The Complete Guide to Discover It Miles

This may not be the most lucrative program, but Discover It Miles are definitely easy to use.

Last Updated: 01/14/2020


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Discover it Miles are very easy to earn and redeem. You earn 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend, with no cap, and special promotions can boost that substantially. But Discover doesn’t offer many redemption options, and miles have a flat value of 1 cent each.

What Are Discover It Miles?

Most of Discover’s credit cards offer only cash back, but one—the Discover it Miles card—is aimed at travelers and earns Discover it Miles. The program is simple: Cardholders generally earn a flat 1.5 miles for every dollar they spend, and can redeem them for 1 cent per point. Discover sometimes has promotions that make the card a real contender, like one that doubled all the points cardholders earned in the first year, for a 3% yield. 

How to Use Discover It Miles

There are only three options for using Discover it points. And no matter how you redeem them, 1 mile = 1 cent. You can use your miles for:

  • Travel statement credits
  • Cash back
  • Shopping on Amazon 

Travel Statement Credits 

Discover miles can be used to cover any travel purchases made on your card in the last 180 days. Just log into your account, click Redeem Miles, then Travel Credit, and select the purchases you want to pay off with miles. You can also call the number on the back of your card.

What Discover counts as travel is fairly generous, but the rate is always 1 cent per mile. Still, using points to cover travel lets you double-dip—in other words, if you’re enrolled in airline, car rental, hotel or other reward programs, you can use this card and earn those points as well as Discover miles for a purchase.

Travel purchases that can be covered by points include: 

  • Commercial airline tickets
  • Hotel rooms
  • Car rentals
  • Cruises
  • Tour operator purchases
  • Vacation packages bought through airlines, travel agents or online travel sites
  • Local and suburban commuter transportation, including ferries
  • Passenger railways
  • Taxis and limousines
  • Charter and tour bus lines

Cash Back 

The Discover it Miles cash-back option is also simple and straightforward. You can convert any amount of miles into cash, which will be deposited directly into your linked bank account. The 1:1 ratio is good compared to the rest of the industry.

Redeem for Amazon Purchases

If for some reason you’d prefer to redeem your miles for Amazon purchases, you can link your Discover it Miles card to your Amazon account. At checkout you’ll see how many miles you have and be given the option to use any amount to pay for your purchase. Each mile is worth 1 cent, a better rate than with other loyalty programs. 

Summary

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a loyalty program more straightforward than Discover it Miles. 1 cent per mile is a decent rate, and the first year of earning 3x miles makes it a great card for everyday spending. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to earn some cash back, this is a solid choice. But if you’re serious about maximizing the value of your points and miles, Chase and Amex have better options.