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How to redeem Discover it Miles, step-by-step

Aug. 28, 2020
6 min read
The more space you have on that credit card, the better off you'll be.
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Editor’s note: This page includes information about the Discover it Miles that is not currently available on The Points Guy and may be out of date.

Not all travel expenses can be covered by traditional credit card points or airline miles. You need to bolster your loyalty portfolio with cash back rewards or a cash equivalent currency that can cover non-travel expenses. Enter the Discover it Miles credit card.

Although this card calls its currency miles, it doesn’t earn miles in the traditional sense of airline miles. The miles have a fixed value and can be redeemed for everything from travel to cash back to Amazon purchases and more.

So how exactly do you go about redeeming them? Here’s a step-by-step guide for using your Discover it Miles.

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Discover it Miles overview

The Discover it Miles is a no-annual-fee credit card that earns unlimited 1.5x miles on all purchases. As a bonus, Discover will match all the miles you earn in the first year, with no cap. In other words, you'll earn a respectable 3x miles on all purchases in the first year, which is equivalent to 3% cash back. These miles never expire and are worth 1 cent each, regardless of how you redeem them.

Related: Discover it Miles card review

The process to redeem Discover it Miles is as simple as earning them. After you log in to your Discover account, you'll see your rewards total on the dashboard’s right side.

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After selecting "ways to redeem," you'll see your total available points and three redemption options:

  • Travel credit
  • Cash
  • Pay with rewards

Redeem on travel

Discover doesn’t have any airline or hotel transfer partners. Instead, you could redeem miles to offset recent travel purchases, as well as some non-travel purchases. This is useful for families who often travel during peak holiday seasons and can’t always get award availability to line up with their schedules.

With a few simple clicks, you can use the miles to "erase" the cost of recognized travel purchases made within the last 180 days. After selecting the purchase you’d like to offset, you'll get a statement credit for the amount you spent. Unlike some similar cards, there is no minimum redemption.

Any purchase that codes as travel is eligible for this type of redemption, whether it’s an Uber ride, flight or Airbnb booking. You do not need to book your travel through a specific portal for it to qualify.

In response to the pandemic, Discover expanded the qualifying category to allow redemptions for certain non-travel purchases. Purchases that can be reimbursed now include those made at restaurants and gas stations. You'll see the eligible non-travel purchases listed on the same page as your travel purchases.

Related: 5 reasons why your family may want a Discover it Miles card

Redeem for cash back

Because Discover miles are worth one cent each, no matter how you redeem them, the best option would be to use them for cash and use as needed. This way, you could pay for your travel and dining purchases with a credit card that earns additional rewards on those purchases.

The cash back redemption option is straightforward, again with no minimum redemption amount. The funds will be deposited directly into your bank account within three business days.

Related: Your ultimate guide to Discover cards

Pay with rewards

If you want to redeem your miles toward shopping online, you can pay with miles at checkout on Amazon and PayPal. All you need to do is link your Discover card to your accounts and then you'll be able to use miles on the checkout page at the same rate of 1 cent each.

As is the case with other issuers, from time to time, Amazon offers cardholders discounts like 20% off when you redeem at least one Discover mile.

Related: When to use the Discover it Miles card

(Photo by Amazon)

Bottom line

You're not going to find a more straightforward path to earning cash back and making hassle-free redemptions than with the Discover it Miles Card. Earning 3x miles on all purchases in the first year (once your miles are matched), equates to 3% cash back. That's the best cash rewards earning rate from any credit card out there.

You won't get perks like dining credits or automatic elite status as you do with the top rewards credit cards. However, the Discover it Miles card offers some other valuable benefits, such as no foreign transaction fees and no fee on your first late payment. This card is worth a look, especially if you have some big expenses coming up. Discover it Miles could save you money.

To learn how to redeem Discover it Cash Back rewards, visit this guide.

Additional reporting by Richard Kerr.

Screenshots courtesy of Discover unless otherwise noted.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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