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Review

Review of the Discover it® Miles Credit Card

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Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Mar 11, 2020 | Updated Aug 10, 2020
Our rating
Min. credit level: Good
Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: See Terms

Discover it® Miles

Our rating
Good Min. credit level
Jump to Alternatives

The Discover it® Miles is a simple, no annual fee travel credit card that offers 1.5X miles per dollar for every purchase you make, no matter where you shop. That will be the equivalent of 1.5% cash back.

It doesn’t have a lot of extra perks and benefits, though it’s quite flexible compared to most travel cards because it provides the full value of 1 cent per mile no matter how you redeem your rewards.

Discover makes this card more rewarding by doubling the total number of miles you earn in the first year to 3X miles per dollar, or 3% cash back, a unique offer that will scale up to fit however much you spend. You can take advantage of the introductory interest rate on purchases to help fund a trip, a nice feature that not all travel cards share.

The Discover it Miles is a solid offer when it comes to travel cards with no annual fee. Read on to learn more and see what makes it so good.

Discover it® Miles

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRSee Terms

The information related to Discover it® Miles has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

Although the Discover it Miles card doesn’t have a lot of flashy features and a bevy of luxurious travel benefits, like some travel credit cards, it’s a good offer overall.

Why We Like It

  • 1.5X miles for every purchase
  • Double miles in your first year
  • A lengthy introductory rate for purchases
  • Free FICO Score 8 from TransUnion
  • No annual fee

Why It Could Be Better

  • Limited benefits, no travel-specific perks
  • When redeeming for statement credits, redemptions must be for travel, gas station, or restaurant purchases within the past 180 days

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Use it everywhere, or combined with other cards: Use the Discover it Miles to earn the equivalent of 1.5% cash back (or 3% in the first year). If you have multiple cards, use this card whenever you won’t earn more rewards with a different card.
  • Deposit rewards into a bank account: Redeem your miles directly into a bank account for the simplest way to access your rewards. This will let you redeem them even if you don’t have any travel/gas/restaurant expenses to use them for.
  • Pay off expenses over time at zero interest: Use the intro purchase APR to pay for new purchases over time. Be sure to pay the minimum payment every month or you could lose your intro rate.
  • Be aware of Discover availability abroad: Take the Discover it Miles along with you outside the country because you won’t be charged any extra fees for foreign transactions. But take note that Discover has limited acceptance outside the U.S., especially in Canada and Europe.

The Rewards

With this travel rewards card you’ll earn 1.5X miles per dollar for every purchase, which is the equivalent of 1.5% cash back.

After your first year of card use Discover will double the rewards you earned, so you would get 3X miles per dollar in that first year— equal to 3% cash back.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5X miles per dollar on all purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Discover Match: Double miles earned during the first year, awarded at the end of the first year

You can earn an unlimited number of miles, and they won’t expire as long as your account is open.

The regular rate of 1.5X miles per dollar is pretty good but Discover will double the miles you earn after one year, meaning you’ll effectively be earning 3X miles per dollar for that first year after account opening. That’s a great deal!

Redeeming

You’ll always get a value of 1 cent per mile, no matter how you redeem. This is a handy feature compared to many cards, where you’ll only get the best rate for one or two redemption methods.

Miles can be redeemed in three different ways:

  • By an electronic deposit into the bank account of your choice
  • By a statement credit to pay for eligible travel, restaurant, and gas purchases within the past 180 days
  • By using Pay With Miles at select merchants like Amazon.com (an option will automatically appear where eligible)

The simplest method would be to designate a bank account, and have the rewards redeemed directly into it on a periodic basis. This is a nice feature to have on a travel credit card, because it means you can access your rewards even if you don’t happen to have any travel expenses in a given year.

We recommend that you avoid the Pay With Miles option because you won’t earn any miles when you pay with rewards. Instead, pay with your Discover card as normal to earn miles, and then redeem your miles with a different method.

You can also redeem your miles for statement credits to pay for past travel, restaurant, and gas purchases, which will reduce the balance of your account.

