Discover It Miles: Probably the Most Straightforward and Flexible Travel Card Out There

Marcy Bialeschki
November 2, 2020

When it comes to rewards, the Discover It Miles card is turning heads. All of the cards in the Discover line-up boast remarkable rewards -- and the Discover It Miles card is no exception. As far as travel rewards go, Discover It Miles checks a lot of boxes. But no credit card is perfect. Let’s take a look at why the Discover It Miles card ranks up there with the best.

The functionality is very simple. Everyone has a different opinion on what makes a great travel credit card. However, no one can deny that the Discover It Miles card makes a great pitch with unlimited and flexible rewards. Unlike some Discover cards, the Discover It Miles card has a straight 1.5x the miles reward for every dollar spent instead of rotating categories. That’s 1.5x the miles at gas stations, grocery stores -- everywhere, every day -- unlimited.

And that’s not all. The Discover It Miles card has one of the best incentive plans for new customers, too. Only Discover will automatically match all the miles you’ve earned at the end of the first year. That’s automatic and unlimited miles. Not only is there no signing up to receive these rewards, there’s no required spending threshold and no limit on the rewards miles you receive. Now, that’s about the most straightforward rewards plan out there.

As an additional sign-up incentive, the Discover It Miles card offers 0% APR on purchases for 14 months and a 10.99% APR on balance transfers for 14 months, as well.

The Discover It Miles card also has no hassle rewards redemption. Most travel cards with points or miles want you to redeem those rewards for travel expenses, not cash back or statement credit. Therefore, they devalue the rewards if you’re going to use them any other way than travel expenses. Not the Discover It Miles card.

The Discover It Miles card lets you use your rewards the way you want to. You can use them as statement credit to pay off travel purchases such as hotel rooms, rental cars, gasoline, rideshares, restaurants, and more. Or, if you prefer, Discover will give you cash back. No matter how you redeem your Discover It Miles, they hold the same value. Another perk -- no blackout dates.

So far, this means the Discover It Miles card has the following striking qualities:

Automatic, unlimited rewards with a mile-for-mile first-year bonus

A straightforward 1.5x the miles on all purchases

No signing up to receive the reward incentive

No minimum spending threshold to receive the mile-for-mile bonus

No limit to the number of miles you can accumulate

Flexible redemption of rewards

No blackout dates

There’s no denying that the Discover It Miles card is probably the most uncomplicated and flexible travel rewards card in the game. And its first-year bonus will rival some of the best sign-up bonuses with unlimited matched miles for a year. The Discover It Miles card sounds pretty perfect. However, no credit card is perfect. The Discover It Miles card has its place in the line-up of travel cards and won’t be right for everyone.

But is this card for everyone?

The Discover It Miles card is designed for budget-minded average spenders who are moderate travelers. While this card has some fantastic features, bigger spenders and people who travel a lot can do better with higher-end cards. However, no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee are attractive features of the Discover It Miles card that interests most travelers.

The Discover It Miles card has no annual fee, making it an attractive option for people who do not travel enough to justify a yearly cost. And the fees for some of the high-end travel cards can be pretty hefty at $400 to $500 and more. Avid travelers tolerate this annual fee because of the generous perks attached. If you want luxury perks such as VIP airport lounge access, paid TSA Pre-check or Global Entry, and free upgrades and baggage check, the Discover It Miles cards is not right for you.

The Basics:

11.99% - 22.99% APR variable

0% APR on purchases for the first 14 months

10.99% introductory APR on balance transfers for 14 months

$40 max late fee

24.99% variable cash advance APR

5% or $10 cash advance fee

Requires good to excellent credit

The Discover It Miles card is perfect for people who want a travel card with flexibility in redeeming their rewards. It’s also an excellent match for moderate travelers who don’t want to pay an annual fee and don’t need the luxury perks attached to high-end travel cards.

While the first year offers some remarkable rewards with the unlimited mile-for-mile match and 0% purchase APR for 14 months, the 1.5x the miles straight reward might seem a little underwhelming after the honeymoon is over.

Nonetheless, the Discover It Miles card is hard to beat as an uncomplicated rewards card that allows you to use your miles in various ways without devaluing them. If you want a travel card with no annual fee, a tremendous first-year rewards plan, and flexible rewards, you can’t go wrong with the Discover It Miles card.

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