Discover card services are known today for their pioneering cashback rewards programs. As one of the most accepted credit card brands in the United States and around the world, Discover issued its first card in 1985 through Dean Witter Reynolds. At that time, Dean Witter was owned by Sears. And the very first time a Discover card was used was by a Sears employee for a purchase of $26.77.
A year later, Dean Witter launched the Discover Card nationally through a commercial advertisement during Super Bowl XX. By 1989 - just three years after the launch of the Discover card - the Discover Network signed its one-millionth merchant in the U.S.
Dean Witter merged with Morgan Stanley in 1997. And ten years later, Morgan Stanley made Discover Financial Services its own independent, publicly-traded company. In 1999 Discover Financial Services re-branded as the parent organization for the Discover credit card.
Discover is a credit card network, along with American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. This means that Discover partners with merchants (both in the United States and across the Globe) that accept Discover cards for payment. While Discover is very common in the U.S., it is now accepted in more than 185 countries and territories. In fact, in the United States, 97 percent of all merchants who accept credit cards accept Discover.
Because Discover did not charge an annual fee like most of the other credit cards at the time, Discover soon became an attractive alternative to Visa and MasterCard. As of 2016, Discover was not only the most widely accepted credit card across the globe, it ranked as the sixth-largest credit card issuer in the United States. Discover was also the first credit card to offer cashback bonus perks for those who used the card frequently.
In addition to its wide array of Discover credit cards, Discover’s payment services also include PULSE and Diners Club International. Below are the main types of credit cards offered by Discover Card Services.
Discover credit cards have very different structures from competitors, offering a full gamut of cards to suit every consumer. For personal credit cards, you can choose between the various cash back or miles options, depending on which type of rewards you prefer.
Overall, they have really reasonable interest rates and don't charge an annual fee. Cashback rewards can be redeemed for gift cards, actual cash back (which can also be applied towards your balance), merchandise, and even charitable donations. Miles rewards can be redeemed for airline tickets and customers get bonus mile just for signing up.
They also offer credit cards for students. My youngest son received his first Discover card when he was just starting college. His credit card has no annual fees and offers a cash back bonus. Best of all is the really reasonable interest rate, considering he is such a young borrower. The Discover student card is the perfect way for college students to establish their credit and learn financial responsibility (they start out with a low credit limit) as they get started on the road to independence.
For consumers who may have had some adverse credit issues, the Discover It Secured can help rebuild good credit. Fees are minimal for this card, although you do have to put up a refundable deposit as collateral. They also have a really reasonable interest rate if a balance is carried on the card. You shouldn't use this credit card to get cash from the ATM, as there is a separate (an higher) cash APR.
At the other end of the spectrum are the Discover small business cards, perfect for the business man or woman who wants to earn cash back or miles on their business purchases. Again, there is no annual fee and the interest rates are very reasonable. They also offer tools to help you track and manage your expenses, as well as limit your employee spending limits through your online account. Plus, you can access these options with your mobile phone when you're out of the office. They also offer a lot of resources and articles on a variety of topics to help business make the most of their time and money.
As a long established company, Discover has a history of working with their customers and providing a level of customer support that is hard to match. And I can personally attest to this as a card holder. They are always willing to work with you and will take the time to answer all your questions.
You will never pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fee when you have a Discover card. Since some credit cards charge hundreds of dollars in annual fees and a 3 percent fee on all foreign transactions, you can save a bundle when using a Discover card. You will also be happy to know that the Discover customer service is 100 percent U.S. based.
Discover provides a year-end summary of your purchases. They also offer a free alert if your Social Security number is found on a risky website, as well as free alerts if a new account in your name shows up on an Experian credit report. Discover Card Services provide $0 fraud liability, an on/off switch to freeze your account, and free overnight shipping for card replacement.
An added benefit of having a Discover credit card account is the ability to track your credit score. The free Discover FICO score helps consumers to improve their credit—55 percent of consumers said the ability to routinely check their credit score positively impacted their credit, and 54 percent said their credit had improved since they were able to check their FICO score through Discover.
Once you're approved for a card, Discover offers online access for all accounts. You can view your current balance, available credit, payment information, as well as having the option of paying your Discover bill online (so you don't have to worry about it being late). They also offer a pay-by-phone option at no extra cost. This is a great way to make sure your payment gets there before the due date if you don't have an online account.
Overall, Discover is a great card to have. You can click the following link to find out more about Discover card services! (Information about these cards has been collected independently by CreditSourceOnline. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.)
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