Best for: cardholders who want a low-maintenance, flat-rate travel rewards card with no annual fee
Although frequent travelers might be better served with a credit card that offers premium perks and long-term opportunities to earn bonus rewards, the Discover it® Miles card is a great choice for beginner travel hackers or casual vacationers who want the option of booking travel anywhere.
The basics of the Discover it® Miles Credit Card
Discover it® Miles Credit Card’s standout features
Best ways to use the Discover it® Miles Credit Card
As a new cardholder, one of the best ways to maximize the Discover it Miles card is by using it as your primary credit card for the first 12 months. Because Discover matches all the miles you earn in the first year, you could end up earning significantly more rewards.
To take full advantage of the card’s flexible redemption options, shop around travel sites before you book to make sure you’re getting the best deal on airfare, hotel stays and car rentals. Discover redeems miles as a statement credit for travel purchases made anywhere, even on discount travel sites. What’s more, your miles won’t lose any value when used outside of a card-specific travel portal, like it would with some other travel cards.
With no foreign transaction fees, the Discover it Miles is an excellent card to take with you while traveling overseas. However, because it’s not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard, you’ll want to bring a backup card with you just in case.
In a nutshell
Although the Discover it Miles offers a lucrative rewards rate for the first 12 months, big spenders and frequent travelers will probably find the card less attractive than some other travel rewards cards that come with valuable travel and purchase protections like extended warranty, auto rental coverage, flight accident insurance and lost luggage reimbursement — especially since most of these perks are standard offerings with many Visa, Mastercard and American Express products.
After the first year, the rewards you earn with the card revert back to just 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all purchases. While slightly above-average for a no-annual-fee travel card, you might benefit more over the long term with a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which comes with 3x points on travel and restaurant purchases as well as premium perks, including a $300 annual travel credit, complimentary airport lounge access and up to $100 as a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit every four years. Keep in mind, however, that such high-end benefits come with a high-end annual fee — in this case, an eye-popping $450.
That said, the Discover it Miles card is a user-friendly choice for casual vacationers or anyone who’s just getting started using miles to earn free travel. You can always sign up for the card to get your feet wet and then upgrade to a better option later, especially if your credit improves over time.