Best balance transfer cards of 2021 | finder.com

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Best balance transfer credit cards of 2021

We compared over 200 cards to find the best options for paying off your debt in 2021

Updated

Fact checked
The best balance transfer cards have an exceptionally long intro period, with generous additional features such as ongoing rewards. We’ve ranked the best balance transfer card picks for 2020 based on our research and placed them into six major categories to help you choose the best card for you.

This year, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is back to its popular 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 20 months, reverting to 13.99% to 23.99% variable after. Amex removed intro balance transfer periods from the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, allowing the Navy Federal Credit Union® Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Credit Card to take its place.

Many cards lost their balance transfer offers in 2020, with U.S. Bank remaining one of the few providers to leave their offers relatively untouched. As a result, U.S. Bank has taken several spots for 2021, including cash back flexibility, dining, and longest intro APR period.

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Best for cash back
Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card logo
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Citi's secure site
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
18 months
0% intro transfer APR
Up to 2%
Cash back
Though the Citi® Double Cash Card isn't the best flat rate cash back card by our estimation (that goes to the Chase Freedom Flex), market changes have made it one of the better balance transfer card options available in 2021. That's because the card possesses not only a higher than average cash back rate at 2%, but a higher than average balance transfer period at 18 months - just behind the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum's 20 months.
  • Intro balance transfer APR. 0% intro APR for the first 18 months — then 13.99% to 23.99% variable.
  • Unlimited cash back. Earn 1% cash back when you make purchases, and an additional 1% back when you pay your balance.
  • No annual fee. Keep this card in your wallet without worrying about an annual fee.
  • Potentially high fees. You'll incur up to $40 in fees for each late payment. Citi may also impose a penalty APR of up to 29.99% for repeat offenses.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 13.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 18 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer fee $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Rewards Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)

Best for small purchases
Citi Rewards+® Card

Citi Rewards+® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.1 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Citi's secure site
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
15 months
0% intro transfer APR
Up to 2x
Points
The Citi Rewards+® Card combines a solid 15 months intro APR on balance transfers with a unique rewards feature. On all purchases, Citi will round your points earned to the nearest 10 points. That measure once your balance transfer period is over, you have a great rewards card for racking up points on small purchases on your hands.
  • Rewards points. Earn 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 in combined purchases each year. Once you reach the cap and on all other purchases, you earn 1x points.
  • Round up points. A rewards rate of 2x and 1x points may not seem like it's worth earning a spot as one of the best rewards credit cards, but with the rounding up feature, your rewards rate is actually higher. Say you buy a $2 coffee. Your reward points will round up at 10x points, thus earning a 5% reward.
  • Bonus points. The card comes with 15,000 bonus points once you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months when you open your credit card account. Also, you get additional 10% bonus points for the first 100,000 points you redeem annually.
  • Foreign transaction fees.Using the card abroad or online with foreign merchants will cost 3% of the amount.
  • Balance transfer limitation. You'll need to complete your balance transfer within four months of account opening to take advantage of the intro APR.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.49% to 23.49% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.49% to 23.49% variable)
Balance transfer fee $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Rewards Earn 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on all other purchases

Best for simple 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Citi's secure site
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
18 months
0% intro transfer APR
n/a
Rewards
While the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card doesn't currently offer the 21 month intro APR it once did, it still boasts a respectable length of 18 months. The Diamond Preferred is especially notable for having an intro APR on purchases as well, giving you some flexibility in how you wish to use your new card.
  • Intro APRs. You'll get an 18 months 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, reverting to 14.74% to 24.74% variable.
  • No annual fee. You won't pay an annual fee to use this card.
  • Additional cards free. You won't pay a fee to add additional cardholders to your account.
  • Balance transfer fees. You'll pay the greater of $5 or 3% on all balance transfers.
  • Four month transfer limit. You'll have just four months to take advantage of the balance transfer intro period. Penalty APR. The penalty APR for missed payments is steep at up to 29.99% variable.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
Balance transfer fee $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Rewards N/A

Best for a long 0% intro APR
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

740
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
20 months
0% intro transfer APR
n/a
Rewards
After the Citi Diamond Preferred and Citi Simplicity lost their 21 month intro APRs, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card became the defacto choice for a balance transfer card with the longest intro APR period. It helps that the card is solid in other respects, including requiring no annual fee and perks like cell phone protection.
  • Intro APR period. Get 20 months months of 0% intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases when you open your account. After the intro APR period ends, your rate reverts to variable 14.49% to 24.49%.
  • No annual fee. You won't pay an annual fee to own the card.
  • Cell phone protection. Pay your cell phone bill with your card to get coverage against phone damage or theft up to $600. You're limited to two claims in a 12-month period for a total of $1,200.
  • Foreign transaction fees. Avoid using this card online at foreign merchants or when traveling abroad or you'll pay 3% fee of the amount of each transaction.
  • No reward program. You won't earn any rewards on your purchases.
  • No signup bonus. There's no bonus to earn upon signup.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 20 months (then 14.49% to 24.49% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 20 months (then 14.49% to 24.49% variable)
Balance transfer fee $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Rewards N/A

Best for cash back flexibility
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
12 months
0% intro transfer APR
Up to 5%
Cash back
The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card is another great example of a rewards card that doubles as a more than solid balance transfer card. While the Citi Double Cash is still the kind of rewards when it comes to such card, the flexibility offered but the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card is an asset for targeted spending.
  • Intro APR. Enjoy a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months, reverting to 13.99% to 23.99% variable.
  • Cash back. Earn 5% cash back on up to $2,000 each quarter in combined purchases on two categories of your choice, reverting to 1. Earn 2% back on one selected category all year round, and 1% back on everything else.
  • Signup bonus. Earn a $150 after you spend $500 in your first 90 days of card membership.
  • Cash back requires enrollment. You'll need to enroll in you bonus categories each quarter to earn the accelerated rewards.
  • Balance transfer time limit. You have just 60 days to make your balance transfer and receive the intro period.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 13.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer fee $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Rewards 5% on up to $2,000 each activated quarter on two categories combined (1% after), 2% on one everyday category and 1% on all other purchases

Best for no balance transfer fee
Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card

Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card logo
Credit recommended (580-850)
Read review
580
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
12 months
0% intro transfer APR
n/a
Rewards
The Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card is one of the few cards on the market right now that don't charge a balance transfer fee on transfers. In fact, the card is light on fees on the whole, requiring no annual fee, no cash advance fee, no foreign transaction fee and a low average APR. The tradeoff is you'll need to be a Navy Federal Credit Union member to obtain this card.
  • Intro APR. Get a 0% intro APR on balance transfers, reverting to 5.99% to 18% variable.
  • Low fees. You won't pay an annual fee, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees or foreign transaction fees with this card.
  • Low interest rate. The low end of this card's interest rate is just 5.99%, which is among the lowest on the market.
  • Membership required. You need to be a member of the NFCU to obtain this card.
  • No rewards. This card doesn't earn rewards on purchases.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 5.99% to 18% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 5.99% to 18% variable)
Balance transfer fee None
Rewards N/A

Summary of the best balance transfer cards

Card nameBest for…Finder ratingBalance transfer offer
Citi® Double Cash CardBest balance transfer card for cash back
★★★★★
Finder rating: 3.8/5
Balance transfer offer 0% intro APR for 18 months months, then reverts to 13.99% – 23.99% variable
Citi Rewards+® CardBest for small purchases
★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.1/5
Balance transfer offer 0% intro APR for 15 months months, then reverts to 13.49% – 23.49% variable
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum CardBest for a long 0% intro APR
★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.8/5
Balance transfer offer 0% intro APR for 20 months months, then reverts to 14.49% – 24.49% variable
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® CardBest balance transfer card for cash back
★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.4/5
Balance transfer offer 0% intro APR for 12 months months, then reverts to 13.99% – 23.99% variable
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® CardBest for foodies
Not yet rated
Balance transfer offer 0% intro APR for 12 months months, then reverts to 14.99% – 23.99% variable
Navy Federal Platinum Credit CardBest balance transfer card with no balance transfer fee
Not yet rated
Balance transfer offer 0% intro APR for 12 months months, then reverts to 5.99% – 18% variable

Bottom line

The best balance transfer card for you depends on your finances, debt repayment plan and how you spend. If none of the cards on our list of best picks feel like the right fit, compare more cards to find one that’s right for you.

Credit card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.

We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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