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Discover it® Miles Card

Caroline Lupini
Updated on: 07/04/2017
RE®: 95
Our Rating
Discover it® Miles Card
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Discover Bank

For excellent/good credit
2017Best Travel Credit Card of the Year

The Discover it Miles Card is one of the best credit cards for consumers who want to earn bonus miles for every purchase. You’ll get 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend, no matter what you buy. It’s easy to earn miles fast because there are no special bonus-earning categories to worry about. This equates to what is essentially a 1.5 percent return every time you use the card.

A couple benefits of the Discover card really stand out. The most noteworthy is that Discover will double your miles at the end of your first year as a card member. A few other nice Discover card benefits include a free monthly FICO score, no foreign transaction fees and up to $30 in in-flight Wi-Fi reimbursement per year.

Bonuses and Benefits

Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Discover it® Miles Card offers and the value of the Discover Discover it® Miles Rewards miles you earn.

Bonuses

The Discover it Miles card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus as we typically think of them. Rather, Discover will match all of the miles you earn during your first year as a card member at the end of that year. For example, if you earn 10,000 miles during the first 12 months of having the card, Discover will give you an additional 10,000-miles bonus at the end of the year. There are no purchase caps or minimums and you don’t need to do anything additional to sign up. There is no limit to the number of bonus miles you can earn.

An additional benefit worth noting is that card members receive a free monthly FICO score from Discover.

What You Get

  • Miles earned are  matched at the end of the first year of cardmembership. There are no caps on earning or minimum purchases required 
  • Get 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases 

With Discover, you don’t need to worry about your points expiring. As long as you keep your credit card account open, your miles will not expire. If you close your account, Discover will apply your Discover card rewards to your balance. Likewise, if you haven’t used your card within 18 months, Discover will automatically credit your account with your rewards balance.

What is the value of the Discover it® Miles Rewards Miles?

When you have the Discover it Miles Card, you don’t need to worry about whether or not you are getting a good deal when you choose to redeem your miles. Each Discover mile is worth one cent, and since you earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases, you are always earning the equivalent of 1.5 percent cash back. When you redeem miles for an award, they are always worth one cent each. If you want to purchase an airline ticket that costs $200, you will need 20,000 miles to cover the entire cost of the ticket.

FIRST YEAR REWARDS
Flight Type
AVERAGE CPM
RE® VALUE
72,000
miles
Economy · Domestic1.5cpm$720
Business · Domestic1.5cpm$720
Economy · International1.5cpm$720
Business · International1.5cpm$720

What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?

Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles or points. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile or point you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket by the number of miles or points the award flight costs. That amount is multiplied by the number of miles or points earned per dollar spent on everyday purchases to account for cards that earn more than one mile per dollar spent.

How we calculate CPM:

÷×100=
The final result:
1.50cpm

The Best Ways to Redeem Discover it® Miles

Since the value of Discover miles is fixed at one cent per mile, there are not best and worst ways to use your Discover miles. You don’t even have to redeem your miles toward travel purchases! You can choose to have your miles deposited into your bank account or as a statement credit to offset any type of purchase. Effectively, Discover miles aren’t miles at all — they are cash back.

