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

Jun 2, 2020

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This page includes information about the Discover it Miles that is not currently available on The Points Guy and may be out of date.

Most rewards credit cards give you between 1 to 2 cents in rewarded value for every dollar charged on non-bonused categories, according to current TPG valuations. That’s a lot better than earning no rewards, but you can probably do better.

There is a rewards credit card on the market that ultimately gives 3 cents in travel rewards for each dollar spent across all purchases at the end of the first year, once your miles are matched. You don’t have to keep track of rotating categories, nor do you need sticky notes to remember what type of purchases to put on this particular card.

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Hello next vacation! (Photo by Flytographer)
Hello next vacation! (Photo by Flytographer)

The Discover it Miles credit card has no annual fee, awards an unlimited 1.5x miles on purchases and — most importantly — matches all of the miles earned at the end of the first year. If your family wants a rewards credit card that is affordable, simple to use and rewarding, this may be it, no pun intended.

Related: Best credit cards for everyday spending

Earn 1.5 miles on all purchases

Once upon a time, I tried to get my husband to use one credit card for this type of purchase, another for that, a third for something else. It worked with mixed success, but it really wasn’t the best scenario for someone who isn’t as into maximizing rewards and purchases as I am.

These days, he will rotate to a new card for a while to earn a welcome bonus if I ask, but for the most part, he uses one card at a time for most purchases. If you or your partner fall into that category, then you want to be darn sure that the card you are using does well across all categories.

The Discover it Miles is a fantastic choice for streamlined wallets because it is so simple — just swipe and earn 1.5 miles per dollar over and over again.

Related: Best credit cards for each type of purchase

Related: Review of Discover it Miles credit card

All miles matched the first year

While 1.5 miles per dollar is pretty strong, it’s not actually best in class on the market. You can earn 2% cash-back (1% when you buy, 1% as you pay) with the Citi® Double Cash Card, so I’d set that as the gold standard to perform at or above. The Discover it Miles card doesn’t just earn 1.5 miles per dollar charged for the first year — you actually earn twice that much.

New Discover it Miles cardmembers get all of the miles they earn in the first 12 consecutive billing cycles matched and the bonus is applied to their accounts within one to two billing cycles after the 12th month. Assuming your account is still open after that 12th billing cycle, you ultimately earn 3 miles per dollar back on everything purchased at the end of that first cardmember year.

So if you earn 35,000 miles, with your Discover it Miles in your first year, once your miles are matched at the end of the year, that amount becomes 70,000 miles earned during year one. That’s $700 towards travel or when redeemed as cash. Of course, since there are no minimums or maximums, you can earn as much or as little as you want on the card in that first year.

Related: Best cash-back credit cards

Use Discover it Miles to cover travel charges

This card calls its currency miles, but it doesn’t earn miles in the traditional sense of airline miles. In some ways, these rewards are better than airline miles, because there are no award charts, blackout dates or secret handshakes necessary to book travel. The miles are worth a fixed 1 cent each toward travel charged to the card. To use the miles, simply charge your travel purchase of choice (defined as airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites, commuter transportation and more) to your Discover it Miles card, and within 180 days of the charge, you can use your miles to offset the charges as a statement credit.

This simple approach to rewards means you can maximize any available travel discount, flash sale, direct booking perks and more and still use your Discover it Miles down the road to offset the charges. For families who often need to travel during peak holiday seasons, and can’t always get award availability to line up with their schedules, this is a great flexible type of mile to have on hand.

An important family-friendly detail of Discover it Miles is that unlike with some other similar cards, there is no minimum travel charge redemption. This means you can redeem miles against that $29 airline ticket, checked bag fee or a $15 train ticket without a problem.

Related: How to redeem Discover it Miles

Use Discover it Miles to stay where you want, how you want.
Use Discover it Miles to stay where you want, how you want.

Discover perks

Since it is a Discover Card, the Discover it Miles comes with some other good benefits for busy travelers such as the ability to quickly freeze (or unfreeze) your account via FreezeIt, no extra fee on your first late payment, no foreign transaction fees and no over-the-limit fee. Basically, Discover makes it pretty easy for you to enjoy traveling with your family instead of stressing about every little detail with your credit card.

Related: Best Discover credit cards

(Photo by Sarah Driscoll via Unsplash)
(Photo by Sarah Driscoll via Unsplash)

U.S.-based customer service

I don’t call credit card companies frequently, but when I do it is usually because there is a problem or complex issue. In those cases, I want prompt and empowered service from a real person. The Discover it Miles card has 100% U.S.-based customer service with actual live people. That sounds simple, but it is actually a tangible benefit when you need help in a hurry.

Bonus perk: Pick a color, any color

If you like to use a rewards card that is fun to look at, you might care that Discover lets you pick the color and style of your Discover it Miles card. My kids would like this part — and I bet they would pick pink, though green and blue are also options.

Related: Best no annual fee cards of 2020

Bottom line

Whether your family just wants one simple-to-use credit card for almost everything or is looking to add a fixed-value point card to its larger miles and points strategy, the Discover it Miles card is a very strong rewards credit card. Earning a total of 3x points on all purchases at the end of the first year, once all of your miles are matched after the first 12 months, is a virtually unheard-of earning ratio and ranks as one of the top reasons to consider adding this card to your wallet.

Additional reporting by Benét J. Wilson and Richard Kerr

Featured image by Bady Qb via Unsplash

The All-New United Quest℠ Card

WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
  • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
  • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.