Discover it® Miles Card Review: Great Travel Rewards, But Light on Perks
Discover it® Miles
The Discover it® Miles is a great travel credit card for people who don’t want to pay an annual fee. The card offers a high rewards rate on all purchases, a chance to earn even more during your first year, flexible redemption options, and an introductory 0% APR promotion. Just don’t expect any major travel perks. Here’s what you need to know.
Discover it® Miles Quick Review
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% APR for 14 months, then 13.99% to 24.99% Variable
Sign-Up Bonus: 100% miles match the first year
- Earn 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase
- Redeem miles for just about any kind of travel
- Get up to $30 in in-flight Wi-Fi credits each year
- Identity theft monitoring alerts
- Free access to your FICO credit score
- No penalty APR
- Zero-liability fraud protection
- No foreign transaction fees
- 24/7 customer service
Minimum Payment: The greater of $35, 2% of the full balance, or $20 plus interest and fees.
- 5% cash advance fee ($10 minimum)
- 3% balance transfer fee
- Up to $37 for late payments; the first fee is waived
- Up to $37 for returned payments
Why Apply for the Discover it® Miles
The Discover it® Miles is a solid choice for fee-averse travelers. Here’s what makes it stand out from the competition:
High sign-up bonus potential
The card doesn’t offer a traditional sign-up bonus, instead doubling all the miles you earn during the first year with no cap. That means you’ll effectively earn 3 miles per dollar during that time. If you spend a lot, your miles will add up.
In-flight Wi-Fi credit
In-flight Wi-Fi can be expensive, so it’s nice to have someone else cover the cost. You’ll receive credits worth up to $30 every year, giving you a chance to work or play while you’re in the air.
You can use your miles to book just about any type of travel with no blackout dates or award restrictions. Just use the card to pay for travel and redeem your miles for a statement credit to offset the purchase.
0% APR promotion
The card offers an introductory APR of 0% APR for 14 months, then 13.99% to 24.99% Variable on both purchases and balance transfers—that’s rare for a travel credit card.
Discover it® Miles: Drawbacks and Downsides
While the Discover it® Miles card comes with perks, it also has some drawbacks to consider before you fill out an application:
Poor international acceptance
For a travel credit card, the Discover it® Miles is disappointing in that it’s essentially only accepted in the U.S. Discover isn’t widely accepted overseas, so you’ll need a Visa or Mastercard credit card or a debit card as a backup.
No bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards reward you extra for spending on things like travel and dining. That kind of structure allows you to maximize the rewards you earn. With this card, though, you’re stuck with just the flat rewards rate.
No significant travel perks
The in-flight Wi-Fi credit is nice, but the Discover it® Miles doesn’t offer travel protections you find on other travel credit cards, like trip interruption or delay insurance, baggage delay protection, travel accident insurance, and more.
Discover it® Miles Alternatives
If you’re not sure the Discover it® Miles is the best card for you, then consider these options:
Bank of America® Travel Rewards card
If you like the idea of a travel card with no annual fee, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a worthy alternative. This card offers the same rewards rate, plus a sign-up bonus of 25,000 points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. It also offers an introductory 0% APR promotion on purchases and since it’s a Visa, you can use it just about anywhere in the world.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards card
If you’re willing to pay an annual fee in exchange for better rewards, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card should be on your radar. It offers 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months, plus 10 miles per dollar spent at hotels.com/venture, and 2 miles per dollar everywhere else. You’ll also get a credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. The annual fee is $0 the first year, then $95 after that, so you’ll get 12 months to decide if it’s right for you at no cost.
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® has long been one of the best travel credit cards on the market. You’ll earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months—that’s $750 in travel if you book through Chase. You’ll also earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere. The card offers several travel benefits, including trip cancellation and delay insurance, primary rental car insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, and travel and emergency assistance services.
Discover it® Miles Credit Card FAQs
What if I don’t have enough miles for a travel redemption?
If you don’t have enough miles now, you can get a statement credit up to 180 days after making the purchase, giving you more time to earn.
When do my miles expire?
Your rewards won’t expire as long as your account is open and in good standing.
How much are my miles worth?
Each mile is worth 1 cent apiece. That means 30,000 miles are worth $300 in travel statement credits.
Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Discover it® Miles?
If you spend a lot and want to take advantage of the card’s sign-up bonus, the Discover it® Miles is definitely worth considering. It’s a basic travel card, and accordingly, doesn’t offer as many benefits as premium travel credit cards. Add that to Discover’s more limited international acceptance, and the card’s value is somewhat limited.