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The Discover It Miles credit card is a solid entry level option for the occasional traveler who is looking to earn rewards towards flights, hotels, and car rentals. This credit card earns a simple 1.5 miles on every purchase, has no annual fee or foreign fee, and Discover will match your points earned in the first 12 months of opening an account.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of the Discover It Miles Card – and whether or not it’s right for your wallet…
Discover It Miles Credit Card
On Discover Secure Website
Not Only For Occasional Travelers
Good – Excellent
Earn 1.5 miles on Every Dollar You Spend- flat rate of 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase in any category
Flexible Redemption Options – redeem your miles as cashback at a rate of 1 cent per mile
Good Credit for Approval – If you’re just starting out building credit, it may be tough to get approved
Requires Very Good – Excellent Credit
- No Blackout Dates
- No annual / foreign fees
- 14.24% – 25.24% Variable APR
- Redeem points towards travel or as cash back
- Free access to your FICO score, Free social security monitoring
Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):
Discover It Miles Card – Benefits
Discover It Miles Card offers some great benefits for travelers and those who are spending time out of home – but not only or them:
Earn 1.5 miles on Every Dollar You Spend
The Discover it® Miles card earns you a flat rate of 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase in any category. This makes it simple to remember if you’re tired of the credit cards that have rotating categories that are hard to keep track of.
Discover Matches the Miles You Earn in Your First Year
If you spend $20,000 over your first 12 months, for example, you’ll accrue 30,000 miles on your card and Discover will match that giving you a total of 60,000 miles earned in your first year. This is a great benefit because it gives you time to spend money on your card throughout the year. You don’t have to rush to make lots of purchases the first 3 months like most credit cards limit you to for sign up bonuses.
Generous 0% APR Period
Discover incentivizes you to switch to the Discover It Balance Transfer credit card by offering a very attractive intro offer which includes 0% on purchases for 6 months and 0% on balance transfers for 18 months. This means you can take your time paying off new purchases, interest-free.
Flexible Redemption Options
The redemption option allows you to redeem your miles as cash back at a rate of 1 cent per mile. You can choose to redeem your miles towards travel or as a statement credit. This is equivalent to earning 1.5% cash back since you are earning 1.5 points per dollar you spend.
No Minimum Redemption Requirements
Some credit cards require you to have a minimum $20 balance before you can access redemptions, but with the Discover It Miles card, there are no minimum requirements. This gives you the flexibility to accrue a large balance or redeem a small balance such as one mile.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Having zero transaction fees on foreign purchases makes sense considering it’s a travel credit card. But not every credit card offers no foreign transaction fees, so this is a nice perk with Discover. You can swipe away and enjoy the trip overseas without accruing lots of fees.
Discover It Miles Card – Drawbacks
Not the Highest Rewards Rate as a Travel Credit Card
While earning 1.5 miles per dollar spent with no annual fee may seem like a good deal, it’s still a low rewards rate compared to other travel credit cards on the market. There are options out there that offer 2 points per dollar spent as well as easy to hit sign up bonuses that can be quite lucrative.
High Balance Transfer Fee
The Discover It Miles card does have a intro balance transfer fee of 3% and 5% ongoing transfer fee . If you have a high balance you’re transferring over, this fee could add up to a lot of money as compared to a credit card that offers 0% transfer fee.
Less Merchant Acceptance
Discover isn’t as widely accepted by merchants as other credit cards like Visa and Mastercard. Getting acceptance overseas may prove to be more difficult for the Discover It Miles card holders.
You’ll Need Good – Excellent Credit For Approval
If you’re just starting out building credit, it may be tough to get approved for this credit card and you could be better off going with a different card instead. To get approved you’ll need to show a healthy credit history and a fairly high score.
Alternatives to Discover It Miles Card
There are several other travel-focused credit cards that offer higher travel reward rates and bonuses when signing up. Let’s take a look at them and see if one is better suited for you than the Discover It Miles credit card.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers two points per dollar spent on traveling and dining. You’ll earn one point on all other purchases. It also comes with generous perks, such as trip cancellation/interruption insurance, travel and emergency assistance services, and no foreign transaction fees. If you redeem your points for airfare, car rentals, hotels, and cruises through the Chase Ultimate Rewards, you get a 25% bonus which can add up significantly over time. There is no annual fee in the first-year intro period, but all following years will have a $95 annual fee.
This credit card offers 1.5 points for every dollar you spend and has no annual or transaction fee like the Discover It Miles card. The big difference is it is a Visa which is more widely accepted around the world making it easier to use this credit card during travel. If you make at least $1,000 of purchases in the first 90 days, you’ll receive a 25,000 bonus point reward. This works out to $250 in statement credit toward travel purchases.
When it comes to a travels rewards card that can be beneficial to both loyalty users as well as a more casual spender, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is the best of both worlds. The card has a great sign-up bonus, as well as many options for domestic traveling.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is branded by Southwest Airlines. It offers a wide variety of rewards options that extend past the typical travel rewards, which is something that separates the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card from others within the same distinctions. Combine this with a lower annual fee than competitor cards, and it makes sense as to why the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card is a great option to consider adding to your wallet.
The United Explorer Card is a Visa credit card offered through Chase bank that is an Airline branded card through United Airlines. This card is designed entirely for frequent fliers of United Airlines, and has great perks that make the cardholders overall travel experience less expensive and much more stress-free. From seat upgrades to 25% off discounts on all in-flight purchases, the United Explorer Card can make flying with United Airlines a much more relaxing process.
Is the Discover It Miles Card Right for You?
If you’re an occasional traveler who likes a simple to remember rewards system, then this could be a good travel credit card choice for you with its flat rate 1.5 points per $1 spend. It’s also a good option if you want a low fee credit card. We don’t recommend it if you’re a frequent traveler because you could benefit more from a higher rewards travel credit card with annual fees. Overall, work out the math to compare what you think you’ll spend and decide which credit card offers the best reward system that fits your needs.