Updated: April 7, 2020 

This page includes information about Discover products that are not currently available on Next Advisor and may be out of date.

If you have high-interest credit card debt sitting around, a balance transfer credit card can help you pay off your balance without accumulating additional interest. Unfortunately, there are many balance transfer credit cards to choose from, so finding the right card for your needs isn’t always easy. That’s why we’re breaking down two of our favorite cards worth considering, the Discover it® Cash Back* and Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card (a NextAdvisor advertiser).

Both of these cards feature 0% intro APR offers on both balance transfers and purchases, so even if you don’t have a high-interest credit card balance to transfer, you may still want to take advantage of the 0% intro APR on purchases. Let’s look at the features of both cards so you can make an informed decision that’s best for your personal financial situation.

At a glance comparison

Before we take a deep dive into each card and its pros and cons, let’s start with the basics.

Card name Discover it Cash Back Citi Diamond Preferred Card
Balance transfer APR See Terms 0% intro APR for 21 months for transfers made within the first 4 months of account opening, then 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
Balance transfer fee See Terms 5% balance transfer fee, $5 minimum
Purchase APR See Terms 0% intro APR for 12 months, then 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
Annual fee $0 $0
Sign-up bonus Discover will match the cash back you earn in your first year as a cardholder N/A
Rewards 5% cash back on purchases within select categories each quarter you activate (up to the quarterly maximum, currently $1,500, then it’s 1%); unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases N/A
Rewards redemption options Redeem your rewards for cash, Amazon.com credit, gift cards or charity N/A

The case for Discover it Cash Back

There are so many things to love about the Discover it Cash Back card. The best thing about Discover it Cash Back is its ongoing cash back rewards. You’ll earn 5% cash back on purchases within select categories each quarter you activate (up to the quarterly maximum, currently $1,500, then it’s 1%). Categories for 2020 include purchases made at grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS from January through March; gas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubs from April through June; restaurants and PayPal from July through September; as well as Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com from October through December. Choosing a card with rotating categories like Discover it Cash Back allows you to make the most of your purchases throughout the year, as these categories usually align with common consumer spending habits. Additionally, Discover it Cash Back cardholders earn 1% cash back on all purchases automatically. This 1% cash back benefit is ongoing, so there’s no need to sign up or check for special offers — note that the 5% cash back rewards require quarterly activation.

As if all of that isn’t enough, Discover has a cash back match program where it matches all of the cash back you earn throughout your first 12 months as a cardholder. For example, if you earn $250 cash back in your first year as a cardholder, Discover will match that $250 and give you a total of $500 cash back. So, at the end of your first year, you can count on a nice little bonus. The card also has no annual fee.

Discover it Cash Back is much more than just a balance transfer card, it offers you plenty of opportunities to earn cash back on new purchases, too. Although the intro APR on balance transfers and purchases is shorter than some other balance transfer cards, like the card detailed below, the card makes up for it with its awesome rewards program.

*Information regarding the Discover it Cash Back was prepared by NextAdvisor.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the writer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented on this page is accurate as of the date of the post.

The case for the Citi Diamond Preferred Card

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card is a balance transfer card through and through. It boasts an impressive, industry-leading 0% intro balance transfer offer of 21 months (then 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable))! Balance transfers must be completed within the first 4 months of account opening and balance transfers come with a with a 5% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum), but we feel like fee is worth paying when you consider you get almost 2 years of no interest. If your goal is to find a credit card with a great balance transfer offer to pay down a large existing balance, this card should certainly be at the top of your list.

In addition to the generous intro balance transfer offer, the card also comes with a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases (then 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)). Again, this is a solid purchase APR offer that will likely be enticing to people who are looking to make purchases and split up the repayment over time.

Unlike the previously-mentioned Discover it Cash Back, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card is not a rewards card. There are no offers to earn points or rewards on any of your purchases. While this may definitely be a deterrent for some people, others who are primarily looking for a balance transfer card may still find it the best fit. Also, there’s no annual fee and you’ll get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, like sporting events, concerts, dining experiences and more.

In a nutshell

In the Discover it Cash Back vs. Citi Diamond Preferred battle, both cards offer exceptional value and perks. The Discover it Cash Back card takes the cake when it comes to ongoing rewards, offering some of the most generous cash back rewards we’ve seen. And the Citi Diamond Preferred Card wins the battle when it comes to 0% intro APRs on balance transfers, coming in with one of the longest zero-interest offers available.

Choosing which card is right for you will come down to what you intend to do with the card. If you simply want a credit card that you can transfer an existing balance to and not have to worry about paying additional interest, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card is the perfect option. On the other hand, if you’d like a balance transfer card that makes sense to use long after the 0% intro APR expires, the Discover it Cash Back card is a great choice. Between the 14 months of 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases and its savvy rewards program, you get the best of both worlds.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.