Important Note: This card has been discontinued and replaced by the newer Discover it Card.
People who carry credit card debt often find crafty ways to get out of it. A commonly employed tactic is to use a 0% promotional balance transfer offer to eliminate interest charges and thereby pay off debt quicker. As most of these people know, a late payment will void a 0% APR and can affect their credit score.
But Discover has added an additional incentive to make timely payments with the Motiva card. The Discover Motiva Card offers attractive promotional financing, plus a rebate to cardholders on interest paid when they make payments on time.
- Promotional Financing. New cardholders receive 0% financing for 14 months on both purchases and balance transfers. Qualifying balance transfers must be made within six months of opening an account and are subject to a 3% balance transfer fee.
- Standard Interest Rate. After the promotional financing expires, customers incur interest at an APR equal to the prime rate plus 7.74% to 16.74%, depending on the applicant’s credit worthiness.
- Bonuses for On-Time Payment. For every month that cardholders make payments on time, they receive a cash back bonus equal to 5% of the interest paid on that month’s statement.
- Cash Back for Purchases. Cardholders receive 1% cash back on most purchases, with 5% to 20% cash back for charges made through Discover’s online shopping mall.
- Fees. There is no annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.
- Competitive Balance Transfer Offer. 14 months without interest on both balance transfers and purchases is a very competitive offer.
- Cash Back Rewards. 1% cash back is not outstanding, but it is essentially the standard offer among cash back credit cards.
- Low Fees. It is nice to see a card with no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. Even the balance transfer fee of 3% is very competitive.
- Excellent Customer Service. Although Discover is one of the smaller payment networks, it continues to thrive, in part based on its reputation for treating its cardholders well.
- Negligible Interest Rate Rebate. When cardholders do not make payments on time, they face late fees and penalty interest rates, and harm their credit score. By offering a mere 5% rebate on the monthly interest paid, Discover is providing an incredibly weak incentive. In contrast, lowering your interest rate by 1% will achieve greater savings than this offer.
- Limited Network. As a relatively small payment network, Discover is not universally accepted. Offering a card with no foreign transaction fees is easy to do when the card is rarely accepted outside of the United States.
- No Sign-Up Bonus. Many new cards offer a sign-up bonus of cash back, points, or miles. This Discover card offers promotional financing instead. Those who are not in need of such financing may be better off acquiring a rewards credit card.
Getting out of credit card debt is never easy, but a promotional balance transfer is often an important step along the way. If you incorporate a card like this as part of a comprehensive plan to pay off your balance, you may seriously benefit from acquiring the Discover Motiva. On the other hand, if you require a trivial interest rebate in order to motivate you to pay your bills on time, you should probably avoid credit cards altogether.
What are your thoughts on the Discover Motiva Card?