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Double the miles you earn during the first year after you open your account
The Discover it® Miles card gives cardmembers two benefits that can be tough to find with other travel rewards credit cards. First, you have the chance to earn miles on every eligible purchase without having to worry about an annual fee. In addition to the lack of an annual fee, the Discover it Miles card comes with Discover® Match — the chance to double the miles you earn during the first year after you open your account.
There are, however, some areas where the card doesn’t match up with other credit cards in the travel rewards space. The card’s 1.5x miles per dollar, for example, is on the lower end of the rewards-earning spectrum. And the lack of a traditional sign-up bonus may not suit everyone.
Yet those who want a travel credit card without an annual fee may be intrigued, as well as people who could benefit from the 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases. The chance to earn an unlimited rewards match during year one might also make some want to consider the account.
Read on to discover everything you need to know about the Discover it Miles card, including the benefits and drawbacks you may want to contemplate before applying for a new account.
The Discover it Miles card may work well for people who prefer easy-to-navigate rewards and no annual fees. The card does not feature any bonus categories to track, nor is there a minimum spending requirement to qualify for a sign-up bonus. Instead, the travel credit card lets you spend without complication and earn a flat 1.5x rewards rate across the board. During your first year as a cardmember, you have the opportunity to collect double rewards on your spending thanks to Cashback Match.
You can also use the credit card's 0% introductory APR on new purchases to enjoy interest-free spending for the first 15 months from account opening. Once the introductory APR offer expires, a variable APR applies based on creditworthiness. But keep in mind, even though you may be able to avoid paying interest during this time thanks to the 0% APR offer, your credit score might drop due to high credit utilization if you revolve an outstanding balance on your account.
The rewards rate on the Discover it Miles card isn't as high as other travel rewards credit cards have to offer. But the earnings potential is simple and easy to understand.
You can earn 1.5x miles per dollar you spend on all eligible purchases. Earnings are unlimited, meaning there's no cap on the number of miles you can bank per year. However, there is no elevated earning potential for travel purchases nor anything else.
The Discover it Miles card doesn't feature a traditional sign-up bonus. Instead, the card comes with Discover Match®. New cardmembers can receive a 100% match on all of the miles they earn during the first year their new account is open. And there's no maximum limit on the miles you can earn.
Let's say you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases during the first year. At a 1.5x rewards rate, you would earn 30,000 miles. At the end of your first year as a cardmember, Discover would match those miles for a total of 60,000 miles earned. That's an effective flat-rate rewards earning rate of 3%, which isn't bad at all.
In addition to the fact that's there's no cap on Discover Match earnings, this unique welcome bonus offer features another unique benefit: You don't have to meet any minimum spending requirements to qualify. So, if you don't spend enough on credit cards to qualify for other credit card sign-up bonuses, the Discover it Miles card offer might work better for you.
0% Introductory APR
New cardmembers can take advantage of a 0% introductory APR when they open a Discover it Miles card. The 0% Intro APR applies to eligible purchases and lasts for 15 months from the date of account opening.
Once the introductory APR offer expires, a variable APR applies based on creditworthiness.
The Discover it Miles card is friendly where fees are concerned. While you may have to pay certain types of fees on the account (outlined below), you can still avoid paying a number of fees that are common with other credit cards.
- Annual Fee: $0
- Late Payment Fee: $0 on first occurrence, and up to $41 thereafter
- Returned Payment Fee: Up to $41
- Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the amount of cash advance, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
You'll likely need Good to Excellent credit to qualify for a Discover it Miles card. So, if your credit score doesn't fall into either of those categories, you may want to work to improve your credit before you apply for a new account.
The Discover it Miles card features several no-fee benefits you may be able to take advantage of as a cardmember. Here's what you can expect based on the most up-to-date information available.
Each month, you may be able to review your FICO® Score for free as a Discover cardmember. Discover participates in the FICO® Open Access Program. That gives the card issuer the ability to share the FICO Score it uses for account maintenance purposes with you, keeping you in the loop when it comes to your credit health.
