Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer
The Discover it card with the 18-month balance transfer offer is targeted toward consumers who are done paying interest on their current cards and would like to start earning rewards at the same time. The card offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, giving you an opportunity to pay down debt without paying high interest rates.
You’ll earn an impressive 5 percent back in rotating categories each quarter that typically include common everyday expenses, such as gas, dining out and wholesale clubs. Every Discover it point is worth one cent, and cashback rewards can be redeemed as statement credits for any amount, at any time.
The downside is that the card doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus. However, customers get a Cashback Match at the end of the first membership year. You could potentially earn a huge bonus if you spend a lot on the card.
The Discover it - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card is great for beginners who want to dip their toes in the pool of cashback rewards without paying an annual fee.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer offers and the value of the Discover Cashback Bonus® cashback you earn.
The main draw of this Discover card is the balance transfer offer. The card offers 0% APR for the first six months on purchases and for the first 18 months on balance transfers. I generally do not recommend applying for new credit cards if you have debt. However, if you’re ready to pay off your balance without paying interest for 1.5 years, this card is a great choice. The balance transfer fee is 3 percent.
Although this Discover it card doesn’t come with a welcome offer, it has a dollar-for-dollar match on all cashback earned during your first membership year. The cash back is applied automatically after the first 12 consecutive billing periods. This means that the card essentially earns 10 percent back in bonus categories and 2 percent back on all other purchases during the first year. It’s rare to see such high rewards on a balance transfer card.
What You Get
- Discover will match every dollar you earn in cash back during your first year as a cardholder
- 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers and for 6 months on new purchases
- 5% back in quarterly rotating categories
As long as your card account remains open and in good standing, your rewards won’t expire. If you decide to close your account for any reason, make sure to redeem for cash back before doing so.
The Discover it 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card earns 5 percent back in rotating categories. The categories change every three months and can include grocery stores, wholesale clubs, drug stores, restaurants, entertainment, gas stations and more. The downside is that the high return is limited to the first $1,500 spent each quarter. All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back, including all bonus-category purchases beyond the $1,500 limit.
There’s no limit on the rewards you can earn, and the annual dollar-for-dollar match does not have a cap. The more you spend, the more cash back you earn.
- Quarterly rotating categories
- All Other Purchases
No Foreign Transaction Fees:
You’ll never pay extra fees to use this card while traveling abroad.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
The Discover it 18 month balance transfer card charges no annual fees. Because it costs nothing to keep the card long term, you do not have to earn a specific amount of rewards to cover the cost. Essentially, all the cash back you earn is free! The last thing cardholders who are trying to pay down debt need is an annual fee.
- Annual Fee
- Balance Transfer Fee
- 3% of the amount of each transfer
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
None the first time you pay late. After that, up to $37
The Discover it - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card has no annual fee. You do not have to earn a certain amount of rewards in order to cover the cost since it’s free. It’s still good to know roughly how much you’ll be earning, though. We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Discover it - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer Card
The Discover it – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card is a solid choice for anyone who want to consolidate debt and avoid high interest rates. Below are the top five perks of this card.
- 0% APR: You can save lots of cash by not paying interest on new purchases for six months and on balance transfers for 18 months.
- No Annual Fee: Having enough time to pay off debt without having to pay a fee is a great perk of any rewards card.
- Dollar-for-Dollar Match: Earning generous rewards on a balance transfer card is rare, and you will earn double the rewards at the end of your first membership year.
- Simple Redemptions: Rewards can be redeemed in any mount for statement credits and Amazon purchases. There are no minimum requirements or caps.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: Most no-fee credit cards charge foreign transaction fees, which can range up to 3 percent, but not this Discover card.
Should You Get the Discover it - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer Card?
The Discover it Cash card with the 18-month balance transfer offer is a solid choice for consumers who are paying high interest on existing debt with another card. Although I typically do not recommend applying for new cards while carrying debt, this card is a great option to get your finances back on track.
In addition to a generous introductory 0% APR period, the card also offers generous rewards, which is rare for no-fee cards with balance transfer offers. You will earn 5 percent cash back in rotating bonus categories, like gas stations and grocery stores, and 1 percent back on everything else. Plus, you’re rewards will be doubled at the end of the first year. Pay down your balance and watch the rewards add up!
Using this card responsibly will help you turn your credit history around and increase your credit score. It’s a great rewards card for beginners. The only downside is that Discover cards are not accepted everywhere, so you might not be able to use it at some merchants.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
Yes, the Discover it - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card charges 3 percent of the total balance transferred. If you think about it, 3 percent compared with another card’s APR of 15 to 20 percent is not a bad deal.
Say you have a $1,000 balance on another card that you’re paying 15 percent interest on. It’ll cost you $30 to transfer it over and then nothing for 18 months. This will give you a chance to dig yourself out of debt and pay off the balance without worrying about accruing interest. The same idea applies to higher debt and can potentially save you a lot of money when switching to a balance transfer card that charges no APR for the first year and a half.
