The Lowdown on the Discover Gold Card

by : Eric Wasselman

The Discover Gold Card, issued by Morgan Stanley, is designed for those with a good credit history seeking for a reward program that offers cash back. In fact, Discover's Cashback Bonus reward program is one of the top cash back reward programs in America.

Through the Cashback Bonus program, cardholders of the Discover Gold Card are able to earn a 0.25% rebate for general purchase of up to $1,500, a 0.5% rebate for purchases of between $1,501 and $3,000, while purchases of $3,001 and above are eligible for a 1% rebate. But as with a lot of cash back programs, the different rebates only apply to the amount above the divisions. For example, if $3,200 is spent, the 1% rebate will be applicable for the $200, while the $1,500 is eligible for a 0.5% rebate. The remaining $1,500 will earn a 0.25% rebate. Add that all together and the amount is significantly less than 1%.

However, Discover offers the Get More promotions throughout the year which allows cardholders a chance to earn a full 5% rebate at selected merchants or merchant categories. On top of that cardholders are able to take advantage of the double Cashback Bonus offers at participating Discover Card Partners.

Those who qualify for the Discover Gold Card are eligible for a reasonably low APR if they plan to carry a balance. With no annual fees and a 12-month long 0% introductory APR, this credit card certainly seems attractive.

That is, until we find out that the "Two Cycles Average Daily Balance" method is utilized to calculate finance charges. This method works out to higher finance charges if it includes new purchases. Nonetheless, the long introductory period should offset this, provided you pay off the balance before the new billing cycle after the intro period is over and not carry any balance over for the next few billing cycles (to lower the finance charges calculated with this method).

So if you are looking for a credit card with a pretty solid cash back reward program, this card is for you. Otherwise, it is best that you pay off your outstanding balances before your intro period is over, or suffer the consequences of high interests.