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Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

What are balance transfer credit cards and how they save you money?


Simply put, a balance transfer card is a credit card that allows you to transfer an existing balance from a high-APR credit card onto itself, and in most cases offers an introductory 0% APR for a limited period of time, thus giving you a breather from the hefty interest payments, allowing you to become debt-free over a period of time. Such a card may or may not feature a balance transfer fee (usually 3%-5% or $5, whichever is higher).

Let’s say you carry a credit card balance of $ 10,000 and are presently paying an interest of 15.99% on it. With this type of debt, your monthly minimum due would work out to $ 232 (please note, the actual figure may vary from card to card since different credit card issuers may use different calculation methods). Even if you pay twice that amount each month, it would take you a minimum of 26 months to clear your debt. And when you’re done doing that, you’d have paid a total of $ 1867 in interest.

However, you don’t follow the path that a large majority of credit card holders take!

Instead, you transfer that $ 10,000 balance to a balance transfer credit card, offering an introductory 0% APR for a period of 15 months. What more, you continue paying two times the minimum due each month. This way, you’ll pay off your entire credit card balance in 22 months and would end up paying only $ 162 in total as interest. That’s a massive saving of around $ 1700! Even if you were to pay a 3% balance transfer fee, your savings would still be considerable to opt for the balance transfer facility.


But things are slightly more complicated in the real world as consumers make fresh purchases with their balance transfer cards and hence marginally/excessively increase their credit card balances. Regardless, the math works out the same, and you can still take advantage of the introductory APR period and spend more money on reducing your debt, rather than paying interest charges with it.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

The best balance transfer credit cards normally provide long 0% APR periods, have low fees and are lenient about late payments. Many even offer attractive rewards on purchases to the card holders.

We’ve carried out thorough research and shortlisted the five best balance transfer cards of this year. Let’s go over each one of them in good detail as follows:

Chase Slate Credit Card

Chase Slate credit card was one of our first few picks for the best balance transfer credit cards! It comes with an attractive introductory 0% APR period of 15 months, meaning that you don’t pay any interest on your transferred balance for that much time.

However, what sets this card truly apart from its competition is that it doesn’t charge any balance transfer fee if you opt for the balance transfer facility within the first 60 days of account opening. Not having to pay any balance transfer fee can be a great money saver for people, especially when they need to transfer large amounts of money.


Standout features of the Chase Slate credit card

  • Zero balance transfer fee on balance transfers done within the first 60 days
  • Extra perk in the form of purchase and price protection for card holders looking to save more money

Where it falls short

  • Introductory 0% APR period of 15 months isn’t the best in the industry

What makes it an overall good balance transfer credit card?

Chase Slate credit card is by far the best balance transfer credit card for people wanting to transfer large card balances. There isn’t a better card in the market when it comes to transferring sizeable chunks of money. Why this is so is because even though other balance transfer cards, for instance Citi Diamond Preferred or Citi Simplicity, provide longer introductory 0% APR periods (18/21 months), they also charge a fee for moving card balances. Card holders are normally charged anywhere from 3% to 4% of the transferred amount as a balance transfer fee. Since this fee is in terms of percentage of the transferred amount, moving over large balances can turn out to be pretty expensive.

By doing away with such fee for transfers done within the first 60 days of account opening, Chase Slate provides great value and plenty of savings to its customers.

Obviously, there are cons too. Although you won’t pay any transfer fee if you move any balance during the first two months, you’d not get a very long time to enjoy the 0% APR offer. The Citi Simplicity credit card on the other hand offers its introductory 0% APR period for 21 months, which is 6 months longer than the Chase Slate card. If you think you won’t be able to pay off your balance in full within the 15 months’ time, it’d be better for you to buy a card like Citi Simplicity instead. If you do so, you’d need to weigh the benefit of 6 extra 0% APR months against the zero balance transfer fee.

Another area where the Chase Slate credit card scores handsomely over its competition is that its utility goes much beyond the balance transfer facility. One of the main reasons why a large number of balance transfer cards don’t do very well is because their utility ends with the expiry of their introductory 0% APR period. However, in case of the Chase Slate credit card, customers continue using the card long after the expiry of introductory period, because of its purchase protection benefits. There are several other perks of this card, making it the most favorite balance transfer card of a large majority of customers.

Chase Slate balance transfer card – Other features and benefits

Annual Fee – $0

APR on purchases after the introductory 0% APR period – 13.24% to 23.24% Variable depending on credit worthiness

Main features

  • No balance transfer fee charged if transfer made within the first 60 days. Thereafter, a fee of 5% or $ 5 (whichever is higher) is charged on all balance transfers.
  • Introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months on both balance transfers and purchases
  • Zero annual fee
  • No provision for penalty APR. Making late payments won’t spike up your APR. The pertinent account related terms and pricing apply.
  • Free of cost credit dashboard and monthly FICO score
  • Sophisticated real-time fraud monitoring that keeps a close watch on all purchases and constantly looks for signs of possible fraudulent activity. Instant fraud alerts are sent out in case of any unusual activity.
  • All Chase Slate credit cards come equipped with an extra security layer in the form of an embedded chip, which when read by a chip card reader, produces a one-time code for transaction validation.

Chase Blueprint

Anyone who requires assistance with management of his/her credit card finances and payments can make use of the Blueprint service of Chase, which is provided to all the Chase Slate card holders. This service features a wide variety of tools that can help you in clearing your card balance and enable you to better analyze your spending patterns. Following are some important benefits provided by the Blueprint service:

  • All Chase Blueprint users can select the ‘Split’ option to pay off any purchase in a certain specific number of payments. Alternatively, you can decide the exact payment amount you wish to commit to a particular item each month.
  • The ‘Full Pay’ feature of Chase Blueprint enables you to identify spending categories that you should pay off in full every month. Hence, if your spending is highest in a particular category, you can avoid paying large sums of interest on those set of items and ensure that those specific purchases are paid off first every month.
  • The ‘Finish It’ option allows you to calculate and ascertain the amount of time it will take you to pay off a particular item, depending on the amount you’re willing to pay for it each month. This feature also enables you to keep track of your interest payments, allowing you to see the long-term cost impact of a specific minimum payment plan.
  • The ‘Track It’ feature of Blueprint service allows you to analyze your past spending patterns and find out the items that you’ve been spending on the most. It can go a long way in helping you closely monitor your budget, by creating visualizations that are grouped based on spending categories.

Why Chase Slate’s Blueprint service proves to be highly useful is because it helps you stay on top of the interest component of your balance. Interest is compounded on a daily basis, meaning that once it kicks in, it’s calculated on daily balances. So, if you’re really tight on finances, you can save a lot of money by paying off items that can cost you the most. Although such savings may/may not be huge, they can be a lifesaver for people who’re running on tight finances.

Warranty, purchase and price protection

The Chase Slate card not only helps you clear away your old balances, it also protects the new purchases you make with it. The worst thing that can happen to you while shopping is buying an item today and seeing it on sale somewhere else tomorrow or day after.

All Chase Slate card members can avoid such mishaps because of the price protection feature of the card. It covers the card holders for a price difference of up to $ 500 (maximum of $ 2500 per annum) if the purchased items/services are found advertised at a lower price within 90 days of purchase.

The purchase protection feature on the other hand protects you from any loss of or damage to the purchased item inside the first 120 days of purchase. You can claim damages of up to $ 500 per item and up to a maximum of $ 50,000 per account.

All Chase Slate card holders are provided a warranty extension for purchases made with the card. An extra year is added to all the regular manufacturer warranties, as long as the warranty isn’t over 3 years.

Citi Simplicity Card

The next card in our best balance transfer credit cards list is the Citi Simplicity card. This card can be a very good tool for people who wish to overhaul their credit card debt. It comes with a pretty long introductory 0% APR period of 21 months (among the best in the industry) on balance transfers and purchases.


This card is ideal for anyone who feels he/she will take at least that long for clearing away his/her credit card debt. It also works very well for people who forget to make their credit card payments every now and then.

On the other hand, this card may not be the best suited for anyone looking for long-term value in his/her credit card. It doesn’t offer any rewards program and loses its sheen after the expiry of its introductory 0% APR period. In addition, it’s not the ideal card for transferring big balances as you’re charged 3% balance transfer fee.

