abroad. Since it’s on the Visa network, it’s widely accepted internationally – and you won’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees.

Maximizing the Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Now that you know everything the Bank of America Premium Rewards card has to offer, you can get the most out of it.

Here are some tips to help you maximize the card’s potential:

  • Use the Premium Rewards on dining and travel – unless you have another card that earns more in these categories.
  • Use the card on general purchases outside of the bonus categories on your other cards to earn more than 1 point per dollar.
  • Read through terms and conditions to understand all travel protections available to you, as they sometimes can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
  • Sign up for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and make sure to use the Premium Rewards to pay for the membership.
  • Have the card handy when you travel to pay for airline incidentals and take advantage of the annual $100 credit.

Bottom line

For an affordable travel card, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card has plenty to offer, from popular perks like TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credits to less flashy but valuable benefits like rental car insurance.

If you already have the card, it’s a good idea to keep these benefits in mind so you can use it to its full potential. If you’re still shopping around, make sure to consider your options and see what kind of perks other similar cards provide.