Discover it® Balance Transfer card: A long intro APR, plus rewards

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Pros

  • Long introductory APR balance transfer period
  • Rewards provide continued incentive to use the card
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Short intro APR for purchases
  • Rewards may be a distraction from paying off debt
  • Balance transfer fee
From our partner

Discover it® Balance Transfer

3.8 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

3 things you should know about the Discover it® Balance Transfer card

Though the Discover it® Balance Transfer card has some enticing features — including a $0 annual fee and the option to earn cash back — it’s important to remember why you may have been interested in this card in the first place: to transfer and pay off an existing high-interest balance.

Want to pay down debt with this credit card? Forget about the cash back you can earn on spending, and hold off on purchases until you’ve paid off your transferred balance in full.

Can help you pay off debt

With its 0% introductory APR offer for 18 months on balance transfers, the Discover it® Balance Transfer card could give you plenty of time to pay off some of your credit card debt.

Let’s take a closer look at the fine print on the card’s introductory APR offers.

  • Balance transfer intro offer — The Discover it® Balance Transfer features a 0% intro balance transfer APR for 18 months from the date of your first transfer. There’s a balance transfer fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms). Balance transfers must be made by a certain date to qualify for the intro balance transfer APR and fee.
  • Purchase intro offer — You’ll also receive a 0% intro APR on purchases — but only for the first 6 months from account opening.
  • Regular APR — When each of the promotional rates expires, the regular APR jumps to a variable 13.49% - 24.49%.

Take note: The regular purchase APR kicks in 6 months after account opening — and new purchases will be charged interest immediately if you’re still paying off a transferred balance.

Cash back may keep you using this card after you pay off your balance

The Discover it® Balance Transfer card’s rewards program could provide an incentive to continue using it after balance transfers are paid off.

With this card, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in bonus category purchases each quarter you activate. Bonus categories rotate between places like restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, PayPal and Amazon. You’ll earn 1% on all other purchases, including bonus category purchases made after you reach the quarterly spending cap.

There’s no sign-up bonus, but at the end of your first year as a Discover cardholder, Discover will match the amount of cash back you’ve earned — effectively doubling your first-year rewards.

Interest charges could cancel out your cash back

Before you start adding up all the cash back you could earn on this card, be aware of any interest you’ll have to pay if you carry a balance from month to month. Even if you’ve paid off your entire transferred balance, any unexpected interest charges you get hit with for new purchases could wipe out your cash back earnings.

Who this card is good for

The Discover it® Balance Transfer card could be a good choice for someone who plans to pay off debt but wants the benefits of a solid rewards program after that.

Just be aware of the different time periods for the intro APR offers for balance transfers and purchases. You don’t want to be hit with additional interest on purchases while you’re still paying down a transferred balance.

5 things to watch out for with intro balance transfer offers

Consider the other Discover balance transfer offers

If the Discover it® Balance Transfer card isn’t the right fit for you, there are two other Discover cards with 0% intro APRs for balance transfers.

Each of these cards offers a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, and for 15 months from the date of first transfer on balance transfers that are completed by a specific date set by Discover. You’ll be charged a balance transfer fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms). After that, the regular APR for both purchases and balance transfers jumps to 13.49% - 24.49%.


About the author: Tim Devaney is a personal finance writer and credit card expert at Credit Karma. He’s a longtime journalist who prides himself on being a good storyteller who can explain complex information in an easily digestible wa… Read more.