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Best balance transfer credit cards – Get 0% interest for up to 20 months

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Looking for a balance transfer card? Take a look at the top balance transfer cards on the market and pick the one that’s best for you.

A balance transfer means that, for a one-time fee, you take the debt you owe on one credit card and move that amount to another card. A balance transfer can be a great option if you’re paying a lot of interest on credit cards — you can move your existing balance to another card that offers low or no interest for a set time. This can help you pay off your debt faster and with less interest.

Compare 0% balance transfer credit cards

Updated September 23rd, 2018
Name Product Introductory Balance Transfer APR APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee Minimum Credit Score
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable)
14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees
0% for the first 18 months (then 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable)
12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
An 18-month 0% Intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then to variable)
16.74% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then to variable)
16.74% variable
$495
Good (700-739)
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Snag a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
14.74% to 24.74% variable
$95
Fair (660-699)
15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$95
Fair (660-699)
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
16.74% to 25.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Jumpstart your financial fitness! 60 day introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
0% for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
14.74% to 24.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Transfer high rate balances and save on interest with an Introductory $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
16.74% to 25.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic. No minimum to redeem for cash back.
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
14.99% to 24.99% variable
$0
Good (700-739)
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.

Compare up to 4 providers

What is a 0% balance transfer credit card?

Balance transfer credit cards with a 0% APR let you transfer your existing credit card debt to a new credit card without paying interest for a promotional period. The interest-free introductory period varies from card to card, but you can find cards with no interest on balance transfers for up to 30 months. Once the introductory offer is over, the balance you transferred reverts to a higher standard interest rate.

What are the hidden costs of a 0% balance transfer credit card?

While you don’t pay interest on the debt you move to a 0% balance transfer card, there other fees you to be aware of before you apply. Some of the most common costs include:

  • Balance transfer fee.
    Banks may charge a 1% or 3% fee for your total balance transfer.
  • The annual fee.
    While some 0% balance transfer credit cards have a no annual fee, others can range between $49 to $400 or more. Make sure that the annual fee won’t exceed your interest savings before you apply.
  • Minimum repayments.
    Even though the card charges 0% interest, you’ll still have to pay at least the minimum payment each month. Paying the minimum repayment might not be enough to clear your balance before the end of promotional period, so make an effort to pay as much as you can. Ideally, divide your balance by the number of months in the promotional period to determine what you should pay each month.
  • Interest charges for new purchases.
    When you make a purchase on a 0% balance transfer card, the purchase rate is applied from the day the transaction is made. Payment hierarchy says that your payments are applied to debt with the lowest APR first. In this case, your payment will pay down your balance transfer before your purchase.
  • Late payment fee.
    Some credit card issuers may charge a late payment fee if payments are made after the due date on your statement. You could even lose your introductory rate if you’re late or miss payments.

Depending on the 0% balance transfer card you choose, other fees and charges may also apply in some circumstances. Make sure you check the standard terms and conditions for individual cards before you apply.

What to look for in a balance transfer card

As with any credit card, choosing the right balance transfer card depends on your individual needs. However, you’ll typically want to weigh these factors while considering balance transfer cards:

  • 0% APR promotions.
    Since the purpose of a balance transfer card is to shield you from interest payments, you want a card that offers 0% APR on balance transfers for a long time. You can find 0% APR promotions that last a year or more.
  • Annual fees.
    Balance transfer cards are all about savings, but annual fees can eat into those savings. Keep in mind that many good balance transfer cards come with no annual fees.
  • Balance transfer fees.
    Unfortunately, transferring balances is usually not free. Read each card’s fine print to see what the applicable balance transfer fees are.
  • Perks.
    Many balance transfer cards are designed solely for cardholders to pay down debt — which means they don’t offer much in terms of rewards or perks. However, it’s definitely possible to find cards with solid balance transfer promotions and attractive rewards.

Now that you know what you’re looking for with balance transfer cards, take a look at our list of the best balance transfer cards on the market.

The best balance transfer cards comparison

  • Chase Slate® Credit Card
  • Citi Simplicity® Card
  • Sphere® Credit Card
  • Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®
  • BankAmericard® Credit Card
  • U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

What makes these balance transfer cards effective?

Chase SlateChase Slate® Credit Card
The Chase Slate® Credit Card 0% APR promotion for 15 months on balance transfers is quite good. But what really makes the Chase Slate stand out is its unique no-fee promotion: On balance transfers you make within 60 days of opening your account, you won’t pay any fees. The 0% intro APR includes purchases too, and afterward reverts to between 16.74% to 25.49% variable. Plus, $0 annual fee.

Citi SimplicityCiti Simplicity® Card

The Citi Simplicity® Card is a heavy hitter when it comes to APR promotions. Many balance transfer cards offer 0% APR on transfers for up to year, but the Citi Simplicity offers 0% APR on transfers for a generous 18 months. You have a lengthy four months to transfer your balances to get the intro rate, and after the promo period you’ll qualify for between 15.74% to 25.74% variable APR. Plus, $0 annual fee.

Santander SphereSphere® Credit Card

Out of all the credit cards on our list, the Sphere® Credit Card has one of the longest APR promotions. You’ll receive a APR for 18 billing cycles after that 14.24% to 24.24% variable — on balance transfers you make within the first 90 days. There’s a similar intro rate on purchases but it is limited to 12 months. Transfer your debt within 90 days to get the intro rate.
Barclaycard Arrival PlusBarclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®
Though the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® offers a decent 12 months $0 APR promotion, that’s not the primary reason it’s a great balance transfer card. It’s because the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® is hands-down one of the best travel cards you can find anywhere with 60,000 bonus miles awarded after $3,000 in purchases made, then 2x miles on all purchases and 5% miles back each time you redeem. Not only will you get a solid balance transfer promotion, but you’ll also receive travel miles through regular spending that you can use as statement credit. Be sure to factor in the card’s $89 annual fee starting the second year.

