The Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer offers you plenty in the way of rewards opportunities, but also comes with a sweet balance transfer offer that we normally only see on cards for which that balance transfer offer is the primary selling point. In this case, you can earn as much as 5 percent back on your purchases and also enjoy a card that offers you 18 months of 0 interest on balance transfers and six months of 0 interest on purchases. Not bad features for a card that doesn't come with an annual fee.
Most Notable Features of the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer credit card:
Often credit cards with excellent balance transfer offers are "one trick ponies" in that they don't offer much in the way of perks or rewards earning – they are very specifically about making a balance transfer and taking advantage of the 0 percent intro period.
But the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer is different. With this card, cardholders can earn plenty of rewards AND they're eligible for the Cashback Match™ you may have seen mentioned with other Discover it cards. Here's the deal: you earn 5 percent back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate each quarter (you must sign up each quarter, but that's a quick and easy click of a button). Beyond that you'll earn 1 percent back on all your other purchases and on your purchases above the quarterly cap.
Here's the REALLY good part: At the end of your first year, Discover will MATCH all the cash back you earn during your first year. That means that earning $200 cash back in your first year is actually worth $400.
All this and there's no annual fee or foreign transaction fees to worry about eating into those sweet rewards.
Now, about the balance transfer part: 18 months is among the longest balance transfer intro periods on the market, so you stand to save some serious dough on interest if you have a balance you need to carry and pay it off over the course of a year and a half. Not to mention, you also can take advantage of six months no interest on purchases made directly on your card.
Discover makes it easy to redeem your rewards as well. Instead of tracking a convoluted points system, you can use Discover's website to watch your cash-back bonus balance grow. Discover's online shopping portal offers up to 20 percent back from participating merchants, and a partnership with Amazon.com means you can redeem your rewards at any time, for just about any kind of product.
Like with other rotating category cash-back credit cards, the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer requires you to use a bit of strategy to reap the full benefits of the card and you have to remember to sign up each quarter to take advantage of the bonus. Though Discover posts the quarterly cash back categories ahead of time, if you're not someone who wants to keep up with using your card in the quarterly bonus categories, you instead might want to consider a flat-rate credit card.
Since you're looking at a balance transfer credit card, the other, perhaps more important downside is that you will pay a balance transfer fee with this card. It's 3 percent of each transfer, which isn't huge (some cards charge up to 5 percent), but it is something to keep in mind. That said, if you have a balance on one card that's racking up interest charges each month, even paying that 3 percent fee likely means you'll come out ahead.
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer Credit Card vs. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Let's get this out of the way first: The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a shorter balance transfer 0 percent period at nine months, BUT its 0 percent APR on purchases is longer at nine months. Basically, if you need a longer period to pay off an existing balance, the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer credit card, but if you're looking to make a purchase and pay it off over time, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card could be a better fit.
Neither card charges an annual fee or foreign transaction fees, but their reward structures are different. Instead of rotating categories like the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer credit card offers, Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card members earn 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase without any caps or categories and your cash back doesn't expire as long as your account remains open.
If you're looking for a simple rewards earning structure and don't need the full 18 months to pay off a balance, you might consider the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. That said, if you max out those 5 percent categories each quarter, you'll likely earn quite a lot more in rewards.
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer credit card vs. Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is a no-frills card with no cash back opportunities. That said, it has a solid balance transfer offer at 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of opening an account as well as 15 months of no interest on purchases. Like the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer credit card there's no annual fee or foreign transaction fees to worry about.
So what makes the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® unique? A couple of things, actually.
In particular, you won't pay a balance transfer fee when you move your balance to this card, which saves you that 3 percent charged by the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer credit card.
Furthermore, while getting 0 percent intro APR on purchases or balances transfers is a great perk for cardholders, many times, when the intro period is over, the APR can skyrocket. This isn't the case with the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®.
With the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®, instead of dealing with a future rate that could easily be above 20 percent, the ongoing APR goes to 13.99% Variable on all purchases, balance transfers and cash advances once the introductory period is over.
Though the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® might not offer any cash-back rewards like the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer credit card, the ongoing APR might make it worth it for some users.
Discover it® Balance Transfer Credit Card vs. Citi Simplicity® Card
Unlike the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer credit card, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is yet another balance transfer credit card with no cash back rewards; however, it does have a perk of its own that might make it all worth it for some cardholders.
With the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever, cardholders can enjoy no annual fees, no late fees and no penalty rates ever. It also has a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 21 months – that's nearly two years of no interest on purchases and balance transfers, which is HUGE if you're looking down a long road of interest charges on an existing balance. The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever does still have a balance transfer fee of 3 percent of the amount of each transfer. Though the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer credit card does offer no late fees for the first missed payment, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever might be a better option for those who consistently struggle to make their payments on time.
This Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer is best for individuals who want to earn cash back with no annual fee and who are looking for a no-interest introductory period on purchases (six months) and balance transfers (18 months).