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Many rewards credit cards give you 1 to 2 cents in rewarded value for every dollar charged. That’s a lot better than earning no rewards, but you can do better. There is a rewards credit card that ultimately gives 3 cents in travel rewards for each dollar charged across all purchases at the end of the first year (once your miles are matched). There is no need to keep track of rotating categories, no sticky notes necessary to remember which type of purchases to put on the card — nothing other than earning an automatic 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases.

What makes the card next-level exciting for busy families is that, for the first year, all of the miles earned are matched. This means if you charge an average of $2,000 per month to the card to earn 36,000 miles the first year, you will end up with 72,000 miles worth $720 in travel once the miles are matched at the end of those first 12 months.

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

If you don’t know what card I’m talking about, pour a cup of coffee and get comfortable, because things are about to get interesting for your wallet. The Discover it® Miles credit card has no annual fee, awards 1.5x miles on purchases on an ongoing basis, matches all of the miles earned at the end of the first year and even gives you an intro 0% APR on purchases for the first 14 months (then a 14.24% to 25.24% variable APR applies). If your family wants a rewards credit card that is affordable, simple to use and rewarding, this may be it — no pun intended.

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 if I ask, but for the most part, he uses one card at a time. 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.

All Miles Matched the First Year

I’m a tough critic, so while 1.5 miles per dollar is pretty strong, I need something better to get me interested in pulling the trigger on a new card. One of my favorite things about the Discover it Miles is that you don’t just earn 1.5 miles per dollar charged for the first entire year, you actually earn twice that much once they match those miles from the first year after 12 months.

New Discover it Miles cardmembers get all of the miles they earn in the first 12 consecutive billing cycles matched and the bonus applied to their accounts within 1-2 billing cycles after the 12th month. Assuming your account is still open after that 12th billing cycle, that means you ultimately earn 3 miles per dollar back on everything purchased at the end of that first cardmember year.

As mentioned above, this math means charging $2,000 per month on the Discover it Miles earns you 3,000 miles per month at 1.5x. Once your miles are matched at the end of the year, that amount eventually really becomes 6,000 miles earned per month during year one. Multiply those monthly numbers out by 12 months, and you have 72,000 miles worth $720 in travel at that $2,000 per month spending rate. Of course, since there are no minimums or maximums, you can earn as much or as little as you want in that first year.

Use Discover it Miles to Cover Travel Charges

This card calls its currency “miles,” but they aren’t miles in the traditional sense of “airline miles.” In some ways, they are better than airline miles because there are no award charts, blackout dates or secret handshakes necessary. The miles are worth a fixed 1 cent each toward travel. To use the miles, simply charge travel (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 $19 airline ticket, a $30 checked bag fee or a $15 train ticket without a problem. Heck, you could even charge a $5 Uber tip to the card and use your miles to offset that charge, too.

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 family 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 closely tracking every due date back at home.

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

US-Based Customer Service

I don’t call credit card companies very frequently, but when I do it is usually because there is a problem of some sort. In those cases, I want prompt and empowered service from a real person. The Discover it Miles card utilizes 100% US-based customer service with actual real 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, blue, dogs, beaches and so much more are also options.

Bottom Line

Whether your family just wants just one simple-to-use credit card for almost everything or is looking to add a fixed-value point card to your 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 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.

Featured image by Bady Qb via Unsplash

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Discover it® Miles

Set your own sign-up bonus with the Discover it Miles card. Any rewards you earn in the first year will automatically be matched at the end of the year and you'll earn an unlimited 1.5 miles on all purchases with no annual fee.

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More Things to Know
  • Unlimited Bonus: Discover will match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That's $700 towards travel! The more you earn, the more you get.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Miles Pay You Back. Easily redeem Miles as a statement credit for travel purchases. Or get cash.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.