Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Discover it Miles - First Year 3% Cashback Redeemable for Travel

Discover it Miles Card

Discover has come out with a new credit card called Discover it Miles and it is quite attractive for any spending done during the first year.

The rewards structure for the card is quite simple.  You get 1.5 "miles" for every dollar you spend. They aren't really miles, rather they are redeemable against travel purchases.  This is more similar to the Capitol One Venture and Barclays  Arrival Plus World Elite (Yeah, it's a mouthful) category of miles.

Discover miles are best for domestic inexpensive airline tickets and other types of travel expenses. Usually you will do much better with regular miles from United, BA Avios etc. for last minute, first class or extremely short distance flying.

Double Miles Your First Year

The added bonus with Discover is that they will double all of your earned miles the first year.  1.5 miles is 3 miles during the first year.  There are no special categories.  3% cashback towards travel on every purchase for one year with no annual fee is hard to be beat on non-special category spending.  The doubling happens at the end of your first year so of the questions about the card mentioned below will not be answered until Discover starts the doubling process.

A year is like a decade in Manufactured Spending time.  The entire landscape will change by then so I would not be worried about what to replace the card with after the first year.

Other perks:
- In flight GoGo wireless internet $30 fee reimbursement every year.  View from the Wing points out that since the card has no annual fee, you can keep it around after the first year just to reimburse you for wireless internet.
- No foreign transaction fee
- Free monthly FICO score
- Access to Discover Deals - more about that later

Questions to be Answered:

Discover Deals - All miles are doubled with this card.  Will cashback/miles earned through Discover Deals (Discover's online shopping portal) be doubled as well?  Discover Deals is one of my go to shopping portals so this would make a big difference.  Unfortunately, no one will be certain until about a year from now.  Frequent Miler says maybe based on the terms and conditions.  Doctor of Credit says no since the Discover Deals pays out in cashback not miles and miles are the only currency doubled.  I guess we will have to wait a year and see.

Serve/American Express Gift Cards - Can this card be used to load Serve online for free ($1,500 monthly limit with Softcard) or to buy American Express cards for everyday spending and loading RedBird?  Will it post as a cash advance?  Anyone have any data on that?

I think this card will be in my next round of applications so I'll get a chance to play around with it, but hopefully some things can be figure out before then.