Excellent for reducing your interest outgo

This card serves as an excellent option if you’ve accumulated a hefty balance on some high-APR card, and wish to get rid of it quickly (without paying a lot in interest). The average interest charged on credit card debt hovers around 18% these days and if you’re running a $ 10,000 balance and making regular $ 500 monthly payments, transferring that balance to Citi Simplicity card can save you in the vicinity of $ 1750 in interest. Furthermore, you’ll also be able to get rid of your card debt 3 months earlier than normal (if you had continued with the 18% APR card).

While majority of credit cards charge up to $ 35 as late payment penalty and can increase the APR to 29.99% in such instances, there is no penalty or late fee ever charged in case of Citi Simplicity card. However, you may still face other consequences related to the missed payments, for example, damage to the credit score. Hence, you should treat this Citi Simplicity benefit solely as a cushion in times when you genuinely forget to pay your credit card bill. In addition, although you aren’t charged any penalty APR on missed payments, the applicable interest rate after the expiry of introductory 0% APR period can be as high as 23.24%, depending on your credit score at that time. Therefore, if you ever get late in making your card payments, and your credit score takes a hit because of that, Citi will be in a position to increase your APR to the maximum. However, it’ll give you an advance notice before doing that.

One particular area where this card falls short is rewards. It doesn’t really offer a lot of value if you make monthly payments on time and pay in full. There are several rewards credit cards that can earn you plenty of cash back and/or reward points on your purchases under similar circumstances. If you’re okay with slightly less-desirable terms, you can even opt for a hybrid rewards and balance transfer card, like the Chase Freedom or the Barclay CashForward World MasterCard. Although they have comparatively shorter 0% APR periods, they offer rewards that make them very good long-term options.

Citi Simplicity balance transfer card – Other features and benefits

Annual Fee – $0

APR on purchases after the introductory 0% APR period – 13.24% to 23.24% Variable depending on credit worthiness

Main features

  • Car rental insurance
  • No late fees and no penalty APR
  • Purchase protection
  • Citi identity theft solutions
  • Travel insurance
  • Zero annual fee
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% or $ 5, whichever is higher
  • $0 fraud liability in the event that card gets stolen
  • EMV chip technology that provides enhanced security and global acceptance
  • Extended warranty
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Automatic account alerts
  • Option to select one’s payment due date in the beginning, middle or later part of the month
  • Easy in-app purchases with Apple Pay
  • Travel and emergency assistance

Just like most of its competitors, Citi Simplicity card also provides a certain set of features, known as Citi Services. Majority of these are benefits that are also available with other credit cards, however, one perk that sets it apart is the Citi Price Rewind. How it works is that you register a product after purchasing it with your Citi Simplicity card, and the issuer will then look up the Internet for merchants selling the same product for a better price. In the event that it does manage to find a lower price within the first 60 days of transaction, it’ll refund the price difference (of up to $ 300 per product and a maximum of $ 1200 in a calendar year) to your card. You can go through this Citi Price Rewind guide to learn more. Some of the prominent products that aren’t covered in this scheme are: jewelry, mounted/stuffed animals and tickets.

About zero annual fees, no late fees and no penalty APR of Citi Simplicity card

Citi Simplicity does get pretty aggressive with its marketing strategy and goes all out to differentiate itself by highlighting how it handles late or missed payments. Its marketing tagline read ‘No late fees, No penalty rate and No annual fee – Ever!’ While majority of credit cards charge anywhere around $ 35 as late payment fee, which although isn’t a lot, but can add up to a considerable amount if collected consistently, Citi Simplicity doesn’t charge any late payment fee to its customers. It can be a huge money saver if you find yourself in this situation pretty often.

Another area where the Citi Simplicity card scores over its competitors is no penalty APR. Credit card issuers generally don’t make adjustments to the interest rate unless the card holders run into one of the few unwanted situations, for instance, exceeding the credit limit, making late payment etc. Whenever this happens, the credit card issuer is entitled to increase the applicable APR on the card, which is often a significantly higher rate. Many credit cards levy penalty APRs in the range of 29.99%, which is exorbitant to say the least! Not with Citi Simplicity card. No penalty APR is ever charged on this card.

If you’re already having a hard time managing your credit card debt, a penalty APR sword constantly dangling over your head can make matters even worse.

The fact that you don’t need to pay any annual fee on this card makes it another reason to use it as your ideal balance transfer credit card.

Citi Diamond Preferred

Another important credit card that has made it to our best balance transfer credit card’s list is the Citi Diamond Preferred card. It’s one of the ideal credit cards for anyone having a hard time paying down his/her card balance, as it offers one of the best and longest introductory 0% APR time periods in the industry. Just like the Citi Simplicity card, you can avail the 0% APR offer for a time period of 21 months, and use it for both balance transfers and purchases. This is 6 to 9 months longer compared to majority of balance transfer credit cards offered in the marketplace today. The interest savings made during the extra 0% APR period can be very valuable for people having huge card balances, or ones who’re contemplating making a huge purchase.


Citi Diamond Preferred features some additional perks as well, for instance, purchase protection and presale access to tickets, which bring a great deal of exclusivity to it. However, if you’re someone who is confident of paying off his/her existing credit card balance in around 15 months, you’d be better off opting for the Chase Slate, Citi Double Cash, Discover It or some other balance transfer card with a shorter 0% APR period and better features.

Features that differentiate Citi Diamond Preferred from its competition

  • Introductory 0% APR for 21 months on balance transfers and purchases, which is longer compared to a large majority of balance transfer cards.
  • Citi®Private Pass® that gets you access to exclusive presale tickets and VIP packages to popular sporting events, concerts, dining deals, complimentary movie screenings and more.

Where Citi Diamond Preferred Card is found wanting

  • Not the ideal card for international travelers owing to the 3% foreign exchange fee
  • Lack of rewards on credit card usage and timely payments
  • You may be charged a penalty APR of up to 29.99% if you’re late in paying your credit card bill or your payment is returned
  • Steep 25.49% APR on cash advances

Is it really worth it?

Along with the Citi Simplicity card, the Citi Diamond Preferred card is a standout balance transfer card that offers an excellent 21 months long introductory 0% APR period, which is incomparable in the industry!

If you have a large existing credit card balance or are about to make a big purchase that’ll take you some time to pay off, Citi Diamond Preferred is the ideal balance transfer card to make a switch. However, if you’re someone who regularly misses his/her credit card payments, you’d be better off moving your balance to the Citi Simplicity card instead. That one’s almost the same as the Citi Diamond Preferred, however, without the late payment penalty.

On the other hand, if all you’re looking for is an ideal rewards credit card, these aren’t the cards that fit the bill. You won’t earn any rewards points or cash back by spending with your Citi Diamond Preferred card or by paying your balances in full each month.

The closest that this card gets to rewarding its users for their purchases is through the Citi Services suite, that provides various protections and insurance on items/services purchased through this card. Feel that 15 months or less are good enough for you to get rid of your credit card debt? You’d be better served by Chase Slate instead.

Furthermore, despite being marketed as a ‘VIP’ and ‘Exclusive’ card, it’s not a very-difficult-to-get card. In fact, as per online reports, people having credit scores in the range of 630-650 have also gotten approved for this card.

Citi Diamond Preferred card – Other features and benefits

Annual Fee – $0

APR on purchases after the introductory 0% APR period – 12.24% to 22.24% Variable depending on credit worthiness

Main features

  • Balance transfer fee of 3% or $ 5, whichever is higher
  • Introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 21 months
  • Citi®Private Pass® providing exclusive and early access to important events, movie screenings, dining experiences etc.
  • Worldwide travel accident insurance
  • Ample security through Citi Identity Theft solutions
  • Purchase protection
  • Travel and emergency assistance
  • Car rental insurance
  • $0 liability in case the card gets stolen
  • Trip rescheduling and cancellation protection
  • 24/7 access to personalized concierge service providing assistance for concert ticket bookings, flight bookings, hotel bookings etc.
  • Select your own payment due date in the beginning, middle or later part of the month
  • Automatic account alerts

The introductory 0% APR period starts immediately after opening the card account. A standard APR varying from 12.24% to 22.4% variable becomes applicable post the expiry of this introductory period, depending on the credit score of the card holder at that time. People who’re regular with their credit card payments and use their credit responsibly often find themselves at the lower end of this APR (after the introductory period).

