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Discover Credit Cards – Top Picks for 2018

One asset everyone should have is a credit card.

The thing is, everyone's different, and there's no "one size fits all" credit card solution. That's why you shouldn't choose your credit card just based on a whim, or signup for whatever credit card offer lands in your mailbox.

You can find literally hundreds of different cards being offered by dozens of credit card companies, with different sets of features that serve various people's needs. For people who love to travel, it makes perfect sense to choose a travel rewards credit card. Those who need to build their credit rating from scratch, or are looking to repair damaged credit, will find a secured card helpful in gaining credit score points. Others still, put a priority on earning cash back with their cards, so they look for the most lucrative offers to earn cash rewards for their spending. With just a few of these examples in mind, you can be sure that most credit card companies won't be contented in offering just one type of card.

Discover is a company that provides multiple financial services, including loans and bank accounts, but they're probably best known for their highly praised credit cards. Today we're taking a good look at four of the best cards offered by Discover.

We've identified the key advantages and drawbacks of each card, so you can see how each one compares to the rest. We made our picks based on different criteria, but I'm sure at least one of these cards will pique your interest, or perhaps even suit your needs perfectly.

Whether you're looking to earn travel rewards or cashback, Discover has a credit card to match your lifestyle preferences.

From University students to hockey fans, there's a Discover card just for you.

Discover's Total Assets from 2013-2017

Read on to learn more about Discover's best credit card products and see if you can decide on which one has the best features to match your needs and priorities.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Discover Card

None of the cards have annual fees but keep an eye on APRs and credit limits.

Many credit cards charge an annual fee as the customer's cost for keeping the card.

If a card with an annual fee offers rewards, you need to calculate how much you have to spend to earn enough cash back or travel rewards to offset the annual fee.

No annual fees. Fortunately, none of Discover's credit cards currently involve an annual fee, which is not likely to change since its one of their big selling points. The cashback rewards or travel miles you earn aren't eaten up by a yearly charge for the user.

Pay attention to the APR. We'd all like to convince ourselves we'll always be able to pay our monthly balance in full and never need to carry it past the due date. The reality is there are times when we're unable to pay in full at the end of the month, which means we'll get charged interest. The interest you're charged for an unpaid amount is calculated based on an interest rate known as the annual percentage rate (APR). In general, when deciding between credit cards you should determine how competitive the APR is by comparing it against the national average.

Don't choose an unrealistic credit limit. The best credit card for you will offer enough credit to give you flexibility and purchasing power, but not so much you get in over your head with credit card debt.

Discover it Miles

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Perfect for world travelers looking for a low-cost option.

People who like to travel can choose the Discover it Miles card to earn points they can use toward purchasing hotel stays and airline tickets. Typical travel rewards cards charge an annual fee. The Discover it Miles travel rewards credit card doesn't come with an annual fee, which means the miles you earn go straight to your travel budget. People who use the Discover it Miles card earn travel points. Whether you want to use your miles for hotels, car rentals, railway tickets, taxis or travel agents, its easy to rack up and use points with Discover.

Redeeming is straightforward too. Simply book your travel, then go to Discover's Account Center to put your points toward the purchases. You'll receive a direct deposit into your bank account for the amount you chose to redeem. Although none of the Discover cards we're looking at here come with a signup bonus or introductory offer of bonus points or cashback rewards, there's still an opportunity for these rewards cards to earn big in year one.

What are the restrictions on Discover Miles?

There are virtually no restrictions when it comes to earning and using Discover Miles.

You can earn as many miles as you want by spending on whatever you want.The miles don't expire, and there are no blackout dates or specific travel providers you need to purchase from.

It's completely flexible. You just earn miles, purchase your travel from whoever you like using the card, and get paid back with the points in your account.

No foreign transaction fees. Another thing travel-minded people like about the Discover Miles card is that it doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee.

All of the best credit cards for worldwide use don't charge foreign transaction fees for using the card abroad.

Not accepted everywhere overseas. The one major issue you can face when travelling abroad is that the Discover card is not yet accepted everywhere internationally at the same level as Mastercards and Visas. So, it's a bit limited as a travel credit card.

Payment Cards In Circulation Globally

Discover it Card for Students

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A perfect starter card for students with little to no credit.

Most students probably have a very limited credit history. But this shouldn't stop them from being able to get a credit card of their own and use it to earn cash back. First-time cardholders usually get a modest credit limit but they do get to start building their credit history and credit scores by using the card responsibly.

Good grades are rewarded.

No annual fee works for a student's budget. Students are notorious for operating on a super-tight budget, so it's a great fit.

