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Discover lengthens 0-interest balance transfer intro period

By , Site Editor
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    There’s a new, lengthier balance transfer credit card option in town and it’s one worth looking into.

    Discover it®- 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

    In early 2017, Discover announced it was extending the interest-free period for balance transfers from 18 months to 21 months for new Discover it®- 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer cardholders. That change puts the card on par with the lengthy balance transfer offers of the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card and the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever (Citi is a CardRatings advertiser), but there’s one key difference that sets the Discover card apart: Rewards.

    Neither the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever nor the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card are rewards cards, which means the balance transfer terms might be fantastic, but you’re missing out on the opportunity to rack up cash back or points. The Discover it®- 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer card, however, gives you the chance to earn 5 percent back on up to $1,500 spent quarterly in rotating categories when you sign up and 1 percent back on all other purchases (as well as those made after you reach the quarterly cap).

    The real kicker, though, is that Discover will MATCH all the rewards you earn during your first year of card membership, effectively meaning that $200 earned cash back becomes $400 cash back.

    Discover it®- 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer, like the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, doesn’t come with an annual fee, so there’s no worry about needing to offset the fee with rewards. 

    You will pay a 3 percent balance transfer fee for each transfer you make to Discover it®- 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer and, while that may sting at first, remember that you’ll be setting yourself up for 21 months of interest-free payments after that as well as the chance to earn cash back. 

    If you need a balance transfer card, but really can’t stomach the 3 percent fee, there are options out there for you. In particular, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®, another no-annual-fee card, now offers new cardholders 15 months of no interest on purchases as well as on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. And, there’s no balance transfer fee with this card. 

    Chase Slate® also offers 15 months of no interest on balance transfers and doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee for transfers made within 60 days of account opening.

    One thing to keep in mind before you decide on a balance transfer deal is that not all of these cards offer the same interest-free period for purchases.

    Here’s the breakdown of several popular no-annual-fee cards with balance transfer options:

    CARD NAME

    INTRO BT PERIOD

    INTRO PURCHASE PERIOD

    BT FEE

    REWARDS

    Discover it®- 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

    21 months

    6 months

    3%

    yes

    Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

    21 months

    21 months

    3%, with a $5 minimum

    no

    Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

    21 months

    21 months

    3%, with a $5 minimum

    no

    Chase Slate®

    15 months

    15 months

    $0 if made within 60 days of account opening; after that, 5% with a $5 minimum

    no

    Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

    15 months for transfers made within 45 days of account opening

    15 months

    $0

    no


    If you still need more options, check out our picks for Best Balance Transfer Cards. And, if you’re confused as to how a balance transfer could benefit you, take a look at Balance Transfer Credit Cards 101.

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