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Apply online for Discover it® Miles
About Our Ratings
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

Discover it® Miles Review

Pros & Cons

  • Cardholders earn 1.5 miles/$1 spent and Discover MATCHES all the miles you've earned at the end of your first year. This Pro alone makes this no-annual-fee card a stronger rewards-earning contender than cards with substantial annual fees. That's why it's our 2017 Editor's Choice pick for Best No Annual Fee Travel Rewards 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.
  • Miles redemption is easy – just make your travel purchase and then request your redemption in the form of a statement credit.
  • The match the first year that effectively means you earn 3 miles/$1 is fantastic, but it ends. After that first year, it's back to the 1.5 miles/$1 rate, which is still decent but you'll definitely want to maximize your rewards earning match in the first year.

Top Features

Rewards
1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases
Bonus Rewards
We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
Purchase APR
11.99% - 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0

Full Review

Brooklyn Lowery Site Editor

Discover it® Miles 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 Discover it® Miles, 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 Discover it® Miles 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 Discover it® Miles.

Because it doesn't lock you into a co-branded airline or hotel, Discover it® Miles 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

There’s a lot to like about Discover it® Miles, 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 Discover it® Miles, 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, Discover it® Miles 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.

On top of all this, Discover it® Miles 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.

And, who doesn't appreciate the chance to choose the color of your card from a selection of eye-popping shades (sure to keep you from overlooking the card in your wallet, right?)

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 Discover it® Miles

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 is different.

It all leads to a decision for anyone considering Discover it® Miles. 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 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 Discover it® Miles Compares to Other Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Discover it® Miles 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, you stand to earn more with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if you regularly spend on dining out and travel, but Discover it® Miles 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 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: 50,000 miles (equal to $500 in travel) after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months. That said, with Discover it® Miles, 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 Discover it® Miles, you won’t pay foreign transaction fees with Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, but you will pay a $95 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, Discover it® Miles is likely a better choice.

Discover it® Miles vs. Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card is quite similar to Discover it® Miles 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, Bank of America® 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 Bank of America® 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 Discover it® Miles match offer.

Who Should Get This Card?

Discover it® Miles 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 Discover it® Miles, you’ll be sure to enjoy that you won’t be facing any foreign transaction fees.

This page was last updated on October 25, 2017

This card compared to other travel rewards cards

Rewards
1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
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
Bonus Rewards
We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R)
25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Purchase APR
11.99% - 23.99% Variable
16.99% - 23.99% Variable 
N/A 
Annual Fee
$0
$0 Intro for the First Year. Then $95
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Rates and Fees
CardRatings.com Editorial Staff

Discover it® Miles details

Balance Transfer Intro APR
10.99%
Balance Transfer Intro Period
14 months
Purchase Intro
APR:
0%
Period:
14 months
Purchase APR
11.99% - 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0

What Discover says about this card

  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • New! Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match® details & other information.

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Highlighted offers
Currently available on the Discover it® Miles
We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year.
For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.

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Apply online for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Credit Needed:
Excellent/Good
Apply online for Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, when available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Terms Apply.
Terms and Limitations Apply
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good