Discover it Miles® Credit Card Review: Unlimited 1.5x Rewards

Last updated on July 22nd, 2017

We’ve previously written about the original Discover it® credit card. Vanessa and I continue to use that card for the 5% rotating cash back, Discover Deals portal, free FICO score, and the other numerous features. It has been an excellent credit card over the last 4 years.

Discover recently rolled out another card called the Discover it Miles®. Thus far, I’m impressed and this card is another great addition to the lineup.

The Discover Miles credit card is another cash back card. Instead of 5% cash back in select rotating categories like its older sibling, the card gives 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases (equivalent to 1.5% cash back). This rate is doubled in the first 12 months of card ownership, making the effective rate 3 miles per dollar spent (3% cash back) on all purchases.

Miles can be redeemed against any travel expense at a 1:1 ratio, or simply redeemed 1:1 for cash back.  If you redeem for cash, 3% is the highest cash back card on the market for all purchases, which makes this a great addition to your wallet.


Discover it Miles® – Features

  • 0% intro APR – Discover is offering a special 0% interest rate on all purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. This is a good deal if you plan to transfer your existing high-interest credit card debt so that you pay 0% interest on your transferred balance for 12 months (although you will pay a balance transfer fee).
  • No annual fee
  • Free FICO score – Based on your Transunion credit report.
  • Great Mobile App – Available on Apple devices and Android, the app works well. You can set a 4 digit passcode, then login to view your account summary, transactions, miles earned, your FICO credit score, and most other features that are available on the full website.
  • Freeze it on/off switch – lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers if your account is compromised. Freeze or unfreeze your account in seconds via website or mobile app
  • Wi-fi purchase refund – Discover will reimburse up to $30 annually toward in-flight Wifi charges. This is a solid feature that comes in handy since almost every single airline charges for Wifi.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free Overnight Card Replacement – If your card is stolen or lost, Discover will overnight a replacement free of charge. Additionally, you aren’t responsible for any unauthorized charges.
  • 100% U.S. based Customer Service – Available 24 hours each day.
  • Double miles in the first year and miles never expire

Discover it Miles® vs Discover it®

The classic Discover It Card offers 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter. These rotating categories tend to be valuable, but the $1,500 limit is too easily met. The original Discover card also allows unique access to the Discover Deals online shopping portal, which you do not receive with the Miles card.

The new Discover It Miles card is uncapped. You will earn the full 3% on all purchases for the first year, and 1.5% each year after that. You also get access to the Discover Deals portal, but it’s for discounts only, not cash back from shopping.

These two cards should be used for different purposes. The original card should really be used in the 5% categories, and for access to the Discover Deals shopping portal. The Miles card should be used for everyday spending to earn 3% cash back.

Yes, you can get both and use them accordingly. I know people who have both cards. You could also get the Discover Miles card for yourself, and then another for your spouse after 12 months, to continue the 3% cash back on everything.

Discover it Miles® vs Other Credit Cards

The 3% cash back on the Miles card is higher than any other offer available. There are a couple of 2% cash back cards for general spend, but that’s it.

If you are able to spend a significant amount of money in the first year, this card makes perfect sense and you should grab it. Earning 3% instead of 2% cash back means earning an additional $100 cash back per $10,000 spent.

If you don’t spend much money, the 3% becomes less useful and you should consider other options. You can obtain free flights and hotel stays through the bonuses offered by travel credit cards (compare here).

If you are looking for a quality credit card for everyday use, the Discover it Miles credit card is a great option. I think this card is best paired with the original Discover It card to make use of the Discover Deals portal, rotating 5% categories, and 3% on everything else.

If interested, you can compare The Discover it Miles card with other credit cards on this page.

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    • Jeff
    • June 4, 2015

    I typically spend about $1,250 each month through my credit card and have a $3,500 purchase coming up in a few weeks (likely biggest purchase of the year). I have excellent credit and am trying to decide which card would be best. I think I’ve narrowed it down to the Discover It Miles Credit Card or the Chase Preferred Sapphire (primarily as my large purchase in the next few weeks would cover the $4,000 that has to be spent in the first 3 months). Not a fan of the $95 fee after the first year with the Sapphire card.
    What would you suggest would be the best card?

