updated Aug 30, 2016
If you are looking for a Miles credit card that's as uncomplicated and rewarding as other Discover cards, this card will probably catch your attention. But does Discover it® Miles really deliver as a miles credit card? In this review you can check out what this card gives you, what it doesn't give you, and how it compares with similar credit cards.
50,000 Miles could turn into 100,000 Miles with Discover Match®. We’ll automatically match all the Miles you earned at the end of your first year. Only for new cardmembers.
Miles Matched Offer. At the end of your first year Discover matches all the Miles you've earned. That means that if you chalk up some decent points by using this as one of your primary credit cards, you could end up with a huge chunk of Miles to use as you please. This offer is for new cardmembers only.
No annual fee. Like other great cards from Discover, this travel card has no annual fee.
Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar you spend on purchases. For each $1 that you spend on purchases, you will earn one and a half (1.5) Miles. That's already a lot of Miles, but by shopping deals from popular merchants through Discover DealsSM you can earn additional Miles. With deals with many popular brands available, there is a good chance that a lot of what you plan to buy is available there, so you can earn a lot of extra Miles that way.
Low intro APR. When you sign up for this card, you will enjoy a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months. After that, you get a variable purchase APR which is currently 11.24% - 23.24% variable purchase APR for purchases and balance transfers. This introductory rate makes this a good card to use for large purchases that you know you can pay off within the first 12 months, and if you keep your credit in top shape you can enjoy a very low ongoing APR.
100 Miles = $1 value. You can redeem your Miles in any amount toward travel purchases on your statement starting from just 1 mile. That means that you use your Miles to refund your travel purchases made with this card, which gives you a lot of freedom to choose how you travel. You can also redeem your miles for cash as a direct deposit to your bank account. Every 100 Miles you earn translates into one dollar of value (1 mile = 1 penny), so you would have to redeem 50,000 Miles for a $500 airline ticket. Making just $16,667 (25,000 Miles) in purchases with this card in the first year after opening your account would be enough to get you those 50,000 Miles (with the exclusive welcome offer).
Up to $30 a year refund for in-flight Wi-Fi fees. Discover refunds your in-flight Wi-Fi fees (up to $30 a year). You get this refund as an automatic statement credit. This is a unique benefit, and if you use at least $30 worth of wireless internet while flying each year, this is basically additional money earned.
Freeze ItSM. This on/off switch lets you prevent any new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers from being made using your lost or misplaced card. It only takes a few seconds to freeze or unfreeze your card account online or with the mobile app.
Free FICO® Credit Score. Track your recent FICO® Credit Scores for free in an easy to read chart on your monthly statements, on the mobile app or online. Most of us need to keep track of our credit score, and getting your FICO® Credit Score (the most widely reviewed score) for free means more money saved.
No foreign transaction fees means that when you use this card to pay for purchases while on holiday or traveling outside of the US, you won't have to pay a foreign transaction fee. Most cards charge from 3% to 5% of each transaction, which can add up to a lot of wasted money. Having a card that charges no foreign transaction fee is also helpful if you want to purchase things online from merchants outside the US.
Paying late won't raise your APR. This is an important and often overlooked benefit. If you happen to miss a payment, your APR won't go up, so you won't suddenly be charged a much higher interest rate on your balance. Most credit cards raise your APR to 29% or more when you make a late payment. Still, I suggest you always make sure to pay on time to avoid paying a late payment fee of up to $35, although there is no late fee on your first late payment.
100% U.S. based customer service at your dedicated phone number at any time of day or night. If you have wasted precious time on hold, or worse yet, battling to make yourself understood by a friendly but incomprehensible foreign customer service agent, you will understand the incredible value of good customer service.
Free overnight card replacement. Get replacement cards shipped overnight to any U.S. street address at your request, at no extra charge.
You are never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card. If your card is ever lost or stolen, you will not be held liable for unauthorized transactions made with your card.
Click on the Apply Now button to see rates, FICO® Credit Score terms, rewards, and other useful information.
Limited travel benefits. This card has excellent Miles-earning potential and a few money-saving travel perks like a $0 transaction fee and in-flight Wi-Fi fees refund of up to $30 every account anniversary year in the form of statement credit. For a no annual fee travel card it offers a lot, in my opinion.If you want a card that gives you more exclusive privileges such as trip cancellation and interruption coverage and primary auto rental coverage, and you don't mind paying an annual fee, then consider Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
No 1:1 frequent travel program conversion unlike some other credit cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, this card does not offer 1:1 miles conversion to frequent travel programs. But the benefit of the miles you earn with this Discover it® Miles is that you can redeem them towards the cost of any travel purchases you make with this card. You can read more about the value of miles here.
