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If you’re looking for a card to help you save on travel that’s straightforward and easy to use, the Discover it® Miles credit card should probably be on your radar.
It doesn’t come with as many rewards or perks as some other travel rewards programs, but Discover’s simple flat-rate miles system offers its own advantages — and if you turn your miles into cash back rewards, the advantages get even better.
There are also some important Discover it Miles benefits to know about before you sign up. These are all the perks you get with the Discover it miles and how they work, plus how you can decide if it’s right for you.
Discover it Miles travel benefits
With the Discover it Miles card, you’ll earn 1.5 miles for each dollar you spend.
Unlike other travel rewards credit cards, you won’t get extra rewards for travel-related purchases. But some of those cards limit the number of high-level rewards you can earn. Hit the limit, and future purchases will earn a significantly lower reward rate. The Discover it Miles card doesn’t offer levels or limits. Instead, you get the same 1.5X miles rate no matter what you buy.
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.
These are a few more travel-specific benefits you’ll get with Discover it Miles:
No blackout dates
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 Discover it Miles 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 30,000 miles earned, and Discover would double this amount to 60,000 miles at the end of that year. That’s worth $600 in travel.
Discover it Miles 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 credit and more.
0% APR introductory offer
The Discover it® Miles comes automatically with 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 17.24% – 28.24%. This introductory rate can lead to significant savings when you want to make a large purchase and pay it down over time, or if you have debt from other cards to consolidate. Balance transfer fee: 3% Intro fee on balances transferred (see terms) and up to 5% fee for future balance transfers will apply.
Free FICO score
You’ll also get a free FICO score 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.
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.
Maximizing Discover it Miles
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. 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 agents, commuter transit and gas stations.
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 it miles.
That said, you can also 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, Discover it Miles has a lot to offer — for some travelers, it might be the travel card you never knew you needed.
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 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.