Switch it on and off. For security or practical financial reasons, sometimes a student might feel the need to shut down their credit card spending temporarily. All Discover cards have a feature called Freeze It where the cardholder can manually prevent any new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers from happening.

Free FICO scores and social security scans included. A great way for a new cardholder to learn about how credit works is to know and monitor their credit score. With the Discover it card for students, your FICO score is included for free on your monthly statements, and you can access it online or through mobile.

Discover also monitors thousands of websites and alerts its customers if their social security information is being stored on risky websites.

You can be late … once. Yet another student-friendly feature of the Discover it card for students is leniency on late payments. Another nice feature students will appreciate is there's also no penalty for going over your credit limit.

Graduate to a grown-up card. When a student becomes a young professional, they can apply to have their card upgraded to the Discover it card and keep the cash back they've earned on their student card. Which is particularly awesome for the Discover it card for students, since it offers the opportunity to earn certain categories. If you're using the card to transfer a balance from a higher-interest card, note that there's a balance transfer fee. Like with all cards, there's also a fee for cash advances to watch out for.

Discover it Cash Back

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Ideal for people who are ready to make a big purchase right away.

If you're ready to go ahead with a big purchase or another significant expense (like a home renovation, for example), you'd be smart to sign up for the Discover it Cash Back.

Not only will you get all of the cashback rewards you earned doubled at the end of the year, but there's also typically an introductory APR offer.

All this makes the Discover it card very affordable, and potentially very lucrative!

Discover Credit Card Purchase Volume vs. Debt Outstanding from 2000-2016

Rotating bonus categories offer a turbo-charged cash back earning rate.

There's a limit on the accelerated earning rate.

Who wouldn't want the Discover it Cash Back card?

On top of remembering to register every three months, you also have to pay attention to the rotating categories in between quarters if you wish to make the most of it.

Make your life less complicated. If you're not willing to sign on to the accelerated earning rate every three months, you might want to find a cashback card with a good earning rate across all categories.

If you never shop via Amazon, don't have a membership at a wholesale club, or don't drive a car, most of the bonus categories will not work in your favor—so look elsewhere.

Find out if you qualify without taking a hit on your credit score.

If you're wondering if you'd even qualify for a Discover it Cash Back card, you can go to Discover's website and check to see if you pre-qualify. Pre-qualification uses a soft credit check, which isn't reported to the credit bureaus and therefore doesn't hurt your credit score.

Go secured if you need to build your credit score. If you don't qualify for a Discover it, you can also look at the option of the Discover it Secured card.

A secured credit card is where you put down a deposit as a kind of insurance if you can't pay your bill. In case you want to improve that credit score of yours to qualify to get your security deposit back, taking out a small personal loan just might help.

NHL Discover it Card

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Ideal for the hockey fanatic who wants to show their team colors

Discounted NHL.TV membership. If you use your card to sign up for an NHL.TV subscription, you'll also save $.

Represent your team at the checkout till. You also get to choose your favorite team's colors and logo for the card design. So every time you pull out your card, everyone around you will know which team you're rooting for!

The cashback rewards are identical to the Discover it and Discover it for Student cards.

Would the NHL Discover it card be a good choice for a balance transfer?

Compare the APRs first. A balance transfer only makes sense when the APR on the new card is lower than the original interest rate.

Pick your card design when you apply for the NHL Discover it card

When you go to the application page for the NHL Discover it card you get the chance to choose the card design based on your favorite team. Or if you don't want people to know you have a favorite, there's a card with the NHL logo on it.

2017 National Hockey League (NHL) Fans in the U.S.

Whichever team or logo you pick, within minutes you could be on your way to having every hockey fan's dream credit card.

No matter what your priority is, Discover has a card to fit your needs

Everyone needs a credit card, but there isn't a single card that can fulfill everyone's needs. What's important is to find a card that best fits your lifestyle needs, and one that's from a dependable card company.

Whether you're a student, a travel buff, an NHL fan or a person who's willing to jump through hoops to earn some major cash back, Discover has a credit card for you.

If you like their card offerings, remember that Discover also offers a host of other financial tools, including loans, bank accounts and other financial products and services.

But first, go see if you pre-qualify for one of the cards we've looked at here and start thinking about how you can make the most of the great rewards from Discover.

Have you used Discover credit cards before?

How has it worked out for you?

Any great tips (or stories) to share with the rest of us?

Let us know in the comments below!

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The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card issuers from which receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including the order in which they may appear within listing categories. does not include all credit card offers that might be available to consumers in the marketplace.

Editorial Note:

Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.