A close cousin (you might even say twin) of the Discover it® card is the Discover it® card 18-month balance transfer offer, an equivalent card in every way except for the introductory APR offer. If you’re looking for a cash back card that offers the opportunity of high-rate rewards in rotating categories, both cards are a solid option, but it’s worth choosing the introductory offer that best fits your current financial picture.
This review will cover some benefits and drawbacks of the Discover it® 18-month balance transfer offer. If you’re looking for a better introductory offer on your purchase APR, check out the Discover it® card here.
- No annual fee
- 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases
- Up to 5% cash back in rotating rewards categories, up to a quarterly maximum of $1,500. Category rewards must be activated each quarter.
- Cash back match for 100% of what you earned in year one, available to new cardholders
- You could turn $150 into $300 with Cashback MatchTM. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
- 0% APR that lasts 18 months for balance transfers and 6 months for purchases, after which the APR increases to between 11.99% and 23.99%
- No international transaction fees, over-limit fees, or late payment fee on your first late payment
At a glance
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer
on Discover Card's website
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- You could turn $150 into $300 with Cashback Match™. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
- Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
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- Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
- No annual fee.
- Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Balance Transfer Fee
Balance Transfer Intro APR
Intro Balance Transfer Period
Discover it® 18-Month Balance Transfer Offer deep dive
With two different offers for essentially the same card, it can be confusing to choose which Discover it® is right for you. Suffice it to say they only differ in terms of introductory APR offers, so the best fit really depends on whether an interest-free balance transfer or large purchase is more in line with your financial goals (the normal Discover it® offers 0% APR for 14 months for both balance transfers and for purchases; This promotion offers 0 interest for 6 months on purchases and 18 months on balance transfers).
Get it: If you’re looking to transfer a high-interest balance to a card that will also earn you cash back rewards
With a year and a half of no interest charges on balance transfers, this Discover it® 18-month balance transfer offer can be a great way to catch a break from high-interest debt, giving you enough time to get your finances in order.
In addition to the introductory APR offer, the Discover it® 18-month balance transfer card offers the opportunity to earn easy cash back rewards, making it hard to go wrong if a balance transfer card is what you’re in the market for.
Some benefits of this card include:
- No annual fee: With no annual fee and no fees for foreign transactions, going over your limit, or for your first late payment, you can use your Discover it® 18-month balance transfer card without worrying about hidden fees on your next statement. Also, unlike with many other cards, there is no penalty APR if you make a late payment
- Up to 5% cash back: Earn 1% back on all purchases, plus 5% cash back in rotating rewards categories. 1% cash back is unlimited; 5% cash back must be activated each quarter and is limited to your first $1,500 of spending in the category. Past and current categories include: 1) gas stations, ground transportation, and wholesale clubs, 2) home improvement stores and wholesale clubs, and 3) restaurants
- Cash back match for year one: New cardmembers earn a dollar-for-dollar cash back match at the end of their first year with the Discover it® 18-month balance transfer card
- Introductory APR offers: Enjoy 0 APR on purchases for 6 months and on balance transfers for 18 months; Your APR will increase to between 11.99% and 23.99% thereafter. Compared to the normal Discover it® card, which offers 14 months of 0 APR for both purchases and balance transfers, this offer is better for those looking to transfer a balance from a high-interest account and would like to extend the amount of time they have to pay it off before interest starts accruing. Note that both cards charge a 3% balance transfer fee
- Redemption flexibility: Redeem your cash back in any amount, at any time, and it won’t ever expire. If your account is closed or inactive for more than 18 months, your cash back will be credited to your account
- Peace of mind: You’re automatically protected against fraudulent charges on your Discover card and Discover will monitor your Social Security Number and alert you if your SSN is found on any of thousands of risky websites.
Skip it: If you need a card to finance a large purchase with, or can’t be bothered to keep track of rotating rewards categories
While the Discover it® 18-month balance transfer offer is a great option for those in need of a balance transfer, it comes with a shorter introductory APR for purchases, meaning it’ll be less beneficial for someone who needs a long period of time to pay off a purchase.
In addition, the rotating cash back categories on the Discover it® 18-month balance transfer card offer a great way of earning high cash back rates but may be a burden for those who would rather not keep track of rewards categories or remember to activate them.
Consider these drawbacks:
- Elevated rewards aren’t unlimited: While you can earn unlimited 1% cash back on the Discover it® 18-month balance transfer card, the 5% rewards rate for rotating categories can only be earned on your first $1,500 of purchases in the category (equivalent to $75 in cash back per quarter). That said, the potential of up to $300 per year in cash back isn’t a bad deal for a no-fee card—not to mention the cash back match for year one
- You’ll have to plan your spending accordingly to maximize cash back: Rotating rewards categories are a great way to achieve high cash back rates but may require advance planning. For example, you may want to stock up on items from wholesale clubs when the quarterly category includes these stores, but skip the wholesale shopping when a different category rolls around. In addition, you’ll have to activate your 5% rewards each quarter, which may be a hassle if you’d rather have a card you can spend and earn rewards on without having to think about it
- Shorter purchase APR offer: If you’re looking for a card to use for a large purchase and would like to extend the amount of time you have to pay it off, the normal Discover it® card is likely a better fit, as it offers 14 months of zero APR for balance transfers as opposed to just 6 months
- Not for poor credit: The Discover it® 18-month balance transfer offer is available to those with average or excellent credit, which Discover defines as a score of at least 670. If you’re still working to build your credit or to recover from a financial hardship, it’s worth waiting to apply until you reach the minimum cutoff
If you’re looking for an escape from high-interest debt coupled with an ongoing opportunity to earn cash back on your purchases, the Discover it® 18-month balance transfer offer may be just what you’re looking for. But if being restricted to rotating categories for bonus rewards sounds like a headache, a cash back card that offers flat rewards rates may be a better fit.