After its great success with the Discover it card, Discover has now introduced a new version called the Discover it chrome. Like the original, the chrome card has no annual fee, although it replaces the rotating 5% categories with something that may better match your spending. Not sure if the new Discover it card is right for you? Here's what you need to know.

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How Does the New Rewards Program Work?

The main difference between the Discover it chrome card and its predecessor is the rewards program. For the chrome, Discover ditches the 5% cash-back categories that rotate quarterly in favor of a permanent 2% cash back on gasoline and restaurants and 1% back on everything else. You can earn 2% back on the first combined $1,000 in gas and restaurant spending each quarter, with any amount over $1,000 earning 1% for the rest of the quarter.

You can still boost rewards using the portal, however, with an unlimited 5% to 20% cash back when you use your Discover it chrome card at Discover partners like Target, Expedia and Kmart.

Your rewards can also be redeemed in the same way:

  • Cash back statement credit or direct deposit
  • Gift cards
  • Charitable donations
  • Use rewards to pay for purchases at partner retailers like dollar-for-dollar

Introductory Offer for Discover it chrome

There are actually two versions of the Discover it chrome: a regular version and a student version. The cards currently have the following introductory offers you can take advantage of.

Discover it chrome:

  • 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers and 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months.*
  • 0% intro APR for 14 months on balance transfers and purchases.*

Discover it chrome student version:

  1. 0% intro APR for 6 months on purchases. *

No Annual Fee or Hidden Costs

One feature that made the Discover it card such a hit is its lack of annual fee or other hidden costs common with most cards. The Discover it chrome keeps this feature with no annual fee, no foreign exchange fee, no overlimit fee and no penalty APR to worry about. Your first late fee for a missed payment is also waived. The Discover it cards and the Citi Simplicity remain two of the only cards available with no late fee on the first late payment and no penalty APR.

Flexible Payment Options

With your Discover it chrome, you choose your own due date and you have until midnight to pay by phone or online. Try this with most cards and you will find the due date actually has a cut-off time, usually around 3 pm EST, which can be even more inflexible if you are on the West Coast.

Discover it chrome Benefits

The Discover it chrome card comes with the same great benefits as the Discover it:

  • Free TransUnion FICO score every month
  • Purchase protection on eligible purchases made with your Discover card for the first 90 days if damaged or stolen
  • Extended warranty adds an extra year on manufacturer warranties of 3 years or less
  • Return protection refunds qualifying purchases if you are unhappy with a purchase within 90 days and the store will not take it back
  • Purchase protection reimburses you the difference if you buy something with your Discover card and find a lower price within 90 days

Discover it versus Discover it chrome: Which is better?

The answer to this really depends on how you spend. The 5% categories with the regular Discover it card change quarterly, but they typically include the same group of categories such as home improvement, gas stations, restaurants and movies, holiday shopping and sometimes certain retailers. You can look at the calendar for 2014 or 2013 to get an idea of the categories and how they match up to your spending.

You can also choose to have both the Discover it and Discover it chrome, which means you can use your chrome card when the 5% category for your it card is not gasoline or restaurants to maximize your cash back.

If you already have the Discover it card and think the chrome would be a better fit for your spending habits, you can convert your 5% version to the chrome version by contacting customer service.

If you are trying to choose between the two, you will probably earn more cash back if you spend $1,000 or less on restaurants and gasoline per quarter and you don't use the other categories very often. If you spend a lot with your card, even if you do not necessarily use the quarterly categories very often, you will probably do better with the regular it card.

The Bottom Line: The Discover it chrome is a winner

The Discover it chrome card is a great addition to Discover's lineup and it's definitely worth your consideration if you want a rewards card without a confusing rewards program or rotating categories.

You can always earn 1% back on everything and 2% back on restaurants and gasoline, up to $1,000 every quarter, as well as the other perks that come with Discover cards. The chrome is especially great if you want to combine it with your regular it card to fill in reward gaps.

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