Discover it® Miles review

Published: July 1, 2020

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Published: July 1, 2020

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Ratings Policy
Low Interest Rating:
3.4 rating
3.4 rating
3.4 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 3.1
Rewards: 3.7
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 5.0

In a Nutshell:

The Discover it Miles card can you help you cut costs thanks to its long 14-month introductory APR on new purchases and its low regular APR.

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Regular APR
11.99-22.99% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Introductory Purchase APR
0% intro APR for 14 months (See rates and fees)

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
10.99% intro APR for 14 months (See rates and fees)


  • No annual fee
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee (up to 5% fee on future balance transfers)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 5% cash advance fee (or $10, whichever is higher)
  • (See rates and fees)


  • Up to $40 late payment fee (none for your first missed payment)
  • No penalty APR
  • Up to $40 returned payment fee
  • (See rates and fees)

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, no late fee on your first payment, no penalty APR, free FICO® credit score, price protection, free social security number alerts

Rewards Rating:
4 rating
4 rating
4 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.4
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.2
Rewards Flexibility: 4.8
Features: 1.0
Customer Experience 5.0

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 miles per dollar on general purchases

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

Annual Bonus

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

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

11.99-22.99% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption

  • 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


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

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, no late fee on your first payment, no penalty APR, free FICO® credit score, price protection, free social security number alerts

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 introductory APR on purchases for the card’s first 14 months (11.99 to 22.99 percent variable APR thereafter). 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 matches 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-annual-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-annual-fee card. For example, we estimate that if you spend roughly $1,325 a month, you’ll rack up nearly $500 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 aren’t charged a foreign transaction fee. 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.

Why get the Discover it Miles credit card?

  • 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 the Discover it Miles credit card:

  • Use it as your primary credit card – at least for the first year.
  • 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.
  • For additional advice, check out our complete guide to transferring a balance to your Discover card.

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All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

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