Discover it vs. Chase Freedom Visa – Credit Card Boxing Series – Match # 1

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Let’s face it. Sometimes, reading about personal finance can make for some pretty dry reading. Annual fee this, interest rate that, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Are you still awake?

So, in an attempt to spice things up a little bit, I’ve decided to start a series of MPFJ called, Credit Card Boxing. In each match, two credit cards (of the same general category of credit card) will be compared side by side in an attempt to determine which reigns supreme over the other.

In this, the first match of the series, we’re comparing two general purpose credit cards.

In the left corner, we have weighing in at a hefty 5.23 g (weighed in the scale in my lab), my favorite credit card that I use for almost all of my purchases, the Chase Freedom Visa Card.

In the right corner, we have weighing in at a respectable 5.2 g, the new Discover it Card. I haven’t personally tried out this card yet, so I was curious to learn a little more about it.

Shown below is a screenshot from CreditCards.com (the first place I go for looking up information on credit cards) listing all of the pertinent details for the Chase Freedom Visa Card.

  • Chase Freedom Visa Pluses
    • There is no annual fee.
    • A very nice $100 bonus for signing up.
    • 5% cash back in rotating categories every quarter. From personal experience, I can tell you that these categories are actually quite useful. They are not highly specific like with some cards. For example, right now, they are doing 5% cash back for gas stations. I think pretty much anyone can relate to the benefits of getting cash back for gas purchases. They have also done grocery stores in the past, although discount stores like WalMart, Sam’s, and Costco do not qualify for this.
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Chase Freedom Visa Minuses
    • Requires excellent credit history, which can be a deal breaker for some folks. 
    • 3% transaction fee for all transactions completed in a foreign currency. This can add up quickly! 

And, shown below is a table listing out all of the pertinent details for the Discover it Card.

  • Discover it Pluses
    • No annual fee
    • Won’t increase your interest rate if you pay late once or twice. 
    • No foreign currency transaction fees. 
    • 5% cash back in rotating categories throughout the year. 
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases. 
  • Discover it Minuses
    • Because it’s a Discover card, it may not be accepted everywhere like Visa/Mastercard. Because of this, you’ll likely always have to carry another card in your wallet/purse in addition to this one. I also am not sure of how widely Discover is accepted outside the US either.
    • While the Discover it Card does offer 5% cash back in rotating categories throughout the year, they do not appear to be very broad/general. 
      • According to the Discover it rewards calendar, the current categories are restaurants and movies. Unfortunately, I do not currently spend much money, if any, on restaurants and movies, so for me, this wouldn’t be that helpful. 
      • The other categories throughout the year are “Summer Fun,” “Home Improvement,” and “Holiday Shopping.” Unfortunately, they don’t specify the details yet of what will fall in to this category. However, the Summer Fun and Home Improvement categories don’t seem like they would help me that much compared to general categories like groceries, gas, etc.
    •  Requires excellent credit history, which can be a deal breaker for some folks. 

Who’s the Winner?

Although I honestly wouldn’t be ashamed of having either of these cards, I would have to say that for my money, the winner here is the Chase Freedom Visa Card.  What made me lean towards this one was because the Chase Freedom Visa Card offers more general/robust 5% cash back categories and is also more widely accepted than Discover.

How about you all? Do you think the Chase Freedom Visa or Discover it Card sounds like a better deal?

Do you personally carry either of these cards?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

Click Here to Compare Credit Cards

Comments

  1. Haha, credit card boxing. Great idea for a series. I like it. Theses are both great cards and should be in your card portfolio.
    My recent post Weekly Personal Finance Blog RoundUp – 2/23/2013

    • Glad you like it! I agree, both cards are definitely good!

      Do you have either one of these in your wallet?!
      My recent post Discover it vs. Chase Freedom Visa – Credit Card Boxing Series – Match # 1

  2. I have both cards and I like both a lot. I prefer Chase over Discover most of the time because the categories they offer are generally better. There are times when Discover matches it, but overall Chase is more rewarding. The one thing I like about Discover over Chase is the online shopping portal. On some websites you can earn up to 20% cash back, while always earning at least 5% cash back at all of their online shopping partners. That’s a pretty good deal if you do a lot of online shopping. I know you can do online shopping with Chase, but it’s not nearly as rewarding as Discover’s online portal.

    All that said, it really comes down to minor details. I would say get both because they’re both great cards with high rewards rate. You can’t go wrong.

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