The Best Way to Redeem Rewards for Travel in

Roundtrip Domestic

  • Los Angeles
    Honolulu

    Los AngelesHonolulu

    Economy class
    Miles price
    71,000miles
     
    Dollars price
    $710
  • Atlanta
    Pittsburg

    AtlantaPittsburg

    Economy class
    Miles price
    20,900miles
     
    Dollars price
    $209
  • San Francisco
    Washington

    San FranciscoWashington

    Economy class
    Miles price
    64,000miles
     
    Dollars price
    $640

Roundtrip International

  • Boston
    London

    BostonLondon

    Economy class
    Miles price
    162,735miles
     
    Dollars price
    $1,713
  • New York
    Rejkjavik

    New YorkRejkjavik

    Economy class
    Miles price
    62,000miles
     
    Dollars price
    $620
  • Houston
    Nassau

    HoustonNassau

    Economy class
    Miles price
    53,500miles
     
    Dollars price
    $535

Roundtrip Domestic

  • Orlando
    Las Vegas

    OrlandoLas Vegas

    Business class
    Miles price
    49,000miles
     
    Dollars price
    $490
  • Washington
    Chicago

    WashingtonChicago

    Business class
    Miles price
    69,500miles
     
    Dollars price
    $695
  • Seattle
    Washington

    SeattleWashington

    Business class
    Miles price
    139,400miles
     
    Dollars price
    $1,394

Roundtrip International

  • Las Vegas
    Ottawa

    Las VegasOttawa

    Business class
    Miles price
    147,300miles
     
    Dollars price
    $1,473
  • San Francisco
    Dublin

    San FranciscoDublin

    Business class
    Miles price
    512,100miles
     
    Dollars price
    $5,121
  • Newark
    Tel Aviv

    NewarkTel Aviv

    Business class
    Miles price
    455,100miles
     
    Dollars price
    $4,551

Other ways you can redeem miles

Your Discover miles can be used to offset the cost of hotel stays, car rentals or any other purchase. Alternatively, you can use your miles for cash back deposited directly into your bank account at a value of one cent for every mile.

Hotel Stays

Any partnersAny part.

You can book any hotel you want and redeem miles for statement credits to help offset the cost.

Car Rental

Any partnersAny part.

Choose the car rental company with the cheapest rates or the most convenient location. There’s no limits on which company you can use.

Cash Back

You can even redeem miles for cash back at the same rate of one cent per mile. Get that cash back as statement credits toward purchases you’ve made or as a direct deposit into your bank account.

Everyday Earning

The Discover it Miles card earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. You don’t have to worry about keeping track of bonus categories or categories that change over time. If you spent $1,000 every month and charge it all on your Discover credit card, you will earn 1,500 Discover miles every month.

Your Monthly Charges
Rewards You Will Earn Annually
36,000miles$360in dollar value
Travel
1.5miles/$1
Hotel
1.5miles/$1
Car Rental
1.5miles/$1
Grocery
1.5miles/$1
Dining
1.5miles/$1
All Other Purchases
1.5miles/$1

Travel Benefits

The Discover it Miles card comes with a few key travel benefits:

$30 In-Flight Wi-Fi Access

You will be reimbursed for up to $30 in purchases of wireless internet access on an aircraft per anniversary year. The statement credit will be issued for the purchase amount in U.S. dollars within seven business days.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The Discover miles card does not charge foreign transaction fees so you can rest easy when you are abroad.

Earn Elite Status Fast

The Discover it Miles card does not offer opportunities to help you earn elite status either at hotels or with airlines.

Fees: the cost of Having the Card

Annual Fee:
$0
Balance Transfer Fee:
3% of the amount of each transfer
Foreign Transaction Fee:
0%
Late Payment Fee:
Up to $37

The Discover it Miles card does not have an annual fee. Even if you use this card just once a year, you will come out ahead. Assuming you use this card for $500 in purchases per month, you will earn 750 miles per month. This equates to 9,000 miles per year which is worth $90 in cash back.

Since the sign-up bonus for the Discover it Miles card doubles the miles you earn in your first year, you would be awarded a bonus of 9,000 additional miles at the end of the year. This is worth $90 more in cash back, making your first year total $180 in rewards. If you continue to use your card for $500 per month in purchases after the first year, you would continue to earn $90 per year in cash back.

Discover it® Miles Card is a no-fee card. You do not have to earn a certain amount of rewards in order to cover the cost since it’s free. It’s still good to know roughly how much you’ll be earning, though. We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings.

These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000

First Year

Signup Bonus
Anniversary Bonus
Everyday Rewards
$360
Statement Credit
Free Bags
DOUBLE YOUR REWARD
$360
Earnings
$720
Foreign Transaction Fees
-$0
APRS Charges
-$0
Annual Fee
-$0
Charges
-$0
Rewards Earned First Year
$720

Second Year

Signup Bonus
Anniversary Bonus
Everyday Rewards
$360
Statement Credit
Free Bags
DOUBLE YOUR REWARD
Earnings
$360
Foreign Transaction Fees
-$0
APRS Charges
-$0
Annual Fee
-$0
Charges
-$0
Rewards Earned Second Year
$360

