Discover how you can save money on interest while repaying your debt — and earn rewards on new purchases.
Balance transfers and rewards are both attractive features for credit cards, but imagine if you could take advantage of both with one card. A lower interest rate helps you consolidate and pay down your debts. And once you’ve paid it off, you have the opportunity to earn points on purchases to reward your spending. While these cards sound like a win-win, you may want to consider some factors before submitting your application.
Our pick for balance transfers and rewards: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Compare balance transfer credit cards
What’s in this guide?
What features should I look for?
Balance transfer credit cards with rewards offer a number of features, and while these can vary from card to card, the following should give you an idea of what to expect:
- Balance transfer offer. Some cards charge 0% APR on balance transfers during promotional periods, and others charge low balance transfer fees. These offers typically vary between 6 and 18 months.
- Earning reward points. The points you earn per dollar spent depends on the provider and rewards program. Bonus points with partnered retailers or restrictions on transactions like cash advances may apply, so be sure to fully investigate the card’s terms. Find out if your points expire, and if there’s a cap on the maximum number of points you can earn.
- Redeeming rewards. Understand exactly how you can redeem your points. Certain rewards programs give you the option to choose between merchandise, gift cards and travel purchases. Others allow you to use your points as cash or to transfer them to your frequent flyer program account. Make sure these rewards suit your lifestyle to get the most from your card.
Do I get points on the balance that I’m transferring?
Unfortunately, no. At the time of this writing, we’re unaware of any card providers who offer rewards points on transferred debt.
How do I apply for a balance transfer card?
Applying for a balance transfer credit card is just like any other card, only you’ll list your creditors and the amounts you wish to transfer. Eligibility varies by provider is typically open to permanent residents of the US who are at least 18 or 19 years old.
After you’ve confirmed your eligibility and weighed the APRs, intro periods and fees of your options, it’s time to complete your balance transfer credit card application with your personal information and financial details. Carefully read the terms and conditions before submitting your application.
Applying takes as little as 10 minutes and can be done online or over the phone. If you decide to apply online, you’ll:
- Provide your contact information, Social Security number, date of birth, annual income and income sources.
- List any authorized users you’d like to add.
- List the account numbers and amounts for any credit card debt or loans you would like to transfer. You can also do this after approval, though there may be a time limit on when it needs to be initiated to take advantage of any introductory offers.
- Carefully review and agree to the terms and conditions.
- Submit your application.
- You’ll be given an instant response, or the bank may inform you that they need more time to review your information.
Upon approval, it typically takes a few weeks for the transfer to go through. During this time, you should still pay any amounts that come due on your old cards or loans to avoid additional fees.
Stack the odds in your favor with our guide to a successful application
What are the pros and cons of using a balance transfer credit card with rewards?
- Save money. By paying little to no interest on balance transfers for a period of time, you can save money in interest, especially if you manage to pay off the entire balance before the promotional period comes to a close.
- Earn rewards. If you use your credit card frequently, you can benefit from the rewards as you spend.
- Make use of extras. Many credit cards come with complimentary purchase and travel insurance coverage. Some cards even offer round-the-clock access to a concierge service.
- High-interest rate. You can expect a balance transfer card with rewards to charge a high interest rate on purchases. If you don’t keep paying your account’s closing balance in full each month, the money you pay as interest could outweigh the rewards you earn.
- Annual fee. Many credit cards charge ongoing annual fees that can be costly if you don’t take advantage of the rewards.
What else should I consider when comparing this type of card?
When you’re comparing rewards credit cards with balance transfer offers, consider the following:
- Balance transfers don’t earn rewards. At the time of writing, no credit cards offer rewards points on debt that’s transferred.
- The earn rate. How much you earn in points, miles or cash can vary from one rewards card to the next. Normally, platinum and premium cards offer better earn rates, and American Express usually compares better than Visa and Mastercard.
- The revert rate. At the end of the promotional period, any outstanding balance from transfers starts attracting the purchase APR or cash advance APR. It’s usually the cash advance rate, which can be noticeably higher than the purchase rate.
Getting a balance transfer credit card with rewards can be a good idea if you have a plan to pay off the entire transferred balance within the promotional period. Once you do, you can look forward to earning rewards.
What are the best balance transfer credit cards with rewards?
