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Discover it Miles Review

Discover it Miles Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Aug 11, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

What customers the Discover it® Miles is best for

The Discover it® Miles is a good no-fee card for travelers who want to earn a consistent amount of miles on all purchases without category restrictions. Compared with some competing cards with an annual fee for travel rewards, this card offers a competitive rate for earning miles, all with a $0 annual fee.

  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year.*

  • 1.5 Miles per $1 Spent*

  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases*

Highlights
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Discover will match ALL the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That’s $700 towards travel! The more you earn, the more you get.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Miles Pay You Back. Easily redeem Miles as a statement credit for travel purchases. Or get cash.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Miles

More Info

This card was designed for frequent travelers, so if that’s not you, look at other rewards cards and cashback cards. If you travel abroad, you may run into issues with this card due to its limited network outside the U.S. — so it may be better to have another card in your wallet in case Discover it® Miles isn’t accepted.

Where this card stands out in its category

This card offers a great bonus with Discover Match®, allowing you to earn an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of the first 12 months of new card membership. This is a unique feature that Discover offers, compared to the limited bonuses other cards give.

Additionally, the Discover it® Miles offers a simple rewards program that earns you miles on every purchase. This is compared to other travel cards that may only offer high rates on select purchases.

Where this card falls short in its category

The main setback of the Discover it® Miles is the limited network. Compared to other cards that are backed by Mastercard® or Visa®, Discover has less worldwide acceptance. When traveling abroad you have to rely on the Diners Club Network, which may pose issues. Also, this card offers less redemption options than other travel rewards cards. You can only redeem for a statement credit towards eligible travel purchases, not to book flights or hotels.

Additional card benefits

The Discover it® Miles offers numerous additional card benefits:

  • Discover Match®: For new cardmembers, Discover will match ALL the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That’s $700 towards travel!
  • Simple miles redemption: You can redeem your miles at any time and at any amount, and miles never expire. This is a great feature since many cards have limits and minimum redemption amounts.
  • Freeze it®: If you’ve misplaced your card, you can simply put it on hold with the touch of a button online or via the Discover app. While your account is frozen, Discover will not authorize new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers. When you find your card just hit unfreeze.
  • Free FICO® credit score: Discover provides your FICO® Score for free via Discover Credit Scorecard, allowing you to monitor your score on a regular basis. Scores are updated every 30 days.
  • 100 percent U.S.-based customer service: All account related questions can be directed to the 24/7 representatives Discover has available.
  • No late fee on your first late payment: Discover will give you a pass on your first late payment. This is a great warning to set up autopay or payment reminders.
  • No penalty APR: Making a late payment will not increase your APR.
  • $0 fraud liability: You will not be held liable for any unauthorized purchases made on your credit card.

How to use it most effectively

The Discover it® Miles is best used for all purchases since you accrue miles on everything. There are no purchase minimums to earn the Discover Match®. If you’re contemplating taking a trip it’s a good idea to do it within the first 12 months from account opening so it qualifies for the Discover Match®.

When you travel abroad, be sure to use this card since there is no foreign transaction fee. This allows you to save on the 3-5 percent fee most credit cards charge on foreign purchases. Keep in mind the Discover it® Miles may not be widely accepted outside the U.S.

Rewards breakdown

The Discover it® Miles offers unlimited 1.5x miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee. This allows you to accrue a consistent amount of miles on all purchases. There are no blackout dates and you can fly any airline, anytime.

Starting at one mile, you can redeem for cash as an electronic deposit to your bank account or for a credit for travel purchases on your statement made within in last 180 days. Travel purchases include airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites and commuter transportation. Also, you won’t lose your miles, even if your account closes. See terms and conditions for details.

There is an added bonus for new cardmembers: Discover will match ALL the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That’s $700 towards travel!. The additional miles will be applied to your account in the following one or two billing periods. This is a great way to maximize your miles in year one.

Compare it with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The Discover it® Miles and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card are travel cards that provide different benefits depending on how frequently you travel. The Discover it® Miles may be the better choice if you don’t travel that often since there is a $0 annual fee. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that, which makes the card worthwhile for avid travelers.

  • One-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel

  • 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

Highlights
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

See additional details for Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

More Info

You will earn a higher rewards rate with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, but consider the annual fee before choosing this card. You will need to spend $4,750 each year (excluding year one) to earn enough miles to recoup the annual fee. Another factor to consider is the type of traveling you do. If you travel in the U.S., either card can be a good option. However, those that travel abroad may have better luck with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card since it is backed by Visa® and therefore has wider acceptance. Here’s a breakdown of the highlights of each card.

Discover it® Miles Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Annual Fee $0 $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Purchase Intro Rate 0% for 14 months N/A
Balance Transfer Intro Rate 10.99% for 14 months N/A
Balance Transfer Fee 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)* $0
Ongoing APR 13.49% - 24.49% Variable 17.49% - 24.74% (Variable)
Rewards Unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Sign Up Bonus Discover will match ALL the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That’s $700 towards travel! One-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
Foreign Transaction Fee None None

Bottom line

The Discover it® Miles is an overall good choice for a no-fee travel rewards card. You will earn a consistent cashback rate and can benefit greatly from the Discover Match®.


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