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. Not to mention some rewards cards come with added travel and purchase benefits.
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
Can you get both a balance transfer and rewards?
Yes, you can. Your rewards or your balance transfer welcome offer may not be as strong as if you got a card that specializes in one or the other. You’ll also need a strong credit score, usually of 670 or higher, to qualify for many of these cards.
That said, there are plenty of solid rewards cards that have balance transfer offers including 0% APRs and no balance transfer fees. You can earn points, miles or cash back with these cards — some with rewards rates of up to 3%.
How to choose the right credit card for balance transfers and rewards
You’ll have to weigh what’s most important when choosing a among credit cards for balance transfers and rewards. 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.
- Introductory rate and fees.
Compare how long the introductory rate is, if it’s a 0% offer and what the balance transfer fees are. Also factor in an annual fee if there is one.
- Earn rate.
How much you can earn in points, miles or cash can vary from one rewards card to the next — as does the types of purchases that may give you an accelerated rate.
Normally, platinum and premium cards offer better earn rates. American Express usually compares better than Visa and Mastercard when it comes to top-notch rewards cards with additional features.
- The revert rate.
At the end of the promotional period, any outstanding balance from transfers starts attracting the purchase APR or cash advance APR. Keep in mind the cash advance rate will likely be noticeably higher than the purchase rate.
Best credit cards for balance transfers and rewards
Best for US supermarket rewards: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
An intro APR on the upper end of the scale and accelerated rewards on US supermarket, gas station and department store purchases make Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express a solid choice when it comes to a balance transfer card with rewards.
- Cash back on everyday purchases. Earn 3% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases and 1% afterward, and 2% cash back at US gas stations and some US department stores. Earn 1% cash back on everything else.
- Long intro APR on balance transfers. Enjoy a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months. Make the transfer within 60 days of your account opening to take advantage of this offer. A 15.24% to 26.24% variable APR applies after the intro period.
- Annual fee. $0 annual fee for this rewards card.
Best for flat-rate rewards: Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has cashback rewards that come at a flat rate, which can be better for those who spends evenly across categories. Combined with an intro APR that’s on the longer side, it could be a solid choice if you’re looking to keep your card open after paying off your balance.
- Long intro APR. Pay no interest on purchases and balance transfers in the first 15 months of card membership. After the intro period, the APR reverts to 17.24% to 25.99% 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.
- Signup cash bonus. Spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of your account opening and you’ll get $150.
Best for accelerated rewards you choose: Bank of America® Cash Rewards
Choose among several categories each month to earn accelerated cash back with Bank of America® Cash Rewards. You’ll also get an average-length intro balance transfer rate, and have a chance at an easy-to-earn signup bonus.
- Cash back. Choose from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement and furnishings purchases to be your 3% cashback category on up to $2,500 in combined purchases with the 2% categories each quarter. Earn 2% back on purchases at eligible grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Earn 1% back once the cap is reached on accelerated categories and on all other purchases.
- Intro APR for purchases and balance transfers. Get a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 statement closing dates following your account opening. A variable APR of 16.24% to 26.24% applies after. Make balance transfers within the first 60 days to qualify.
- Signup bonus. Spend at least $500 in your first 90 days of card membership to earn a $150 cash bonus.
Best for annual rewards bonus: HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
A low ongoing rate, balance transfer intro period that lasts longer than most and annual rewards bonus make the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card a solid choice for paying down your debt and earning rewards after.
- Intro APR on balance transfers. Enjoy a 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months months from account opening. After, your APR reverts to 15.24% to 25.24% 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.
Best for poor credit: Discover it® Secured
Having poor credit significantly impacts your ability to get rewards credit cards and balance transfer cards. The Discover it® Secured allows you to potentially qualify for both, but it’ll require a deposit.
- Intro APR. Enjoy a 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 25.24% variable. Balance transfers must post by May 10, 2019 to qualify.
- 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.
- Signup bonus. At the end of your first year, Discover will match all of the cash back you’ve earned.
Can you get rewards on a balance transfer?
Unfortunately, no. At the time of this writing, we’re unaware of any card providers that offer rewards points on transferred debt.
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.Back to top