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If you are looking for a balance transfer card with a long interest-free period to move some funds out of high interest credit cards, the Discover it® Balance Transfer offers it: 18 months at 0% intro APR for balance transfers, and there's no annual fee.
- 0% intro annual percentage rate (APR) on balance transfers for 18 months
- Bonus 5% cash back in rotating categories
- Dollar-for-dollar match of all cash back earned the first year
- No annual fee
- Slightly less merchant acceptance for Discover in the U.S. and internationally
- Need to register for rotating 5% cash back categories
- 3% introductory balance transfer fee (and up to 5% fee on future balance transfers) could be expensive depending on how much you transfer
Discover it® Balance Transfer offers one of the longest 0% APR balance transfer options—18 months, which gives you a longer period of time to pay off the debt. But with this card, it's the extra perks that make it shine. The healthy 5% cash back bonus is an opportunity to recapture some cash in common spending categories. Top it off with an impressive new cardholder cash back matching incentive for purchases in the first year, and this card rises to the top.
Get More Cash Back With Extra Bonuses
With Discover it® Balance Transfer, you earn a healthy 5% cash back in categories that rotate each quarter, such as gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon and more. As long as you activate your bonus by the quarterly deadline, you'll get the maximum 5% cash back for purchases in the designated category. All other purchases will earn an unlimited 1% cash back automatically.
New Cardholder Sign-Up Bonus
In addition to the 5% cash back in rotating categories, Discover offers a sign-up bonus: It will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up necessary, and no limit to how much is matched. This exclusive offer is available only to new cardmembers. Add to that free access to your FICO® Score* and no annual fee.
Why Transfer a Balance?
Transferring debt from other credit cards to the Discover it® Balance Transfer card can make a lot of sense. You can lower your monthly finance charges by transferring balances on credit cards with higher APRs to the Discover it® Balance Transfer. You won't pay any interest for 18 months on balances you transfer as long as you pay at least your minimum payment by the due date.
Balance transfer offer details:
- 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months beginning from the date of the first transfer.
- 0% intro APR for purchases for six months beginning from account opening.
- After the introductory rate expires, you'll be charged a standard variable APR of 14.24% to 25.24% for both balance transfers and purchases.
- You'll pay the same 3% introductory balance transfer fee (and up to 5% fee on future balance transfers) as with the Discover it® Cash Back card.
What to Watch Out for When You Transfer a Balance
If you do transfer credit card debt to the Discover it® Balance Transfer card, make sure you pay off any purchases while the intro APR still applies. If you don't, you'll pay an interest rate of 14.24% to 25.24% on those purchases, depending on your creditworthiness. When you pay more than your minimum payment, the amount in excess of your minimum will be applied to your balances with the highest APR.
If you transfer credit card debt to the Discover it® Balance Transfer card and then use it for any new purchases outside of the six-month intro APR window, those purchases will be charged interest. The only way to avoid paying interest on new purchases is paying the entire balance, including the balance you transferred.
The most important factors in choosing a balance transfer card are knowing the purpose of the balance transfer, how much you are transferring and how you plan to pay it off within the introductory 0% timeframe. Avoid using the card for new purchases unless you can pay them off quickly, and focus on paying off your transferred debt. Then enjoy all the cash back bonuses and perks Discover it® Balance Transfer has to offer.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.
This article was originally published on February 14, 2019, and has been updated.
*Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more.