Launched in 2006 - The Discover Business Card was launched in June of 20061. Back when it was launched, Discover did not have a business card and this was their first foray into the small business card area. There have been changes to it's rebate formula through the years. But when it was first launched, the card paid 5% cash rebates on office supplies purchases and 2% on gasoline purchases. For other regular purchases, you earned 0.25% rebates for up to $5,000 in annual spend. Once you exceed that, you earn 1%. In 2008, Discover put an annual spending cap of $1,200 on office supplies and gasoline spend that enables you to earn 5% and 2% rebates respectively. Once you exceed that spending limit, you will earn 1%.
Cash Back Formula - The reward formula today is slightly different from when it was first launched. Cardholders will still earn 5% cash back on office supplies and 2% on gasoline. But you can only earn up to $2,000 in annual spend on each category. For other regular purchases, you will earn 0.25% for your first $5,000 in annual spend. Once you spending on non-office supply and non-gasoline purchases exceed $5,000, you earn 1% cash back.
Also Get Discounts With ShopDiscover Merchants - Like most of their consumer cards, this card also has the shopdiscover feature where you can earn 5% to 20% rebates through shopdiscover's online merchant partners. When shopdiscover was first launched, they only had about 60 online partners. That has now increased to over 200 partners.
Up To Double Cash Back Value With Gift Card Redemption - Like the consumer discover cash back cards, this card allows you to get more than the value of the cash back you have earned if you exchange them for certain gift card partners (see below).
How Does It Stack Up With Other Cash Back Business Cards - The key question for anyone considering this card is whether there are better alternatives out there. The two things that we really want to look out for are the office supplies and gas rebates that other cards give.
Discover Business Against the Amex Simply Cash - The Amex Simply Cash presents a very strong competition to this card. It also pays 5% cash back on office supplies, and they pay that 5% up to $12,000 in annual spend on that category. The SimplyCash also pays 3% rebates on gasoline for up to $12,000 in annual gasoline spending. For non-office supplies and non-gasoline purchases, Simply Cash pays 1% cash back with no tiers. Right away, it is very clear that in terms on cash back, the Amex SimplCash beats the Discover Business Card. The only area whether it is better is that Discover Business cardholders have access to shopdiscover where they can earn more rebates with over 200 online merchants. Amex has the OPEN Partners where they can get discounts with just a few select partners.
Another Competition From Chase Ink Cash - It turns out that Discover also faces stiff competition from the Chase Ink Cash. The Ink Cash also pays 5% rebates on offices supplies, and also cellular, land-line and cable service for up to $25,000 in annual spend on these categories (even better than Simply Cash). It pays 2% on gasoline and dining for up to $25,000 in annual spend for this category. For other regular purchases, the standard 1% applies.
How Does Capital One Sparks Cash Select Square Up? - The Sparks Cash Select is Capital One's cash back business credit card and it offers a standard 1% cash back for all purchases. But the card pays you a 50% bonus at the end of the year so it is in fact a 1.5% cash back card. Depending on how your spending patterns of your business are, the Discover Business Card may or may not get your more cash rebates.
Let's not forget Bank of America - BOA has a cash back MasterCard for business owners and it pays 3% cash back on office supplies and gas stations and 2% at restaurants and 1% for everything else. So it is inferior with regards to rebates for office supplies but better in gasoline and also has a restaurant category that Discover does not have. Their 1% for everything else also has no tiers.
Is the Discover Business Card Good? - Unfortunately, after looking and comparing with it's peers, we have to conclude that there are better cash back cards out there. The two cards are clearly stand out in this space is the Chase Ink Cash and the SimplyCash from Amex.
There are two areas which other cards are simply better. The first is that Discover requires an annual spend to exceed $5,000 before they pay 1% cash rebates. All other cards in the market simply do not have this restrictions. Secondly, the annual spending cap on their office supplies and gasoline categories is simply too low compared to it's peers.
If you are looking for a cash back business card, we would suggest you get the Chase Ink Cash or the Amex Simply Cash instead.
1. Press Release: Discover Announces Launch of Discover Business Cards