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Apply online for Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card
About Our Ratings
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card Review

Pros & Cons

  • A 2017 CardRatings Editor's Choice Award winner, this card offer new cardholders 1.5 miles back for every $1 spent, and Discover MATCHES all the miles you earned at the end of your first year with this card.
  • Card members can receive $30 back for in-flight Wi-Fi fees each year, a perk that is rare among no-annual-fee cards.
  • This is a solid card for someone looking to make a big purchase since the card features a 14-month no-interest period on purchases.
  • Discover cards are not as widely accepted as Visa or MasterCard.

Top Features

Points or Miles
For every $1 you spend, you earn 1.5x Miles.
Bonus Miles or Points
We'll match all the rewards new cardmembers have earned at the end of their first year. No purchase caps or minimums. No signing up. And no limit.
Only for new cardmembers.
Purchase APR
11.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$0

Full Review

Brooklyn Lowery Site Editor

Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card Essentials

So you’re the travel-loving type with an adventurous streak that embraces freedom, flexibility and choice as you explore your country and the world? Adventurous You, meet the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card, the 2017 CardRatings Editor's Choice Award winner for Best No-Annual-Fee Travel Rewards Card.

This is one travel rewards card that offers some serious bang for very little buck – there’s no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, but you earn 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend on the card AND, new cardholders take note, Discover will MATCH all the miles you earn during your first year as a card member.

Go ahead and do that math – that means new cardholders will effectively earn three miles for every dollar they spend on the card during their first year. Look out across the travel rewards credit card landscape, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better-earning card than that.

Here are a couple of other features that make the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card worth a look:

  • You can redeem rewards in any amount for travel credit or cash back.
  • Regardless of how you redeem your rewards, it’s a simple conversion: 100 miles is always worth $1.
  • You’ll pay no interest on purchases for the first 14 months with DDiscover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card.

Because it doesn't lock you into a co-branded airline or hotel, Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card gives you considerable latitude in travel brand choices. And its lack of an annual fee will make you  feel all the freer to jet up, up and away.

What Our Editors Like Best about Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card

There’s a lot to like about the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card, but knowing that Discover will match all the miles you earn during your first year for new card members – effectively meaning you earn three miles for every $1 spent – is definitely near the top of the list.

That said, choosing a card based strictly on an introductory offer is rarely the best idea. The good news with the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card, however, is that the flat earning rate of 1.5 miles for all your purchases presents a respectable opportunity to consistently rack up rewards even after your first-year match period has passed. There’s no cap on the number of miles you can earn and your miles never expire. Plus, it’s a flat-rate card which means there’s no need to keep up with tiers or rotating categories.

When you want to redeem those miles, you can either request a statement credit to cover travel purchased within the past 180 days or you can redeem your miles for a cash deposit directly into your checking or savings account. Whichever option your choose, your miles are worth $.01 each – 100 miles always equals $1.

Beyond offering solid rewards-earning and redemption opportunities, the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card is also a no-annual-fee card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and comes with a number of other perks that set it apart. Namely, cardholders are eligible for up to $30 in statement credit each calendar year to cover in-flight WiFi fees, a truly unique perk among credit cards in general and basically unheard of in the no-annual-fee set.

Discover also boasts an all U.S.-based customer service team and has won a number of customer service awards, including J.D. Power and Associates recognition.

On top of all this, Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card members also have the ability to track their FICO scores, free and online, and have access to Freeze it®, an anti-fraud tool that allows you to freeze your account should if you misplace your card and instantly reactivate your card when you find it.

For brand loyal consumers, co-branded credit cards often represent the superior choice, but for people who prefer whimsy and spontaneity to strict planning and brand boxes, a high-earning, unrestricted travel rewards card is likely a better option.

Potential Downsides of the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card

Many travel cards offer cardholders a one-time bonus in which you can earn a certain sum of miles or points after meeting an initial spending threshold when you first receive the card (for example, earning 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases within your first three months with a new card). Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card is different.