Please note, the introductory 0% APR offer can only be availed if you choose to transfer your credit card balance within the first 4 months of opening your account. Transfers done after 4 months are subject to the regular average APR applicable on purchases. Please also keep in mind that you’ll need to pay a balance transfer fee of 3% or $ 5, whichever is higher. So, if you wish to move a large balance from your existing credit card, you’d be better served by a balance transfer card like Chase Slate, that doesn’t feature any balance transfer fee and provides an introductory 0% APR period of 15 months (if you move over your balance within first 60 days of account opening).

Extended warranty, travel insurance, theft protection and damage protection

Whenever you purchase a product having a warranty of 5 years or less, using your Citi Diamond Preferred card, the warranty will automatically get extended by one year. This feature provides you a coverage of a maximum of $ 10,000 per annum in claims.

Furthermore, any product purchased with this card is automatically covered by the damage & theft purchase protection feature, which covers you for refund or repairs if the item is reported as stolen or damaged within 120 days of making the purchase (90 days in case of New York residents). This coverage is provided for a maximum of $ 1000 and has a cap of $ 50,000 in each card member year.

Coming to its travel insurance feature, if any trip booked using the Citi Diamond Preferred card, is rescheduled or cancelled due to some reason, Citi will reimburse any non-refundable fees to the card holder. This works very well for people who need to regularly make last-minute flight changes, and pay huge sums of money in rebooking fees (unless they’ve purchased expensive ticket insurance). Paying for hotel and/or airline ticket bookings using the Citi Diamond Preferred card can help tremendously in this regard. This benefit can be availed for up to a maximum of $1,500 per year.

Other prominent features of Citi Diamond Preferred card

All Citi Diamond Preferred cards come equipped with the EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard, Visa) smart chip which is indispensable if you’re travelling to anywhere in Asia and Europe. Merchants at all these places use new age chip enabled terminals for credit card transactions, as they are more secure compared to the conventional magnetic strip technology.

However, you can avoid this card if you’re a frequent international traveler, as it imposes a 3% foreign transaction fee on all international transactions. So, if you’re travelling to UK and purchase a £ 100 item, you’d actually be charged £ 103 for it (after taking foreign transaction fee into account). Although it may not seem a lot, it can add up to quite a bit at the end of every trip. Please also note that any online international purchases made with it, from within the US, would also attract such foreign transaction fee.

Last but not the least, Citi PrivatePass is another major not-to-be-missed feature of Citi Diamond Preferred card. Using this feature, you can purchase normally-unavailable tickets to sold-out shows and events, via the Citi PrivatePass portal. The shows and events could be related to family entertainment dining, sports, like music and more. There is no special signup required at the Citi PrivatePass website, and all you need to do is purchase these tickets using your Citi Diamond Preferred credit card.

Discover It

This is easily one of the better balance transfer credit cards as it offers an attractive introductory 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers (6 months on purchases). However, what sets this balance transfer card truly apart from others is the 5% cash back you can earn through it, on its rotating bonus categories (that change every quarter). Rather than offering the regular signup bonus which many cards do, Discover It doubles the cashback earned by you in your first year with the card. This offer makes the Discover It the best balance transfer cum cash back credit card in the market today.


It’s available in two different variants, differing in terms of the length of the introductory 0% APR balance transfer and purchase periods. You can avail the introductory 0% APR offer in two different arrangements as follows:

  • 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers and 6 months on purchases or
  • 0% APR for 12 months on balance transfers and 12 months on purchases

Is it really one of the best balance transfer cards?

This particular balance transfer card, like others offering 5% cash back on rotating categories, is all about when and how you put it to use. Else, you can always benefit from the 1% cash back on non-bonus categories, which is commonplace when it comes to $0 annual fee rewards credit cards.

You can make the most of this card if you closely follow its 5% cash back calendar. You stand to earn a handsome 5% cash back on a maximum of $ 1500 spent by you at the applicable category retailers every quarter. It implies that you can potentially save up to $ 75 per quarter with this card.

Discover takes its cashback offer to an altogether different level as it matches the entire cash back earned by you (dollar for dollar) in your first card member year, providing all new card members with lots of incentive. So, if you earn a total cashback of $ 300 in your first year with Discover, the card issuer will double it to $ 600! Hence, the effective cashback earned by you during your first card member year would be anywhere from 2% to 10%! This makes Discover It easily one of the best rewards and balance transfer credit cards in the marketplace today.

Another major benefit of purchasing the Discover It card is that you get to access the Discover Deals program, which is their online shopping portal. Here you can enjoy exclusive offers through your Discover It card, save plenty of money and even earn extra cash back bonus. Some of the popular merchants you can buy from here are Macy’s, Walmart, Apple, Papa John’s, Groupon, Sam’s Club, AVIS Rentals, Abercrombie & Kent and many more. You can shop with all these merchants and earn gift cards, percentage discounts and/or cashback bonus ranging from 5% to 20%. Majority of these merchants don’t ever come under the rotating bonus categories, except during the holiday season. Hence, Discover Deals is another excellent avenue where you can get instantly rewarded for using this card.

Where it falls short?

  • There’s a 3% balance transfer fee associated with the card, which can be substantial if you wish to move large balances to it.
  • Cash advances are discouraged as you are charged a fee of $ 10 or 5% of the cash withdrawn (whichever is higher). Furthermore, an APR of 25.24% is charged on cash advances, which is substantial.
  • Although there is no late payment fee for the first time you pay late, you’re charged $ 37 penalty every time you make a late payment after that.
  • Just like American Express, Discover has its own payment processing network, which is very different from the MasterCard and Visa (that are accepted just about everywhere). Hence, Discover credit cards don’t enjoy as wide acceptability as their leading competitors. It isn’t uncommon to see brick and mortar establishments refusing Discover credit cards. However, that’s not the case with online transactions. Therefore, apart from being an excellent balance transfer and rewards credit card, Discover It can be actively used as a supplemental card. You can use it actively for the earning bonus rewards. But, please remember to keep some other primary card handy, just in case.
  • If you wish to make the most of the rewards offered by this card, you’ll need to opt into new bonus categories every quarter, on the Internet.
  • You’ll need a FICO credit score of 690 to 719 to qualify for the Discover It card.

Discover It card – Other features and benefits

Annual Fee – $0

APR on purchases after the introductory 0% APR period – 11.24% to 23.24% Variable depending on credit worthiness

Main features

  • 100% U.S.-based customer service
  • Constant monitoring of card activity to ensure maximum security
  • $0 fraud liability, providing comprehensive coverage for unauthorized transactions
  • Free of cost FICO credit score on monthly statements, online and mobile
  • You can even transfer most of the non-credit card debts to this card, including many types of loans
  • Quick freezing and unfreezing of account (from website or mobile app) to prevent any balance transfers, cash advances are new purchases after card gets lost or stolen.
  • Zero annual fee
  • No change in APR in case of late payments
  • No late fee charged for the first late payment.
  • Attractive 5% cash back on quarterly rotational categories
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Free of cost overnight shipping for card replacements, available for any US address
  • Discover matches the entire cash back earned by you, dollar for dollar, at the end of your first year with the card
  • Easy redemption of rewards for cash
  • Rewards can be instantly redeemed during checkout
  • Zero foreign transaction fee. So, this card will be the right pick for you if you frequently travel to a country where it’s widely accepted
  • No over limit fee
  • Free FICO credit score on the Internet and monthly statements

About the 5% bonus cashback

The following table details the applicable 5% bonus categories for the present and the next quarter. You can easily lineup your expenditures with this calendar and maximize your rewards earnings. Any purchase that doesn’t fall under the applicable category can be made using a different credit card.

