Key takeaways

  • The Discover it® Miles is a good starter travel rewards credit card for those who don’t want to spend much time tracking spending categories or redemption values.
  • Unlike most other travel rewards credit cards, the Discover it® Miles offers a flat-rate rewards structure instead of boosted category rewards — and instead of using miles to book flights or hotel stays, cardholders redeem miles for statement credits for travel purchases charged to the card.
  • The Discover it® Miles doesn’t have nearly as many benefits as some other travel rewards credit cards on the market — especially the premium ones — but its ease of use and broad definition of what counts as “travel” might still make it worthwhile to some cardholders.

If you’re looking for a card that’s straightforward and easy to use to help you save on travel, the Discover it® Miles credit card should probably be on your radar.

The Discover it® Miles is a flat-rate travel rewards card with a structure that’s different from most travel rewards cards. You won’t get a boosted rewards rate for travel-related purchases like many other cards offer. The Discover it® Miles simply earns 1.5X miles back on every purchase, and instead of cardholders redeeming miles to book things like flights and hotels, they use miles to reimburse themselves for travel-related purchases.

Plus, unlike other travel rewards credit cards that put spending limitations on their category rewards, the Discover it® Miles card doesn’t offer levels or limits. You get the same 1.5X miles rate no matter what you buy, making this card great for those who want to earn miles without putting too much effort into tracking category spending.

The Discover it® Miles card also comes with some benefits that might make the card worthwhile for you, especially since it has no annual fee. Here’s a breakdown of all the perks you can get with the Discover it® Miles card:

Discover it Miles benefits

The benefits of the Discover it Miles can be broken down into the following travel and shopping categories:

Travel benefits

The Discover it Miles won’t net you airport lounge access or the ability to transfer points to high-value travel partners like premium travel cards would, but it still offers a solid range of starter travel benefits. Those looking for a straightforward travel credit card will appreciate that the Discover it Miles offers:

No points expiration dates

Your miles never expire, and you can redeem them for travel purchases charged to your account or for statement credits or cash back in your bank account. Plus, the miles you earn on your spending are worth 1 cent each, regardless of your redemption choice.

No blackout dates

The Discover it Miles lets you redeem miles to cover any eligible travel purchases you make with your card, including airfare, hotel stays and more. This means you don’t have to book travel through a specific portal, nor do you have to worry about blackout dates or capacity controls.

Find the travel you want, book it with your card and redeem your miles to cover all or part of the expense. It’s as simple as that.

No foreign transaction fees

Purchases you make abroad with the Discover it Miles will incur no foreign transaction fees, like every credit card from Discover. This can make a big difference when you’re traveling internationally, since these fees are typically around 3 percent of each transaction.

Double miles after the first year

As an added bonus for new cardholders, all the miles you’ve earned after the first year are doubled with Discover Match. That’s on top of the 1.5X miles you already earn on every purchase.

Say for example you make $20,000 in purchases over the first year you have this card. You would wind up with a total of 30,000 miles earned, and Discover would double this amount to 60,000 miles at the end of that year. With Discover’s 1:1 redemption rate, that’s worth $600 in travel.

Broad travel redemption opportunities

Discover’s definition of travel is rather broad and offers a lot of flexibility. Eligible purchases include:

  • Airfare
  • Hotel stays
  • Car rentals
  • Travel website bookings
  • Travel agent bookings
  • Commuter transit purchases
  • Gas station purchases
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Keep in mind: Cardholders who want to get reimbursed for travel must do so within 180 days of the initial purchase.

Shopping benefits

While the Discover it Miles is a travel rewards card, there are also some shopping benefits that can help you save money on interest, make it easier to build and monitor your credit and more. Those benefits include:

0% introductory APR offers

The Discover it Miles comes with a 0 percent intro annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 18.24 percent to 28.24 percent. This 0 percent introductory rate can lead to significant savings if  you want to make a large purchase and pay it down over time, or if you have debt from other cards to consolidate.

In addition to the 0 percent introductory APR offer, the Discover it Miles also offers an introductory balance transfer fee of 3 percent. This fee applies to all balance transfers made before June 10, 2024. After that, the balance transfer fee will increase to 5 percent for future balance transfers.

FICO credit score checks for free

You’ll also get a FICO credit score for free on your credit card statement each month, which can help you make sure you’re keeping your credit score in check. The score is available to you whether you receive paper statements in the mail or opt to use the app or the bank’s online portal to access your account. Having this score readily available can help you track your progress as you build credit, as well as help you keep an eye out for any sudden dips that could indicate fraudulent activity.

The ability to freeze your card

For added safety, Discover offers a “Freeze it®” switch for your account, which lets you freeze your card if it’s lost or stolen. You can also freeze your card if you want to stop using it for a while and think it would help you avoid temptation.

Redemption options at PayPal and

You can link your Discover it Miles card to your PayPal or Amazon account and use your miles for purchases. Amazon and PayPal both have the same redemption rate at 100 miles for $1, so you won’t be losing any value by using your miles this way.

Maximizing the Discover it Miles card

There are many reasons to love the Discover it Miles, from the unlimited 1.5 miles for each dollar you spend to Discover Match bonus and no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

To make the most of this card, your best bet is to use it for as many purchases as you can to maximize your 1.5X rewards. This is especially true for the first year of membership since Discover doubles all rewards earned during year one.

From there, you can use the Discover it Miles you’ve earned to cover any travel bookings by turning your miles into statement credits for travel purchases made within the last 180 days. It may be useful to bank your miles rewards, then redeem them when you’re ready to book your next big trip.

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Keep in mind: Discover does not let you transfer miles to another travel rewards program. This means you cannot convert your Discover miles into frequent flyer miles or hotel points. Likewise, you cannot turn points or miles you’ve earned through another travel rewards program into Discover miles.

That said, you can still use the miles you earn for cash back or for online purchases through Amazon or PayPal if you want added flexibility. This might be beneficial during periods when you’re not traveling as often, but you still want to save.

The bottom line

If you want a card that will reward you for every dollar you spend without annual fees or complicated loyalty program rules, the Discover it Miles has a lot to offer. For some travelers, it might be the travel rewards card they never knew they needed — especially since there aren’t many other travel cards with comparable rewards rates and redemption options.

Before you decide, make sure you read our full review of the Discover it Miles card. And don’t forget to consider other travel card options that may better suit your travel spending and budget, including those with credit card rewards programs that let you transfer points to airlines or hotels or book travel through a portal at a better rate, like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards.