0% APR balance transfer credit cards for up to 20 months

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

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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.

What is a 0% balance transfer credit card?

A 0% balance transfer credit card lets 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 21 months. Once the introductory offer is over, the balance you transferred reverts to a higher standard interest rate.

Our pick for a balance transfer intro of 21 months

Citi Simplicity® Card

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges
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Compare 0% balance transfer credit cards

Updated April 5th, 2020
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Name Product Amount saved Balance transfer APR Balance transfer fee Recommended minimum credit score Filter values
Citi Simplicity® Card
0% intro for the first 21 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
With an intro APR of 21 months, this card has one of the longest balance transfer offers on the market. Plus, no late fees and no annual fee.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 12.99% to 23.99% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
Citi® Double Cash Card
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
This one of the most valuable flat cashback cards. It comes with 2% cash back (1% when you buy plus 1% when you pay) and 18 months months to pay off transfers.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
0% intro for the first 21 months (then 13.74% to 23.74% variable)
$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
A market-leading balance transfer intro APR of 21 months and 12 months on purchases. Plus Citi Entertainment℠ for deals on dining and going out.
American Express Cash Magnet® Card
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 12.99% to 23.99% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
680
Unlimited 1.5% cash back. Rates & fees
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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. There are some cards that offer $0 fees for a promotional period, but you’ll likely pay 3% to 5% fee of the amount you transfer.
  • 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.Back to top

What you need to apply for a balance transfer card

Before you apply for a 0% 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+).

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 3% or 5% fee for your total balance transfer.
  • The annual fee.
    While some 0% balance transfer credit cards have a no annual fee, others can cost up to 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.Back to top

Pros and Cons of 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.
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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 offer0% balance transfer credit card
Interest rate20%0%
Months required to repay12 months10 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.

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Balance transfer calculator

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Disclaimer: While 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 prequalification for a credit card.

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