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Discover “it” Miles Makes Me Smile

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Discover is one of those quirky brands that seems to have found its niche. People rave about  the card’s customer service. It’s a popular choice for busy people who don’t have time to figure out confusing reward programs.

In 2013, Discover abruptly terminated its line of cards and replaced them with one card to rule them all — the Discover “it” card. The Discover it offered competitive rewards, interest-free promotional financing, and some great perks. Last year, Discover released an “it Chrome” version with a different rewards structure. The latest member of the Discover it family is the “it Miles” card. It turns out to be my favorite card of the bunch.

How “it Miles” works

For each dollar you spend on the Discover it Miles card, you earn 1.5 miles. Each mile is worth one cent towards travel statement credits or just plain cash back — but not gift cards.

Discover it Miles cardholders enjoy the same benefits that other Discover it cardholders do. Including, their first late fee waived automatically, and a free FICO score on their statement each month. You also get a $30 statement credit towards purchases of in-flight WiFi, which is a nice touch. And as always, there’s no annual fee.

So at a 1.5 percent rate of return on spending, this card is comparable to the Capital One Quicksilver, which I’ve called one of the best cash-back cards out there.

So why does this card make me smile? Discover is offering to double the miles earned by cardholders in their first year, making this card’s rewards worth an outstanding 3 percent. You simply need to keep your account open and in good standing for one year, and your reward balance will automatically double at that time. Discover will also double miles earned from Discover Deals,  which offers additional rewards for purchases at select major retailers.

So should you get it?

Discover is hoping that the 3 percent cash-back for a year is tempting enough to get you to sign up, and all the other benefits are strong enough that you’ll keep using the card after the first year. I think that is a fair deal, and with no annual fee, there’s no harm in trying the card  for a year and seeing your rewards double. Then you can decide at that time if you are hooked on Discover — or if it was just a fling.


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