The Discover it® Miles doesn’t come with as many attractive perks as other travel credit cards, but its list of benefits works for what the card strives to offer: simplicity.
Travel credit cards have a certain glamorous flair to them. When we think of these cards, we think airfare booked with miles, lounge access, upgrades to first class and elite statuses at hotels. However, such cards usually charge significant annual fees, which might not be justified for an occasional traveler.
If you belong in this group, a card like the Discover it® Miles may make more sense for you. It offers benefits like 1.5 mile-per-dollar rate on all purchases, flexible redemptions and no foreign transaction fees, all of which can provide plenty of value to a budget-minded traveler.
We’ve compiled this benefit guide to help you determine whether the Discover it Miles is a good option for you. Read on to learn what the card offers and how you can maximize it.
Discover it Miles card benefits
Being aware of all the benefits your credit card offers allows you to get the most out of it.
Here’s what you can get if you have the Discover it Miles.
Simple travel rewards
The Discover it Miles is like a flat-rate cash back card with a travel twist. It earns an unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar on everything, which makes it a good choice for people who want the simplest rewards possible.
To boost your earnings, Discover matches all the miles you earn in the first year with the card. For example, if you spend $15,900 (what we consider the average annual spend), you’ll earn $238.50 worth of miles. Discover will then give you another $238.50, bringing your total first-year rewards to $477 worth of miles.
Flexible redemption options
All redemption options on the Discover it Miles provide the same 1-cent-per-mile value.
Since the Discover it Miles is advertised as a travel credit card, you can naturally redeem your rewards for travel. The issuer doesn’t have a travel portal, but you can redeem your miles for statement credits for eligible travel purchases made within the last 180 days.
Alternatively, you can redeem for cash back or purchases made directly on Amazon.com or using PayPal.
The consistent mile value allows for excellent redemption flexibility, as you don’t have to worry about not maximizing your card’s potential.
At the same time, you don’t have the option to stretch your miles further by transferring them to travel partners or taking advantage of issuer portal deals or bonuses.
No foreign transaction fees
This is another must for a travel credit card. Many credit cards charge foreign transaction fees (typically around 3%) if you’re using them on an international trip. Travel credit cards, however, generally don’t charge these fees – including the Discover it Miles.
Tip: Note that the Discover cards might not be as widely accepted worldwide as Mastercard and Visa cards. Make sure you have different payment options to take with you on a trip outside of the U.S.
No late fee on your first late payment
Discover doesn’t charge a late fee ($40) the first time you pay your bill late. Additionally, paying late won’t impact your APR.
Remember that while Discover may be somewhat forgiving of potential late payments, they will still be recorded on your credit report and have a significantly negative effect on your scores.
U.S.-based customer service
Discover is known for its excellent customer service. When you reach out with an issue or a question, you can expect a prompt response from a customer service representative.
The Discover it Miles card provides 100% U.S.-based customer service available 24 hours a day. You can contact an agent via online chat or by phone.
Complimentary choice of card design
Discover allows you to customize your credit card and make it your own by choosing from multiple card design options.
Maximizing the Discover it Miles
The main value of the Discover it Miles comes from its simple rewards system. There are no bonus categories to keep in mind and no rotating categories to remember. You’ll earn 1.5 miles on everything – no reward limits or expiration dates.
If the Discover it Miles is your only rewards card and you avoid complex credit card strategies, all you have to do is make sure you use the card on all purchases to maximize rewards.
If you have other rewards credit cards, use it like you would a flat-rate cash back card – on purchases that fall outside of bonus categories on your other cash back or travel cards. This way, you’ll ensure you’re earning more than 1% or 1 point per dollar on all of your spending.
In your first year with the card, it may be a good idea to put as much of your spending on the Discover it Miles as you can (unless you’ll also be applying for other credit cards with valuable sign-up offers). This way, you can take advantage of double cash back in the first year.
While the Discover it Miles doesn’t have much to offer in terms of the perks travel cards are typically known for, it can still provide plenty of value.
It’s an incredibly simple rewards card, and that’s what makes it appealing. Cardholders can enjoy the same rewards rate on all purchases, as well as consistent value when redeeming their earned miles.