Eligible travel purchases include:

Hotel Rooms Commercial Airline Tickets Car Rentals
Taxis and Limousines Cruises Vacation Packages
Passenger Railways Local and Suburban Commuter Transportation Charter Tours, Bus Lines

The Benefits

  • FICO Credit Scorecard: Access your FICO Score 8 whenever you’d like for free, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Cash at Checkout: At eligible retailers you can get cash at checkout, a handy way to get some money without going to an ATM. The extra cash will be counted as part of your purchase.
  • Refer a Friend bonus: Earn a $100 statement credit bonus for every friend you refer who’s approved, up to 10 friends per year. If your friend makes a purchase within three months of opening the account, he or she will earn a $100 bonus too.
  • Free Social Security number alerts: Discover searches for your Social Security number on thousands of risky sites and will alert you if your information was compromised.
  • New account alerts: Get notified of credit inquiries and new accounts on your Experian credit report.
  • $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee: If your card is lost or stolen, you are not liable for any fraudulent charges made to your account. Contact customer support immediately if you suspect fraud.
  • Fraud Protection: Discover monitors your account around the clock for suspicious or unusual activity.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms See Terms
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 None
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
See Terms See Terms
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None See Terms See Terms

This is a pretty affordable card, with no annual fee to worry about. It can be completely free to use as long as you avoid interest and fees by always paying off your balance in full each billing cycle.

Take note that the introductory offers for purchases and balance transfers are different with this card. Most cards will have the same offer for both, but not here.

The Discover it Miles has no foreign transaction fee, which is a great feature to have on travel credit cards. This means you can bring it with you anywhere in the world and you won’t have to worry about an extra charge, as long as Discover is accepted.

The Bottom Line

The Discover it® Miles is a contender if you’re looking for a simple credit card that will reward you for traveling. While not the most rewarding card for travelers, its simplicity can be attractive to some.

It’s a general-use travel card, offering its 1.5 miles per dollar for every purchase you make no matter what type. This means you can earn miles at a pretty fast rate, especially because Discover will double the total miles you earn at the end of your first year.

Overall, it’s not the most rewarding travel card but it has no annual fee, and Discover makes it easy to redeem your rewards either for travel expenses or otherwise. This means it’s a good option if you want to optimize your rewards with multiple cards because you can easily earn the equivalent of 1.5% cash back for every purchase with this card, making it good for any spending when you would otherwise only earn 1% cash back.

How to Apply for the Discover it Miles Credit Card

You can apply for the Discover it Miles securely on Discover’s website. Discover will check your credit reports from the major credit reporting bureaus. Keep in mind your credit might take a small hit from the hard credit check.

Good credit scores will give you the best shot at approval, though credit decisions rely on more than just credit scores.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply
  • Personal information: Name, date of birth, Social Security number, U.S. citizenship status
  • Address and contact information: Home address, phone number, email address
  • Financial information: Total annual income, monthly mortgage or rent payment

Discover it® Miles

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRSee Terms

The information related to Discover it® Miles has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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Alternatives to the Discover it Miles Card

Not crazy about the Discover it Miles? Here are some other cards that you may like better.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card (Review) is very similar to the Discover it Miles card.

One of the differences between the two, however, is in their introductory APR periods. The Discover card offers an intro period for both purchases and balance transfers, while the VentureOne only features a purchase APR period.

The VentureOne credit card offers a welcome bonus of 20,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening, which is pretty good.

Capital One also has a selection of airline partners to which you can transfer miles, giving you a way to earn a higher return on spend. With Discover, you’re stuck with 1 cent per mile.

The VentureOne has stronger benefits, especially if you qualify for the Visa Signature version of the card.

These cards are alike in most ways. If you’re wondering between them, the main question to ask yourself would be if you want to earn miles at a slightly higher rate with the Discover it Miles, or get better benefits and transfer opportunities with the Capital One VentureOne Rewards.

