Who Is the Discover it Miles Card Good For?
Discover cardholders are typically very loyal. That’s no surprise given the company’s reputation for excellent customer service. It consistently ranks at the top of JD Powers annual credit card customer satisfaction rankings.
Until recently, though, Discover hasn’t paid much attention the travel rewards credit card market. That changed with the introduction of the Discover it Miles card. Like the Capital One Venture Rewards card and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World MasterCard, the Discover it Miles card works by allowing you to redeem miles for statement credits toward travel purchases.
The strength of this program is its flexibility and simplicity. You can buy the travel you want—including airline tickets, taxis, train tickets, subway fares and more—and then reimburse yourself with the miles you’ve earned. There’s no hunting down the best redemptions or award availability.
That makes this card a good choice for occasional travelers or anyone who needs maximum flexibility from their award travel. In other words, if you need to fly on specific dates and can’t compromise to find award flights, or if you often find yourself booking at the last minute, you should consider getting the Discover it Miles card.
It’s also a good card if you’re new to the points and miles game. Those who are savvy at maximizing the value of their points or miles may want to look elsewhere since you cannot transfer Discover miles to any frequent flyer programs.
One complaint many people have about Discover though is its limited network. While you still wouldn’t want to do without a Visa or MasterCard in your wallet, Discover is working hard to expand the number of vendors who accept the card. They offer low transaction fees to businesses and the card is accepted in many countries, including anywhere that accepts Diners Club International.
|AIRLINE TRANSFER PARTNERS
|11.24%-23.24% based on credit worthiness
|RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
|TYPE OF CARD
The card does not come with a set sign-up bonus. Instead, Discover will match the miles you earn during first year that you have the card. So if you earned 30,000 miles by the end of the year, you’ll get another 30,000, for a total of 60,000 miles.
- 1.5x miles per dollar spent on all purchases
What Do Your Discover it Miles Get You?
The only way to use your Discover miles is by redeeming them for statement credits. Though Discover has gone to some lengths to promote the Discover it Miles card as a travel card, it is essentially a cash back card. You can redeem miles for travel, but you can also get cash back.
So while you can’t transfer your Discover miles to any other loyalty program, you have complete flexibility in what you want to purchase with your miles. The flipside is that you will never get more than a cent per mile. If you’re a savvy rewards shopper, you know you can do better than that if you redeem directly through an airline frequent flyer program.
One great perk that adds value to this card is the annual $30 credit towards in-flight Wi-Fi. Unlike some other cards that offer this type of benefit, you’re not limited to a specific Wi-Fi service as long as you pay with your Discover card. Since this is a no-fee card, it’s basically free money.
- Earn miles on reward flights purchased with Discover miles
- $30 annual credit towards in-flight Wi-Fi
- Redeem miles in any amount
- No blackout dates on rewards
- Miles never expire
- No foreign transaction fees
- No airline transfer partners
- Limited network, particularly outside of the U.S.
- No set sign-up bonus
How Far Do Your Miles Go?
The Discover it Miles card has a solid earning scheme, particularly considering it’s a no-fee card. You’ll get 1.5 miles per dollar spent. But, for the first year you have the card, Discover will match that earning, giving you an excellent 3 miles per dollar on every purchase.
Adding to that value is the fact that you can earn miles on award tickets. Just buy the flight you want and reimburse yourself for the cost with Discover miles you’ve already earned.
Additional Cardholder Benefits:
- Free monthly FICO credit score
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty
- Price protection
- Return guarantee
- Delayed baggage insurance
- Emergency roadside assistance for a fee