Updated July 5, 2017
Credit card debt is a burden weighing down the budgets of many Americans. If you’re motivated to unlock the shackles of consumer debt, then a balance transfer may be right for you. But finding the right one can be overwhelming. " Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer" is an excellent option for people with debt. You will have an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months, with a 3% balance transfer fee.
Key Credit Card Features
For people with credit card debt, the most important feature is the generous balance transfer offer. If you transfer debt from any other credit card company, you will pay a one-time fee of 3% of the amount transferred. But you will then pay no interest for 18 months. You could save hundreds of dollars (and potentially more) during the interest-free period. Just make sure you get your transfer completed as soon as the account is opened and that you make your monthly payments on time. 0% intro for 18 months is one of the best balance transfer credit cards on the market today.
In addition to charging no interest on balance transfers for 18 months, the card charges an introductory 0% interest on purchases during the first six months. You will be able to earn cash back on your purchases as well. However, we strongly recommend using a balance transfer credit cards only for balance transfers so that you can get out of debt faster.
Discover also offers your free FICO® Credit Score on monthly statements. Checking your credit score will help you keep tabs on your credit. Discover will monitor your Social Security Number and alert you if they find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of risky websites. This is a great feature that will help alert you of possible fraud.
Do You Need a Balance Transfer?
Most people who are paying down credit card are subjected to interest rates north of 15%. Reducing interest rates on debt with a balance transfer can slash both the time and money it takes to pay it all down.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, a balance transfer isn’t right for everyone.
How Do You Qualify For a Balance Transfer?
Banks will only offer balance transfers to people with good or excellent credit. Typically, the ideal candidate will have:
- A good or excellent credit score. Your score does not have to be perfect, but your chances are much better if you have a good score.
- Your debt burden will be considered, and the lower the better. If you are having difficulties making monthly payments, a balance transfer is not for you.
Note: Your debt burden is calculated by adding up your monthly fixed expenses and dividing that by your monthly income. The expenses should include your monthly rent or mortgage payment, auto payment, student loan payments and the monthly payment on any other credit cards or loans that appear on your credit bureau. The higher that number, the more likely that lenders will not approve your application.
Also take into consideration why you’re in debt. Don’t get another credit card if you’re swipe happy and won’t be able to help but spend on the new credit card.
Is Discover It the Balance Transfer Right for You?
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer currently offers an introductory 0% APR balance transfer for 18 months. There is a 3% balance transfer fee, but the fee often pays for itself -- depending on your balance.
If you were approved for a balance transfer of $5,000, a 3% fee would equal $150. That shouldn’t sound like a lot, because leaving $5,000 at a 17% interest rate (with a payment of $250 a month), you’d pay the bank $153.16 of interest in just four months.
The Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer would save you $741, including interest and fees.
Should the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer be Your First Balance Transfer Card?
While Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer does offer a competitive balance transfer, there are other options out there.
The Chase Slate® credit card has an excellent balance transfer offer. You can save with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening and get 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and a $0 annual fee. Plus, see monthly updates to your FICO® Score and the reasons behind your score for free.
The higher the debt, the more attractive Discover’s longer balance transfer offer becomes. But for smaller balances, the no fee Ring offer is a better deal.
Fine Print Alert: What to Watch Out For
If you do complete a balance transfer with Discover, make sure that you:
- Complete your balance transfer as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you can lose the offer.
- Continue to pay on your old credit card until you see that the balance transfer has been completed. It can take two to three weeks for the balance transfer to complete, and you don’t want to be hit with late fees on your old credit card while waiting for the transfer.
- You can only move debt to Discover from another bank. You cannot transfer debt between two credit cards with Discover.
- Make your payments on time, every month. They charge a late fee of up to $37. Discover does state they waive your first late payment fee on the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card, but that isn't a benefit you should plan on using.
How to Complete a Balance Transfer with Discover
We’ve created an entirely separate post featuring screenshots and explanations on how to complete a balance transfer with Discover. You can find it here.