October – December 2016                 , Department Stores and Sam’s Club

January – March 2017                                    Gas Stations, Ground Transportation and Wholesale Clubs

On the whole, the Discover It balance transfer credit card is one of the very few credit cards that comes with a long 18 months introductory 0% APR period. If that wasn’t good enough, it offers highly competitive rewards and a substantial signup bonus. Provided that you make the most of the quarterly bonus categories, you can easily earn $ 600 in rewards in your very first year, while continuing paying off your credit card debt without any APR. However, Chase Slate would be the ideal card if you wish to move a huge balance, and don’t wish to incur a hefty balance transfer fee.

Citi Double Cash Card

Offering an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for a period of 18 months, and thereafter an ongoing APR of 13.24% to 23.24% depending on your credit worthiness at that time, Citi Double Cash card is easily amongst the best cards for balance transfers in the marketplace today. How this card distinguishes itself from its competitors is that it rewards card holders with a cashback of 1% each two times – first at the time of purchase and then when you pay for that purchase. There’s no cap on the amount of cash back you can earn with it. This offer easily puts this card amongst the most rewarding cashback credit cards, at least when it’s about the flat rate rewards.


Features that make it stand out

  • The unlimited 2% (1% + 1%) cashback rate trumps the usual flat 1% rate provided by the large majority of similar cards.
  • The 18 months introductory 0% APR period puts it in the company of a handful of balance transfer credit cards that provide such an offer.
  • Access to Citi Price Rewind, another useful service run by Citi wherein it searches for a lower price on any particular item you purchased using your Citi Double Cash card (and registered with Citi). It looks up hundreds of online merchants and refunds the difference to your card if it finds a merchant selling the same item at a lower price, within 60 days of purchase.
  • The card uses highly secure and new age EMV chip technology making it acceptable everywhere around the globe by merchants who use chip-enabled terminals.
  • There is no annual fee charged on this card
  • Unlike its competitors, Citi Double Cash credit card doesn’t place any restriction on the categories you can earn cash back on (like in case of Discover It card). You don’t require to enroll into or keep track of any categories and there’s no capping on the total cash back you can earn.

Where it falls short

  • The absence of a sign-up bonus makes this card slightly less attractive compared to others such as Discover It etc.
  • All balance transfers attract a fee of $ 5 or 3% (of the transferred amount), whichever is higher, making it not the best card for moving large amounts of money.
  • The cash back earned can be redeemed only if it is minimum $ 25. There is no such minimum restriction in other cards.
  • All purchases are charged an APR if you have already transferred some balance from another card. This APR becomes applicable unless you clear your entire balance (including the balance transfer amount) in full by the due date each month.

About the 2% cash back

The unlimited 2% cash back offer applicable on all purchases enables Citi Double Cash to counter some of the highest flat rate cashback cards available in the marketplace. This reward rate puts it ahead of other popular cards like Barclaycard Cash Forward World MasterCard, Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and others. Considering that there is no annual fee charged on this card, it has every potential to be kept as a primary credit card in the wallet.

1% cashback is awarded right after you make your purchase. The remaining 1% is applied as you pay for those purchases (whether over a period of time or all at once), provided that you pay at least the minimum due each month. So, effectively the total cash back earned on every purchase works out to 2% of the total purchase amount. Anyone who believes in clearing his/her balance in full each month, would hardly notice any timing difference between the payment and purchase related 1% rewards.

Furthermore, please note that no cashback reward is applicable to cash advances, balance transfers, returned items, interest or account fees. The earned cash back can be redeemed for gift cards, statement credits or checks.

Although this card makes an excellent option for anyone looking to earn handsome rewards on his/her day-to-day purchases, its lack of signup bonus makes it falls slightly short of the competition. Majority of credit cards reward their customers with some extra cash back or bonus points for opening an account with them. However, this card lacks such upfront incentives.

On the other hand, it tries to make up for the lack of such bonus by offering ancillary benefits like late fee waiver and the Citi Price Rewind feature. Whether majority of customers ever actually use and benefit from these perks is something arguable and makes these perks not the best substitute for the signup bonus. However, anyone who does use these features effectively, can derive thousands of dollars of benefits from them.

Citi Double Cash Card – Other features and benefits

Annual Fee – $0

APR on purchases after the introductory 0% APR period – 13.24% to 23.24% Variable depending on credit worthiness

Main features

  • Introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for a period of 18 months, provided that you make the transfer within 4 months of account opening.
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on general purchases, and another 1% when you pay for them.
  • Zero first late fee
  • Access to Citi Private Pass, an exclusive service run by Citi wherein cardholders get privileged access to thousands of events, including VIP packages and presale tickets to concerts, dining events, movie screenings, sporting events etc.
  • Round-the-clock fraud protection. You’re alerted as soon as any unusual activity is observed on your account.
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions come to your rescue in the event that you fall prey to identity theft.
  • Citi Lost Wallet service ensures that you’re sent a new replacement card within 24 hours of losing your Citi Double Cash card. Not just that, you’re also provided some emergency cash depending on the cash advance limit applicable to you.
  • Your Citi Double Cash card also gets you worldwide car rental insurance, covering you against any damage to or theft of a rental car.
  • Provided that you paid for your trip using your Citi Double Cash card, you are covered by a worldwide travel accident insurance, which provides you financial help in the event of some tragic accident.
  • In the event that you need to cancel or change your travel plans, you may be able to get reimbursed for any non-refundable trip expenditures such as change fees etc. provided you had paid for them using your Citi Double Cash card.
  • Complete protection against any online or off-line unauthorized charges. You have $0 liability for any such charges posted to your account.
  • Your Citi Double Cash card extends the manufacturer warranty of any item that you purchase with it.
  • The Damage & Theft Purchase Protection feature of this card covers you for any refunds and/or repairs if the purchased item is stolen or damaged within the first 120 days of purchase.
  • The Citi Concierge service has highly efficient staff that readily assists you with your dining, travel, entertainment, shopping and daily needs round-the-clock throughout the year.
  • The Citi Cards with Apple Pay feature provides you a quick and easy means to make in-app payments at more than 200,000 stores.

FAQs related to Balance Transfer Cards

Is balance transfer the right way for me to go?

If you’re consistently piling up balance on a high interest credit card, it may be in your best interest to transfer this amount to another credit card with low interest rate. This type of debt consolidation can be done through the balance transfer facility. Balance transfer is an excellent tool for anyone wanting to get rid of his/her credit card debt in the quickest manner possible. However, it’s useful only if you’re able to pay off your entire balance within the 0% APR period, before the regular interest rate becomes applicable. You may need to consider some other method of reducing or clearing your debt if you feel you’ll not be able to stay disciplined about your monthly payments.

Where can I find the best deals on balance transfers?

You’ll need to shop around and look at various options. We’ve thoroughly detailed the five best balance transfer cards of this year in this write-up. Perhaps you can start your search from here!

Is it possible to shuffle credit card balance between different cards of the same financial institution?

Normally, balance transfer offers can’t be used for transferring balances between different cards issued by the same card company.

How much balance should I transfer?

Please note, you’ll not be able to transfer more debt than the credit limit available on your new card. In addition, you should keep your credit utilization ratio at no more than 30% for all your credit lines. So, try to make sure that the transferred balance is lesser compared to the credit line available on your new card. However, if the balance you need to transfer is higher than the credit limit on the new card, you can talk to the new card issuer and possibly ask for a raise in that limit. Many companies may allow you to transfer the balance higher than your credit limit for a fee.

Does the introductory 0% APR apply to new purchases too?

In most cases yes. However, the period for which such 0% APR may be applicable may or may not be different than the balance transfers. So, cross check with the card issuer before finalizing anything.

Will it actually save me money?

You can use the balance transfer calculators available at many reputed portals and calculate your total savings there. However, you’ll only be able to do this when you are aware of your present interest rate, balance transfer fees and the interest rate applicable on the new card (introductory rate and the rate after that).

Will opting for a balance transfer affect my credit score?

Although your credit score may take a minor short-term hit, owing to the hard inquiry made by the new credit card issuer, selecting the right balance transfer card can actually help you improve your credit score by increasing your credit utilization ratio. However, opting for too many balance transfers, one after the other can give a wrong impression to the lenders that you’re simply avoiding your debt and are merely shuffling high interest card debt to low APR cards without any real intention of paying it off.

How long does a balance transfer take?

