Looking to travel this spring? Need a card that will reward you for your trip, and offer benefits plus fraud and theft protection while you’re on the road? Discover offers two great cards that will fit the bill. Escape by Discover was ranked the Editor’s Pick for Best Travel Rewards Credit Card 2010, but its counterpart, Miles by Discover, is a good travel rewards card, too. Let’s compare so you can decide which one you want to pack for your vacation — and all year long.

Escape by Discover
escape

It’s nearly a no-brainer to select Escape by Discover® if you’re a frequent traveler. The card provides:

  • Travel Delay Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Primary Car Rental Insurance
  • Lost or Damaged Luggage Insurance

These insurance limits are some of the highest around when it comes to travel credit cards. The Rewards program is top-notch, too.

  • Earn unlimited double miles for every dollar you spend
  • Earn up to 25,000 bonus miles in the first 25 months each month you make a purchase
  • Book travel through any airline, travel agent or online travel website
  • Miles don’t expire, but if your account is closed, inactive for 18 consecutive months, or in default (you failed to make the minimum payment due by the due date for two consecutive billing cycles), you will forfeit your miles.
  • Redeem Miles for trips, gift cards, cash or a charitable donation
  • The only sticking point? The $60 annual fee, when many cards with comparable rewards (including Miles by Discover) have no annual fee.

    Miles by Discover

    Discover’s newer travel rewards card, Miles by Discover®, carries no annual fee, a 0 % APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first six months, and a variable APR as low as 11.99% after that.

    The difference between Miles by Discover and Escape by Discover, other than the annual fee?

    Miles by Discover offers less travel insurance. You’ll get secondary collision damage insurance on car rentals up to $25,000 and flight accident insurance coverage up to $500,000. No travel delay or trip cancellation insurance is available.

    The rewards won’t add up quite so quickly with Miles by Discover. You’ll get:

    • Travel Delay Insurance
    • Trip Cancellation Insurance
    • Primary Car Rental Insurance
    • Lost or Damaged Luggage Insurance

    Like Escape by Discover, the card has no restrictions on when you travel or how you book your trip, no blackout dates, and no cap on the number of miles you can earn. If your account is closed, in default, or inactive for three years, however, you will forfeit your miles.

    Which Card is Better?

    If you travel frequently, Escape by Discover’s generous travel protection makes the card more than worth the annual fee. It’s like buying peace of mind before a trip. With double miles on every purchase, the rewards can really add up — especially in the 25 months, when you can earn a total 25,000 bonus miles. We ranked it as the best travel rewards credit card at the beginning of this year, and we stand by that decision.

    There are certain people who would be better served with Miles by Discover, though. If you want a reputable credit card with a generous rewards program (that you can redeem in any way you’d like), you shudder at the thought of paying an annual fee, and don’t travel enough to make the extensive travel insurance coverage offered by the Escape card worthwhile, definitely consider Miles by Discover. If you don’t use your credit card often but like having it for trips or emergencies, Miles might be the card for you. The fact that it can lay dormant for three years — versus 18 months with Escape – – is something to think about if you only use your credit card for emergency situations.

    For most people, Escape by Discover® will be the best choice, but the cards rank as two of the best travel rewards credit cards you can get.

    • Credit Required
      Good Credit
    • Rewards Program
      2 Miles per $1 on all purchases. No limit on the miles you can earn, and they never expire. Fly on any airline, book any hotel or car, with no blackout dates.
    • Signup Bonus
      25,000 Bonus Points
      1000 bonus miles each month the card is used for 25 months.

    CreditShout Rating:
    ( Excellent )

    • Credit Required
      Good Credit
    • Rewards Program
      1 mile per dollar spent. 2x miles on restaurants and travel purchases.
    • Signup Bonus
      12,000 Bonus Miles
      1000 bonus miles each month the card is used for 12 months.

    CreditShout Rating:
    ( Excellent )