A Year and A Month
Earlier this week I reached the points match for my second Discover It Miles card and was able to cash it out for a nice redemption. It seemed like the day I could finally cash out wouldn’t arrive, as shutdown fears loomed and waiting 13 months was a long time.
When I first started collecting points and miles seriously, I didn’t have any interest in cash back. My main focus was travel and rewards directly linked with that goal, so I thought that cash back was more or less a distraction. In fact, in my first year collecting points and miles, I met a guy at the Chicago Seminars who lived in my local area. At that time, he advised me to get the American Express Old Blue Cash (which was still alive then) card, which was changed not long after. Through all of his talk about the card, I couldn’t understand why it was of such importance to him. In my simplified view of credit card rewards at that time, he was earning cash back, which meant he wasn’t earning miles or other similar points (for travel). And that idea just didn’t compute. Years later, I recognize that he was not one right, but that I still had a lot to learn about the value of rewards.
Cashing In, and Out
The points and miles world is often an odd place. I can’t remember seeing major bloggers talk about their points and miles balances specifically, but for some reason, the Discover It miles results seem to be published more readily. I had mixed feelings about sharing my results after my first year, but did so, and am doing so now as well.
Since the (3) options that Discover allows customers to redeem miles for (Amazon purchases, travel credit, or cash) are all at the same rate, I always take the cash.
These results were my best yet, but it’s also only 10 months worth of spend. I was traveling for a full two months over the life of this card. After two Discover It cards and over two years worth of accounts, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve gained knowledge about what works for me, proper spending on the card, payment methods and strategies, and credit limits. Payoff for the card like this is great, but if you’re manufacture spending on this or any card, you could be shutdown. If you’re 9 or 10 months into the life of the card and get the chop, that is a lot of time, energy, and money wasted. Lastly, these results are net, not gross.
Discover It Miles are a good source of rewards, but they aren’t for everyone. Waiting 13 months to be able to make use of the 3% return on spend isn’t for the faint of heart. Discover has been known to slow available credit, and account shutdowns are also possible. Egos seem to get inflated pretty easily and quickly in the points and miles world. People become very confident very quickly. That might just be an extension of life in general, not sure, but the truth about how far all rewards programs can be taken is that no one really knows for sure. What might work today, may not work tomorrow. Just because you did something once, or know of someone else who did, doesn’t mean that option won’t put you on a bank’s radar the next time around.