A Look Back Into The Past - If you want to have a sneak peak at how Discover Cards were before the launch of their flagship Discover More Card, this card was how Discover cards looked like in the past. Till this day, the Discover More has tiered cash back system. But the rebate formula for this cards really takes us back to the dark ages of reverse tier cash back systems.
Reverse Tier Cash Back System - What is a reverse tier system? It is system whereby you will earn more rebates the more you spend. But at a certain point, spending beyond a trigger level results in lower rebates! And the Discover Gold Card has precisely a formula like that.
The cash rebate is based on every $2,000 that you spend on the credit card. For every $2,000 you spend up to $6,000, you will get $20.00 rebate (ie 1% rebate percentage). For every $2,000 spent above $6,000, you get $10.00 cash rebate (ie 0.5%). You are earn up to $500 in cash rebates in a year (ie spending of up to $94,000). If you do spend $94,000 on the Discover Gold Card, your annual cash rebate percentage turns out to be 0.0532%.
Who was Discover Gold Up Against? - You might be wondering what cards were Discover Gold up against back then. Well, there were up against much better cards.
Firstly, this card does not even come close with a basic 1% cash back credit card. The highest tier of this card is 1%. That means on average your total rebates earning based on your total spending. You can never earn more than one percent cash back.
To compound the problem, there were cards during that era that were much better than 1% cards. In fact, the better cards in those days are better than the best cash back cards today. Let's look at a couple of examples below.
The old Citi Dividend paid 5% cash back on supermarket, gas and drugstore spending and 1% on other purchases. Chase had another card called the Chase Cash Plus Plus that was similar to old Dividend card. Even a tiered rebate card like the old BLue Cash had a much better system where you would earn 5% rebates on the same expenses as the Dividend and Cash Plus Card.
2 cycle average daily balance method - And for record's sake, we also have to mention that this card used the 2 cycle average daily balance of calculating cardholder's balance. (note: credit card issuers are no longer allowed to use this method to calculate your monthly balance)
We did not recommend this card back then - Given what this card was competing against other much better cards, we did not recommend it when it was around. Thankfully, this card has been replaced with a much better Discover More Card.