Reviews Discover it Miles credit card review

Discover it Miles credit card review

Published: August 2, 2017
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No Annual Fee Rating:
4.3 rating
4.3 rating
4.3 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.2
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.0
Rewards Flexibility: 4.8
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The Discover it Miles card offers a high return of 1.5 miles per dollar and then doubles those miles in your first year of membership, making it one of the best travel cards you can get with no annual fee.

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Rewards Rate
1.5:1 miles on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
Double the miles you earned at the end of the first year

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$318

APR
11.99-23.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • No expiration dates
  • No point limits
  • Redeem any amount
  • Purchase travel anywhere
  • Wide range of travel redemption options, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel packages, taxis and public transportation
  • Rewards can be redeemed even when an account has been closed or is inactive

Cons

  • You can’t transfer miles to airline frequent-flier programs

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, no late fee on your first payment, no penalty APR, free FICO credit score, bonus points through Discover Deals mall, up to $30 in in-flight Wi-Fi credits, baggage delay insurance, extended warranty, price protection, purchase protection

Rewards Rating:
3.8 rating
3.8 rating
3.8 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.1
Rewards Flexibility: 4.8
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The Discover it Miles card offers a range of high-end travel perks and an industry-leading rewards rate for the card’s first 12 months, but the benefits drop off significantly after the first year.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate
1.5:1 miles on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
Double the miles you earned at the end of the first year

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$318

APR
11.99-23.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • No expiration dates
  • No point limits
  • Redeem any amount
  • Purchase travel anywhere
  • Wide range of travel redemption options, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel packages, taxis and public transportation
  • Rewards can be redeemed even when an account has been closed or is inactive

Cons

  • You can’t transfer miles to airline frequent-flier programs

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, no late fee on your first payment, no penalty APR, free FICO credit score, bonus points through Discover Deals mall, up to $30 in in-flight Wi-Fi credits, baggage delay insurance, extended warranty, price protection, purchase protection, free Social Security number alerts

Travel Rating:
3.7 rating
3.7 rating
3.7 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.8
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.1
Rewards Flexibility: 4.8
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

By doubling cardholders’ earnings in the first year, this super flexible travel card beats nearly all of its no-fee competitors by allowing cardholders to effectively earn three miles for every dollar they spend.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate
1.5:1 miles on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
Double the miles you earned at the end of the first year

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$318

APR
11.99-23.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • No expiration dates
  • No point limits
  • Redeem any amount
  • Purchase travel anywhere
  • Wide range of travel redemption options, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel packages, taxis and public transportation
  • Rewards can be redeemed even when an account has been closed or is inactive

Cons

  • You can’t transfer miles to airline frequent-flier programs

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, no late fee on your first payment, no penalty APR, free FICO credit score, bonus points through Discover Deals mall, up to $30 in in-flight Wi-Fi credits, baggage delay insurance, extended warranty, price protection, purchase protection

For a card with no annual fee, the Discover it Miles card packs a punch – at least for the card’s first 12 months. New Discover cardholders enjoy a promotional rewards rate that rivals high-end cards that have pricey annual fees. Cardholders also get a 0 percent APR on purchases for the card’s first 14 months. But once the card turns 2, the rewards go from stellar to ho-hum, and the Discover it Miles card becomes a tougher sell for frequent travelers.

Unusual bonus offer
The Discover it Miles card forgoes the traditional sign-up bonus in favor of a more unusual promotional offer, that, depending on how much you spend, can be substantially more generous. For the card’s first year, Discover offers 1.5 miles for every dollar spent, and then doubles those miles at the end of the card’s first year – effectively making every dollar you spend worth three miles instead. The triple rewards rate rivals those offered by higher-fee cards, but it doesn’t last forever. At the end of the card’s first year, cardholders go back to earning just 1.5 miles per dollar spent, which is just slightly better than average for similar no-fee cards.

Solid rewards value
At approximately 1 cent per mile, the redemption value for miles earned through the Discover it Miles card is about average for a rewards card. But if you take into account the card’s generous bonus offer, cardholders can potentially earn a pretty good return for a no-fee card. For example, we estimate that if you spend roughly $1,325 a month, you’ll rack up nearly $300 worth of rewards in just one year.

Flexible redemption
The card bills itself as a travel card, but you don’t have to use your points on miles. You can also opt for cash back. Unlike many other travel cards, you also aren’t limited to flying with certain airlines or booking travel through a card issuer’s portal. Because Discover redeems miles by crediting your travel purchases directly to your account, you can fly any airline you want, when you want. You can also choose any hotel, car rental, cruise or vacation package. You can book your travel yourself and use your miles to pay for everyday expenses, such as public transportation and taxis.

A good value for less frequent travelers
In addition, the card offers a number of premium travel perks that help make traveling potentially less expensive. For example, cardholders can take advantage of free roadside assistance, baggage-delay insurance and up to $30 worth of credits for in-flight Wi-Fi. Cardholders can’t transfer miles to airlines’ frequent-flier programs, though, which is a disappointment for frequent travelers.

Consumer-friendly practices
Along with American Express, Discover has earned a reputation for keeping its cardholders happy with exceptional customer service, making it a good choice for cardholders who want more customer-friendly service.  Discover is famously forgiving of cardholders who accidentally forget a payment, making it a good choice for consumers who want a safer credit card. Rather than charge a late fee or hike your APR when you miss your first payment, Discover automatically forgives it.

Reasons to sign up for it:

  • You want a simple rewards card with a high rate of return.
  • You want a travel card with fewer restrictions.
  • You want rewards, but don’t want to pay an annual fee.
  • You want a safer, more consumer-friendly rewards card.

How to use it:

  • Use it as your primary credit card – at least for the first year – so you can earn triple rewards on all your spending.
  • Take advantage of the card’s free credit score feature and track your FICO score with each statement.
  • Maximize the flexibility of the travel redemption by shopping for the cheapest flights.

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