Provided you’ve got everything in order, a balance transfer may not take any more than 7 to 10 business days. However, there is no guarantee. If the present creditor needs to be paid by check (instead of electronic payment), the transfer could take longer.

How do I make the most of the balance transfer facility?

Once you’ve decided to opt for a balance transfer and have finalized an offer, you should devise a proper plan of clearing your entire card debt within the introductory 0% APR period. Work out a payment schedule and ensure that you stick to it. Avoid making any fresh purchases with the balance transfer card and use it only for clearing your debt.

Is it possible to transfer the credit card balance again?

In case you aren’t able to clear your transferred credit card balance during the introductory 0% APR period, you may feel tempted to opt for another balance transfer. Although it’s possible to do that, please remember, doing so can hurt your credit score in the long term. When you continue opening back-to-back low interest accounts, while not reducing your high debt, lenders start viewing you as a high risk prospect, which might make it harder for you when you try financing bigger purchases such as a car or a house in the future.

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Discover it vs. Chase Freedom Card

In the universe of rewards credit cards, both Discover it and Chase Freedom stand out as top card options. Account holders not only have seemingly endless benefits with each card, the cash-back rewards are some of the best in the business. However, for newcomers to the credit card rewards playground, there are some nuances that make determining which card is the best a difficult task. Let’s take a closer look at both the Discover it and the Chase Freedom credit cards in terms of rewards potential, introductory bonuses and fees.


Rewards Showdown

Both the Discover it and Chase Freedom credit cards offer robust rewards programs, but slight differences exist. First, the Discover it credit card offers 1% cash back on every dollar spent on purchases outside bonus categories that rotate on a quarterly basis. Purchases made within the bonus categories earn cardholders 5% cash back, up to a limit of $1,500 in total spending each quarter. Card members must sign up for the bonus categories as they rotate to ensure points are earned on applicable purchases, but the process is simply and free. Discover it bonus categories for cash back earnings are as follows for 2016:

  • January through March: Gas stations and ground transportation
  • April through June: Restaurants and movies
  • July through September: Home improvement stores and
  • October through December: (and others to be determined)

The Chase Freedom credit card also earns card members 1% on all purchases, with similar quarterly cash back bonuses of 5%. The bonus cash back categories do not require activation each quarter, but like the Discover it card, earnings are capped at $1,500 worth of spending. The cash back categories through Chase Freedom rotate each quarter, and for 2016 include:

  • January through March: Gas stations and local commuter transportation (not including Amtrak, tools or parking)
  • April through June: Grocery stores (not including warehouse clubs, Walmart or Target)
  • July through September: Restaurants
  • October through December: Holiday shopping with partner retailers to be determined

The fact that no additional step is needed to activate the bonus cash back rewards each quarter for the Chase Freedom card is certainly a bonus, but the category restrictions make the program slightly less attractive than Discover it. However, Discover it does not require a minimum number of points to accumulate prior to redemption; Chase Freedom card members must have earned at least $20 in cash back rewards prior to redeeming.

Upfront Bonuses

Only Chase Freedom offers an upfront cash back bonus for new card members within the first few months. Cardholders have the potential to earn $150 in cash after a minimum of $500 is spent on purchases within the first three months of account opening. The Discover it credit card offers a matching program for cash back earned, up to $200 additional cash, but the bonus is not immediate. Card members receive the matching cash back credit at the end of the first year after account opening, opposed to the first three months for Chase Freedom.

Comparison of Card Member Fees

For applicants seeking out low-cost rewards credit cards, both the Discover it and the Chase Freedom cards fit the bill. Both credit card options come with no annual fee, and no redemption fees for cash back earned. However, differences come into play as it relates to other costs associated with each credit card.

Discover it has an introductory interest rate of 0%, not just for purchases but for balance transfers as well. The promotional APR is honored for the first 12 months after account opening, after which time the standard rate and balance transfer ranges from 11.24% up to 23.24%. These interest rates are based on each applicant’s creditworthiness at the time of account opening, and rates may fluctuate over time based on broad market movements.

The Chase Freedom credit card also offers an attractive introductory interest rate for well-qualified borrowers. A 0% APR is in place for the first 15 months after account opening for both purchases and balance transfers. After the promotional period ends, card members are assessed interest on remaining balances as low as 14.24% up to 23.24%. All rates for purchases and balance transfers after the introductory rates expire are variable. Account holders looking for potentially lower interest after the promotional rate may find the Discover it card more attractive, while those looking for extended terms for 0% APR purchases or transfers may lean more toward the Chase Freedom card.

One of the other aspects that differentiates the Discover it card from the Chase Freedom card is the foreign transaction fee. Chase Freedom card members are assessed a 3% transaction fee for all purchases made outside the U.S., while Discover it cardholders are not assessed an additional fee for foreign transactions.

Additional Perks

One of the more helpful perks associated with the Discover it credit card is the free access to individualized credit scores through FICO reporting tools. Card members can view their FICO score for free through the Discover portal online, at any time. Additionally, Discover it card members have the benefit of a waived late payment fee for the first occurrence, and a single late payment does not mean a higher APR. These extra benefits are attractive to credit card users concerned about their credit health and status.

The Chase Freedom credit card does not currently provide access to credit monitoring or scores, but does protect card members who make a payment late. No penalty APR is imposed upon the first occurrence of a late payment, although a late payment fee will be assessed. Chase Freedom also offers superb protection against lost or damaged purchases liability protection against identity theft or fraud.

Final Thoughts

Both the Discover it and Chase Freedom credit cards offer smart, low-cost options for individuals looking for rewards programs. The Discover it card is a stronger choice for cardholders who purchase items or utilize their card overseas, or those who do not want to mess with accumulating a substantial number of points prior to redeeming for cash back. The Chase Freedom card is a great choice for individuals who do not want to activate the bonus cash back categories each quarter, or those who are seeking an extended 0% promotional period for purchase or balance transfers.

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Discover it Review

Discover made a very bold move in the year 2013 when it suddenly stopped offering all its existing credit card products to the new applicants and replaced them with one single card offering called ‘Discover it’, targeted at all kinds of credit card users! The company has made several feature additions to this card ever since, and has made it one of the most sought-after cards today! There’s also a new Discover it Miles product as well.

Discover it is overall an excellent, no-fee cash back rewards card that offers you an attractive 5% cash back on all your purchases on rotational categories (rotating per quarter), apart from 1% cash back all year round. It falls into the elite category when it comes to introductory offers, as you get amazing intro rates on balance transfers and purchases.

Despite it not having the kind of penetration its main competitors – MasterCard and Visa enjoy, Discover’s network is growing constantly every month and it offers a great deal of flexibility in the way you can use your rewards. Let’s go over the pros and cons of the card.


Discover it


The Good

Attractive rewards and an unmatchable sign-up bonus

With Discover it card you earn 1% cash back on all your purchases throughout the year. Apart from that, Discover selects certain bonus categories every quarter wherein your cash back rewards increase to 5% on a maximum of $1500 spent on products falling in that category. The 5% cashback categories for the year 2016 are:

January to March 2016: Gas and ground transportation
April to June 2016: Restaurants and movies
July to September 2016: Home improvement stores and
October to December 2016: and more

So, if you spend $1700 in total on restaurants and movies between April and June, 2016, your total cash back will be $75 + $2 = $77 (5% of $1500 + 1% of $200).

Discover is presently offering an unmatchable sign-up rewards bonus on its Discover it cards! It doubles up the entire cash back bonus earned in your first year with the card. So, the 5% cash back becomes 10% and the 1% cash back becomes 2% at the end of the first year! However, not everyone may like to wait that long for the sign-up bonus to arrive!

Great introductory rates

Discover it comes in two variants that differ mainly on the introductory APR offer. There’s a regular Discover it card and a Discover it – 18 month balance transfer offer card.

With the regular Discover it card, you get an introductory APR of 0% on all your purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. The Discover it – 18 month balance transfer offer card, on the other hand, provides you a 0% APR on your purchases for the initial 6 months and an extended 0% APR on the balance transfers for the first 18 months.

So, you can buy anything you need and pay back the dues at your own pace. You’ll be charged an APR varying between 11.24% and 23.24% after 12 or 6 months respectively. Please note, there’s a 3% fee applicable on balance transfers.