Redeeming cash back earned with Discover cards is rather easy. All you have to do is accumulate rewards in the first place by using your card and paying your bills. You can then redeem those rewards for statement credits or electronic deposits to a designated account whenever you want. There are no minimum or maximum redemption requirements. You can redeem as little as a penny.
You can also redeem your points for merchant gift cards starting at $20, pay for Amazon purchases starting at 1 cent or make a charitable donation — plenty of redemptions options are available.
One of the great reasons this card is such a good choice for those rebuilding their credit is that you do not have to have a fantastic credit score to be approved. Your score can be in the Poor to Not Good range of high 500s/low 600s and still qualify for a credit limit.
However, the lower your score is, the lower the credit line likely will be. Whether this card is a good option for your personal situation will depend on how high of a balance transfer you want to make to take advantage of the zero APR.
Other Discover It cards
Besides the balance transfer card, Discover offers consumers a portfolio of various credit cards. Below is some information about a few other Discover cards and their features.
|Discover it® Chrome Card||Discover it® Miles Card||Discover it® - Cashback Match™|
|Sign-up bonus||$0||$0||0 miles||$0|
|APR On Purchases||12.24% to 24.24% Variable±||12.24% to 24.24% Variable±||12.24% to 24.24% Variable±||12.24% to 24.24% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$240||$240||$360||$240|
Discover it Chrome is another great starter rewards card. It earns 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants, for up to $1,000 in combined quarterly spending. All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back. As with other Discover cards, all the rewards you earn in the first year are doubled after 12 billing cycles, which gives you control over the total bonus you’ll earn. The Chrome card is good for someone who spends quite a bit on gas and dining.
The Discover it Miles Travel card earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. No need to worry about rotating categories, and every dollar earns a bonus. Similar to the balance transfer card, Discover matches all the miles you earn in the first year. Members can redeem their miles toward any travel purchase, including airfare, hotel rooms and rental cars. The card charges no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, and is good for those whose spending categories vary.
The Discover it Cashback Match earns 5 percent cash back in rotation categories that change every three months and also matches all the rewards you earn in the first year. There’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn — every point is doubled at the end of the introductory year! The card charges no annual fees and no foreign transaction fees.
Compare the Discover it - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer Card to Other Cards
Cashback credit cards have taken the market by storm, and there is no shortage of offers from other issuers. Let’s look at a few other rewards cards you might consider.
The MLB BankAmericard Cash Rewards MasterCard offers $150 cash rewards to cardholders who spend $ 500 on purchases in the first 90 days. The card offers 0% APR for the 12 months for purchases and balance transfers made in the first 60 days of card membership. The MLB card earns 3 percent back on gas, 2 percent back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1 percent back on everything else. The card is customizable with all 30 team logos.
The World Wildlife Fund credit card from Bank of America is also offering $150 back in cash rewards after spending $500 in the first 90 days of card membership. The card offers 0% APR for the first 12 billing cycles and balances transferred in the first 60 days. The card earns 3 percent cash back on gas purchases, 2 percent back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1 percent back on all other purchases. Checking or savings account redemptions earn a 10 percent rebate.
The AARP credit card from Chase offers a $200 cashback bonus for spending $500 in the first three months of account opening. The card earns 3 percent back at restaurants and gas stations, and 1 percent back on everything else. There are no annual fees, and the AARP card also offers 0% APR for the 12 months that your account is open. As you can see, there are many 0% APR cards to choose from.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Discover it - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this Discover card.
- Intro APR:
- 0% intro APR for 6 months from date of account opening
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- 0% intro APR for 18 months from date of first transfer, for transfers under this offer that post to your account by April 10, 2018
- Ongoing APR:
- 12.24% to 24.24% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 25 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- Get an additional year of coverage after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
- Purchase Protection:
- If an item is damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase, you may be refunded up to $500.
- Price Protection:
- See the same item for less within 90 days of purchase and get up to $500 back from Discover to cover the difference.
- Return Protection:
- If the store doesn’t accept your return, get a refund of up to $500. Good for 90 days and up to $2,500 a year.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 26.24% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
Discover card customers have access to their FICO score, can freeze their account instantly when they lose or misplace a card and are never responsible for any unauthorized charges on the card. With all these security features, you can rest assured you’re protected from fraud.
- EMV Chip + Signature Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals
- Free FICO Score:
- Monitor your credit history for unusual activity, including recently opened accounts and inquiries made on your history
- Freeze it On/Off Switch:
- If you misplace your card, you can freeze it online or through the mobile app to prevent new purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
Discover cards are compatible with Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay — mobile wallet services that provide a quick and easy way to make payments at participating stores. Purchase protection, such as damage and theft, applies every time you use mobile wallet apps to pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
Discover Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Insurance:
- Use your Discover card to pay for a car rental and get up to $25,000 in vehicle coverage with built-in secondary auto rental insurance.
- Flight Accident Insurance:
- Card members can receive up to $500,000 in accidental coverage when they use their Discover credit card to buy airfare.