You can access your free FICO Score in three ways:
- The Discover Mobile App
- Your Monthly Statement
Overnight Card Replacement
Losing your credit card can be a hassle. But if you inform the card issuer that your Discover card is lost or stolen, Discover will send you a replacement via overnight mail.
Free Discover® Identity Alerts
As a Discover it Miles cardmember, you can activate a free service that can help you monitor your credit report and Social Security number for fraud. The free monitoring service includes the following.
- Credit Report Monitoring: If a new inquiry or a new account shows up on your Experian credit report, you will receive a notification. Free credit monitoring, however, is not offered for your Equifax or TransUnion credit reports.
- Dark Web Monitoring Services: Receive alerts if your Social Security number is discovered on any one of thousands of dark websites.
$0 Fraud Liability
Unauthorized and fraudulent credit card transactions can be unsettling, to say the least. But if you notify Discover that someone has used your account without permission, you will not be liable for those charges.
It is worth pointing out that this benefit isn't unique to the Discover it Miles Card. The Fair Credit Billing Act caps liability at $50 when fraudulent transactions take place on a credit card account. And all four major credit card networks (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover) have zero-liability policies to protect cardmembers in situations involving theft or fraud.
The Discover it Miles card gives you 1.5x miles on every eligible purchase you make with your account. Yet although your spending can earn miles for travel, airline tickets are not the only way to cash in your rewards. Below are three easy-to-use methods for redeeming the miles you earn on your account.
- Travel Purchases: When you use your Discover it Miles card to make travel-related purchases, you can redeem the rewards on your account in the form of a statement credit. Eligible travel purchases include purchases made with hotels (rooms), airlines (tickets), car rentals, online travel sites, commuter transportation, travel agents, gas stations, and restaurants during the last 180 days.
- Pay Your Bill: You can redeem miles for cash and apply the amount toward your credit card bill — even toward your minimum payment if desired. (Note: Paying just the minimum payment on your credit card can be bad for your credit score and your bank account.)
- Cash: Although it's not a cash-back card, you can still redeem your miles by requesting an electronic deposit of the cash equivalent of your rewards into your bank account.
There are two other notable benefits of the miles-earning card where rewards redemption is concerned.
- Redeem Any Amount: First, you can redeem rewards immediately. There is no minimum redemption amount required.
- No Expiration: Next, your miles do not expire. You can even close your account and retain the miles you earned — an unusual benefit in the credit card rewards space. (If you close your account or fail to use it for 18 months, Discover will mail you a check or credit your account with your remaining rewards balance.)
How Does Discover it Miles Compare?
The Discover it Miles card has a lot to offer for those looking for a simple, no-annual fee travel credit card without having to worry about rotating bonus spending categories. However, there are also other worthy travel credit cards that come with new cardholder incentives and do not require an annual fee.
Here are some other no-annual fee travel rewards credit cards to consider:
Other cards to consider A Closer Look
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Is the Discover it Miles Card Right for You?
The Discover it Miles card fails to pack some of the luxury perks and benefits you may find with other rewards credit cards. The rewards earning potential doesn't measure up to some of these accounts either, especially for travel purchases. And you may be able to secure a bigger credit card sign-up bonus depending on your spending habits.
But where the card shines is in these features:
No foreign transaction fees: Your Discover card could be more challenging to use abroad, depending on where you travel outside of the United States. But the account doesn't feature any foreign transaction fees in countries where you are able to use it.
No annual fees: On the other hand, premium travel rewards cards are known for having hefty annual fees that not everyone will be comfortable paying. As a no annual fee credit card, the Discover it Miles card doesn't have this drawback.
0% Intro APR: The card also comes with an attractive 0% Intro APR for 15 months that could benefit you if you need a temporary interest-free financing option. Once the introductory APR offer expires, a variable APR applies based on creditworthiness.
If any of these features appeal to you, or you like the idea of simple, flat-rate earnings, there's a chance the Discover it Miles card could warrant a place in your wallet.