Spending Rewards
  • 1.25X miles per dollar on all purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 20,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • CreditWise Credit Monitoring: See your VantageScore 3.0 based on your TransUnion credit report, and check data from your TransUnion report.
  • Luxury Hotel Collection: Provides special perks at select hotels around the world.
  • Shopping discounts: Get discounts at certain retailers. There are usually a few dozen offers available here, for both online and physical stores.
  • Fine Wine and Food: Focused on food, with a bit of wine thrown in too. You’ll get certain perks at wineries and discounts from common merchants.
  • Sports and Entertainment Offers: Get exclusive discounts and offers at sports events and a variety of other experiences.
  • Travel protections: You’ll get access to roadside dispatch, and your luggage will be reimbursed should it ever be misplaced while traveling.
  • Purchase security: If an eligible item you buy is lost or damaged, you can be reimbursed up to $500 per claim.
  • Purchase APR: 0% for for 12 months, then 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable).
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0

The information related to Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $95
Regular APR 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) is one of the more popular travel credit cards, coming with a $95 annual fee.

For that price you’ll be able to earn 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides and 2X points on travel and dining purchases. That’s more rewarding than the Discover it Miles, but only for those purchases.

You’ll get a nice bonus of 80,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. To earn that much with the Discover it Miles in your first year, when Discover will double your earnings to 3 miles per dollar, you’d need to spend a whole lot of money.

The Sapphire Preferred has the definite edge on extra benefits, and also provides extra points at select retailers through the Shop Through Chase program, along with more discounts through Chase Offers.

This card will cost more annually, but it provides a more lucrative rewards program along with flexible redemption options. You’ll have to choose which card best suits your spending habits.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides
  • 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Travel
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 80,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months

The travel category includes the types of expenses you’d expect, along with some others you might not expect. In all, it covers:

Airfare Hotels Car Rental Agencies Taxis Buses
Toll Roads Parking Lots Garages Travel Agencies Discount Travel Sites

The Sapphire Preferred has a few redemption options, one of which allows you to transfer points at a 1:1 rate to a variety of frequent traveler programs, like the British Airways Executive Club or Marriott Bonvoy. This is one of the best ways to use your points because you can often get the equivalent of upwards of 4%, 5%, or even 6% cash back. The Discover it Miles does not allow you to transfer rewards to other programs.

  • DoorDash membership: You’ll get a free DoorDash membership for at least a year, known as a DashPass. This gives you free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12, which could help you save quite a bit if you tend to order out.
  • Refer a Friend: You can invite friends to apply for the Sapphire Preferred, and for every friend who’s approved you’ll get 15,000 bonus points. You can earn up to 75,000 bonus points per year in this way.
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection is provided by Chase, and includes benefits at over 900 locations around the world. In addition to hotels and resorts, many lodges and spas can be found in the collection as well. Certain blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.
  • Shop through Chase/Chase Offers: Cardholders can get more points at select retailers with the Shop through Chase marketplace, and discounts through Chase Offers.
  • Chase Preferred Experiences: As a Sapphire Preferred cardholder you’ll have access to exclusive events and experiences provided by Chase. There aren’t very many available at a time, and they’re only available at select locations around the world.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: You can call 1-800-953-7392 to speak with your Visa Signature Concierge, 24/7.
  • Travel protections: Trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and more.
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty protection.
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R).
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

JetBlue Plus Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $99
Regular APR 18.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The JetBlue Plus Card is a JetBlue co-branded travel card issued by Barclays.

While it does have an annual fee of $99, it comes with a higher rewards rate than the Discover it Miles. You’ll earn 2X points on groceries and at restaurants, and a far superior 9X points on JetBlue airfare (6X from the card, 3X or more from the flight).

You’ll also receive 10% of the points you redeem back, along with a few extra perks. These include a 50% in-flight discount on purchases, a yearly credit when you purchase a JetBlue Getaways vacation package, and your first checked bag will be free.

So if you enjoy flying with JetBlue, you’ll earn quite a bit for your loyalty and get a few extra traveling perks over the Discover it Miles.