It all leads to a decision for anyone considering Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card. If it's likely you will spend a great deal with your card in the first year of ownership, the matched-miles offer Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card leads to a rich reward and can provide the rationale to apply. But if you don't anticipate buying much with the credit card in that first year, you may do better by selecting a card that features an up-front, one-time bonus.

How the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card Compares to Other Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card; is a tiered travel rewards card with which cardholders earn two times the points for travel and dining purchases and one point per $1 spent on all other purchases. It also offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 within the first three months – a bonus that is worth up to $625 in travel. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, however, charges a $95 annual fee (waived for the first year).

The key with this comparison is to assess where you most often do your spending. Do you spend enough to make Disover’s “match” offer pay off or are you someone who would rather spend a few thousand dollars within the first couple of months and then reap your reward? Once your “match year” is over with Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card, you stand to earn more with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if you regularly spend on dining out and travel, but Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card is likely a better bet if you find your spending is more varied since you’ll earn 1.5 miles per $1 on all your purchases as opposed to just one mile per $1 on most purchases with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

One other thing to keep in mind between these cards is that Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders enjoy 20 percent off when they redeem their points for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card vs. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card

If you’re looking for more immediate gratification, you might appreciate the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card intro bonus offer: 40,000 miles (equal to $400 in travel) after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months. That said, with the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card, if you put all your purchases on the card it’s not hard to see how you could equal or surpass that offer thanks to Discover’s match after the first year.

Similarly to the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card, you won’t pay foreign transaction fees with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, but you will pay a $59 annual fee after the first year. You will earn slightly more, two miles per $1 spent with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, but you also have that annual fee to offset.

If you’re looking for simplicity and don’t want to worry about earning enough to offset an annual fee, the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card is likely a better choice.

Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card vs. BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card is quite similar to the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card in that it doesn’t charge an annual fee and cardholders earn 1.5 points per $1 spent. When it comes time to redeem your rewards, however, BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card holders will have to contend with differing reward redemption rates depending on whether you redeem for statement credit to cover travel or for a cash deposit into an annount.

There’s also a difference in terms of a bonus offers – with the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card you can earn 20,000 online bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months, which is a fairly low bar, but also a fairly low bonus offer. You could likely match or top that with the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card match offer.

Who Should Get This Card?

The Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card is an excellent card for the non-brand-loyal credit card user who values simplicity along with travel flexibility. If you find yourself in the air often, you’ll also appreciate the annual in-flight WiFi credit. Do keep in mind, however, that Discover isn’t quite as widely accepted overseas as Visa and MasterCard, so plan for that accordingly. If you do take the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card, you’ll be sure to enjoy that you won’t be facing any foreign transaction fees.

This card compared to other travel rewards cards

Points or Miles
For every $1 you spend, you earn 1.5x Miles.
3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply
2X miles/$1 on all purchases. Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
Bonus Miles or Points
We'll match all the rewards new cardmembers have earned at the end of their first year. No purchase caps or minimums. No signing up. And no limit.
Only for new cardmembers.
Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
Purchase APR
11.49% - 23.49% Variable
N/A 
16.49%, 20.49% or 23.49%* Variable 
Annual Fee
$0
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
$89-Waived first year
CardRatings.com Editorial Staff

Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card details

Balance Transfer Intro APR
10.99%
Balance Transfer Intro Period
14 months
Purchase Intro
APR:
0%
Period:
14 months
Purchase APR
11.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$0

What Discover says about this card

  • Unlimited 1.5x rewards on every purchase, every day. For every $1 you spend, you earn 1.5x Miles.
  • We'll match all the rewards new cardmembers have earned at the end of their first year. No purchase caps or minimums. No signing up. And no limit. New cardmembers only.
  • Redeem your rewards in any amount for cash or a travel credit. You'll always get $1 for every 100 Miles you've earned.
  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service. Talk to a real person any time.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match® details & other information.

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Apply online for Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards(R) Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
Credit Needed:
Excellent
Apply online for Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Redeem for travel or cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. Redemption values vary
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.49%, 20.49% or 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
Credit Needed:
Excellent/Good