Figure Out Where The Balance Is Going
First, you need to know where youre transferring the balance. Some options may include:
Looking for a new credit card with a balance transfer offer? See our favorites here.
Balance Transfer Credit Card Basics
How balance transfers work
Balance transfer credit cards can be a good way to consolidate credit card debt from multiple cards. Issuers will sometimes offer incentives to transfer balances from your old credit cards by offering a low or zero percent APR on the transferred amount for a limited period of time. This time period may vary based on the issuer and/or offer but typically can be 12 months or more.
Balance transfer fees
Balance transfer cards may have an upfront fee that can equal 3 percent or more of the total amount transferred. Sometimes the promotional rate is meant for a single balance transfer, and issuers may charge higher rates for balance transfers from additional credit cards. All of this information can be found in what is called a âSchumer boxâ, which contains a summary of costs of a credit card offer, such as âother APRsâ where balance transfer information resides. Additional information to help you understand your costs can be found in this summary and within the terms and conditions.
Balance transfer impacts on your credit
Balance transfer considerations
Work On Improving Credit Scores
- Keeping credit card balances low relative to your credit limits
- Keeping older credit accounts open
- Using a mix of different credit types
- Limiting how often you apply for new credit
It can take time to see results in your credit score. But it may be worth it to improve your score so you can qualify for the best balance transfer offers.
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How To Do A Balance Transfer With Discover
by Elizabeth Aldrich | Updated July 21, 2021 – First published on Dec. 31, 2018
Many or all of the products here are from our partners. We may earn a commission from offers on this page. Its how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts opinions arent influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
Do a balance transfer with Discover this way and you could save hundreds on interest and have your debt paid down in no time.
Getting one of the best balance transfer credit cards is one of several ways to pay off debt quickly.
The big perk of choosing to pay off your debt using a lengthy 0% intro APR offer is, of course, not paying anything in interest. If youre ready to do a balance transfer with Discover, heres everything you need to know.
How Much Are The Rewards Worth
Like with other cash back programs, your Discover rewards are worth 1 cent per percentage point of the cash back rate. That means youll pocket more cents per dollar spent on bonus category purchases and 1 cent per dollar on all other purchases.
However, Discover is one of the rare issuers that makes redeeming for gift cards a more valuable option than cash back in some cases. Depending on the partner, each gift card you redeem for may have 5 percent to 20 percent more value added to the balance. So, if you know youre going to spend all your cash back at one partner merchant , a gift card may stretch your cash rewards a little further.
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How The Discover It Balance Transfer Compares To Other Balance Transfer Cards
Although the Discover it Balance Transfer has a leg up over many rewards cards with intro APR periodsplus a vast number of balance transfer-oriented cards when it comes to ongoing valueits intro APR lengths may not give you as much breathing room as other cards offers may. For example, the newly launched Wells Fargo Reflect Card can shield both your purchases and balance transfers for up to 21 months , extended from its base 18 months if you continue making minimum payments on time throughout that offer.
Citi Double Cash Card
Not only is the Citi Double Cash one of the best flat-rate cash back cards on the market, but it also carries a terrific balance transfer offer. Along with the up to 2% cash back you can earn on all eligible purchases , youll get a 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers . Given this card earns cash back at a flat rate on all purchases, it should offer more consistency and, depending on your spending habits, potentially better long-term rewards value than the Discover it Balance Transfer card.
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Best Cards To Pair With This Card
Your primary focus should be paying off your credit card debt after transferring your balance, but there are a few cash back cards worth considering once thats handled. Discover cards dont necessarily pair very well with each other, so a card from another issuer with rewards that will cover your biggest expenses outside Discovers rotating bonus categories would be a smart choice.
A flat-rate cash back card would be an effortless way to earn boosted rewards on all purchases outside Discovers cash back calendar or your categories $1,500 quarterly spending limit. The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card would be excellent for this job since it squeezes unlimited 2 percent cash rewards on purchases.
