Discover it® Miles Card
Bonuses & Rewards
- match all the rewards at the end of first year
- 36,000 miles for everyday spend.
Everyone knows that one of the best benefits of travel rewards credit cards is the ability to earn miles or points to get free flights and hotel stays. If you work the system right, you could even get a free vacation for you and your entire family. But there are many other card benefits that can save time and money, as well as give you a better overall travel experience.
Traveling like royalty can be just a credit card away. You may not even know about some of the benefits of having a top travel credit card. You’re probably familiar with the most popular benefits, such as free checked bags and airport lounge access, but do you know about things like trip cancellation coverage, companion airline tickets and annual travel credits that can cover everything from cabin upgrades to Uber rides? Some of the best benefits can be the ones that aren’t the most obvious, like access to preferential VIP treatment just for being a cardholder.
It is no secret that the best airline miles credit card can get you free flights. But did you know that many of these cards come with a host of other benefits? These card benefits will not only save you money, but they can also save you from major headaches. You’ll be able to skip lines and travel with friends on a dime, all while getting a taste of the elite lifestyle. Many of these cards afford travel protections if you need to change your plans by offering perks like trip cancellation insurance. And in cases where your travels have been altered by unforeseen mishaps, you’ll find comfort in benefits like lost baggage insurance and trip delay reimbursement.
Unlimited 1.5x rewards on every purchase offer
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.
If you’re looking for a no-fee rewards card that offers a solid sign-up bonus and hassle-free redemptions, than the the VentureOne card from Capital One is a great option. You’ll get 20,000 miles worth $200 for spending just $1,000 in 90 days, plus you’ll earn a generous 1.25 miles per dollar for every purchase.
Getting the card is a risk-free proposition because it won’t cost you a penny. Whatever miles you earn with the card are pure profit because there aren’t any fees. You can even use the card while traveling internationally, since there are no foreign transaction fees either.
The best hotel credit cards can give you access to much more than a free hotel stay. One of the best ways to increase the reward earnings on your hotel credit card is to use it to boost your status within the hotel loyalty program. As you raise your rank within these programs, it usually leads to increased reward earning and more benefits, like room upgrades and late checkout. With some of these credit cards you can turn your ordinary vacation into an extraordinary experience.
For a card that charges no annual fees, the Hilton Honors Amex offers excellent earning potential due to its generous bonus categories. Because the card also comes with elite status, it’s best used to pay for stays at domestic properties within the Hilton portfolio.
Getting the card poses zero risk because it charges no annual fees, even after the introductory year. As mentioned earlier, holding a no-fee card long-term helps increase the average age of accounts, and having more available credit helps decrease utilization ratio—two factors that contribute to a higher credit score.
You can get excellent value out of ThankYou points, particularly if you transfer them to airlines and redeem for expensive premium cabin tickets. If you are a traveler that often books the cheapest economy class ticket, then there can also be strong value in redeeming points through the ThankYou program’s travel portal thanks to the 25 percent discount offered by this card.
If you are interested in domestic award travel or simple award redemptions, this card may prove to be too complex. Instead, consider cards with more domestic transfer partners. You may not get quite the same value for your points, but there will be more availability and easier redemptions.
With sign-up bonuses being all the rage in the credit card market, they are easy to come by with a wide variety of cards available. If you have the right credit cards and the right strategy, you can finance an entire vacation after getting just a couple of good sign-up bonuses. However, don’t apply for more than one card at a time and be sure to complete the required spending to receive the bonus before opening another account. Try not to overspend to reach your goals. It is important not to buy frivolous items and to avoid carrying balance and paying interest. That way you will maximize your rewards and make that vacation truly pay for itself.
With a sign-up bonus of 40,000 miles and the ongoing earning power of two miles for every dollar spent, there’s a good case for owning the Venture card. The $59 annual fee is waived the first year and you’ll have $460 to spend on travel once you’ve made the required $3,000 in purchases within the first three months. That makes this card a solid contender for your everyday spending. However, if you’re not going to be able to spend a minimum of $3,000 a year on the card, you would be better off selecting a card that has no annual fee.
If you’re looking for a premium travel rewards card that offers a decent sign-up bonus, flexible rewards and the ability to transfer to travel partners, then Citi Prestige makes for a good option.
Although the card’s annual fee of $450 is not waived for the first year, you can enjoy all the benefits, such as free lounge access and concierge service, essentially for free because the value of card’s 40,000-point bonus more than offsets the cost. In fact, you’ll easily be making money once you factor in the annual $250 air travel credit, the 4th Night Free benefit and the Global Entry enrollment fee credit.
