After experimenting with a 21-month 0% APR period on balance transfers, Discover has returned to its original terms.
In early February, Discover extended the 0% period on its balance transfer card, now known as the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer. 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– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer and the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever. Discover came out looking pretty appealing compared with those cards, because it offers cash-back rewards in addition to the 0% period for transfers.
Now the 21-month bubble has popped, and Discover is back at 18 months. In January 2018, Citi dropped the 21-month period for one of those cards, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever.
Even with the shorter introductory annual percentage rate period, the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer has a lot to recommend it. You still get 0% on Purchases for 6 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49% - 24.49% 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: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically. The card has an annual fee of $0.
For people don’t need a super-long interest-free offer, the Discover it® - Cashback Match™ gives you a shorter 0% APR period on balance transfers but a longer one on purchases. The introductory APR is 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR. This card has the same cash-back rewards, same new card member bonus and same annual fee as the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer.
Both cards charge a 3% balance transfer fee. For a look at balance transfer cards that don’t charge a fee to move your balance, check out our recommendations.