Discover it® Miles - 3% Cash Back for the First Year

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Last updated on July 23, 2019

It’s the only card that pays you 3% cash back on every purchase the first year. And with no annual fee. The details are in our Discover it Miles review.

Some time ago, Discover made the conscious decision to re-brand its entire line of credit cards. Previously known as “More” credit cards, Discover decided to go even shorter. Discover “it” is now the brand name and it encompasses credit card categories like cash back, balance transfer, student, and travel.

The travel version of the Discover it brand comes in the form of the Discover it® Miles. A somewhat nondescript, blue credit card with all of your personal information on the back, the Discover it® Miles packs one heck of a punch for its cardholders. From triple miles, to enhanced security features and no fees of any kind, this credit card gets high marks for just about everything.

Here’s a full look at what the Discover it® Miles has to offer.

Discover it® Miles Rewards Program–3% Cash Back

 For the first year you’re a Discover it® Miles cardholders, you’ll earn 3 miles per dollar spent. You see, Discover’s usual rewards rate on this travel rewards card is 1.5%. For the first year, however, Discover doubles all of the miles you’ve earned.  On your anniversary date, Discover will do a “Miles Dump”. All of the miles you’ve earned for the first year will appear again on that day. So if you earned 50,000 miles the first year, you’ll see another 50,000 show up on day 366.

Miles can be redeemed in the following ways:

  • Credit to your account for travel purchases made within the last 180 days
  • Electronic deposit into an account you designate
  • Pay with miles at merchants through

In all scenarios, the value of your Miles is one mile = one penny. There are no transfer options for miles, so in effect, this card acts as a cash back rewards card. Discover simply puts the moniker “miles” on it and BAM, you think travel rewards.

Miles never expire so long as your account is open and not used for any illegal transactions. You will not earn any miles for balance transfers, cash advances, or illegal transactions. If you close your account with Discover and have a miles balance, they’ll automatically credit your account for the rewards you’ve earned.

Feel Secure with the Discover it® Miles

Unlike many other credit cards, the Discover it puts a lot of focus on credit security. From free FICO scores to credit freezes, here’s a look at what the Discover it® Miles has to offer to protect your credit profile:

  • Free social security number alerts
  • Free FICO score every month
  • The ability to freeze your Discover account is seconds.
  • Free credit account alerts
  • Free overnight shipping to replace any lost or stolen credit card

Discover is now offering free social security number alerts. Anytime your social security number pops up on a risky website which Discover monitors (thousands), they’ll let you know. You also have the ability to freeze your account at a moment’s notice. A quick click of the mouse and no one will be able to use your card to make purchases.

Your FICO score will also be available every month you receive your Discover statement, either by mail or online. The score can always be visible when you log into your Discover it® Miles account, but it only updates once a month.

Discover it® Miles APR and Pricing Details

New cardholders will receive a 0% intro APR on purchases for a full 14 months. Once that intro rate expires, the ongoing APR becomes 11.99% – 23.99% variable. The other interest rates and fees you need to be aware of if applying:

  • 25.99% APR for cash advances
  • $10 or 5% cash advance fee
  • 3% balance transfer fee

Discover also boasts one of the great perks of owning a Discover it® credit card. The first time you miss a scheduled payment, no fee is charged. When you go over your credit limit, no fee is charged. Discover also won’t raise your APR to the penalty level if you are a habitually late payer. No pay-by-phone fees or foreign transaction fees to speak of. And last but not least, no annual fee.

All of this is to say if Discover charges you a fee outside of interest, you must have done something pretty awful!

How Much Can You Earn

We got out our calculator to see just how much money you might earn with this card. According to the most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average family spends $63,784.

Not all of this could be charged to a credit card. For example, 11% of this total is paid in taxes. And you can’t typically pay your mortgage and certain other debt with a credit card.

We’ve assumed, however, that you can put 50% of your spending in the Discover it® Miles card. This would include food, clothing, travel, entertainment, and many monthly bills.

Now to the math. Half of $63,784 gets us to $31,892 charged to the card. At a 3% reward rate the first year, you would earn $956.76 in rewards. Earning almost $1,000 in year one for using a credit card is one of the best deals we’ve found.

When to Take Advantage of the Discover it® Miles

Whether you’re in need of a cash back credit card or travel rewards credit card, the Discover it® Miles can help. During the first 12 months, getting an effective rate of three miles for every single dollar you spend is unmatched. When you consider that the first 14 months of purchasing are interest free, there’s really no better option available for everyday spending.

And perhaps the best feature of the Discover it® Miles is that it comes to you fee free. I’m always annoyed when I miss a payment date by a single day, and a $35 fee shows up. Chase, Citi, Capital One … they all take advantage of the late payment fee. But Discover let’s it slide, and let’s it slide often.

No annual fee, no interest early on and triple miles for every dollar spent for the first full year. What more can a credit card provide?

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