Top 5 Benefits of the Discover it® Miles Card

Our favorite benefit of the Discover it Miles card is that it is so simple. You can always earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent, and you can redeem your miles for one cent each against any purchase. The Discover itMiles card is a great option for someone looking for an easy-to-use rewards card.
Here are the top five benefits of the Discover it Miles card:

  1. Great Earning Potential: You always earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent, which equates to 1.5 percent cash back. Don’t settle for 1 percent! The Discover it Miles card is better.
  2. Miles Can be Redeemed for Anything: You don’t have to wait until you have travel coming up to use your miles. Even though the Discover it Miles card earns Miles, it is a cash back card.
  3. Miles Doubled for the First Year: At the end of your first year as a card member, Discover will match all of the miles you’ve earned!
  4. $30 in Annual Wi-Fi Credits: Next time you have a long flight you can purchase Wi-Fi and have Discover cover the cost up to $30 per year.
  5. No Annual Fee: All of these great card benefits are absolutely free!

Should You Get the Discover it® Miles Card?

The Discover it Miles card is wonderful for two types of people. The first, and most obvious, is for someone looking for a single credit card that’s easy to use and that can do it all. The Discover it Miles card is a great option because it earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and redemptions areone cent per mile toward any purchase. Plus thereare a couple of other nice benefits, like $30 in annual Wi-Fi credits and no foreign transaction fees. As a no-fee card, all of that is essentially free.

The second type of person that the Discover it Miles card is a great option for is someone who is looking to truly maximize rewards. The Discover it is basically a no-brainer for the first year because all miles are doubled , meaning that it effectively earns 3 miles per dollar spent (1.5 when you purchase and 1.5 at the end of the year). After the first year it deserves a spot in the wallet of someone who wants to maximize rewards for purchases not included in the bonus earning categories of their other rewards credit cards.

FAQs

Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.

  • No, there is not a limit to the number of miles you can earn. This is true both for your regular, everyday spending and for the promotion offering double miles for your first year as a card member. Considering that there isn’t a cap on that bonus, the Discover it Miles card is an especially great card to use for the first year.

  • No, miles do not have to be redeemed toward travel purchases. It’s actually a little misleading that Discover calls the reward currency miles because this is truly a cash back card. You can redeem your miles for a statement credit against travel, dining, home improvement or any other kind of purchase you would like. You can also redeem miles for a cash deposit straight into your bank account.

  • Discover is somewhat unique in that you can choose from a few different options for what you card looks like. The options for the Discover it Miles card include three different colors: green, blue or pink. You can choose which card you want when you sign up for a new account. You can also request a new card at anytime through Manage Account.

  • You can do everything you need through Discover’s website. Apply for a new card, login to your current account, pay a bill or contact customer service.

  • Discover will evaluate your entire credit history, beyond just what your score is, order to determine if they will approve you for the Discover it Miles card. Based recent data, the average approval score is in the low- to mid- 700s while the score with an approval is 601.

  • There are a few different varieties of Discover cards: Discover it, Discover it Miles, Discover it Secured Card, Discover it NHL, Student it card, and the Student Chrome card.

  • The general thought it that you can have up to two Discover cards. In order to be approved for a second, the first must be open for an entire year.

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Compare Discover it® Miles Rewards Cards

Discover offers a few other credit cards that might be worth considering. The Discover it – Cashback Match, Discover it – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer, and the Discover it Chrome are comparable, but different from the Discover it Miles card.

Discover it® Miles Card
For Excellent/Good Credit
Check which Discover card is the right fit for you
How to Apply for this card

To apply for this offer please contact
Discover Bank

Other Discover it® cards

All of the cards above are like the Discover it Miles in the sense that an annual fee is not charged for the first year or any subsequent years. None of the cards directly offer a sign-up bonus, but the Discover it Cashback Match card also doubles the miles earned at the end of the first year. This card is different than Discover it Miles because it has quarterly rotating categories that earn 5 percent cash back and all other purchases earn only 1 percent cash back.

The Discover it 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card does not offer a cashback match. Instead, you have the option to transfer a balance from another credit card and be charged 0% APR for the first 18 months. This card might be a good option if you have been running balances on a credit card or two.