Although an annual fee can pay for itself through bonuses, reward rates and perks, you may be a stickler for fees and want to avoid them. Or you might feel that all those perks and benefits are not useful to you, which is understandable. If you can’t or won’t make use of a card’s benefits, there is no need to pay for them. There is no better way to keep your out of pocket costs down to $0 then to avoid annual fees on your credit cards. There are many great cards that can help you avoid fees while still being rewarding. Many no-fee cards offer sign-up bonuses as well. You can also get good promotional interest rates and good balance transfer deals. And for those wondering, yes, it is possible to get free and discounted travel without having to pay an annual fee.
The Citi Double Cash mostly makes sense under two circumstances. The first is for someone who is seeking simplicity. Since the Double Cash card doesn’t have rotating or any other type of bonus categories to worry about, all you have to do is swipe, pay off your card and reap the benefits!
The second type of person that the Double Cash makes sense for is someone who has a few other rewards cards that cover popular purchase categories, like groceries, gas and travel, but they’re looking for a card for other purchases that otherwise would not earn a bonus. The Double Cash is a great option for that!
Up to 5% cash back offer
Discover it is a solid credit card that should be in just about everybody’s wallet. The card offers a great five percent return on categories that rotate quarterly, and one percent back on all other purchases. The first year as a cardholder can be really good for your bank account because all the rewards you earn will be doubled by Discover, with no limit!
In addition to being a great everyday earner, the Discover it card doesn’t have an annual fee and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees if you want to use the card abroad. Redeeming cash back is super simple with no minimum redemption amount and no restrictions about what you can use the cash back for.
Compare all credit cards by RE® Value, which is an estimate of how much you will earn during first year of credit card use minus annual fees.
Although not having an annual fee can be a great benefit, you may want to consider paying a fee to get increased reward earning, a big sign-up bonus and the preferential treatment that can come with being a cardholder. Many of these perks offset the annual fee on their own, and if you add all the benefits together the savings can be phenomenal.
Specific cards are referenced throughout this guide. Many of the cards mentioned have several, if not most of the benefits outlined below. Nearly all airline cards, for example, offer at least one free checked bag per flight, and some even allow for up to five free bags. Most of the cards mentioned here also come with chip technology and no foreign transaction fees, which can be especially handy for international travelers.
No matter which specific perks these cards come with, they all allow you to upgrade your travel experience in one way or another. How much one vacations and travels isn’t always dictated by cost, but may also be influenced by the overall experience. To get the most out of your vacation and travel plans, it may be best to have several of these cards so you can use their benefits accordingly.
A checked bag usually runs about $25. If you are taking a round-trip flight, it can add up to $50 or more. If you have the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, which allows a first bag checked free for the primary cardholder and up to four companions on American Airlines flights, it can be a savings of $250 per roundtrip. Now take four of those trips a year you can easily save $1,000. Considering that the annual fee for this card is only $95, which is waived for the first year, this is a significant savings on baggage fees alone. If you usually ride solo or with just one companion, you may want to have a card that gives two free checked bags per flight, like the United MileagePlus Club card.
Priority boarding can allow you easy access to those coveted overhead storage compartments. This is a must for many travelers. Without the right credit card or a first or business class ticket, one of the limited ways to achieve this feat would be to reach a certain status level in your frequent flier program. That could take about 25,000 miles to get there.
This benefit can help your trip go smoothly by minimizing time spent standing in line. For many this benefit alone can make an airline or travel card worth getting. Depending on the airline, this privilege may also help you be one of the first to receive your bags when you get to the other side.
Without the right credit card, you may also be able to purchase priority check-in, but the option to buy is not available at all airports. Space is limited and it is on a first come first serve basis. Costs can range from $10 to $30 per person.
These are an easy way to recoup an annual fee. These passes are usually awarded annually and are good for a domestic economy class flight. You can get annual coach companion tickets with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card for $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees).
Another great, but often underestimated benefit is usually only available on co-branded airline and hotel credit cards. That’s a boost in earning elite status in frequent flyer or hotel loyalty programs. Most of these programs work on a tiered system. The higher your rank, the better the rewards and benefits you will get.
If you don’t have a hotel credit card, the only way to increase your status is through the amount of times you stay. However, the Hilton Honors Surpass card from American Express offers complimentary Gold status within the Honors program.
When it comes to the frequent flier programs, if you don’t earn elite status through credit cards, you have to earn it by flying. Several of the Delta cards give you Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), which count toward status, as a sign-up bonus. Both the personal and business Delta Reserve cards award 10,000 MQMs and miles after your first purchase. To get to Silver status, you need only 25,000 MQMs.