How Do I Transfer A Balance From One Card To Another Request A Balance Transfer
Once youve chosen a card that offers a balance transfer, apply and get approved, its time to request your balance transfer. Do so as directed by your new credit card issuer , and monitor while your balance transfer is processed and payment is made to your old creditor. For example, with Discover a new account must be open for 14 days before your balance transfer request can be processed. After that, most transfers are processed within 4 days.
You should continue to make all payments to your other creditor until you confirm that the balance transfer was completed. You will need the account information for the cards that you want to transfer the balance from, and youll need to specify the amount you wish to transfer. In general, its best to prioritize transferring the balances with the highest interest rates.
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How Do I Request A Balance Transfer On My Discover Card
Log in to your Discover account and select “Card Services” and then “Balance Transfers” from the menu options. From there, you can see balance transfer offers you may have available on your account. You might even have a choice between different balance transfer offers that let you decide if you prefer a lower balance transfer promo APR or more time to pay at the promo rate. Select the offer and complete your request by providing details about the balance you want to transfer. You can also call the phone number on the back of your card to check your available offers and complete a balance transfer request.
The Cvv Code Is Missing
The card verification value is included on most debit and credit cards to help reduce the occurrence of fraudulent digital transactions. Discover, Mastercard and Visa include this three- or four-digit number on the back of debit and credit cards above or inside the signature strip. If you have an American Express card, the CVV can be found on the card front directly above the logo. However, if the CVV is missing, the debit or credit card could be fake.
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Quick Factsview Rates And Fees
- INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back youve earned at the end of your first year! Theres no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
- Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.
- Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
Get 2% cash back on everything
This card is a match for the Discover it® Balance Transfer in terms of annual fee , balance transfer fee and the length of the 0% APR period for balance transfers. But its rewards are simpler: 2% cash back on everything: 1% when you buy it, and 1% when you pay it off.
14.99% – 23.74% Variable APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months
0%* intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers*
0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Recommended Credit Score
|690850good – excellent|
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Your Balance Transfer Questions Answered
Balance transfers are usually used for credit card debt. But some issuers also let you move balances from other accounts, such as personal loans, student loans or lines of credit.
Balance transfers can help you pay off debt faster, which can improve your credit score. Debt is an important factor credit agencies consider when determining your credit rating. The less debt you carry, the better.
If youre applying for a new card with a balance transfer promotion, youll need to go through a hard credit check. Hard checks show up on your credit report and can put a dent in your score, but its minor and temporary.
You wont earn rewards on a balance transfer because theyre considered a different type of credit card transaction than purchases. But remember that the purpose of a balance transfer is to pay off your debt, not maximize rewards.
When the promotion ends, the interest rates go back up. For example, if you transferred $3,000 but could only pay off $2,000, youll be charged the regular rate for balance transfers on the remaining $1,000. So, try to pay off your entire balance before the promotion ends.
Best Discover Cards For Cash Back
Cash back! The words lilt off the tongue, especially when you collect the unlimited Cashback Match on all the cash rewards posted during the first year after opening the account.
When choosing a cash back card, its best to look at your finances and determine the spending categories you frequent each month. This will get you the most bang for your buck so to speak if that category is an available rewards category. Keep in mind each card has its own limitations when it comes to earning rewards please see applicable terms. Plus, with these cards above, you can take advantage of introductory offers as well as other generous benefits that reward you for choosing to carry a Discover card.
How Do Balance Transfer Business Credit Cards Work
Balance transfer business credit cards function in the same way as personal balance transfer cards. Before making a transfer from one business credit card to another, be sure to consider the terms of the offer, how long any introductory APR offer will last as well as any balance transfer fees you may incur.
Its also important to remember that most business credit cards come with a personal guarantee, which means that your payment behavior, good or bad, can affect your personal credit score. So a late or missed payment on a balance transfer business card will affect your credit standing.
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Can You Get Approved For A Balance Transfer With Bad Credit
The bar may be raised even higher during periods of economic uncertainty. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many banks have taken a more cautious approach when issuing new credit.
