How to Do a Balance Transfer With Discover

ByDoug Milnes, CFA
Reviewed byLee Huffman

Updated: June 11, 2024

ByDoug Milnes, CFA
Reviewed byLee Huffman

Updated: June 11, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Completing a balance transfer with Discover is straightforward. You can do it online, and the process usually takes less than four days. However, if you're a new cardholder, you'll need to wait 14 days after opening your account before requesting a balance transfer.

Discover offers several credit cards that enable balance transfers and feature a 0% intro APR for 15 to 18 months. This financial strategy can be particularly beneficial if you want to eliminate your balance from high-interest credit cards.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Most balance transfers with Discover are processed within four days. However, for new accounts, you need to wait 14 days before you can submit a balance transfer request.
  • For new Discover cards with balance transfer offers, the balance transfer fee is 3% for each transfer during the introductory period, increasing to 5% afterward.
  • Discover’s balance transfer cards usually have a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers, such as the Discover it® Balance Transfer and Discover it® Cash Back.

How to Do a Discover Balance Transfer

Transferring a balance with Discover follows the same online procedure, regardless of whether you're an existing cardholder or a new applicant. However, if you're a new cardholder, remember you'll need to wait 14 days after opening your account to request a transfer.

How to Transfer Balances to a New Discover Card

  1. Compare Discover balance transfer cards to find one that aligns with your financial goals. Ideally, you’ll want a card with a lengthy 0% intro APR offer and no annual fee.
  2. Apply for your chosen card. Once approved, wait for 14 days before you initiate a balance transfer request.

How to Transfer Balances to an Existing Discover Card

  1. Log in to your Discover account.
  2. Navigate to “Card Services” and select “Balance Transfers.”
  3. Provide the credit card issuer's name, account number and transfer amount. Once everything is completed, click submit.

What Happens After Submitting a Balance Transfer Request

After you submit a balance transfer request, Discover claims that you can expect your transfer to be processed within four days. You'll see the transferred balance on your Discover card account once it is complete. Continue making payments on your old card until the transfer is confirmed to avoid late fees.

How to Check the Status of a Discover Balance Transfer

Log into your Discover account to check the status of your balance transfer. For assistance, call Discover at 1-800-347-2683. Stay informed to ensure a smooth transition and avoid any potential issues.

Considerations for Discover Balance Transfers

Before initiating a balance transfer with Discover, it's wise to understand the applicable terms and conditions. Here's a rundown of what to expect:

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    Processing Time

    According to Discover, most balance transfers will be processed within four days. However, new cardholders must wait 14 days after opening an account before submitting a balance transfer request.

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    Balance Transfer Amount

    Your available credit limits your transfer amount.

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    Introductory Period

    To take advantage of introductory APRs and fees, you must complete your balance transfer within the indicated period (which varies depending on the offer).

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    Balance Transfer Fee

    During the intro period, you pay 3% for each transfer. Afterward, it goes up to 5%. Consider this cost when assessing whether a balance transfer can help save you money.

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    Regular APR

    After the 0% intro period, the APR will be between 17.24% and 28.24%, variable based on your creditworthiness.

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    Transfer Restrictions

    Transfers between Discover cards are not permitted.

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    Credit Score

    A good to excellent credit score is usually necessary to qualify for Discover’s balance transfer cards.

Best Discover Balance Transfer Credit Cards

When choosing a balance transfer card, look for one with a long 0% intro APR period, low balance transfer fees and no annual fees. These features can significantly improve your ability to pay down debt efficiently.

Discover balance transfer cards typically feature a 0% intro APR period, a 3% balance transfer fee and no annual fee. Their difference lies in the length of the no-interest timeframe and their ability to earn rewards.

If you’re looking for a lengthy no-interest period, the Discover it® Balance Transfer card is a strong pick. It offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months, the longest from this issuer.

Discover it® Balance Transfer Card
Credit Card logo for Discover it® Balance Transfer Card
MoneyGeek Rating
3.7/ of 5

Balance Transfers Intro APR0% intro APR for 18 months from the date of first ...
Purchases Intro APR0% intro APR for six months from the date of accou...
APR17.24% - 28.24% variable APR
Recommended Credit670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Meanwhile, the Discover it® Cash Back card features a 15-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers. It also lets you earn 5% cash back on rotating categories (up to the quarterly limit) and 1% cash back on all purchases. You can then use the cash back you earn to pay your balance. If you want rewards from your balance transfer card, the Discover it® Cash Back can be a worthy alternative.

Discover it® Cash Back Card
Credit Card logo for Discover it® Cash Back Card
MoneyGeek Rating
3.8/ of 5

Rewards Rate5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly...
APR17.24%–28.24% variable
Annual Fee$0
Recommended Credit670–850 (Good to Excellent)
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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Discover offers several variations of its credit cards with 0% APR balance transfer options. Unlike other banks, all of these cards earn valuable rewards, so customers can continue using the card for everyday purchases after they’ve paid off their balance transfer. — Lee Huffman, credit card expert at BaldThoughts.com

FAQ About Balance Transfers with Discover

While we’ve covered the main points you should know about Discover balance transfers, you may have further questions. We’ve compiled the most asked questions to help you make an informed decision.

How does a balance transfer affect your credit score?
How long does it take to process a Discover balance transfer?
Is there a limit to how much you can transfer with Discover?
What are the fees associated with a Discover balance transfer?

If You’re Looking for More

If you're dealing with a high-interest credit card balance and want to eliminate your debt, a balance transfer can be a smart strategy.

Before you decide on the transfer, it's wise to consider your ability to repay the balance within the promotional period. Once the intro period lapses, the standard APR of 17.24% to 28.24% (variable based on creditworthiness) kicks in on any unpaid balance.

You should also consider balance transfer fees and the potential impact of doing a transfer on your credit score. Overall, the right move is unique to your financial needs and situation.

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


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*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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