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
- Cash back on everyday purchases. For your first $6,500 in purchases earn 1% cash back at US supermarkets, gas stations and some drugstores, and 0.5% on other eligible purchases. Spend between $6,500 and $50,000 and you’ll get a whopping 5% on everyday purchases. Spending more than $50,000 puts you back at 1%.
- Annual fee. $0 annual fee for this rewards card.
- Long intro APR on balance transfers. You won’t pay interest on your balance transfer for 15 months. Make the transfer within 60 days of your account opening to take advantage of this offer. A 14.99% to 25.99% variable APR applies after the intro period.
- Intro APR on purchases. You won’t pay interest on purchases for the first 15 months after your account opens. This shifts to a variable APR of 14.99% to 25.99% after.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Signup cash bonus. Spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of your account opening and you’ll get $150. Add an authorized user for spending in the same three-month period and you could earn an additional $25.
- Long intro APR. Pay no interest on purchases and balance transfers in the first 15 months from account opening. After the intro period, the APR reverts to 16.99% to 25.74% variable. Balance transfers must be made within 60 days of your account opening to qualify.
- Unlimited cash back. Earn 1.5x cashback rewards on everyday spending. Points don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.
Chase Slate® credit card
- Long intro APR. Pay no interest on purchases and balance transfers in the 15 months from account opening. After the intro period, your APR will vary from 16.99% to 25.74% variable. Balance transfers must be made within 60 days of your account opening to qualify.
- No-fee balance transfers. No additional fees apply to balance transfers made during made within 60 days of your account opening.
- Annual fee. This credit card attracts no annual fee.
U.S. Pride® BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Visa® Card
- Signup bonus. If you spend $500 in the first 90 days of your account opening, you’ll receive a $150 online cash bonus.
- Cash back. You’ll get more rewards for spending on gas and groceries. Earn 3% cash back on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for your first $2,500 in purchases each quarter, and 1% after. Earn 1% cash back on everything else you buy.
- Intro APR for purchases and balance transfers. Get 0% APR for the first 12 statement closing dates on purchases and balance transfers. Make balance transfers within the first 60 days to qualify.
- No annual fee. Reap the rewards of this card each year without paying a fee.
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
- No annual fee or foreign transaction fees. Use the card as much or as little as you want without worrying about an annual fee. Also, use the card internationally without incurring fees.
- Intro APR on balance transfers. Enjoy $0 APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months months from account opening. After, your APR reverts to 14.99%, 18.49% or 24.99% variable.
- Cash back on all purchases. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- Anniversary bonus on cash rewards. Each year, earn a 10% bonus on all cash rewards you’ve earned.
NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card
- Balance transfer APR. 11.9% to 17.99% variable APR on balance transfers made within the first 90 days of your account opening. You’ll keep this APR for the life of your transfer amount.
- Annual fee. You won’t pay an annual fee for the life of the card.
- Rewards. 1x point on all purchases.
- No-fee balance transfers.No fee on balance transfers, ever.
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®
- Low APR.This platinum credit card charges a variable APR of 13.99%, which applies to purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. This low APR can lead to noticeable savings in the long run.
- No-fee balance transfers. Though there’s no intro APR for balance transfers, you won’t pay a transfer fee.
- No annual fee. Reap the rewards of Ring without paying a fee each year.
Discover it® Secured
- Signup bonus. At the end of your first year, Discover will match all of the cash back you’ve earned.
- Intro APR. Enjoy a to variable intro APR for 6 months on balance transfers, starting from the date of your first transfer. After your intro APR expires, it’ll revert to 24.99% variable.
- Cash back. Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on the first $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% thereafter. Earn 1% cash back on everything else.
- Credit reporting to the three major bureaus. Discover will report your payment history to the three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. With consistent on-time payments, you’ll build your credit score.
- Possible security deposit return after eight months. After eight months, Discover will review your account every month. If they deem you’ve been a responsible cardholder, they may return your security deposit while you continue using your card. This effectively turns your secured card into an unsecured card.
- No annual fee.You won’t pay an annual fee for the life of the card.
Both balance transfer cards and rewards credit cards can save you money — if you use them properly. If you can find a card that offers both, you can score big in travel, shopping and cash back. With so many options and perks, always compare your options before deciding on a card for you.
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