      • Jacob
      • June 4, 2015

      Well, the Sapphire bonus is nice. Vanessa had that card for the bonus, but it’s definitely not worth the $95 annual fee so you’d have to cancel at month 12 and apply for another. It’s also not worth putting spend on past the $4000 required for the bonus, because it’s almost all just 1 point per dollar spent. The Discover Miles definitely wins for general spending in the first year at 3% back.
      If you want the points for travel, I would probably get the Sapphire and spend the $4000 to get the bonus, then put it in the sock drawer, then cancel before the annual fee hits. As soon as you spend $4,000, I would just apply for the Miles card and use it. Best of both worlds…

    • Lynn
    • June 4, 2015

    Hi Jacob, I have one question regarding this Discover Miles card. Since Discover recently announced that new Discover Cashback holders will get the points doubled the first year which was something only for the Miles until recently.
    Do you still think that it is worth having the Miles card? Seems like the Miles card has less advantage compared to the Cashback version when the regular cashback also gets double points at the end of one year.

      • Jacob
      • June 4, 2015

      The Miles card earns 3% on all purchases versus 2% on the other cash back card, so yes that clearly still makes sense as I indicated in the review. That’s an additional $500 cash back on $50k in spend.

    • Jennifer
    • June 3, 2015

    Hello Jacob! Thank you so much for your review and I would like to share something with people who might be interested in this card !

    Okay so long story short, originally I wanted to get a secured credit card from Discover just because I had no credit history and I found out their security card was one of the best after doing some research. However, in order to get a secured card from Discover you have to apply for an unsecured card. If unfortunately you get rejected, they may offer you a secured card.
    So I applied for Discover Mile Card (THE VERY FIRST CREDIT CARD IN MY LIFE) and got approved within an hour ( I had to call customer service to provide more info tho) .
    Anyway so I received the card in the mail last week and have been using this card to pay pretty much everything in the past week, but I also paid off my balances twice since I only have $1500 credit line and I don’t wanna seem to have high utilization.
    What happened was in the past week, people around me kept on telling me that I should have gotten the Discover Cashback Card because that’s what they’re known for and they also told me that this mile card is pretty much useless after one year. I didn’t wanna listen to them but today my mama told me the same thing saying that I shouldn’t have applied for the Mile card….. =(
    Could you please tell me that I didn’t make the wrong decision? I do love shopping but not don’t really eat out or watch movies…If I had the cashback card from Discover, I wouldn’t be able to take fully advantage of it. On the other hand, I do travel a lot so I really like the $30 in flight wifi that Discover offers.
    It just seems like the cashback card is more popular and has higher rewards…. In your opinion, do you just like those people around me that think the cashback card is better than the Mile card?

    Thank you so much for your time!

      • Jacob
      • June 3, 2015

      Hi Jennifer, I don’t think one offer is necessarily better than the other. Like I said in the review, I believe each card serves a different purpose.
      The Miles card is fantastic for non-bonus spend. You can’t find 3% on all purchases anywhere else. The original Discover It is also nice, but primarily for the bonus categories only.

  4. Reply

    Thanks for the review, Jacob! Have you had challenges with getting Discover to honor the initial promotion. I have an issue with that several years ago and haven’t been too keen to go back to Discover cards since.

      • Jacob
      • May 29, 2015

      There is no initial promotion. It’s not a signup bonus. All who apply and are approved receive 3% in their first year of card membership. No issues whatsoever.

  5. Reply

    The no annual fee plus the miles (or cash back) makes this card pretty attractive. As I don’t have a Discover card, what about a mobile app? Is it a good one?

      • Jacob
      • May 27, 2015

      Thad, it’s a good app, available for iOS and Android. You can do almost everything through the mobile app including check your account, transactions, FICO score, miles earned, etc.

  6. Reply

    I have had my Discover it Miles credit card for 3 months and I can say that I am very satisfied with its services and perks. I am now saving points for the autumn getaway. What made choose this cc is that it has no annual fee ever.

      • Jacob
      • May 27, 2015

      Yeah, we like the perks as well. Discover cards are good cards to keep open forever, to help age overall credit lines.


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