Limited acceptance outside of the U.S. This is a fantastic credit card to use if you want to hoard miles towards a vacation or other trip just by using it for your everyday purchases. But when it comes time to travel, you may want to take a Visa or MasterCard with you just in case. Discover is working hard to expand its international network, and you can use your card to pay at merchants and ATMs that accept Diners Club International or UnionPay as well as at places where Discover is accepted. But it still has a ways to go, and you don't want to risk being stuck in some exotic place without a way to pay.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card comes with a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles (worth $400 in travel) after you use it to make $3,000 of purchases in the first 3 months. Depending on how much you spend, the welcome bonus offer you get with Discover it® Miles could give you less or more miles than this offer. This Capital One card lets you earn unlimited 2X miles per $1 for every purchase, while Discover it® Miles only lets you earn unlimited 1.5x miles on every dollar you spend on purchases, but Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that, while the Discover card has no annual fee. You will have to spend close to $3,000 just to earn enough miles to cover what you spend on the annual fee with the Capital One Card. Discover also covers your in-flight Wi-Fi fees (up to $30 a year-with an automatic statement credit) which saves you money if you like to connect while flying. Unlike the Discover card which has a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months with 11.24% - 23.24% variable purchase APR after, this card doesn't give you a low intro APR period for purchases or balance transfers (the 13.24% - 23.24% variable APR applies from the beginning). You can use this Mastercard card to pay at millions of merchants worldwide.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card comes with a 20,000 miles one-time bonus (worth $200 in travel), once you spend $1,000 on purchases within your first 3 months. Like Discover it® Miles this card has no annual fee, but you earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, which is a lower rate than the unlimited 1.5 miles which Discover it® Miles gives you. This card has a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (12.24% - 22.24% variable APR after), which is similar to the 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months you get with Discover it® Miles (11.24% - 23.24% variable purchase APR after). Like Discover it® Miles & Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, the miles you earn with this card can be redeemed towards any travel purchases you charge to your card, but they cannot be transferred to frequent travel programs. You can use this Mastercard in most countries and it has no foreign transaction fee.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card. This card lets you earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, which is the same as what Discover it® Miles gives you. But if you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account you can get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you make. If you're a Preferred Rewards client at Bank of America, that bonus can increase to 25%-75% (depending on how much money you have in your bank account). Click "Apply Now" to learn more about Preferred Rewards. This card has no annual fee, just like the Discover card. The points you earn can be redeemed for a statement credit that you can use towards hotels, flights, vacation packages, baggage fees, cruises or car rentals. So here too, the way you redeem points for travel bookings you make is very similar to Discover it® Miles and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. You get a 0% intro APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases (15.24% - 23.24% variable APR after that). If you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account this Bank of America card will reward you more, especially if you're a Preferred Rewards client. As this is a Visa card you can use it to pay and get cash advances around the world. See Terms.
Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® lets you earn 20,000 bonus miles (enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit) after you spend $1,000 on purchases in your first 90 days after account opening. You earn 2 miles per $1 you spend on travel & dining purchases and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases. The bonus of using this card is that every time you redeem, you get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption. This card works very nicely as a travel card because MasterCard is accepted by merchants and ATMs worldwide. It has no foreign transaction fee (like Discover it® Miles) and comes with World MasterCard® perks like worldwide automatic travel accident insurance, reimbursement for expenses when your baggage is delayed, trip cancellation/interruption insurance and many more. This card gives you 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months (16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24% variable APR thereafter) on balance transfers made within the first 45 days of account opening. It also gives you complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access, like the Discover card. This card packs a lot of perks for a card with $0 annual fee, but it has a lower base miles earning rate for all purchases compared to Discover it® Miles.
Discover it® Miles is a good card to use if you want to earn miles on all purchases towards covering the cost of a trip. But you may have a difficult time using this card outside of the U.S.
Discover it® Miles is a simple and flexible credit card for earning Miles fast. The welcome offer for new cardmembers that matches the number of Miles you earn by the end of your first year of membership means you can chalk up a lot of Miles if you use this card to pay for a lot of your purchases the first year. Even after that, the unlimited 1.5 Miles you earn for every $1 that you spend on purchases is very high for a card with no annual fee.
Other popular cards I've reviewed that offer this amount of miles have annual fees of $50 or more, which cancels out a lot of what you save by earning miles. Add to that the interest you can avoid paying thanks to the 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (after that a variable purchase APR, currently 11.24% - 23.24% variable purchase APR) and this really becomes a smart option for travel savings. If you are looking for a low-cost credit card with real saving potential, you can hardly go wrong with Discover it® Miles.
Emma Fox is a staff writer at GET.com, a lifestyle and personal finance website. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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