Discover Deals

Discover Deals is an online shopping mall run by Discover. You can maximize your cashback percentage by shopping on Discover Deals with your Discover it card. Discover deals has a tie-up with over 200 online retailers and currently offers an extra 5% to 20% cash back on purchases made with them. If you’ve just bought your Discover it card, the year-end cash back doubling offer can make these deals even more attractive. For instance, Papa John and Macy’s currently offer cashbacks of 25% and 10% respectively. With the year-end bonus coming into play, those rates can double-up to a whopping 50% and 20% respectively!

Solid fraud protection

Discover it provides a $0 fraud liability guarantee, ensuring that you never pay for any unauthorized charges on your credit card. All the purchases made with Discover it card are closely monitored by the company and you’re quickly alerted via text, phone call or email in case of any suspicious activity on your account. Every Discover it card has a ‘Freeze It’ feature which freezes your card in case it gets lost or stolen, thus preventing any unwanted charges on it.

U.S.-based customer service

Customer service is high on Discover’s priority list! Any time you have an issue with your Discover it card, you won’t need to wait for long to speak with a human. Discover ensures that you’re put through to a well-trained and well-informed U.S.-based customer service rep at the earliest. Please note, Discover bagged the ‘Highest in Customer Satisfaction Award’ from J.D. Power and Associates in the year 2014, outscoring many popular competitors.

Flexible due dates

You get to choose your own due date and can make the payment by phone or online. This is a huge advantage as it allows you to space out your monthly bills in accordance with your cash flow. Other credit cards have preset due dates which often coincide with your other monthly bills, making it hard for you to handle so many expenses at once.

Other perks

If all the above pros aren’t enough, Discover also provides you with free access to your FICO score online and on your monthly statements, doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fee or late payment fee (for first late payment) and has a $0 annual fee.


The Bad

Manual opt-ins to make the most of 5% cash back categories

Although the rotational 5% cash back categories are very popular among the ‘Discover it’ card members, it must be noted that you need to opt-in to the 5% bonus categories every quarter. Furthermore, the condition that you can avail 5% cash back on only up to $1500 spent in the pertinent category may not go down too well with the big ticket spenders.

Keeping track of categories may be difficult for many

As mentioned above, you need to activate the 5% bonus every quarter if you wish to make the most of this benefit. Once activated, you’ll need to keep track of the applicable categories for that quarter. This may not be feasible or convenient for a lot of cardholders.

Limited acceptability

Discover doesn’t enjoy the kind of acceptance that its main competitors – Visa and Mastercard do. It charges pretty hefty premiums to merchant establishments, the reason why they don’t go with Discover.


Final Word

If you’re looking for a card product that helps you maximize your cash-back benefits, Discover it, with its 5% and 1% cash back bonus, double-cash-back bonus at the end of the first year, Discover Deal benefits, $0 annual fee and attractive 0% intro APR is hard to overlook! On the other hand, if you want a credit card with quick cash back bonus, flat cash back rate and a wider choice of categories, you may be better off looking at other alternatives available in the marketplace.


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Which Discover it Credit Card Offer is Better?

Discover it offers cardholders plenty of options and plenty of perks when it comes to great offers. The basic Discover it credit card has no annual fee and a competitive APR. Another option is the Discover it credit card with an 18-month 0% APR balance transfer option.

While both have exciting opportunities for cardholders to save money, deciding which one is best for you may require a small amount of research. Luckily, we have done that for you, so here are the details!

Basically, the only difference is that with one card, you get an 18-month 0% APR to pay off any balance transfers that you make prior to August 10, 2014 using the card, as well as 6 months of 0% APR on purchases. The other offer does not include an intro APR at this time. Previously, it was 14 months of 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, making deciding on which offer to choose more challenging.

Other than the intro APR difference, the benefits of both Discover it options are the same, and here is a summary of that they have to offer!


Links to Apply:

Discover it®

Discover it® – 18 Month Balance Transfer



No Annual Fee

Both card offers, the Discover it and the Discover it with 18-Month Balance Transfer option offer no annual fees, which is certainly a great option for anyone looking at any credit card! Not having to pay any extra to enjoy the benefits is important to most people!

0% APR for Purchases for 6 Months!

This applies only to the 18 month Balance Transfer Discover it offer. Enjoy a 0% APR for purchases made within the first 6 months that you have the Discover it card, in whichever version that you choose. After this introductory period expires, you will pay 10.99-22.99%, depending on your credit history.

Earn Great Rewards

With the Discover it card, in whichever version you determine is best for you, you will get to enjoy a 1% cash back on all purchases, in any categories. The real bonus comes from the 5% cash back on rotating categories, which change quarterly. This is a great way for you to build up a great cash back amount!

Earn Up to 20% Discounts Online

When you shop online at the, you will be eligible for up to 20% discounts on certain merchandise or services. Choose from many top retailers, like Apple, Macy’s, BestBuy and more! At, you can exchange your rewards for your purchases—dollar for dollar! For example, a $20 purchase would cost you $20 in rewards! This is a great way to exchange your rewards, and the process is simple.

Stay on Top of Your FICO Score!

Discover it provides cardholders with their credit score on each and every statement. Keep track of where you stand, and be aware right away if your credit score should change. Don’t let your credit score be a mystery, always know the fine points!

Full Fraud Protection

With Discover it, you will be completed covered in the event that your card should be lost or stolen. You will not be held responsible for any unauthorized purchases that are made as long as you report that your card is lost or stolen promptly.

Great Customer Service

Discover is well known for providing top notch customer service to all cardholders. You can have access to customer service representatives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anytime you have a question, you can call or get online assistance, and have confidence that your problem will be promptly addressed.


The Nitty Gritty

Discover it offers a credit card with no annual fee. They offer additional benefits, including up to 18 months of 0% APR on any balance transfers made before August 10, 2014. There is an introductory period of 6 months with 0% APR on all purchases made. At the end of the 0% introductory period, you will pay 10.99-22.99% APR, depending on your credit score. Cash advance APR is 24.99%. There are never any penalty APR rates, and you will pay no late payment penalties for the first late payment ($35 after that). Balance transfer fees are 3%, cash advance fees are 5% or $10, whichever is a greater amount.



Discover it continues to be a front runner in today’s credit card industry, with many perks and benefits that are attractive to a wide target market. Great cash back benefits, and an extended introductory 0% APR help to make this card a great choice for many.

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Get $20 Cash Back with the Discover it Student Credit Card

Students need a good deal when it comes to credit card. Most students do not have tons of extra money to pay fees or pay for perks. Having a card that allows them to build up a nice cash back sum can be very enticing. Discover it for Students offers just this!

They even have a specific offer for students who qualify for the Discover it Student Card that provides a $20 cash back reward after you make your first purchase within the first three months that you have the card. This cash back reward is money right in your pocket, available to spend as you wish! Let’s go over the other great perks of the Discover it credit card so you can decide if it is right for you.

Link to Apply: Discover it® for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus



Annual Fee of $0

The Discover it Student credit card has no annual fee. All of the perks and benefits that we review here are included—at no extra charge to you. Students appreciate a great deal!

Cash Back Rewards

With one of the higher cash back rates in the industry, Discover it offers students not only a straight 1% cash back on all purchases made every day, but they also offer 5% cash back on certain rotating categories that change quarterly. For example, the current categories for the 5% rewards are home improvement stores, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and more. Cardholders do have to sign up for the 5% cash back program in order to take advantage of it. Beginning in June, the next quarterly category for 5% cash back will be gas stations, with card holders able to earn 5% cash back for up to $1,500 in purchases. This means you could earn up to $75 cash back in one quarter—just on gas station purchases alone! What a great bonus for students, especially with gas prices being pretty stiff these days!

Keep Track of Your FICO Score

All Discover it card holders will have their FICO score printed on every monthly statement, allowing them to keep track of their credit and know if there are any changes—whether positive or negative. This can truly help when you are trying to build up your credit score, because you will be able to track your progress and see how you are doing.

Great Introductory APR

For the first 6 months that you have the Discover it for Students, you will pay a low APR of 10.99%. At the conclusion of the introductory period, the APR will be 12.99-21.99%, depending on your credit history. There is no penalty APR, at any point.

