Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2020

Find the best balance transfer card for you based on your preferences and spending habits.

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Any amount of credit card debt can result in anxiety as interest piles up. With a balance transfer card, you can consolidate multiple debts into one balance — and pay down what you owe within an interest-free period.

Our credit card experts spend hundreds of hours researching balance transfer cards to help you find the best options for your debts and budget. Compare features, pros and cons of each, plus learn how much debt you can transfer with our balance transfer calculator.

What are the best balance transfer credit cards?

Here are our choices for some of the top balance transfer credit cards of 2020. If you want to compare these cards side-by-side, check out our comparison table below to size up the competition.

Best balance transfer card for a long 0% intro APR: Citi Simplicity® Card

Citi Simplicity® Card
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With the longest balance transfer intro APR offer on the market, this card provides plenty of time to pay down your debt without garnering interest. You’ll also benefit from not having to shell out for an annual fee.

Annual fee$0
Purchase APR0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 21 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
Balance transfer fee$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
RewardsN/A
Pros
  • Intro balance transfer APR. 0% intro APR for the first 21 months — then 14.74% to 24.74% variable.
  • Intro purchase APR. 0% intro APR for the first 12 months — then 14.74% to 24.74% variable.
Cons
  • No penalty APR. Late fees and penalty APRs are waived.
  • Few perks. As a balance transfer-focused card, you won’t find many perks such as rewards or travel protection on this card.

Best balance transfer card for groceries and gas: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
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Most balance transfer credit cards aren’t geared for much more than balance transfers. With this card, you may be able to get everyday value with responsible use, even after you pay off your balance transfer.

Annual fee$0
Purchase APR0% intro for the first 15 months (then 12.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 15 months (then 12.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer fee$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Rewards2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
Rates & feesrates & fees
Pros
  • Intro balance transfer APR. 0% intro APR for the first 15 months — then 12.99% to 23.99% variable (see rates & fees).
  • Intro purchase APR. 0% intro APR for the first 15 months — then 12.99% to 23.99% variable.
  • Rewards. Earn 3% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%. Purchases at US gas stations and some US department stores earn 2% back, and all other purchases earn 1%.
Cons
  • Balance transfer deadline. You’ll need to perform your balance transfer within 60 days of opening your account.

Best balance transfer card for low ongoing interest: Simmons Visa®

Simmons Visa®

The no-annual-fee Simmons Visa® comes with a solid intro APR period on balance transfers. However, its main attraction is its low ongoing APR: 8.25% variable on purchases and balance transfers. This is a stellar deal considering the average credit card APR is around 17%.

Annual fee$0
Purchase APR8.25% variable
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 12 months (then 8.25% variable)
Balance transfer fee$10 or 3% of transfer during promo or $0 after promo
RewardsN/A
Pros
  • Low APR. Enjoy a 8.25% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers.
  • No annual fee. Don’t pay anything to own the card.
  • Intro APR. Get a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening, then 8.25% variable.
Cons

Best balance transfer card without a balance transfer fee: Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card offers a 0% intro balance transfer fee during the 60 days you’re allowed to make transfers. While there are competitors that also offer $0-transfer-fee promotions and intro APRs, Amex’s card pulls ahead because it pays rewards.

Annual fee$0
Purchase APR0% intro for the first 15 months (then 12.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 15 months (then 12.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer feeNone
Rewards2x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year then 1x points after that and on all other purchases
Rates & feesrates & fees
Pros
  • Intro balance transfer fee. Pay 0% in transfer fees on balance transfers you request within 60 days after account opening. Amex doesn’t allow transfers after this time.
  • Intro APR. Get a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening for 15 months. After that, your purchase and balance transfer APR will be 12.99% to 23.99% variable.
  • Rewards. Earn 2x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1x. Earn 1x points on all other purchases. Each billing period you use your card at least 20 times, you’ll earn 20% more points.
Cons
  • Penalty APR. Your APRs on all balances may increase to 29.24% variable if you make a late or returned payment. This is a sky-high rate — the average credit card APR is 17%.

Best balance transfer card for cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card
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A lengthy balance transfer intro APR makes this card an easy pick for best in its category. On top of the interest-free period, it offers cashback on new purchases and a low balance transfer fee.

Annual fee$0
Purchase APR13.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR0% 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
RewardsUp to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)
Pros
  • 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.
Cons
  • No annual fee. Keep this card in your wallet without worrying about an annual fee.
  • Potentially high fees. After your first late payment, 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.

What’s changed in 2020

The Citi Simplicity® Card is back to its popular 21 months intro APR on balance transfers (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable).
We added the excellent Simmons Visa®, which impresses with its rock-bottom APR on purchases and balance transfers. We also added the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, which distinguishes itself with rewards in addition to its balance-transfer features.

  • Why trust us? Finder’s credit card experts spend nearly 400 hours each week researching, comparing and writing about credit cards. Because of our extensive experience, we know the lay of the land when it comes to balance transfer cards. We want to share our knowledge with readers, helping them to pick the best card. We also follow strict editorial guidelines that keep our content unbiased and accurate.

Balance transfer cards by issuer

Click any company logo below to see all the balance transfer cards offered by that brand.

