Best Travel Card With No Annual Fee

Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

3.80 stars
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On Card Issuer’s Secure Website
  • Flexible redemption options
  • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Offers a decent rewards rate on all purchases
Highlights
  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.

Our Detailed Review

  • Redeem your rewards for travel or cash-back 
  • Discover matches all the miles you earn during your first year
  • Get a 0% APR on purchases for 14 months
  • No luxury perks
  • Discover isn't widely accepted overseas
  • Other travel cards offer higher rewards rates
Details

Application Process: Apply online, and get a decision within 60 seconds or less.

Rewards: Earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Redeem your rewards for travel or cash back.

APR: 13.74% - 24.74% variable APR.

Bonus Offers: Discover will match all the miles you earn during the first year.

Annual Fee: None.

Faveable Review

On the surface, the Discover it® Miles doesn’t sound too exciting. It’s a no-annual-fee travel card with a decent rewards rate and no traditional sign-up bonus.

But if you look a little deeper, the card has the potential of being more lucrative than some of the best travel credit cards on the market — at least during the first year. Here’s what you need to know about the Discover it® Miles and how to determine if it’s right for you.

Discover it® Miles review - Highlights

The card does, in fact, offer a sign-up bonus, but it’s different than what most credit cards offer. Rather than giving you a big bonus after you spend a certain amount in the first few months, Discover will match all the miles you earn during your first year.

This means that if you earn 50,000 miles your first year — you’d have to spend roughly $2,778 per month to earn that much — Discover would add another 50,000 miles to your rewards account on your first anniversary with the card.

That’s worth $500 in free travel.

There’s no limit to how much you can earn, either. So, big spenders could stand to earn a lot from this card in the first year.

As a general travel card, the Discover it® Miles allows you to redeem your rewards for just about any type of travel. Just use your card to book your travel, then use your miles to get a full or partial statement credit against the purchase.

Alternatively, you can redeem your miles for cash, which gives you even more flexibility for how you can use your rewards.

Discover it® Miles rewards and perks

The card offers 1.5 miles per dollar spent on every purchase, giving you a decent flat rewards rate. Many other travel cards offer bonus rewards on travel and other purchases, but if you don’t spend a ton on travel, you’re generally stuck with the card’s base rewards rate of 1%.

To help you earn more miles, Discover has a shopping portal called Discover Deals. The card issuer partners with several retailers that offer bonus miles when you shop through Discover.

You can use your miles earned with the card to get a statement credit against any eligible travel purchase within the last 180 days. Eligible travel includes:

  • Commercial airline tickets
  • Hotel rooms
  • Car rentals
  • Cruises
  • Tour operators
  • Vacation packages purchased through airlines, travel agents, or online travel sites
  • Local and suburban commuter transportation, including ferries
  • Passenger railways
  • Taxicabs and limousines
  • Charter/tour bus lines.

In addition to offering a solid rewards program, the Discover it® Miles also offers a 0% introductory APR promotion. You’ll get 0% on new purchases for 14 months, giving you plenty of time to pay off a large purchase or your first vacation.

Discover it® Miles benefits

One other benefit the card offers that’s hard to get elsewhere is its in-flight Wi-Fi credit. Simply use your card to purchase in-flight Wi-Fi and you’ll get a statement credit of up to $30 per year.

That can come in handy when you’re 40,000 feet up and you need to get some work done or you want to Google something.

Here are some other basic benefits the card offers:

  • U.S.-based customer service available 24/7
  • Free access to your FICO credit score
  • Get notified when your Social Security number is found on thousands of risky websites
  • Freeze your account in seconds through your Discover mobile app

Discover it® Miles costs and fees

The card has no annual fee, making it a solid option if you’re not sure you’ll spend enough to break even on an annual-fee travel card. You’ll also pay no foreign transaction fees when you’re overseas.

The only caveat to that is that Discover isn’t widely accepted internationally. While you can use it on the Diner’s Club and JCB payment networks, there’s no guarantee that merchants will accept your card even if they accept those networks.

So, if you’re planning a trip abroad, take a Visa or Mastercard as a backup.

The card also charges no late fee on your first payment or a penalty APR if your payment is late. That said, we recommend paying on time and in full every month to avoid interest charges and negative impacts to your credit score.

As for the card’s interest rate, it has a wide range that extends below the average for all credit cards and goes as high as some credit cards for bad credit. Again, you can avoid interest entirely if you pay off your balance in full each month.

Does the Discover it® Miles make sense for me?

The Discover it® Miles packs a lot of punch for a card with no annual fee. But unless you can spend a lot of money during that first year — of course, without spending on things you wouldn’t normally buy — you may get a better sign-up bonus with a different card.

The card’s flexible rewards program make it a great option for someone who isn’t sure if they want a travel card or a cash-back card. But if you plan to travel a lot overseas, you won’t want to bring this card without a good backup.

As you consider whether you should get this card, compare it with other top travel credit cards and cash-back credit cards to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your spending habits and preferences.

It can take time to do all this research, but it’ll be worth it knowing that you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

 

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