No Late Penalty Fees for First Late Payment

Everyone makes mistakes and oversights now and then, and busy students may be even more likely to have this happen. Discover understands this, and forgives the first late payment that you make—without charging any late payment penalty fee. However, you do need to get more organized and stay on top of things, because after one free pass, you will pay a late payment penalty of $35 if your payment does not arrive on time.

Full Fraud Protection

Discover it provides full fraud protection and you will not be held liable for any fraudulent transactions, in the event that your card is lost or stolen. You can rest easier knowing that your finances are safe when you use Discover.

The Nitty Gritty

So, just to recap, the Discover it for Students has no annual fee. There is an introductory APR rate of 10.99% for the first six months for balance transfers, after this period ends your APR will be between 12.99-21.99%, depending on your credit. Purchases will have an APR of 12.99-21.99, depending on your credit. Cash advance APRs are 24.99%. Balance transfer fees are 3%, cash transfer fees are 5% or $10, whichever amount is higher. There are no late payments for the first time you are late, after that the late payment fees are $35.


The Discover it for Students is a great deal, if you want a competitive interest rate and great cash back options. Getting the bonus of a $20 reward after your first purchase certainly sweetens the deal!

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Which Credit Cards Offer the Longest 0% APR?

Let’s talk about the credit cards with the longest 0% intro APR period.

When you sign up for a new credit card, often one of the most enticing perks is having a 0% introductory APR.

A promotional APR rate is often used to lure customers to sign up for a particular credit card. According to federal laws, the promotional rate cannot be offered for less than 6 months. Promotional rates can be simply lower than the current rates offered, or they may actually be 0%. A 0% APR introductory rate can be very enticing, as it usually means that as long as you make your minimum payments on time, you will not pay any interest during the entire promotional period.

There are many cards that offer a 0% APR as an introductory rate, we will compare two cards, the Citi Simplicity and the Discover it. Currently, both of these cards offer a 0% APR for 18 months, which is an excellent benefit. Although these cards have little else in common, both may make for great choices when you are looking for your next credit card.

Citi Simplicity Offers No Fees, Ever!

Not only can you get a 0% APR for 18 months—on all purchases and balance transfers—but you can avoid paying any annual fees, penalties or late fees, ever, when you use this card. One the introductory rate expires, you will pay an interest rate that ranges from 12.99%-21.99%, depending on your credit score. The Citi Simplicity charges 3% on all balance transfers.

Never having to pay fees makes the Citi Simplicity a very attractive option! Plus, the promo rate applies for the full 18 months for both purchases and balance transfers, meaning you can save a ton in interest, especially if you don’t make it a habit to pay off your credit card in full each month.

Link: Citi Simplicity Credit Card Review


Discover It Offers Great Cash Back Rewards!

Discover has a great option with its latest offering, the Discover it credit card. This credit card offers an amazing 18 month introductory APR of 0% on balance transfers, and 6 months on all purchases. Discover charges 3% on all balance transfers made. In addition to this great promotional APR, the Discover it card is a cash back rewards card that allows you to earn 1% cash back on all purchases made with the card, with bonus categories that rotate quarterly and offer 5% cash back! Just as an example, the current categories this quarter that qualify for the 5% rate include home improvement stores, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and many furniture stores.

At the end of the introductory period, your APR will range from 10.99%-21.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. Other benefits offered from Discover it include a free FICO credit score listed on every statement. This can really help you stay on top of your credit score, and be nearly instantly aware of any changes—good or bad—that happen to your credit score.

There is no annual fee for this credit card, and no penalty fees assessed. You won’t be charged a late payment fee for the first late payment, but after that you will be charged up to $35 for late payments.

Apply Now: Discover it® – 18 Month Balance Transfer


Comparing the Citi Simplicity and Discover It Cards

In summary, both the Citi Simplicity and the Discover it credit cards offer terrific benefits, including a long promotional 0% APR. Discover it has a shorter period of 0% on purchases, but both offer a full 18 months of 0% on balance transfers, making either a great choice if you are trying to pay off credit card debt that is currently at higher interest rates. With the added perk of getting cash back rewards (up to 5% in certain categories), the Discover it has to come out a little bit ahead, in our opinion. What do you think?

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The Best No-Interest Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Looking for the best 0 APR Balance Transfer credit card?  We can help!

Sometimes, we accrue a balance on a credit card.  It’s rough, if it gets too big.  And, on top of it all, you may start paying interest on the interest that you have on the credit card.  It can be a very stressful situation for someone, but luckily, there is a solution.  It is often a smart idea to search for a credit card that offers no balance transfer APR in order to buy you time to pay off your card.  You may still have to pay a straight transfer fee, but overall, it will save you money.  So, let’s explore some of those credit cards available to you, shall we?

Discover it

This credit card is a powerful beast.  Not only does it feature no annual fee, no overlimit fees, or foreign transaction fees, but it offers 0% Intro APR for the first 18 months of card membership (it switches to 22.99% after that).  A fee of 3% applies when the balance is initially transferred.  Furthermore, your intro APR on purchases for 6 months is 0% as well!  You’ll earn 5% cashback in a series of rotating bonus categories, and 1% cashback on every other purchase.

Citi Simplicity Card

Another ‘no annual fee’ credit card with no APR for a time on balance transfers is the Citi Simplicity Card.  For the first 18 months, your APR will be 0%.  After that, it will change to 12.99%-21.99%, based on your credit worthiness.  Furthermore, the fee for transfers is 3% or $5, whichever is greater, so be sure to do the math to make sure any transfer makes financial sense.  It says it in the name, but the Citi Simplicity Card is really that- simple.  There are no bonus points or rewards offered with this card.


Chase Slate

Another ‘no frills’ credit card, the Chase Slate is great for someone who absolutely needs to transfer a large balance.  First, there is no APR for purchases or balance transfers for the first fifteen months of cardmembership.  Furthermore, there is no annual fee.  But, the real bonus is the fact that there is no balance transfer fee associated with the card!  Yes, that’s right- you could possibly pay off your entire balance without paying another dime of interest.  This could really help save some people from financial distress!  After fifteen months, the APR returns to either 12.99%, 17.99% or 22.99%.



These credit cards are some of the best available on the market for people that needs to transfer a balance from one credit card to another.  The Discover it card is a great option for those that would like to earn some rewards while they make purchases on their new credit card.  The Citi Simplicty card is great for those that want a simple card with low APR after 18 months.  And, the Chase Slate card is the winner in this category, with its fee-free offer of balance transfers and APR.  But, it seems to me that each one of these cards offers at least something to the consumer.  So, which one tickles your fancy?

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Category Bonus Comparison: Discover it vs. Chase Freedom

Everyone loves a little extra bit of moolah in their pocket, especially in the form of cash back on your credit cards!  The Discover it® and Chase Freedom® credit cards do just that, in the form of their famous bonus categories that change each quarter.

These categories, a rotating list of stores and types of purchases, offers up 5% bonuses for the first $1,500 in purchases each quarter.  After that, the bonus will resort back to just 1% cash back for each dollar you spend in the category.  Let’s compare the two cards’ categories, and see which ones is right for you, shall we?


Discover It

As stated above, Discover It has four rotating categories each year.  This year began with restaurants and movie theaters.  Any purchase the company considered was a restaurant or a movie theater, you earned 5% cash back (up to $1,500).  This category ended on March 31st.

The current category that we are in is ‘home improvement stores, furniture stores, and Bed, Bath and Beyond.’  Think of it as sort of a spring cleaning event for you!  This quarter ends June 30th.

In the future quarter, from July 1st until September 30th, we only have a vague ‘Summer Fun’ category to go off of at this time.  In 2013, this category featured 5% cash back on gasoline purchases, no doubt to help families on their summer road trips.  Only time will tell which shops we will earn 5% cash back on this year, but check back here in May for the details!

The final quarter for this card is also just as vague, dubbed ‘Holiday Shopping.’  In 2013, this category was online holiday shopping, and featured, iTunes, and facebook purchases.  I would imagine that similar stores will offer up 5% cash back October through December this year!