This benefit is when a certain amount of the miles you redeem are refunded back to your frequent flyer account. For example, the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard by Barclaycard gives you 10percent of the miles you redeem back. You can get up to 10,000 miles returned to you per calendar year.
This will broaden your options when booking an award ticket. For instance, United Explorer cardholders are able to book a ticket with no restrictions or blackout dates at the standard award level. Delta Amex cardholders have a similar perk as well. For a broader range of award seats, be sure to check the I Am Traveling box when you sign in to your SkyMiles account.
This is when your credit card reimburses you for nonrefundable trip expenses due to cancellation because of unforeseen events. This usually refers to sickness, injury or severe weather. If you have a Citi AAdvantage credit card, you may be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip per covered traveler. This benefit is available on other cards as well. Keep in mind that this usually only applies to travel purchases made with your card.
We have all watched that carousel with dread as bag after bag comes out, worrying that yours won’t be there. Your credit card may be able to help you ease the dread if it covers lost baggage. All Visa Signature cards, including U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature, covers up to $3,000 in the event that your lost luggage was a result of carrier misdirection or theft. Other issuers may have different policies.
This is different from lost baggage insurance. If your luggage is temporarily lost or stranded somewhere, this coverage kicks in. You can be reimbursed for inconveniences associated with the delay of the baggage. Different cards have different criteria, but you will usually be covered for bags delayed by three to 12 hours, and reimbursed between $100 and $500 dollars.
For example, the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard has this benefit and covers up to $100 for bags delayed by six hours or more, whereas the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard covers $500 for bags delayed by only three hours. You will need proof and receipts for this claim.
This benefit is usually available with the top tier co-branded airline credit cards and some general travel cards. Lounges give you a space to unwind while you wait for your flight. While most will offer complimentary snacks, beverages (including alcohol), Wi-Fi and charging stations, some offer much more, like spas or massages. Keep in mind a membership alone to most airline lounge networks, including United, American and Delta, will easily cost $500. The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard gives you free access to Admirals Clubs, as well as the lounges associated with the 15 global airlines in their oneworld alliance.
Every year when you renew your card you will be given a travel credit that usually ranges between $200 and $300. Depending on the card, this credit can be redeemed for different things related to travel, such as lounge access, baggage fees and even airline tickets.
Some cards give you the credit automatically, while others require you to make claims by calling customer service. Some credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige, allow you to use the credit toward the purchase of an airline ticket. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards card and the Platinum card from American Express do not.
TSA PreCheck allows you to skip the security line and avoid inconveniences like having to take your shoes off. This is especially important to people who travel often. Global Entry is for U.S. customs and Border Protection and allows for expedited clearance during international travel. It includes PreCheck.
Several cards offer credits for Global Entry and or TSA PreCheck. With American Express, for instance, you can receive one statement credit for up to $100 for Global Rntry or an $85 credit for TSA PreCheck every four years when charged to an eligible Amex card, like the Platinum card. Applications, once approved, are good for five years.
Some credit cards offer discounts on airfare when you redeem miles. For instance, American Airlines gives Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard and AAdvantage Aviator Red MasterCard holders a 7,500-mile discount on round-trip tickets that are at least 500 miles each way. There are other discounts to be had, depending on the card and your destination.
Many airline and hotel credit cards will give members discounts or large bonuses for purchases made while staying or flying. Some hotel cards also allow discounts at the restaurants within the hotels.
The Club Carlson cards will give you a whopping 20 points per dollar for food and beverages charged to your room. Plus, depending on your status in their loyalty program, you can get up to 20 percent off at participating restaurants.
Several hotel credit cards offer free nights as a welcome bonus, which is available after you complete the minimum spending requirement. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card offers two free nights after spending $4,000 in three months. This can be used in a tier 1-4 hotel, which can be a savings of several hundred dollars. You will get the most value from this perk by staying at a tier 4 property. Others, such as the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card, reward cardholders annually with free hotel stays.
Whether you want to upgrade your seat on a plane or your room at a hotel, it can be possible with the right credit card. Some cards will reimburse you for cabin upgrades when you fly. Or get a room with a better view if it’s available. Just ask about upgrades at check-in and let them know if you have elite status. Remember to ask; you might not get it if you don’t request it.
Having a hotel credit card may afford you the ability to check in early or, more importantly, check out late. Just ask when you arrive or call the front desk as your alarm goes off in the morning if you feel as though a snooze just won’t be enough. Either way, be sure to request it before checkout time. You can sometimes get several extra hours, which can make a world of difference.