BankamericardBankAmericard® Credit Card

The BankAmericard® Credit Card offers an attractive 0% APR for 15 statement closing dates on balance transfers made within the first 60 days. You’ll also potentially receive a balance transfer revert between 14.74% to 24.74% variable. Take note there is no introductory promotional rate on purchases, and there’s also $0 annual fee for this card.
US Bank PlatinumU.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers 0% APR for a respectable 20 billing cycles. It has the potential for a 11.74% to 23.74% variable revert rate; however, that makes this card far more attractive. To get that rate, you’ll need stellar credit when applying for the card.
Blue Cash Everyday American ExpressBlue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers a solid 0% APR for 15 months on balance transfers and purchases — afterward between 14.74% to 25.74% variable. Perhaps more enticing, it offers these perks:
  • Earn $150 back when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 10% back on Amazon.com purchases you make within the first six months of up to $200.
  • 3% cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 a year; afterward, 1% cash back.
  • 2% cash back at US gas stations.
  • 1% cash back on everything else.

That’s a great suite of features, especially considering the decent balance transfer intro APR and $0 annual fee.

Pros and Cons of Best Balance Transfer Cards

Before applying for a balance transfer card, take a look at the positives and negatives of owning one:

Pros

  • Generous 0% APR promotions.
    A good balance transfer card will give you a 0% interest rate on transfers for a long time. This gives you time to pay off your balance.
  • Potential rewards and card perks.
    Depending on your needs, you might be able to find a card that offers perks like travel rewards or cash back in addition to a 0% APR promotion.

Cons

  • Potential lack of perks.
    Balance transfer cards that offer attractive 0% promotional APRs sometimes do so to the exclusion of perks and rewards.
  • Potentially high revert rates.
    It’s a good idea to pay off your balance before your 0% APR expires. That’s because any balance you still have after your APR promotion ends may be charged a high interest rate.

What you need to apply for a balance transfer card

Before you apply for a balance transfer card, follow these steps to find the one that’s right for you:

  1. Check your total amount of debt. Consider how much debt you want to transfer, and how long you think it will take you to pay it off so that you know what kind of offers will help you achieve your goal.
  2. Compare 0% balance transfer offers. Look at all the features and types of balance transfer cards, considering the length of 0% term, the amount to repay and the fees and features that come with the card.
  3. Apply. Once you find a card, you can usually apply online. Check the card’s eligibility requirements before you apply, such as:
  • Driver’s license and Social Security number.
  • Personal details. Have personal details ready like your residential address, phone number and email address.
  • Financial details. You will also need to provide details like employment information and total annual income.

What credit score do I need?

Usually, credit card providers only want to take on your debt via balance transfers if they’re reasonably certain you’ll pay off that debt. That said, they’ll typically require strong credit for balance transfer cards. Consider applying for a balance transfer card only with a credit score that’s good or better (700+).

How much interest will I save with a 0% balance transfer credit card?

If you have a credit card debt of $1,000 and you make $100 repayments per month, a balance transfer offer can help you regain control of your finances and save.

Normal credit card without balance transfer offer 0% balance transfer credit card
Interest rate 20% 0%
Months required to repay 12 months 10 months
Interest paid over this period $200 $0

In the example above, not only can you save $200, but you’ll also repay your debt faster — as long as you pay your debt before the 0% offer ends. Any debt not paid off is subject to the revert APR.

You can calculate how much interest you’ll save with your balance transfer credit card using our balance transfer calculator. By considering the interest you can save helps you compare your options and determine which 0% balance transfer credit card is right for you.

Balance transfer calculator

Your current credit cards:

Amount Owing

APR

Card 1

Card 2

Card 3

Card 4

Card 5

Card that you are transferring to:

Intro APR

Intro Term (months)

Ongoing APR

Balance Transfer Fee

Annual Fee

Your monthly repayment
$500

 
 
Critical
At this rate, you will not pay off your debt.
 
Recommended
At this rate you will pay off your debt during the card's intro period

At that rate you will not pay off your debt. You will need to make higher repayments.

Months that it will take you to pay off your debt:

With a balance transfer
12 months

Without a balance transfer
15 months

Money saved transferring debt to a balance transfer card:

Savings = $1,000

By moving forward with a balance transfer credit card and transferring the maximum amount, you could be saving $1,000 on fees and interest charges.
You will save an infinite amount of money as you will not pay off your debt on your current cards at that rate.
In this case, a balance transfer card is not the best option. You might want to consider a personal loan to help consolidate your debt. You can find out more here.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this calculator, the results should be used as indication only. Certain assumptions have been made around the repayments made. This calculator is neither a quote nor a pre-qualification for a credit card

Frequently asked questions

Adrienne Fuller

Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at finder.com. She has one goal: to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. When she's not helping folks save money, she's hiking with her two Catahoulas around her home in San Diego.

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US Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Deserve® Classic Card
Deserve® Classic Card

APR

24.49
variable

Annual fee

0 For the first year
More info
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™

APR

16.74
variable

Annual fee

995 For the first year
More info
First Access Visa Card®
First Access Visa Card®

APR

29.99
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card

APR

23.9
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
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