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Discover it® Balance Transfer Review: One of the Best Balance Transfer Cards

Review Updated
Lyle Daly
By: Lyle Daly

Our Credit Cards Expert

Nathan Alderman
Check IconFact Checked Nathan Alderman
Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

If you're dealing with expensive debt, the Discover it® Balance Transfer credit card can help you save on interest and pay it off faster. It has a lengthy balance transfer offer and a fantastic cash back program, so it offers plenty of upfront and ongoing value. Decide if this card is right for you with this Discover it® Balance Transfer review.

Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
5.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
5.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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Credit Score: Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Recommended Credit Score required for this offer is: Good/Excellent (670-850)
Credit Score Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Good/Excellent (670-850)

Intro APR

Purchases: 0%, 6 months

Balance Transfers: 0%, 18 months

Regular APR

17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR

Rewards Circle with letter I in it. 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.

1%-5% cash back

Annual Fee

$0

Welcome Offer Circle with letter I in it. N/A

Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

  • Get the best of both worlds with a great intro APR on balance transfers and valuable cash back rewards.

    • Great intro APR offer
    • Sign-up bonus offer
    • Robust cash back program
    • No annual fee
    • FICO® Score for free
    • No fixed bonus categories
    • 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.

Full Discover it® Balance Transfer review

This credit card is a good fit for: Consumers who want to pay off debt more quickly and at a lower cost with a long intro APR balance transfer offer.

Top perks

The Discover it® Balance Transfer credit card has several high-value benefits.

0% intro APR offer

This card offers a 0% introductory APR lasting 18 months on balance transfers. That's one of the longest intro periods you'll find, even among the best balance transfer cards. If you're currently dealing with high-interest debt, such as credit card debt, the Discover it® Balance Transfer gives you plenty of time to pay it down interest free during the intro period. This card also offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 6 months. The go-to rate of 17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR applies after the 0% intro APR periods expire.

To learn more about how these cards are used, read our guide on how a balance transfer works.

Up to 5% cash back

Some balance transfer cards are light on rewards, but that's not the case with the Discover it® Balance Transfer. Cardholders earn a 5% Cashback Bonus® on everyday purchases on rotating categories each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations, up to the quarterly maximum of $1,500 on purchases, when you activate. Other purchases earn 1% cash back.

COMPARE MORE OPTIONS: Best Rewards Credit Cards

Unlimited Cashback Match sign-up bonus

Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. This sign-up bonus is only available during the first year and for new cardholders, but it can be particularly lucrative since the match is unlimited. For example, if you max out its quarterly bonus categories and earn $300 in rewards in the first year, you'd receive another $300 to match it.

SEE MORE: Best Sign-Up Bonus Credit Cards

FICO® Score for free

As a Discover cardholder, you have access to a free credit score tool, Discover Credit Scorecard. What makes it special is that it provides your FICO® Score, the type of credit score most widely used by lenders. Many other card issuers have free credit score tools that provide other types of credit scores, which aren't used nearly as often. It's helpful to have access to your FICO® Score, since that's what's commonly used when you apply for everything from credit cards to car loans and mortgages.

No minimum rewards redemptions

An underrated perk of Discover credit cards is that they have no minimum threshold for cash back redemptions. You could redeem as little as $0.01. Other cash back cards have stricter minimum redemption amounts, such as $25.

Read our complete guide to Discover credit card benefits to learn more about what these cards offer.

What could be improved

There aren't any major issues with the Discover it® Balance Transfer card, but there are a couple of areas with room for improvement.

Short intro APR on purchases

This card only has a six-month 0% intro APR on purchases. As mentioned, the go-to variable rate applies after the intro period. Some balance transfer cards also have a long 0% intro APR on purchases, which is helpful if you need that feature. This Discover card, on the other hand, is best used for balance transfers.

RELATED: Best 0% Intro APR Credit Cards

Balance transfer fee

You'll pay a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*. To be fair, this type of fee is common with most balance transfer credit cards. It'd be nice to see Discover stick with the intro fee, though, instead of raising it later.

Find the best credit card for your needs

Compare credit card rewards, fees, APRs, and more using our side-by-side comparison tool.

Suggested credit score

To apply for the Discover it® Balance Transfer, it's best to have a FICO® Score of 670 or better. Other factors are also considered during the credit application process, so there's no guarantee a high score will secure approval. But if you have a lower credit score, you may want to work on improving your credit first or look at other card options.

RELATED: How to Qualify for Discover Pre-Approval

The Discover it® Balance Transfer is right for you if:

You have credit card debt that will take you at least six months or longer to pay off. If so, the Discover it® Balance Transfer will almost certainly help you save money on interest charges. And if both of the following are true, this card could be an especially good fit:

  • You have good credit. The Discover it® Balance Transfer offers a long 0% intro APR period, so it is designed for people who have few, if any, blemishes on their credit report. If your only credit problem is having high balances on other cards, the Discover it® Balance Transfer is a good choice.
  • You want a card to keep after the balance transfer intro period. Even without the balance transfer offer, the Discover it® Balance Transfer card has lucrative credit card rewards. Its rotating bonus categories make it a favorite among cash back card users.

If you want to compare more options, head over to our list of the best credit cards to see what else is out there.

Alternatives to consider

  • If you want a longer 0% intro APR for purchases: The Discover it® Cash Back packs in a 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. The go-to 17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR applies after the 0% intro APR expires. This card also includes the same robust rewards program and sign-up bonus.
  • If you want a higher unlimited cash back rate for purchases: The Citi Double Cash® Card matches Discover's 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers. The key difference is that it can earn 2% back on purchases (1% back when you buy, and the other 1% back when you pay off balances).

READ MORE: Best Cash Back Credit Cards

As of Nov. 27, 2023
Image for
Image for
Discover it® Cash Back Citi Double Cash® Card
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5.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
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= Poor
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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= Excellent
= Good
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Credit Rating Requirement: Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Recommended Credit Score required for this offer is: Good/Excellent (670-850)

Good/Excellent (670-850)

Credit Rating Requirement: Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Recommended Credit Score required for this offer is: Fair to Excellent (580-850)

Fair to Excellent (580-850)

Welcome Offer: Circle with letter I in it. Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Welcome Offer: Circle with letter I in it. Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

20,000 ThankYou® Points

Rewards Program: Circle with letter I in it. 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.

1% - 5% Cashback

Rewards Program: Circle with letter I in it. 2% cash back: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay

Up to 2% cash back

Intro APR:

Purchases: 0%, 15 months

Balance Transfers: 0%, 15 months

Intro APR: Circle with letter I in it. N/A

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: 0%, 18 months

Regular APR:

17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR

Regular APR:

19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$0

Highlights:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 17.24% to 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms and conditions apply.

Highlights:

  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
    Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
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FAQs

  • The minimum starting credit limit for the Discover it® Balance Transfer is $500, but some cardholders have reported much higher limits of $10,000 or more. Discover bases your credit limit on your income, credit history, and other factors related to your creditworthiness.

  • Discover processes most balance transfers within four days. The Discover card account must be open for 14 days before Discover can begin processing a balance transfer request.

  • Discover it® is the card issuer's main product line offering multiple types of credit cards. The Discover it® Balance Transfer is one of the credit cards in the Discover it® product line.

Our Credit Cards Experts