Pay no interest when you transfer your debt to a 20-month balance transfer card.
If you’re struggling to pay off credit card debt, moving the balance to a card that offers 0% APR for 20 months could help you save on interest and pay down your debt faster. But, what cards are out there that offer a 20 month intro period? You may be hard pressed to find many options beyond ones like the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card, but take a look at our comparison table to see other offers including 12 months and more.
Our pick for a long 0% intro APR balance transfer period: HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit cardRead more
Compare credit cards with 0% APR on balance transfers
What is a 20-month balance transfer credit card?
These cards let you transfer a balance from one or more existing credit cards to a new card with a long introductory 0% APR. At the end of the introductory period, any unpaid debt from the balance transfer is charged interest at the standard — or revert rate — for that card, which can be as high as 22%.
If you have a lot of debt to pay off, getting a card with an introductory 0% APR for 20 months could help you pay off the entire debt before the higher standard interest rate applies. But keep in mind that only your balance transfer debt is eligible for the introductory 0% APR and any new purchases you make will be charged interest at the standard purchase rate.
Making payments on a balance transfer credit card
Even if a balance transfer credit card offers 0% APR, you’ll still need to pay at least the minimum amount listed on your statement by the due date. If you want to pay off your debt before the introductory period ends, you’ll also need to pay more than the minimum amount each month.
Do 24-month balance transfer credit cards exist?
In the US, you’d be hard pressed to find a balance transfer card that offers 0% for longer than 20 months. A long balance transfer card in the US is considered 6 to 20 months, and can save you 100s of dollars in APR fees, if you stay focused on paying more each month.
How to compare cards
Consider these details when comparing different balance transfer credit cards, including ones with 20 month intro periods:
- Promotional balance transfer rates and fees. Most of these cards offer 0% APR for a 20-month introductory period, although some may offer even longer low APR periods. Depending on the card, you could also pay a one-off balance transfer fee, which is usually around 3% to 5% of the total debt you transfer. If the introductory interest rate is not 0% or if there is a balance transfer fee, you’ll need to consider the cost compared to other long-term balance transfer options.
- Annual fee. Most balance transfer credit cards charge an annual fee. Sometimes it’s waived in the first year. Either way, make sure that the annual fee is affordable based on your debt, repayments and the other features of the card.
- Standard interest rate. After the introductory period, any remaining balance from your transfer is charged interest at the revert rate for that card — and can be as high as 22%. Also, any new purchases are charged interest at the card’s purchase rate, and can affect how long it takes to pay off your balance transfer.
Pros and cons of a 20-month balance transfer credit card
- Save on interest. The savings you’ll make from paying no interest for 20 months or more can help you pay off your debt faster.
- Long repayment period. Balance transfers generally last between 6 and 20 months, so this is one of the longest repayment periods available for low balance transfer offers. As long as you figure out how much you need to repay each month, it should be a generous time frame to repay any existing debt before the interest applies.
- Standard rate applies to new purchases. Avoid buying new items using this credit card because you’ll pay the revert rate. Your monthly payments will go towards those purchases first, making it take longer to repay your balance transfer.
- High revert rates. The low or 0% interest rate is only in place for the introductory period. After that time a much higher interest rate applies to any remaining balances.