Executive Summary -
In this section, we examine how one can redeem the "miles" that you earn from this card. As we shall see below, you are free to book your travel with anyone. "Redeeming" them can be done online or over the phone. The time period you are given turns out to be rather generous as well.
Like we mentioned in our main introduction, you earn points (or rather "miles") with this card and you can use them for travel. One of the most frequently asked questions about this card is :
Who are the airline partners of this card? - Well, this card does not work that way. You do not transfer points you earn into frequent flyer miles. But instead, you can use the miles for any airline that you book.
How do you "miles" that you earn? - The way this card works is as follows. You are free to book your travel (airline tickets, hotels, car rentals and cruises) with anyone. That means you could book them with an online travel site like expedia.com, with airlines, hotels or car rentals directly or even with an off line travel agent. This method allows you to find the best deal for yourself.
In fact, an arrangement like this gives you the best of many worlds in more than a few ways.
For example, if you fly want to fly Southwest Airlines, you cannot book their tickets through other sites like expedia.com or travelocity.com. You cannot even do comparison shopping for their ticket prices on these portals because SouthWest does not give them permission! So in cases like these, the only thing you can do is to book with them directly. And a card like this will sure come in handy.
Another great thing about this card is that you can book your hotels directly with them rather than through an online portal. This has a few advantages, amongst which you can cancel and change your schedule very late because you book directly with them. If you have booked your hotel stay with expedia.com and need to change the date last minute, good luck to you.
Once you have booked your travel, you can redeem your miles with Discover and you will receive a statement credit. 10,000 miles is worth $100 in value. You have 90 days to redeem your miles.
You can also use the "miles" that you have earned to redeem for gift cards. There are over 100 gift card partners. Alternatively, you can also redeem for "Discover gift cards". You need a minimum of 1000 "miles" to redeem for a gift card. At this moment, we do not know the value that 1,000 points gets you. We'll update it when we have the information.
You can also redeem for merchandise rewards. This is something new for Discover cards and has only been a recent addition. Discover does not provide samples of their rewards in this category and hence we cannot really ascertain the value of using your rewards this way.
Statement Credit or Cash
You can also redeem for cash or statement credit if you choose to so so. However, you need to use a minimum of 5,000 miles and it only gets you $25 in statement credit. That is a return of 0.5%. So it does not pay to redeem this way.
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