Discover’s 0% Balance Transfer Offer Drops Back to 18 Months

Although the monthlong experiment at 21 months has ended, Discover's balance transfer card is still a solid deal, considering its cash-back rewards.

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After experimenting with a 21-month 0% APR period on balance transfers, Discover has returned to its original terms.

In early February 2017, Discover extended the 0% period on its balance transfer card, now known as the Discover it® Balance Transfer. The new 21-month period put Discover's offer in direct competition with a pair of Citi products that, at the time, had equally long 0% periods for balance transfers: the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card and the Citi Simplicity® Card. Discover came out looking pretty appealing compared with those cards, because it offers cash-back rewards in addition to the 0% period for transfers.

(Update: In January 2018, Citi dropped the 21-month period for transfers on the Citi Simplicity® Card, then restored it nine months later in October 2018. As of July 2021, it's back down to 18 months.)

Now the 21-month bubble has popped, and Discover is back at 18 months.

Even with the shorter introductory annual percentage rate period, the Discover it® Balance Transfer has a lot to recommend it. You still get 0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR. The card gives you 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter, and 1% back on all other purchases. There's a bonus for new cardholders, too: INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300. The card has an annual fee of $0.

For people don't need a super-long interest-free offer, the Discover it® Cash Back gives you a shorter 0% APR period on balance transfers but a longer one on purchases. The introductory APR is 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR. This card has the same cash-back rewards, same new card member bonus and same annual fee as the Discover it® Balance Transfer.

Both cards charge a balance transfer fee, which Discover describes as "3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*." For a look at balance transfer cards that don't charge a fee to move your balance, check out our recommendations.

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