Flexible rewards cards are my favorite! The rewards you earn don’t lock you into using certain brands or products. And when it comes to flexible travel rewards credit cards, the Discover it® Miles Card is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just looking to save on a single vacation, the Discover it® Miles card will work for you. You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5X miles on every dollar you spend, plus there are no rotating categories or rewards caps to worry about, ever. With the Discover Match® program, Discover doubles your miles at the end of your first year. As a straight reward, that’s hard to beat! Check out some other great rewards from Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card before you make your decision on which card would be best for your traveling needs!
Discover it® Miles Card Highlights
If earning travel rewards with the Discover it® Miles Card sounds good to you, here are a few things you need to know:
- Double Miles First Year: Earn double miles your first year with the Discover Match® program (new cardmembers only).
- No Earnings Caps: Earn 1.5X miles per dollar spent without any caps.
- No Annual Fee: Don’t like annual fees? This card doesn’t have one!
- Redeem for Credit: Redeem your miles for a statement credit on travel expenses.
- No Blackouts: Never any blackout dates.
- Miles are Flexible: Redeem your miles with any airline or hotel at any time.
- Free Wi-Fi: Comes with an annual $30 credit toward the purchase of in-flight Wi-Fi.
- 0% Introductory APR: Introductory 0% APR on purchases for first 14 months.
Where It Shines
The Discover it® Miles Card is a great way to reduce your travel costs, especially if you don’t have any solid plans yet! The unlimited 1.5X miles on all purchases is higher than most other travel cards…at least on non-travel related expenses. Each mile is equal to $0.01 in travel credit, so spending $6,666 will net you $100 off travel. If you’re a new cardmember, Discover will even double your points at the end of the first year. That means your unlimited 1.5X points are essentially worth a 3% travel credit for your first 12 months!
Since the card isn’t tied to any specific brands, the miles you earn are the most flexible travel rewards available. Unlike cards that tie into loyalty programs, you’ll never have to worry about blackout dates. Plus, you’re not tied down to specific brands, which makes your points practically like travel cash! Shop around for the best deal, then use your card to book with any airline or hotel you want. Apply your miles as a statement credit, and you’re good to go!
One of my favorite things about the card is that there is no annual fee. That’s hard to find in the travel cards space, and it helps move this card near the front of the pack. As a bonus, there are no foreign transaction fees and a 0% introductory APR on purchases. You’ll receive a $30 credit toward in-flight Wi-Fi purchases each year too. Like some of our other favorite travel cards, the Discover it® Miles Card also provides auto rental insurance, flight accident insurance, and purchase protection.
Tips for Getting the Most from Your Card
To maximize your new Discover it® Miles Card benefits, it’s best to use it for everyday spending. Paying expenses like gas, groceries, utilities and more can really add up over the course of a year. Plus, you’ll earn double miles that first year, making it an even better value.
Another way to save more is pairing your Discover it® Miles Card with a card that earns cash back. That gives you tons of flexibility to pay for flights, hotels, and more. The Chase Freedom® Unlimited Card is a great match. With this card, you’ll earn a $150 signup bonus when you spend just $500 on the card in the first 3 months. A minimum spending requirement that low is practically like free money…free money you can use on your next trip. Use it to save on flights, hotels, or other incidentals. Redeem it anywhere, any time, and never worry about blackout dates!
What You May Not Like
The Discover it Miles® Card is a great for travel, but it doesn’t come without some faults. Here are a few ways the Discover it® Miles card falls short:
- No Signup Bonus: Having a signup bonus can be a huge selling point, and that’s one area where the Discover it® Miles Card is sorely lacking. Yes, the card offers double miles the first year, which could potentially turn into a lot of money. But, when some of the other top travel cards offer signup bonuses equal to $625 in travel, the double miles pale in comparison.
- Lower Value: While the miles are super flexible and can be used with any travel brand, that also means they don’t directly transfer to travel partners and don’t stretch as far. Although the points are still $0.01 each, you generally get discounts through loyalty programs that you won’t find here. Thus, the loyalty points generally go further. Think of these miles more like cash back. They’re a good thing to have, but other points can get you more bang for your point buck.
- Wait for Match: Discover doubles your miles, but it doesn’t happen until the end of your first year. So, if you’re trying to build points fast, this isn’t a great card to use. However, if you don’t plan to travel in the near future, you can save up your points and take them as a credit later on.
Alternatives to the Discover it® Miles Card
Yes, the Discover it® Miles Card is great for travelers, but I still don’t consider it the best. If you like the idea of a flexible travel rewards card but want to get the best card available, I would suggest the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
With the Chase Sapphire® Preferred Card, you’ll earn a whopping 50,000 point signup bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months. You can redeem those points for $625 in travel through the Chase portal or $500 in gift cards. (For comparison, you’d need to spend $41,666 on your Discover it Card to earn $625 in travel credit.) You also earn 2X points on travel and restaurant spending and 1X point on everything else. The points transfer to 11 of the top loyalty programs in the world, like Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and more. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® also offers rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, and no foreign transaction fees. There’s $95 annual fee, but it is waived for the first year. It’s my favorite rewards card of all, and you should get it if you can. Read our full review.
Unfortunately, not everybody is eligible for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Chase’s new 5/24 rule means that you may be denied if you’ve applied for more than 5 lines of credit in the last 24 months. You’ll also need excellent credit to qualify. So if you can’t get it, don’t want to deal with loyalty programs, or are turned off by the annual fee, the Discover it® Miles Card is a great second choice.
The Discover it® Miles card is a great way to earn credit toward reducing your travel expenses. While most travel cards rely on co-branded loyalty programs to save money, miles earned with this card are redeemed as a statement credit. That means you never have to deal with transferring points or converting them into dollars. Use them for travel expenses through any travel brand at any time. There’s no annual fee, plus Discover doubles your miles at the end of your first year. At 3X miles your first year, the Discover it® Miles Card is hard to beat!