Chase Freedom

The current Chase Freedom categories are similar, but with some key differences that you will want to take note of.  The past quarter from January until March was gas stations, movie theaters, and Starbucks stores.  In the current quarter, restaurants and Lowe’s home improvement stores are in the 5% bonus categories.  You must activate by June 14th, 2014 to reap the benefits!

In the summer months of July until September, you’ll have gas stations and Kohl’s stores.  You can begin activation on June 15th, 2014 for this category.

Finally, during the holiday months of October until December, Amazon, Zappos, and select department stores (click here for a list) will be offered up.  You can activate that category on September 15th, 2014.



So, which card is best for you in 2014?  It’s hard to say, since we don’t know exactly which stores Discover It will offer in the last two quarters of 2014.  We do know, however, all of the Chase stores.  I would say that both cards offer similar benefits, so it’s all about which categories appeal most to you and make the most sense for your personal spending.

Though we can’t yet see Discover it’s upcoming categories, looking at last year’s offerings should help you with what to expect.  It’s hard to go wrong with either card, as they both have solid benefits, including no annual fee and the ability to earn 5 points per dollar!

What do you think?  Which card tickles your fancy?

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How to Help Pay Down Debt with a Balance Transfer

Did you know you can help consolidate and eliminate debt with a credit card balance transfer? There may come a time when you realize that your credit card debt is way higher than you are comfortable with. This means it is time to focus, find some discipline and pay off those balances, before things become truly out of control and you find yourself in financial hot water.

When your credit card charges a high interest rate, it can be difficult to make significant progress each month, since you are accruing interest rapidly and only part of your payment is applied to the principal balance. This means it will take you far longer to pay off a large sum!

One way to help solve this problem is to take advantage of a 0% APR balance transfer for a credit card that you won’t have to pay any interest on for a period of time. Obviously, the longer the introductory rate goes on, the longer you will have to pay off the debt without having to pay any interest. So, start your search by looking for cards that offer extended 0% APR introductory rates.

But—be careful, because there may be other details to consider and you must read the fine print carefully to make sure you know exactly what the terms and conditions are.


Check Your Mail!

Chances are, you have been receiving offers in your mailbox for 0% APR credit cards that offer balance transfers. Take a look at these and evaluate the following factors:

  1. How long does the introductory rate last?
  2. What will the interest increase to when the introductory period ends?
  3. What are the balance transfer fees?
  4. Are there any penalty fees?
  5. Is there an annual fee?

Each of these things may be a little different. You want to pick the card with the best combination—the longest 0% introductory period, the lowest balance transfer fees, the lowest (or no) annual fee, and the fewest restrictions and penalties. Not all cards are created equal, so read carefully!

Be Smart About Paying Off Your Debt

Most experts would recommend that you attempt to pay off your entire credit card debt without paying substantial interest. Since you get nothing for that interest (other than the opportunity to borrow the money), it is not a great way to spend your money. In order to make the most of your 0% APR credit cards, you should make minimum payments on those and put everything you can onto your higher interest rate loans and credit cards to pay them off more quickly.

However, unless you pay off the balance transfer on that 0% APR credit card, you will be surprised to discover how quickly you start accruing interest once that introductory period ends. At that point, you have not really gained much or saved much money, because, as you recall, you paid a balance transfer fee to use the 0% APR card!

Be a Better Money Manager

Here is a quick example that helps to illustrate how a 0% APR credit card can help you pay off debt. Let’s say that you have $500 per month to allocate for credit card payments, and you currently owe $9,000 in credit card debt, the combined total of three separate cards. Here is what your payoff schedule could look like:

  • Card #1: Balance $2,500, APR 14.99%
  • Card #2: Balance $2,750, APR 19.99%
  • Card #3: $3,750, APR 13.99%

Your total credit card debt is $9,000. The best course of action is to apply for a 0% APR credit card with an 18-month introductory period. Let’s say, for example, that you are approved for a $5,000 credit line, with a 3% balance transfer fee ($150). You will transfer the entire balance of Card #2, because this is the highest interest rate. You will also transfer $2250 from Card #1, so that you now have $5,000 in credit card debt that will not accrue any interest.

Here’s what your debt now looks like:

  • Card #1: Balance $250, APR 14.99%
  • Card #2:  Balance $0
  • Card #3: Balance $3,750, APR 13.99%
  • Card #4: Balance $5,000, APR 0%

So, as you can see you still have $9,000 in debt. Remember, you have $500 per month to put toward paying off your credit cards. Here’s the plan:

Focus on paying off Card #1 first, as this is now your highest interest rate. Make the minimum payments on Card #3 and Card #4 (these will likely be approximately $75 and $100). This leaves you with $325 per month to put toward Card #1 and Card #3, which will allow you to payoff Card #1 during the first month, and you will not pay anything in interest charges.

Once Card #1 is paid in full, then you will have $400 to put toward Card #3. After paying $175 for one month, the balance will now be approximately $3,575. In 10 months, you will be able to pay off that credit card in full, and you will have paid approximately $220 in interest charges.

All that is left is Card #4, which will have a balance of $3,600 after making minimum payments for the previous 11 months. You still have 7 months left in your introductory period, so making a monthly payment of $514 will allow you to pay the balance in full, without paying any interest.

By using the 0% APR credit card for 18 months, you have paid $150 in balance transfer fees and paid approximately $220 in interest. Had you stuck with the original credit cards you had, you would have paid nearly $900 in interest during the same period of time.


By using a 0% APR credit card wisely, you can certainly pay off your debt more quickly, and save yourself a considerable amount of interest in the process. Right now, Discover it® – 18 Month Balance Transfer offers one of the best 0% credit cards out there. With no annual fee, no penalties, and a 0% APR on purchases for 6 months and balance transfers for 18 months, you really can’t go wrong!

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Discover It Quarter Two 5% Bonus Categories Now Available

We have mentioned Discover It many times on this site as one of the best credit cards on the market.  Very popular with consumers who don’t enjoy annual or ‘hidden’ fees with their credit card products, we can’t blame them!  Another great reason to have the card are for the quarterly bonuses, which rewards 5% back on every purchase made within the category.

It’s that time of year for a category change, and this quarter it’s all Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores and Bed Bath & Beyond.  Let’s check out what other benefits the Discover It card offers, shall we?



The annual fee on the Discover it Credit Card is a major benefit, at zero dollars.  As a good credit card holder, if you pay your bills in full each month, you could use and earn cash back on this card for free!

Discover it also offers a free FICO credit score every month on your credit card statement.  This is a rare find for a fee-free card, and a great benefit compared to years past, where fees paid to credit reporting companies numbered in the twenty dollar range per month.

One other different feature for a fee-free credit card is no foreign transaction fees.  This means that you’ll travel the world without a 3% fee added to every beer, meal, and hotel bill while you travel.  With our ever-increasing global economy, this is a welcome feature.

As mentioned above, there is a 5% rotating category bonus for the Discover It card (this quarter being Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores and Bed Bath & Beyond).  There is a limit of $1,500 per quarter in spend, though, so you’ll be getting a maximum of $75 in cash back money from the bonus categories each quarter.  This is standard across several different cash back credit cards, including the Chase Freedom card. Like other cash back credit cards, there is a 1% cashback bonus on every other purchase made.

Many cards have this feature, but if you go over your credit limit, there is no fee.  This card is all about not penalizing you for slight human error, and the no overlimit fee does just that.  Missing a bill payment is a hassle free experience as well.  The Discover it credit card won’t raise your APR into the penalty rates you often see.  They understand that mistakes happen sometimes and we need forgiveness.  There are fees still for late payments ($35), but your first late payment is a mulligan.  You won’t pay the $35 fee the first time you miss.

Furthermore, for the first 14 months, the Discover it Card has a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, and afterwards it has an APR of 10.99-22.99%, depending on the creditworthiness of the card member.  This is a great benefit for anyone, but especially those who plan on having a revolving balance for some time. Pay no interest while paying off your debt!  Oh, and in case you were wondering, there is a balance transfer fee of 3%.



With the new category bonus, you’ll have more incentive to use your Discover It card for all your ‘spring cleaning’ and home improvement needs.  This card is a stellar option for those of you that need a ‘fee free’ credit card, so apply today!