Guide to Discover it® Miles: Earning, redeeming, transferring

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The Discover it® Miles program doesn’t come with as many rewards or perks as other travel rewards programs, but Discover’s easy to use, flat-rate miles system offers its own advantages — and if you turn your miles into cash back rewards, the advantages get even better.

Here’s your guide to making the most of Discover it® Miles.

What are Discover it® Miles and what are they worth?

Discover it® Miles is Discover’s travel rewards program. Cardholders earn miles by making purchases on qualifying Discover credit cards. One mile is worth one penny.

Once miles are earned, they can be redeemed as statement credits towards travel purchases. Cardholders can also turn their miles into cash back rewards.

Which credit cards offer Discover it® Miles?

The only Discover credit card that gets you access to Discover’s miles program is the Discover it Miles card. Read our full review of the Discover it® Miles credit card to learn more, or get a quick overview below:

Discover it® Miles roundup:

  • Rewards earned: Unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase.
  • New cardmember offer: Discover will match all of the miles you earn during your first year of card ownership, with no limit.
  • APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for 14 months, then 13.74%-24.74% variable.
  • Annual fee: $0

Some credit card issuers offer a variety of travel rewards cards designed for people with different credit scores or spending levels. Although Discover offers a number of cash back rewards cards, including the Discover it® Cash Back card, the Discover it® chrome card, and the Discover it® Secured card, Discover doesn’t let cardholders choose from a selection of travel reward cards. If you want miles, you need to apply for the Discover it® Miles card.

How can you earn Discover it® Miles?

The Discover it Miles credit card gives you 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase. There’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn.

Unlike other travel rewards credit cards, you won’t get extra rewards for travel-related purchases — but some of those cards limit the amount 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 1.5 miles per dollar reward no matter what you buy.

The real advantage of the Discover it Miles card is the Discover Match program. Any miles you earn during your first year as a cardholder will be matched — that is, doubled — at the end of the year. If you put $2,000 on your Discover it Miles card every month, for example, that gets you 3,000 miles per month or 36,000 miles per year. At the end of your first year, Discover will match that 36,000, bringing the total miles earned to 72,000.

How do you redeem Discover it® Miles?

There are two ways to redeem Discover it Miles: as a statement credit for travel purchases, or as a cash back reward.

This is another way in which the Discover it Miles program is different from other travel rewards programs. Instead of using your miles to book travel through a designated rewards portal, you can book travel with any retailer of your choice. Then you can pay off the cost of your travel by turning your miles into statement credits.

Once you earn your miles, log into Discover’s Account Center and select “Redeem Miles.” You’ll be able to choose between Cash Back and Travel Credit. If you choose Cash Back, your miles will be converted to cash at the rate of 1 penny per mile and direct deposited into your bank account. If you choose Travel Credit, you’ll view your card statement, select travel purchases made within the last 180 days, and receive a statement credit for those purchases at the rate of 1 penny per mile.

You can also redeem your miles over the phone. Just call the number on the back of your card.

How do you transfer Discover it® Miles?

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.

What else do you need to know about Discover it® Miles?

As a travel rewards card, the Discover it® Miles card is fairly limited. You don’t get any bonus rewards for travel purchases, and you don’t have the option of transferring miles to or from other travel rewards programs.

However, our full Discover it® Miles credit card review notes that the Discover it® Miles card is actually an excellent cash back card — especially if you’re in your first year as a cardmember. Since the Discover Match program doubles all of the miles you earn in your first year, you’re actually getting 3 miles per dollar that year, not 1.5. That’s the equivalent of 3% unlimited cash back, which is an amazing rate for a no-annual-fee credit card.

If you’re interested in maximizing your travel rewards, the Discover it® Miles card might not be your best option. Take a look at our best travel cards of 2018 and consider a card that offers a few more rewards.

But if you’re looking for a flat-rate cash back rewards card with no annual fee, the Discover it® Miles card is a pretty good choice — which means it might be the travel card you never knew you needed.

If you want to learn more about other credit card rewards programs, read our latest rewards program advice.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.