Discover Lowers Balance Transfer Fee from 4% to 3% On Two Very Popular Cards
- Discover 18 Month Promotional Balance Transfer card, which offers 0% intro APR on transferred balances for 18 months, and zero intro APR on new purchases for 6 months
- Discover® More Card - 15 Month Intro Period card, which offers 0% intro APR on transferred balances AND new purchases for 15 months.
Transfer a balance to either card above, and you used to be subject to a 4% balance transfer fee. No longer. The transfer fee has been lowered to 3% for both cards. You have 6 months to take advantage of the 3% transfer fee -- plenty of time. After that, if you want to perform a transfer, the fee is 5%.
Obviously, the lower transfer fee makes these cards more competitive. But I think Discover is going to have to bring back their 24 Month Balance Transfer card, which offered zero intro APR on transferred balances for a full 2 years, if the company wants to stay ahead of Citi® in the balance transfer game (Discover pulled their 24 Month Promotional card from the market back May.)
Right now, Citi has no less than four credit cards that feature zero percent intro APR on both transferred balances AND new purchases for 21 months, with a transfer fee of 3%. Very competitive. These cards are:
- Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
- Citi® Platinum Select® Visa®
- Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard®
- Citi Simplicity® Card
So don't be surprised if Discover reintroduces an ultra-long duration, 0% balance transfer card, or a "no balance transfer fee" 0% card, or a card that combines both competition-trumping benefits, in the near future.
Chase recently upped the ante by introducing a version of its Slate card that features zero percent intro APR on transferred balances for 15 months, with no balance transfer fee. You can find this card at the top of this page.
Despite the increased competition, Discover remains the top choice for visitors who apply for credit accounts via this website. Discover's reputation for offering exceptional customer service (1) is very appealing to all types of credit consumers. And it doesn't hurt that Discover has (arguably) the best cashback rewards program in the industry.
All of the above cards will be very popular from January through March, as Americans do their best to minimize debt related to holiday shopping. Christmas spending is great for the economy, and it's great for all the kids in your circle of family and friends. But try to take it easy. All things in moderation. The housing sector is still weak, unemployment still elevated and growth remains anemic. If your financial situation is great, then by all means spend away and enjoy all the juicy rewards that credit cards have to offer. If not, then please think twice hard before you upgrade that iPhone or that XBox 360.
As the economy slowly but surely thaws over the next three quarters, credit-card deals will get more and more consumer-friendly...no doubt. Stay tuned, and have yourself a superlative holiday season.
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