Discover it Card: 0% Balance Transfers and Cash Back Rewards

by Michael on Jan 7, 2013

Discover it Card

As you may have seen, Discover has re-worked their consumer credit card offerings, and is highlighting their new-fangled Discover it card.

This card is, in many ways, similar to their other offerings, though there have been some changes — all of which have been for the better.

Here’s a summary of what they’re offering:

  • Rotating reward categories. I’ve written about this in the past, but… You’ll get 5% cash back on up to $1500/quarter in rotating categories. You have to re-enroll each quarter, but that’s true of most reward cards nowadays.
  • Standard cash back rewards. For all non-bonus purchases, you’ll receive a flat 1% cash back. It used to be 0.25% on the first $3k, and then 1% after that, so this is a definite improvement.
  • Fees (or lack thereof). This card has no annual fee. There is also no overlimit fee, no foreign transaction fee, and no fee for phone payments. And there’s no fee for your first late payment (and no APR increase for paying late, either).
  • Payment due dates. You can choose your own payment due date, and you can make payments until midnight ET online or via phone.
  • Customer service. If you need to talk to someone about your account, you’ll 100% U.S.-based service 24 hours a day.
  • Interest rates. This card offers a 0% balance transfer for 18 months (w/a 3% fee) as well as 0% on purchases for 6 months.

Note that there’s another version of this card that gives 0% on both balance transfers and purchases for 14 months if you’d prefer that over the 18/6 option.

All in all, this is a definite step up from previous Discover offerings. And if you’re looking to maximize your cash back potential, this could be a good addition to your reward card rotation.

The lengthy 0% balance transfer period is also a useful tool for those of you who are working to dig yourself out of credit card debt. No, you can’t borrow your way out of debt, but you can minimize the interest paid while doing so.

Note that existing Discover cardholders can call to convert to the Discover it card. At least for now, the conversion won’t happen automatically. Apparently, if you do convert, you keep the same card number so it should be a smooth transition.

If you already have a Discover Card, I highly recommend switching. The un-tiered 1% cash back is well worth a phone call — there’s really no downside.

And if you don’t currently have a Discover Card but want one…

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