Planning a vacation? With the right travel credit card, you can earn valuable rewards that you can use towards your trip. But many rewards cards are complicated, with rotating spending categories and hefty annual fees.
If you’re looking for a simpler option, the Discover it Miles card might be a fit for you. With no annual fee and a flat reward structure, you can rack up rewards on every purchase you make.
In this Discover it® Miles review, find out how you can earn and redeem rewards and make the most of your card.
Discover it® Miles card review
While many credit cards cards have different reward levels and spending categories, the Discover it Miles has a very simple program. You’ll earn 1.5X miles per $1 spent on all purchases, including gas, groceries, hotel stays, and airfare. And your rewards never expire.
The card offers a unique benefit: the Discover match. At the end of your first year as a cardmember, your card issuer will match all of the miles that you’ve earned throughout the year. For example, if you spent $10,000, you’d earn 15,000 miles. Thanks to the first-year bonus program, Discover would double your rewards, giving you a total of 30,000 miles — a $300 value.
With the typical travel rewards credit card, how you redeem your rewards is very important. Certain redemption methods offer more value than others, so you need to use them wisely to get the most for your miles.
The Discover it Miles card is very different. Your miles are always worth 1 cent each, regardless of your redemption method.
There are three ways to redeem your miles:
- Statement credits: You can use your miles to pay for travel purchases you charged to your card within the past 180 days. Travel purchases include airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agency fees, online travel sites, and commuter transportation.
- Electronic deposit: Starting at just 1 mile, you can redeem your miles for cash that’s deposited directly into your bank account.
Pay for merchandise: You can use your miles to pay for purchases on Amazon.com
When it comes to benefits, the Discover it Miles card is fairly barebones compared to other travel rewards cards. You won’t get perks like travel insurance or car rental coverage, so keep that in mind when booking your trip. However, Discover does offer some basic benefits for cardholders:
- Free card replacement: If your card is lost or stolen, Discover will replace it free of charge.
- Freeze it: If you think your information has been compromised, you can freeze your credit card immediately through your account dashboard, preventing thieves from making purchases or taking out a cash advance.
- FICO credit score: You can view your free credit scorecard on your monthly statements, online, or on the mobile app.
- No blackout dates: There are no blackout dates when you redeem your rewards, so you can travel whenever it’s convenient for you.
Terms & fees
As of July 2019, Discover offers 0% intro APR on new purchases for 14 months from the date of account opening. If you’re planning on booking a big vacation or financing a major purchase, you can take advantage of that introductory APR and save money. After the intro APR offer expires, the regular APR of 13.74% to 24.74% will apply, depending on your creditworthiness.
If you’re planning on completing a balance transfer, Discover has an introductory APR offer of 10.99% for 14 months from the date of your first transfer. After that introductory APR expires, your APR will be 13.74% to 24.74%.
There is no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, making it a smart choice if you’re traveling outside of the country.
Applying for the Discover it Miles card
To qualify for the Discover it Miles card, you’ll need to have good credit. According to Experian, one of three major credit bureaus, that means your credit score should be at least 670.
You can apply now for the card online. You’ll need to provide personal information about yourself, including your name, address, Social Security number, income, and monthly rent or mortgage payments.
In most cases, you’ll receive a decision right away. If you’re approved, your credit limit will be at least $500. If you’re denied, you’ll receive a letter in the mail explaining why.
Is the Discover it Miles card right for you?
The Discover it Miles card is a solid travel rewards card, but it’s not for everyone. It’s best for someone looking for a simple card to earn miles on everyday purchases. However, if you spend a lot of money in certain spending categories — such as groceries or travel — you may be better off with another card that offers a higher rate of return in those areas.
Looking for an alternative? Check out these two options:
Capital One Venture Rewards Card: Although the Venture card does have an annual fee, it has an enticing rewards structure. You could earn 2X miles per $1 spent on every purchase you make, and 10X miles per $1 spent at select hotels. Youcould also get more robust benefits, including auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, and extended warranty protection on qualifying purchases.
Chase Sapphire Preferred: Like the Venture card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has an annual fee. But, you could earn 2X points per $1 spent on travel and dining at restaurants, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Youcould also get perks like travel cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental damage collision waiver, baggage delay insurance, and trip delay reimbursement.