Discover it Miles Travel Credit Card Review

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If you’re a frequent traveler, odds are you’ll want your credit card rewards to come in the form of miles. Luckily, Discover has a solution that’s fits this requirement to a tee – the Discover it Miles Card. With every purchase you make on the card, Discover gives you 1.5 miles for every dollar spend (with no limits).

Discover it Miles review

On Discover's home portal

700-750
Best for good credit

Highlight: Low variable APR and good travel perks
  • Unlimited 1.5 miles for every dollar spent

  • Matches all Miles earned in first year

  • No blackout dates

  • 0% introductory APR for 14 months

  • 13.49%-24.49% variable APR

  • No annual fee

Intro APR

0%

Variable APR

13.49% - 24.49%

Annual Fee

$0

Main Perks

Travel

This card offers similar features as the Discover it Miles card, with no annual fee, making it another valuable alternative. However, its no-interest period is only 12 months instead of the Miles’ 14, giving that one the slight edge. At the same time, there’s no balance transfer fees with the VentureOne, so it’s better if you want to move some money over.

New cardholders will get special incentives for using the card – at the end of the first year, the Discover it Miles Card matches all the miles you’ve accumulated at that point. If you have 30,000 miles, you suddenly get 60,000 miles. Great, right?

That’s not the only incentive for new members, however; there’s a 0% introductory APR period of 14 months, which is fortunately on the long side. Combined with a free FICO score and no annual fee, the Discover it Miles Card is a solid option for those looking to shore up their travel with some robust rewards.

Our Overall Rating

As travel rewards cards go, the Discover it Miles Card makes a good case for being one of the best. While it’s a bummer that there’s no signup bonus, and that there’s only one low-end tier for Miles earnings, it’s still really consistent and workable for a rewards program. The fact that your Miles never go away, and can be used anytime with no blackout dates, is also pretty sweet.

Another great incentive for people to get the Discover it Miles Card is its lack of an annual fee, and the generous 14-month 0% introductory APR period. Between those deals, and the beautiful offer to match your Miles in the first year, first-year cardholders can really get a lot out of Discover’s generosity.

The only things that really keep this card from greatness are the little things. First, the introductory APR period doesn’t apply to balance transfers, which is unfortunate; usually, cards with nice, big no-interest periods are ideal for transferring balances from one card to another, but we wouldn’t recommend it in this instance.

Also, besides there being no bonus categories for your Miles earnings (you earn just 1.5 miles per dollar no mater what), the card lacks the kinds of little amenities we take for granted in credit cards. There’s no auto rental collision damage waiver, or trip cancellation and interruption insurance, or purchase protection. They’re small things, but worth keeping in mind.

Overall, despite these nagging omissions, the Discover it Miles Card is still a great solution for travel-minded card owners who really want to accumulate significant travel rewards within the first year of their membership. In this respect, this particular card becomes a fantastic choice for frequent fliers.

Where it Wins

Gives you great mileage for your purchases. For every dollar you spend on the Discover it Miles Card, you get 1.5 miles; while that may not seem like much (and it’s certainly disappointing there’s no bonus categories), it can definitely add up if this is your primary spending card. It’s not the hugest rate of return, but it’s solid and dependable.

Offers fantastic first-year benefits. The real benefits come to Discover it Miles card holders in the first year of membership. Not only do you get no interest for 14 whole months, whatever Miles you earned in the first year will be matched by Discover. All these are good reasons to go all out with your spending on this card, and rake in the rewards before the intro period ends.

Rewards & Benefits

Unlimited 1.5 miles for every dollar spent. Having an unlimited miles-based rewards program is definitely an advantage for heavy travelers, so it’s good to see the Discover it Miles extending its 1.5 miles rate to every eligible purchase made on the card.

Matches all Miles earned in first year. As previously mentioned, the Discover it Miles Card works best for cardholders in the first year of membership. The primary perk of the Miles Card is Discover’s promise to match whatever Miles you earned in that first year, which is a great way to shore up your existing Miles.

No blackout dates. Not only do you get to collect Miles like they’re Pokemon, you don’t have to let go of them unless you want to. Your Miles never expire, and there are no blackout dates for when you can use them. You’ll never have to worry about when to use your Miles, or whether high-traffic time will render them useless. You earned them, says Discover; just use them.

Costs & Fees

0% introductory APR for 14 months. This perk is especially notable; while a lot of credit cards offer an introductory APR period, it’s usually for about 12 months on average. That the Discover it Miles Card stretches it for an additional two months is great, since it gives cardholders that much more breathing room to pay off the balance they racked up getting those matched Miles.

13.49%-24.49% variable APR. After that, the card settles into a reasonable equilibrium with a variable APR range that is on the high side, but at least has wider boundaries than you’d expect. Lucky cardholders with great credit should feel fortunate to get a card like this with a 13.49% annual percentage rate.

No annual fee. Again, the fact that this card has no annual fee is a tremendous boon to cardholders who don’t want to feel like they have to pay just to hold onto the card. This makes it a perfect card for members who want to get the most out of their first-year benefits, then take it easy for a while after paying off the entire balance.

Who is this card best for?

This card is ideal for frequent travelers who are really just looking for a card to subsidize their travel expenses through a miles-based rewards program. While most rewards cards have travel options as a way to redeem their points, having a card so singularly focused on miles might just work for people who only expect to use rewards cards for travel.

In particular, this card seems ideal for those cardholders who want a sweetheart deal for their first year of membership. It’s really hard to beat that Mile-matching offer presented to cardholders for the first year, along with the longer than usual 0% introductory APR. For that first year, the world is their oyster – essentially racking up double Miles with no interest.

Furthermore, since these Miles never expire, and there are no blackout dates, the Discover it Miles Card is perfect for those travelers who want to be able to build up Miles balances and spend them whenever they want. With no restrictions on the way their Miles are used, cardholders can feel free to fly the friendly skies at their leisure.

How to Apply

Applying for the Discover it Miles Card couldn’t be easier – all you have to do is head over to their application portal and start the quick, multi-stage process of applying for the card. First, you just enter your full name, and pick a card design (you get three vibrant choices of a cobalt blue, fuschia and a lime green).

After that, you just enter your address and financial information – employment status, gross income, housing/rent payment, available assets, and so on. They also ask you for your social security number. It’s at this point that they even give you an option to enter information about balance transfers, which is nice.

From there, you just have to sign some e-disclosure agreements, and you’re all set. You should hear back within minutes whether or not you’ve been approved.

Discover it Miles Card Alternatives

Chase Sapphire Preferred. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is another fantastic travel rewards card, with some beautiful synergy with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program if you’ve already got other Chase cards. It does charge an annual fee, though, which is one thing the Discover it Miles Card has over it.

Citi ThankYou Premier. Just like the Sapphire Preferred, you still have to pay a $95 annual fee to make use of this card; however, if you can wrap your head around the slightly labyrinthine ThankYou rewards program, you might just be able to squeeze out some more rewards out of this than any of the other cards.

Capital One VentureOne. This card offers similar features as the Discover it Miles card, with no annual fee, making it another valuable alternative. However, its no-interest period is only 12 months instead of the Miles’ 14, giving that one the slight edge. At the same time, there’s no balance transfer fees with the VentureOne, so it’s better if you want to move some money over.

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