Spending Rewards
  • 9X points per dollar or more on tickets purchased from JetBlue
    • 6X points per dollar from the JetBlue card
    • 3X points per dollar or more for being a member and booking JetBlue flights online
  • 2X points per dollar at:
    • Restaurants
    • Grocery stores
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 40,000 bonus points for paying the annual fee and spending $1,000 on purchases in 90 days
  • Redemption bonus: 10% of your points back every time you redeem
  • Anniversary bonus: 5,000 bonus points every year, after your cardmember anniversary
  • First checked bag free: You and up to three traveling companions on the same JetBlue reservation will each get your first checked bag free.
  • Fast track to Mosaic member status: Reach Mosaic status, which comes with more points per dollar and other benefits, by spending $50,000 with the card in a given year.
  • 50% discount on in-flight purchases: Eligible in-flight purchases are discounted 50%, including food and beverages but not WiFi access.
  • Vacation bonus: $100 statement credit for each year that you purchase a JetBlue Getaways vacation package
  • Purchase APR: 18.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months (for balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening), then 18.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $99
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days.
  • Earn 6X points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2X points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores, and 1X point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year automatically after your account anniversary.
  • Get 10% of your points back every time you redeem.
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights.
  • Free first checked bag for you and up to three traveling companions.
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food.
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card.
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $99 annual fee.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee $550
Regular APR See Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review) is a luxury travel credit card, coming with an annual fee of $550.

If the Discover it Miles is on the low end of travel cards, it’s good to see what the high end looks like.

Some of the elite benefits include awesome lounge access, a $200 annual airline fee credit, good for expenses like checked bags and in-flight meals, $200 in yearly Uber credits (limited to $15 per month and $35 in December), and an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. You’ll also have access to a wide variety of discounts and special offers at hotels through the Fine Hotels & Resorts program, coming to an average value of $550 per year.

And that’s not even all of the perks and benefits. The Discover it Miles really can’t compete with a high-end card like this, and while it costs quite a bit more, it has plenty to offer in recompense.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly through airlines or through American Express Travel
    • Prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through American Express Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 60,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

You’ll be earning rewards at a pretty fast rate as long as you travel often enough, and those points can be transferred to a variety of frequent traveler programs where they might be even more valuable. The value of your points will vary quite a bit when you transfer them, depending on where and how you use them, but if you can get 2 cents per point you’ll be getting the equivalent of 10% cash back (when earning at the 5X rate).

  • Amex Global Lounge Collection: Cardholders get complimentary access to over 1,000 airport lounges across 120 countries, including Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club, and more.
  • $200 annual airline fee credit: Every year you can select an airline, and you’ll get a statement credit for up to $200 in fees (like checked bag fees or in-flight meals) charged by that airline.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Global Entry ($100 every four years) and TSA PreCheck ($85 every four-and-a-half years) are programs that provide expedited screening at airports, and Amex will refund the application fee for one of these programs.
  • Hilton Honors Gold status: Enroll in this benefit and get some nice perks when staying at hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio. These include room upgrades, your 5th night free on reward stays, and an 80% bonus on Hilton Honors Base Points you earn.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status: Enroll in this benefit to get a number of convenient services when staying at Marriott Bonvoy properties.
  • $200 in Uber credits each year: You’ll get a statement credit for up to $15 in Uber rides each month, except for December, which has a $35 credit.
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts Collection: Book through Amex’s FHRC to get a daily breakfast for two, room upgrades when available, late checkout, early check-in, and more. Certain blackout dates may apply.
  • Platinum Dining program: Perfect for a night out on the town, American Express holds a reservation for you at over 1,000 top restaurants. Just call your concierge service and select “Dining” from the menu.
  • Amex Offers: You’ll have access to discounts at a wide variety of merchants — currently there are 73 different offers available, and the selection changes now and then.
  • Annual fee: $550
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,000 properties. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Looking for some more rewarding cards to take with you around the world? Check out our picks for the Best Travel Credit Cards.

Have you used the Discover it Miles credit card? How do you like it? Let us know by leaving a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!

At a glance

The Discover it Miles provides 1.5X miles per dollar on all your purchases. While not the most rewarding option, it is fairly simple, and Discover will double what you earn in your first year to make it a bit more lucrative.

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The information related to Discover it® Miles and Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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