Discover it® Balance Transfer

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Claire Dickey @ClaireDickey  in  Balance Transfer Advertising Disclosure
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Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

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Best balance transfer card

Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% for 6 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% for 18 months
Regular APR:
14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

Bankrate Rating

Commonly used for: Balance Transfer.

Score Breakdown

Bankrate Rating

Rewards
Annual Fee
Variable APR

With the Discover it® Balance Transfer, you won’t have to sacrifice rewards for a low-interest APR.

The card is one of the best balance transfer cards on the market, and you’ll also receive a generous rewards structure, first-year cash back matching, a long introductory low-interest rate and more.

If you’re interested in paying off debt with the Discover it Balance Transfer, keep reading for more information.

Here are the details:

First and foremost, the Discover it Balance Transfer offers an 18-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers (14.24% – 25.24% variable thereafter). You’ll also get a 0% introductory APR for six months on purchases (also 14.24% – 25.24% variable thereafter).

This card doesn’t charge an annual fee and offers 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter) after activation and 1% back on everything else. Additionally, in lieu of a welcome bonus, this card comes with Cashback Match™. That means Discover will automatically match all of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Like similar balance transfer cards, you’ll be charged a balance transfer fee of 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*. If you’d rather avoid paying this fee, there are other balance transfer card options without it, such as the Slate. You’ll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (17.24%–25.99% variable thereafter), as well as no annual fee. It’s important to note the Chase Slate does not offer a rewards structure, and the balance transfer must be completed within the first 60 days of account opening to qualify for the $0 balance transfer fee. After that, the balance transfer fee is 5% or a $5 minimum.

The information for the Chase Slate has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Is this card right for you?

As long as you have a good to excellent credit score, the Discover it Balance Transfer can help you pay off debt interest-free while earning a good amount of rewards on everyday purchases.

Make sure you’ll be able to fully pay off your debt within 18 months. For example, if you owe $3,000, that means you must be able to pay $166.67 a month to fully expend your debt without paying a dime in interest.

There’s a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*, so be prepared to pay this in addition to the debt you owe. Using the same example, if you owed $3,000, you’d be charged a $90 balance transfer fee.

Advantages
  • 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months (14.24% - 25.24% variable thereafter)
  • Cashback Match™ feature (Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year)
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
Disadvantages
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*
  • Must activate the 5% bonus category to receive 5% cash back (otherwise, 1%)
  • Rather short 0% APR on purchases for 6 months (14.24% - 25.24% variable thereafter)

How much are the rewards worth

To get the most out of this card, try and max out the 5% bonus category (up to $1,500 on purchases quarterly after activation).

By doing so each quarter, you could earn $300 in cash back annually just from the rotating bonus categories. Say you spend an additional $300 a month in the 1% category — that’s an extra $36 in cash back for the year.

Don’t forget, Discover will match all of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. That brings your first-year earnings to $672.

How to use this card

To receive 5% cash back on the rotating bonus categories, you must activate online. Otherwise, you’ll earn 1% for the quarter. To activate, simply log into your Discover account.

It’s important to evaluate your spending patterns in conjunction with a card’s rotating bonus categories before applying. For example, the Discover it Balance Transfer’s fourth quarter bonus category for 2019 is Amazon.com. If you do a lot of your holiday shopping online with the retailer, this card could be a great fit.

The full list of Discover’s 5% bonus categories for 2019 is as follows:

  • January 1 – March 31: Grocery stores
  • April 1 – June 30: Gas stations, Uber and Lyft
  • July 1 – September 30: Restaurants & PayPal
  • October 1 – December 31: Amazon.com, Target & Walmart.com

To get the most out of your 18-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers (14.24% – 25.24% variable thereafter), make sure you’ll be able to pay off the balance within 18 months. Otherwise, go with a card that offers a longer introductory period, such as the Citi Simplicity® Card. With the Citi Simplicity, you’ll get a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months (variable APR of 16.99% – 26.99% thereafter). Keep in mind you won’t earn rewards with the Citi Simplicity.

Other perks include no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, meaning you can freely spend abroad without acquiring extra charges. Additionally, you’ll have access to security features like Social Security alerts on your credit report and account freezing options, should you suspect any fraudulent charges.

The bottom line

The Discover it Balance Transfer is the card for you if you’re looking to dwindle your debt but don’t want to sacrifice a great rewards structure.

You’ll enjoy the 18-month long 0% introductory APR on balance transfers (then 14.24% – 25.24% variable) while still earning 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 per quarter) after activation, plus 1% back on everything else.


Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.