Miles by Discover Card Review | CreditShout

Miles by Discover Card Review

By Kevin / October 4, 2011
Miles by Discover Discontinued

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Important Update

The Miles by Discover card is no longer available. Instead you may want to check out one of these resources:

Verdict: The Miles by Discover® Card is a good card to have in your wallet. It offers up to 12,000 bonus miles and no annual fee. However, there are better options on the market, including the Escape by Discover and the Capital One Venture. It would be best to explore those cards before settling on the Miles by Discover card.

Miles by Discover Rewards Program

Base points are earned with one point for each dollar spent. Double points are offered on restaurant and travel purchases for the first $3,000.00 spent each year. In addition, double points are offered on purchases that are made through Discover’s online mall. The points that can be earned are unlimited.

Miles are a convenient way for consumers to collect their points. These miles can be redeemed for thousands of rewards with options ranging from travel to gift-cards.
You can get cash back, too!

Interest Rate, Fees and Other Fine Print

The Miles by Discover® Card has no annual fee. For a complete list of updated fees, check the issuer website before you apply.

How It Compares To Other Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Miles by Discover vs Escape by Discover

The Miles by Discover card and the Escape by Discover card both offer a 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 6 months followed by the same APR (listed in the fees section) on each. The Miles by Discover edges out the Escape card with no annual fee, but all other fees are the same.

In terms of rewards, the Escape by Discover card wins by a significant amount. While 1,000 bonus miles are available for each of the first 12 months (as long as a purchase is made in each) with the Miles by Discover card, 25,000 (over 25 months) are available with the Escape card. Also, the Miles card offers double miles on the first $3,000 in travel and restaurant purchases while the Escape card offers double miles on every purchase – not just the first $3,000 and not just in those categories. While double miles are available with the Miles card for purchases made on Discover’s shopping site, an additional 2 miles per dollar spent are available with the Escape card, effectively making it a quadruple miles offer. Essentially, if you intend to spend a significant amount of money with your credit card, go with the Escape by Discover card if you are deciding among the 2.

Miles by Discover vs Chase Sapphire Card

The Chase Sapphire card offers 25,000 bonus points ($250 value) after $3,000 is spent within the first 3 months, giving it the edge over Discover’s offer of 12,000 bonus miles over 12 months. Also, it offers 2 points per dollar spent on dining and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. So, if you spend over $3,000 on dining annually, then this card is better than the Miles by Discover card, as Discover’s offer of double points is limited to the first $3,000 spent annually on dining and travel.

In terms of fees, both cards have no annual fee. However, Chase does not offer a 0 percent introductory APR and has a 3 percent foreign transaction fee. So, if you miss a payment early on and/or travel abroad frequently, the Chase Sapphire card will be more expensive than the Miles by Discover card. Over the long haul, both cards are almost equally matched, with a slight edge going to the Miles by Discover card.

Miles by Discover vs Capital One Venture Card

The Capital One Venture card wins in a landslide over the Miles by Discover card. It offers no annual fee in the first year, but charges a $59 fee thereafter. While this is a setback, it’s other fees are lower than those of Discover and it offers better rewards.

The Capital One Venture card has no foreign transaction fees and no balance transfer fees. So, a $10,000 balance transfer would cost $200 with the Miles by Discover card and nothing with the Capital One Venture card. $10,000 in expenses abroad would have the same outcome. That would be $400 less right there, enough to offset the annual fee for nearly 8 years, taking the waiver of this fee in the first year into consideration.

Additionally, with the Capital One Venture card, 2 miles are earned per dollar on every purchase without the restrictions that the Miles by Discover card has. A bonus of 25,000 miles is offered after $1,000 is spent within 3 months with this card as opposed to the 12,000 after a purchase is made in each of the first 12 months with Discover. Overall, the rewards are better with Capital One’s offer and the fees may end up being less. Most people will benefit more from Capital One’s offer than from Discover’s offer.

Pros

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 6 months
  • No annual fee
  • Up to 12,000 bonus miles
  • Double miles are available on some purchases

Cons

  • Most purchases outside of Discover’s online mall will earn 1 mile, particularly if you spend over $3,000 per year
The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone. Additionally, the opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site

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