One of the most popular perks offered by credit cards has to be miles. But if you’re anything like me, deciding on one airline to use may be difficult. As more and more customers seek tailored programs to fit their travel needs, credit card issuers are rising up to the occasion.

One versatile card to offer travel rewards is the Miles by Discover card.

Most travel credit cards offer their bonus miles in packaged flights, i.e a roundtrip to insert-far-away-location-here. But if you are looking to cash in your miles on shorter trips, the Miles Card by Discover allows the flexibility of using lower mileage levels at available airlines.

Miles Card Features

Although this is mainly a travel rewards card, there are features that allow you to exchange your points for cash or other goodies.

  • 12,000 Bonus Miles: Bonus miles are always a good thing, but they shouldn’t be your single deciding factor for signing up for a credit card. For the Miles credit card, you’ll get 1,000 bonus miles every month that you make a purchase on your card for the first 12 months after account opening. Not too difficult.
  • No Annual Fee:  This is usually the first place to look when considering a credit card. Do you want to pay a yearly fee? Luckily for this card, there is no fee so you can continue down your card criteria checklist.
  • Double Miles for every $1 at Restaurants and on Travel: If you are constantly traveling and eating out, this is a great way to rack up points on, well, traveling and eating out! There is a catch though – this is only applicable to the first $3,000 spent each year. Once you hit the $3,000 mark you are no longer eligible to earn the double miles.
  • Mile Per Dollar rewards: This one is pretty self explanatory. When you spend money on anything other than restaurants or travel you will earn one mile per dollar spent.
  • Flexible Rewards: On top of getting to choose which airline you fly with, your miles do not expire as long as the card is used at least once in a 36-month period. There is also no limit to the amount of miles you can earn, so start spending!
  • 0% Introductory APRs: This is another example of a nice perk that shouldn’t be the make-or-break part of the credit decision process. For the first 6 months, you will get a 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases. After 6 months, these APRs will range from 10.99-16.99% depending on your credit score – relatively low for a travel rewards card. The card still charges a 3% balance transfer fee.
  • Redeem Points for Cash:  If you don’t want to use your points on miles, you can redeem them for gift cards, merchandise and cash. Every cent is equivalent to 2 miles, so if you have 10,000 miles, you shall receive $50 cash back.

Our Two Cents

This card has gotten some pretty good reviews across the board. As with most things there are positives and negatives; the flexibility, bonuses and $0 annual fee makes this card very attractive. But on the other hand, the point-to-cash redemption ratio is not that good. Also, although the double points are nice, if you are a frequent traveler you may meet this $3,000 cap very quickly.

An attractive trait of the Miles by Discover card is the low regular APR, which isn’t common for credit cards that pay out rewards. You should also consider the fact that it is a Discover card and may not be accepted in as many places as cards sporting the Visa or MasterCard logos.

Overall, if you are considering a new travel rewards card this is a great one to start out with. Since there isn’t a yearly charge, you can’t get locked into something you don’t want to pay for.

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  • serend

    You can also link the card to your amazon account and use the points directly towards purchases, in any amount.  Probably not the best move if you want to save up for a big travel redemption, but not bad if you’re looking to offload some points without having to wait.

    • Thanks Serend!

      This is a great tip to share with our readers. So would you say you’ve had a good experience with the Miles Card by discover?