So in 2013 you will do better with the following card since it has (a) better rewards, (b) more benefits, and (c) it's more widely accepted than Discover:
My review of the Miles card (below) is being left up for historical reference only. You can no longer apply for it.
How do you earn miles?
- You earn two miles for every dollar you spend on restaurant and travel purchases, up to $3,000 per year (and one mile per dollar after that)
- You also earn two miles per dollar for online shopping through the Discover website – simply use it to access hundreds of popular online retailers
- You earn one mile per dollar on all other purchases
- There is no limit to the amount of miles you can earn
- With many cards your rewards expire after 24 or 36 months. However with this program as long as your account is open your rewards never expire.
How do you redeem miles?Acceptance of Discover has grown tremendously during the past few years. Did you know they are now accepted at over 90% of U.S. merchants that take credit cards?
This is where things get different. With most mileage credit cards, you have to either: (a) redeem your miles through an affiliated airline, or (b) use them to book travel through the bank's own travel website.
The problem with those setups are that you're not always getting the best deal, if you're limited to a certain airline or have to pay inflated prices through the credit card co's travel website.
With the Discover Miles rewards program it operates completely differently. Enjoy 100% unrestricted travel with no blackout dates and buy your ticket any way you like. You can buy your reward ticket from ANY travel website, ANY airline, ANY travel agent!
- Step One: Simply make any travel purchase on your own and pay for it using your Miles card.
- Step Two: Redeem your miles for a statement credit to offset that purchase. Every mile redeemed will equal a full cent value towards your travel purchase (i.e. 10,000 miles = $100.00 statement credit).
- Step Three: Oh wait, there is no third step! That's how easy this is!
What are the benefits?
This card comes with valuable free benefits that you would normally only expect on credit cards that cost upwards of a hundred dollars or more per year. Here’s an overview of the Discover Miles card benefits you get with qualifying purchases:
- Travel cancellation insurance – If a covered event forces you to cancel your trip (and its nonrefundable) get credited for up to $2,500.
- Travel delay insurance – Having your trip delayed through no-fault of your own is never fun. Fortunately the Discover Miles credit card will reimburse you up to $150 per day on eligible delays to pay for things like lodging, dining, etc.
- Lost and damage luggage – up to $2,500 additional coverage in the event your luggage is lost or damaged while flying
- Car rental collision damage waiver insurance – In the event your normal car insurance doesn’t cover you, the Miles card provides up to $25,000 in collision coverage on most rental vehicles
- Flight accident insurance – In the event of the unthinkable, get up to $500,000 in flight accident insurance on all eligible airfare purchased with your card.
Note: Contact Discover for details, restrictions, and limitations for these benefits.
Although the card is still shown on their website, it doesn't come with any signup bonus whatsoever. I suggest checking out some of the comparable no annual fee travel cards which gives you a signup bonus along with an intro 0% on purchases or balance transfers.
Miles vs. traditional airline cards?
Any half-way decent airline-branded card charges an annual fee (usually $60 to $95) so if you want something that's not going to cost you anything, then the Miles Discover card is an option.
However on the flip side of the argument, sometimes it does make sense paying for an airline-affiliated card because you may get extra benefits like free checked luggage, airport lounge access, companion tickets, etc. Plus true frequent flyer miles are typically worth more than $0.01 each. So if you're open to paying a fee then compare these airline credit card offers side-by-side to see which makes the most sense for you.