BEST CREDIT CARDSBEST CREDIT CARDSDISCOVER IT BALANCE TRANSFER REVIEW: NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Discover it Balance Transfer Review: No Longer Available

You expect a balance transfer card to offer a lengthy introductory APR period. But this card also gave you cash back — and a reason to hold on to it long-term.
Sara Rathner Author Avatar
Jul 19, 2024 10:41 a.m. PDT
Edited by
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SOME CARD INFO MAY BE OUTDATED
This page includes information about the Discover it® Balance Transfer, currently unavailable on NerdWallet. The information about the Discover it® Balance Transfer has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been provided or reviewed by the card issuer.

The Bottom Line

4.9

NerdWallet rating

When it was available, this was the rare balance transfer card with value beyond its introductory APR period.

Discover it® Balance Transfer Image
Discover it® Balance Transfer
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1%-5%
Cashback
Intro Offer
Cashback Match™
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months
Regular APR
17.24%-28.24% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
Discover it® Balance Transfer Image
Discover it® Balance Transfer
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1%-5%
Cashback
Intro Offer
Cashback Match™
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months
Regular APR
17.24%-28.24% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Rewards rate

    1%-5%

  • Bonus offer

    INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – 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.

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 17.24%-28.24% Variable APR

    Cash Advance APR: 29.99%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

    0%

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – 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.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • Your account may not always be eligible for balance transfers. Balance transfer eligibility is determined at Discover’s discretion.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms and conditions apply.

Pros and Cons

Pros

No annual fee

Intro APR period

Bonus categories

Cash rewards

Cons

Complicated rewards

Spending caps on bonus rewards

Lower acceptance abroad

Detailed Review

» This card is no longer available

The Discover it® Balance Transfer card has been taken off the market and is no longer available, so this review is out of date. For other options see our best balance transfer credit cards. For a good balance transfer option from Discover, see the Discover it® Chrome.

• • •

If you're chipping away at high-interest credit card debt, moving it to the Discover it® Balance Transfer can get you a nice long time to pay it off without interest.

It also offers a rare feature for a balance transfer card: elevated rewards on everyday spending. That gives you a good reason to keep the card around long after paying off your transferred balance.

One thing to be aware of, though, is that unlike other some other 0% intro APR cards, the Discover it® Balance Transfer isn't a great choice for financing a large new purchase. And while the card does limit certain common fees, there is one fee you’re going to want to pay attention to: a balance transfer fee that could be as high as 5%.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Discover's balance-transfer card is not currently available through Discover's website, but you can apply through NerdWallet.

Discover it® Balance Transfer: Basics

Card type: Balance transfer and cash back.

Annual fee: $0.

Intro APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%-28.24% Variable APR.

Ongoing rewards:

  • 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter (requires activation); 1% after that. Bonus categories in the past have included gas stations, wholesale clubs, restaurants and more. (See below for current categories.)

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases. (Note: Rewards are earned only on purchases, not on balance transfers.)

Redemption options: Cash back can be redeemed for a direct deposit into any account, a statement credit on your card, gift cards and eCertificates, charitable donations, shopping on Amazon.com or via PayPal. There's no minimum redemption requirement unless you redeem for gift certificates or eCertificates, which do require a minimum of $5.

  • For the Amazon option, sign in to your Amazon account and link it to your card. You can pay with your Discover it® Balance Transfer card and apply cash-back rewards when you check out. The PayPal option also requires that you link accounts.

New cardholder bonus: Discover offers a unique sign-up bonus for new cardmembers in their first year, which the issuer phrases this way: "INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – 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."

Balance transfer fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms).

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other benefits:

🤓Nerdy Tip

Discover offers a similar card with the same rewards structure but an introductory APR period that's longer for purchases and shorter for balance transfers. That card is known as the Discover it® Cash Back.

Compare to Other Cards

ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 21 months
REGULAR APR
18.24%-28.99% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers
REGULAR APR
18.74%-29.74% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
0% intro APR on purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months
REGULAR APR
20.49%-29.24% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
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Benefits and Perks

Generous 0% intro APR period

The Discover it® Balance Transfer offers one of the longest 0% introductory APR periods for transfers: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%-28.24% Variable APR.

High rewards rate

Other credit cards also offer the dual benefits of a 0% intro APR period plus rewards. But few of them can match the 5% cash-back rate that the Discover it® Balance Transfer offers on up to $1,500 in combined spending on bonus categories per quarter (after activation). All other purchases earn 1% back. The current 5% categories on this card:

Discover bonus rewards categories for 2024

Q1 (Jan. 1–March 31)

  • Restaurants.

  • Drugstores.

Q2 (April 1–June 30)

  • Gas stations/EV charging stations.

  • Home improvement stores.

  • Public transit.

Q3 (July 1–Sept. 30)

  • Grocery stores.

  • Walmart.

Q4 (Oct. 1–Dec. 31)

  • TBD (In 2023: Amazon, Target).

Potentially lucrative sign-up bonus

Discover's unique bonus allows cardmembers to essentially chart their own course for a personalized sign-up bonus in the first year of having the card.

Keep in mind, though, that if you’re using the balance transfer option on the Discover it® Balance Transfer card, you may want to avoid making new purchases with it entirely, and instead use the card solely for paying off debt — and that might mean missing out on the rich sign-up bonus offer, which you're eligible for only in your first year.

Drawbacks and Considerations

The Discover it® Balance Transfer is a solid choice, but depending on what you're looking for in a balance transfer card, there are some other promising options available.

You can get a longer 0% period

The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card offers a longer 0% APR period for transfers — and a matching one for purchases. You get 0% intro APR for 21 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% Variable APR. The annual fee is $0. There are no rewards, however.

A flat-rate card may better suit your spending

The Citi Double Cash® Card has an introductory APR of 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months and then the ongoing 19.24%-29.24% Variable APR. There is, however, no 0% intro APR period for purchases. What makes it especially attractive is its flat-rate rewards, which make the card a good choice for someone not interested in keeping track of bonus categories. You'll earn 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy, then 1% as you pay. If simplicity is important to you, the Citi Double Cash® Card could fit the bill.

To see how these options compare versus other cards, visit the NerdWallet best credit cards roundup.

How To Decide If It's 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 tough to beat. The introductory balance transfer fee is comparatively low, and the cash-back earning potential is promising.

Alternate Pick: Flat-rate cash back
Get 2% cash back on everything

This card is a match for the Discover it® Balance Transfer in terms of annual fee ($0), balance transfer fee (3%) and the length of the 0% APR period for balance transfers. But its rewards are simpler: 2% cash back on everything: 1% when you buy it, and 1% when you pay it off.


Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

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