These types of underwriting measures help credit card companies manage risk when lending. But you arent automatically counted out for a balance transfer if your score puts you in fair or poor credit territory.
Getting a balance transfer with bad credit is difficult but not impossible, says Leslie H. Tayne, a consumer debt attorney and founder of Tayne Law Group. However, it will be incredibly difficult to qualify for the most competitive 0% APR options.
If youre interested in a balance transfer card for bad credit, its important to understand that you may not be approved for the typical promotional terms.
Instead of a 0% APR, for instance, you may still pay interest on balance transfers. The time period for paying balances off at the promotional rate may be shorter compared to balance transfer offers for good or excellent credit. You should also be prepared to have fewer card options to choose from.
If you have bad credit, you likely wont be approved for an unsecured credit card, says Jared Weitz, CEO of United Capital Source.
That means turning your focus to secured cards instead, which typically require a cash security deposit.
Review Balance Transfer Card Offer Terms
Many balance transfer card offers are available, so focus on cards that fit your financial needs. Pay close attention to the following terms:
Length of zero-interest deal: Most range between 12 and 21 months, but watch for promotions spanning longer periods, which give extra time for transferred debt reduction and cutting the amount you need to pay monthly.
Balance transfer fee: Some cards dont charge a balance transfer fee, but most cards do, typically 3% to 5% of the transfer amount or $5 to $10, whichever is greater. Seek low-fee cards, and figure out each card’s fees.
To calculate potential balance transfer fees, follow this formula: Total amount you want to transfer x balance transfer fee amount = total fee. For example: $2,500 transfer x 0.03 = $75 fee.
Transfer deadlines: To qualify for the introductory APR deal or discount on any transfer fee, a quick balance transfer may be necessary. To enjoy the entire interest-free period, initiate balance transfers right away.
: If the card you want requires excellent credit but your credit score falls in the fair range, your application probably wont be approved. If approved, your credit limit may be too low for your balance transfer goals. Focus on cards compatible with your credit profile.
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How Much Does A Balance Transfer Cost
Most issuers charge a balance transfer fee of around 1% to 5% of the amount you transferred. The fee is usually added to your balance. So if the fee is 3% and you transferred $2,000, youll be charged $60, bringing your total to $2,060. Sometimes, an issuer will waive the fee or offer a lower fee as part of a promotion.
How Long Does It Take To Process A Discover Balance Transfer
According to Discover, most balance transfers are processed between seven and 10 days. For any individual balance transfer, Discover cannot guarantee that it will be processed within that time frame, so yours might take longerbut the odds are that itll process in a week or so.
Discover also suggests checking back on the accounts you transferred balances from to ensure you dont owe any additional interest that may have accrued between when you started the balance transfer process and when it was completed. It could take 30 days for that interest to appear in your credit card accounts, so keep track of those accounts and make sure you pay off any interest charges.
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Should You Use One Credit Card To Pay Off Another
If youre looking to pay off one credit balance using another card, this generally isnt possible. Banks dont allow you to pay your credit card balance using another credit card. Typically, payments via check, electronic bank transfer or money order are the only acceptable methods of payment.
But a balance transfer credit card is the exception to that rule. If you can transfer a balance from a high-interest credit card to one with a 0% APR offer or even a lower ongoing interest rate, you can save money.
Enter The Info For Your Incoming Balance
Nows the time to enter your incoming account information and the total balance that you want to transfer. If youre transferring a credit card balance, you can simply enter the account number from the front of your card.
You may also notice that Discover gives you the option to transfer these funds into a checking account. This can then be used to pay off other debts and acts almost like a cash advance .
Avoid using it for this purpose if you can avoid it, though. Cash advances are easy ways to dig yourself into greater debt. If you use your balance transfer offer as a sort of cash deposit, you may wind up paying even more in interest over time, if you dont pay it back immediately.
Lastly, youll want to be sure that the amounts shown at the bottom match before you submit your request. Ensure that youre transferring the correct amount, that the quoted transfer fee is showing, and that the right remaining credit balance is displayed. If you have any questions or concerns, give Discover a call.
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