The Smart Investor has collected card information independently. Issuers did not provide the details, nor are they responsible for their accuracy. The review is not a recommendation, the actual rates/fees may be different.
The Discover It Balance Transfer card is a rare balance transfer credit card that offers cash back in addition to offering you a lengthy introductory 0% APR. It’s a great option if you have a large credit card balance and need time to pay it off without paying interest while also earning rewards. Speaking of rewards, Discover has a special bonus they offer card holders we’ll share with you below.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of the Discover It Balance Transfer Card – and whether or not it’s right for your wallet…
Discover It Balance Transfer
On Discover Secure Website
Great For The Average Consumer
Good – Excellent
5% Cash Back for Select Spending Categories – gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon and more
Attractive Sign Up Bonus – 0% on purchases for 6 months and 0% on balance transfers for 18 months.
Limit on Cash Back Spending Per Quarter – first $1,500 spending per quarter
3% Balance Transfer Fee
- No annual fee
- 14.24% – 25.24% Variable APR
- Redeem cash back at any time and any amount
- Free access to your FICO score, Free social security monitoring
Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):
Discover It Balance Transfer Card – Benefits
No Annual Fee
As with all Discover credit cards, you won’t have to pay an annual fee. You also don’t have to pay foreign transaction fees when using your card while traveling. The fees you will have to pay, however, are a balance transfer fee of 3% if you’re bringing over a balance from a previous credit card. But keep in mind that 3% is still on the low end considering some credit cards charge 5% fees on balance transfers.
5% Cash Back for Select Spending Categories
You’ll love the high 5% cash back rate offered by Discover on gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon and more. It applies to select spending categories each quarter and there is a maximum amount you can achieve each quarter. Additionally, you’ll get 1% back on all other purchases.
Very Attractive Intro Offer
Discover incentivizes you to switch to the Discover It Balance Transfer credit card by offering a very attractive intro offer which includes 0% on purchases for 6 months and 0% on balance transfers for 18 months. This means you can take your time paying off new purchases, interest-free.
Discover Matches Cash Back Earned Your First 12 Months
One of the key benefits of the Discover It Balance Transfer credit card is that Discover will match ALL of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year having the credit card. This applies to all purchases that earn 1% cash back as well as all purchases that earn 5% cash back so the potential to earn a lot in cash back rewards is high.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Whenever you are traveling outside of the country, you won’t have to worry about using your credit card and incurring fees. Discover is offering you no foreign transaction fees so swipe away and enjoy buying things on credit while traveling other countries!.
Discover It Balance Transfer Card – Drawbacks
Less Merchant Acceptance
One of the main drawbacks of the Discover credit card is that merchants may not recognize the card at some stores in the US. Getting acceptance outside the United States may also be more difficult as compared to Visa or MasterCard.
Balance Transfer Fee
The Discover It Balance Transfer card does have a balance transfer fee of 3% which could be a drawback for some consumers. If you have a high balance you’re transferring over, this 3% fee could add up to a lot of money as compared to a credit card that offers 0% transfer fee.
Limit on Cash Back Spending Per Quarter
While the 5% cash back is a benefit of this credit card, the drawback is that Discover limits this reward to the first $1,500 spending per quarter. If you easily achieve $1,500 in spending every quarter, then you may be disappointed that all the additional spending is no longer earning the hefty 5% cash back rate.
Alternatives to Discover It Balance Transfer Card
The lack of a sign-up bonus and intro APR period for purchases may make the Citi Double Cash card a “boring” choice among a sea of competitors. But for the average consumer who makes purchases across all categories, the Citi Double Cash Card can’t be beat. The combined 1% on the front end and 1% on the backend add up to a strong 2% rewards system that not only offers a consistent stream of cash back, but also offers an incentive to build a strong credit score. Similar to Discover It Balance Transfer, the card boasts a lengthy 18-month period of 0% fees on all balance transfers.
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum credit card also provides a lengthy 0% intro APR period. You’ll get the 0% rate on both Balance Transfers and Purchases for 18 billing cycles unlike the Discover It card which offered only 6 months of 0% interest on purchases for the intro period. The ongoing APR is 14.74% – 25.74% Variable APR once the intro period ends. Visa Platinum also has a 3% balance transfer fee which matches that of the Discover it® Balance Transfer. The drawback of the U.S Bank Visa Platinum is that this card lacks a rewards program and is not yet available in many states.
Like the AvantCard, it too offers no rewards past the basics of owning and properly using a credit card, and doesn’t charge an annual fee. The ongoing APR is 24.99%, which is high for an ongoing APR. With this being said, this is still a slightly better APR than what the AvantCard Credit Card has to offer.
The City Simplicity card is a no annual fee credit card but unlike the Discover It Balance Transfer card, it does not offer a rewards program and does not offer sign up bonuses. However, it does offer a longer intro APR term with it’s 21 month 0% APR on balance transfers.
As a Citi Simplicity card holder, you get access to purchase protection and identity theft support. You also get a 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases. Paying 0% on purchases for 12 months is an extra 6 months as compared to the Discover It card, which can add up and be a great benefit if you aren’t going to be paying off the balance month to month. Once these intro periods end, you’ll pay between 16.24 and 26.24% Variable APR. If you’re not interested in chasing rewards and sign up bonuses, then this credit card could be for you.
If you’re the type of person who wants a low-effort card that still gives you some type of reward for using it, then look no further than the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. the best benefit that comes along with the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is the fact that on ALL purchases that this card is used for, there is 1.5% cash back rewards. You can also increase your credit limit after paying on time successfully for your first 5 payments and enjoy no transfer fees. However, it comes with a $39 annual fee and relatively high APR, standing at 26.96%.
Is the Discover It Balance Transfer Card Right for You?
If you want a long time to pay down a credit card balance while still earning cash back on new purchases, the Discover it® Balance Transfer is a great option and tough to beat. While it does have a balance transfer fee, it is still comparatively low to other credit cards. The major benefit of this card is if you plan to take advantage of the first 12 months cash back matching reward by Discover.
This card is not for you if you are more focused on transferring your debt balance and paying it down rather than additional spending. Instead, you can find a credit card with an even longer intro balance transfer period to give you more time to pay off the balance. Just watch out for the balance transfer fee.