Discover it Chrome, better known as the Discover Student Card, is a gas and restaurant card for college students. The card earns 2 percent cash back on the first $1,000 in purchases at gas stations and restaurants each quarter of the year and earns 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. If you have a short credit history, the Discover it Chrome is a great option.

Discover it® - Cashback Match™Discover it® - Cashback Match™
Sign-up bonus
$00 miles$0$0
Annual Fee
$0$0$0$0
APR On Purchases
11.99% to 23.99% Variable±11.99% to 23.99% Variable±11.99% to 23.99% Variable±11.99% to 23.99% Variable±
Foreign Fee
0%0%0%0%
Bonus Value
$0$0$0$0
Second Year Value
$240$360$240$240

Compare Discover it® Miles Card to other Cards

There are a few cards offered by other issuers that are worth comparing to the Discover it Miles card. We will look at the Amex EveryDay Credit Card, Starwood Preferred Guest and VentureOne from Capital One.

MatchMile for Mile
Discover it® Miles Card

Check if Discover it® Miles Card is the best option for you

VentureOne is the most similar to Discover it Miles. It earns 1.25 miles per dollar spent on all purchases – slightly less than Discover. However, it also offers a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles. Venture miles must be used for toward travel purchases. The VentureOne doesn’t have an annual fee.

The American Express EveryDay card is another great everyday spending option. The points earned, Membership Rewards points, are more flexible than Discover miles but also more complicated. Membership Rewards can be transferred to a number of airline partners or they can be redeemed at a rate of one cent each directly through American Express. The current sign-up bonus is 10,000 points. There is no annual fee.

The third card, Starwood Preferred Guest, is even more flexible, but also more complicated. SPG points can be used for stays at Starwood hotels or transferred to a huge number of airline partners. Once you have converted your SPG points to miles, they must be redeemed within that program, which means you need to know the redemption rules and prices for every program that you intend to transfer miles to. Incredibly valuable awards are possible, but not without some time investment to understand your options. This card also comes with a $95 annual fee.

Card Overview

Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.

Card Details

Excellent credit score
Issuer
Discover BankDiscover Bank
Use miles
No
Pay with points
Yes

Flight Features

Available airline
Any
Loyalty Program
Discover it® Miles Rewards
Flights Type
Domestic and International
Alliance
Not a member

Travel Partners

Airlines
Any
Hotels
Any
Car Rental
Any
Cruise
Any

Card Terms and Conditions

Purchases

Intro APR: 
0% intro APR for the first 14 months
Intro APR for balance transfers: 
10.99% intro APR for 14 months from date of first transfer
Ongoing APR: 
11.99% to 23.99% Variable±
Minimum Grace Period: 
25 days
Extended Warranty Protection: 
All warranty periods are doubled for purchases made with your card.
Purchase Protection: 
Get coverage of up to $500 for items that have been damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase.
Price Protection: 
Discover will refund up to $500 if you find a lower price within 90 days on eligible items.
Return Guarantee: 
If the store won’t take it back, Discover will give you up to a $500 refund for unwanted items.

Cash Advance Features

Ongoing APR: 
25.74%
Cash Advance Fee: 
Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater

Security and Protections

Security is a very important aspect of credit. Discover it Miles comes equipped with a few features that enhance the security of the card.

Chip + Signature technology: 
Gives you global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals.
Free monthly FICO score: 
Every month you can check your updated Discover credit scorecard, for free, online or through Discovers’ mobile app.
Freeze it: 
Discover offers the ability to freeze your account. When you do so, Discover won’t authorize new purchases, balance transfers, or cash advances.
Zero Liability: 
Like with any credit card, Discover has your back. You’re never responsible for unauthorized purchases.

Mobile Banking

The Discover Mobile App is an easy-to-use mobile interface that allows you to quickly check your card activity while you’re on the go, which enhances security and convenience even further.

You can use your Discover it Miles card with Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.

Additional Cardholder Benefits

Discover it Miles offers some travel benefits for those on the go.

Discover Travel Benefits

Flight Accident Insurance:
Receive accidental death coverage of up to $500,000 for you, your spouse, and your covered dependents within one year of a flight accident if you purchased your airline ticket in full with your Discover it Miles card.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
Coverage for theft and collision for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad up to $25,000 if you paid for your rental with your Discover it Miles card.