Blue Sky® from American Express vs DIscover Miles

Picture of Item Reviewed
Editor's Rating: 4.0/5.0
The Miles from Discover Card is a close competitor and in this part of the review, we will look closely at these two cards. They are similar in that they both allow you to book your travel in which ever way you want, enabling you to find the best travel deals.
Intro Purchase APR Regular APR Intro Balance Transfer Annual Fee Issuer Credit Needed
0.00% for 15 Months 17.24% to 22.24%*(variable) 0%* for 15 Months $0 American Express Excellent

Now that we have got the comparisons among blue cards out of the way, let's take a look at comparisons with competitors.

Let's start with the Discover Miles Card. These two cards are similar in the following way.

  • Book Travel With Anyone
  • - The key feature of both cards is that you can book your travel with anyone. And we mean anyone - with expedia, with airlines or hotels themselves or with a traditional travel agent. In that sense, it gives both these cards an edge over others because you are free to hunt for the best deals.


But there are some differences as well.
 

  • Earning Rates
  • - While both cards allow you to earn one point per dollar on purchases, the Discover Miles allows you to earn double miles for the first $3,000 in annual spending on travel and restaurant expenses. You can also earn double miles when you make online purchases with shopdiscover (online shopping mall) merchant partners. This is slightly better than Amex.

  • Value of Points
  • - The value of "miles" from Discover is 1% like most reward programs. That means 10,000 "miles" gets you $100 in value. In contrast, Amex requires only 7,500 points to get $100 in value. On this front, Amex comes out ahead.

  • Car Rental Insurance
  • - There is also a significant difference in the car rental insurance coverage. For Discover Miles, the value of vehicle covered is only up to $25,000 versus $50,000 for the Blue Sky.

  • Travel Accident Insurance - There is also a big difference in this area. The Miles insurance covers up to $500,000 and does not cost card members anything.

    The coverage from Amex requires a sign up and then when you purchase an airline ticket, you will be charged $4.99 per covered person. The coverage is up to $2,000,000.

    While most might overlook this point, I think it is important to point out that the Amex coverage is more but also comes with a cost (though the amount is not a lot).
     
  • Discover has no foreign transaction fee
  • - Another notable difference is that all Discover cards have no foreign transaction fees. A couple of higher end American Express cards have no FX fee, but not this one.

  • Number of days to get your statement credit
  • - The Miles Card actually gives you more days to claim your statement credit for your travel (90 days versus 60 days for Blue Sky). This might be or might not be a big deal depending on whether you are a procrastinator or not!

    To sum up, I would say that in terms of value for points, the Blue Sky from American Express comes out ahead over Discover Miles. But in many other areas like earning points, foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, Discover actually comes out ahead.
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