AMEX logoBank-of-America-LogoBarclaycard-Logo
Capital-One-LogoChase-LogoCiti credit cards logo
Discover provider logoPenfed Card provider logoTD Bank provider logo
US Bank provider logoUSAA provider logoWells Fargo Card provider logo

Our pick for a balance transfer card

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 balance transfer cards

Select your credit score from the options below. Then, input your credit card with the largest balance and its APR into the “transfer amount” and “current APR” filters. Hit calculate and you’ll see just how much each card can save you. When you’re ready to select a card, click the green button to start your application.

%
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.
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
Get one of the best balance transfer intro APR promotions available. Plus, access Citi Entertainment℠ to purchase tickets to concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
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.
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 Rewards+℠ Card
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.49% to 23.49% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
Earn rewards and enjoy a long intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers.

Compare up to 4 providers

Let’s break down how balance transfers work

A balance transfer credit card allows you to move other debts like loans and credit card balances to a new card with a lower interest rate, allowing you to pay off your balances faster and save money on interest.

Here are the steps to complete a balance transfer:

1. Compare & apply for a card

Look for balance transfer offers with the lowest rate possible (ideally 0%) for as long as possible (often 6, 12, or even 21 months if you have great credit).

2. Transfer the balance

Follow the instructions provided by the card issuer to transfer your existing balances to your new card.

3. Pay off the debt

Be sure to pay down the balance within the intro offer period, so you can save the most money on interest, get out of debt, and avoid any repercussions of the revert rate.

What will it cost me?

There are two main costs to keep in mind when it comes to the costs of a balance transfer: APR and transfer fees.

APR

Your purchase APR affects how much interest your balance accrues each month. If you have an APR of 19% and a balance of $4,000, you can expect to rack up an additional $63.6 a month in interest charges, assuming you make no payments.

Because the main purpose of a balance transfer card is to help you pay off debts with higher interest, it’s a good idea to make sure you understand how the purchase APR, balance transfer APR, and revert rates work on your new card. It might be a good idea to avoid making purchases on your new card until you’re sure you’ve got a handle on paying off your transferred balance within the promotional period.

Transfer fee

A transfer fee is the price of transferring a balance to a balance transfer card. This is usually between 3% and 5% of the amount you’re transferring, though some balance transfer cards charge no fee as part of their welcome offer.

Need an example of how these figures work together? Check out our balance transfer calculator.

When is a balance transfer worth it?

A balance transfer is worth it when the money saved on interest outweighs any balance transfer fees.

Let’s say you owe $4,000 on a credit card with an interest rate of 19% and you intend to pay $300 each month. Instead, you move the debt to a balance transfer card with a 0% intro APR for 15 months and a 3% transfer fee. Although you would pay $120 in balance transfer fees, you would pay off the debt in just under 14 months and avoid paying any interest during this time.

If you kept the debt on the original card, you would pay $529 in interest. By moving the debt to the balance transfer card, you end up saving $405 dollars. In this case, the balance transfer card is clearly worth it.

Below we look at four common options for tackling this kind of debt. See how they stack up.

Four options for repaying credit card debt

Details of the original card
  • Credit card balance: $4,000
  • Original card int. rate: 19%
  • Monthly payment: $300
  • Cost in interest: $529
Balance transfer to card with 0% APRPay off card faster: $515 monthly paymentDebt consolidation loan at 5% APRPaying the minimum
Cost in interest$0$303$124$5,740
Cost in transfer fees$120$0$120$0
Total cost$120$303$244$5,740
Time to pay off debt14 months9 months14 months10+ years
Savings$405$226$285-$5,211

In this case, a balance transfer card is the best option. Although you’ll pay a transfer fee, you’ll save the most in interest over time.

What are the benefits of a balance transfer credit card?

  • Saves you money. A low interest rate keeps more cash in your pocket and slashes unnecessary interest on purchases made long ago.
  • Gets you out of debt faster. Low interest allows you to pay down your debt more quickly by applying more of your monthly payment toward your principal balance.
  • Simplifies your finances. Transferring the balances of multiple debts can consolidate many monthly payments into just one bill.

How do I compare balance transfer cards?

In addition to the APR and balance transfer fee, here are a few more factors to weigh when choosing a balance transfer card:


Revert APR

If you can’t pay your balance in full by the end of the intro period, your card will revert to this APR rate. Depending on the card, these can skew high, so take care if you don’t think you can pay within the intro period.


Penalties

Some credit cards may enforce harsh penalties if you miss a payment, including eliminating your intro APR period.


Rewards

Most balance transfer cards are designed specifically for balance transfers, though you may be able to find some that offer rewards, making them a decent ongoing choice after you’ve paid off your balance, especially if there are no ongoing rewards to incentivize you to use it over the long term.


Annual fee

Some balance transfer cards come with annual fees. These can reduce your overall savings and prove a needless burden after you’ve paid your balance.

You asked, we listened: Top 5 common questions

There can be a lot of fine print when it comes to balance transfers. Here are the five most common questions we receive on the subject.

  1. How much can I transfer? The minimum and maximum amount you can transfer during a balance transfer is typically determined by your card’s credit limit.
  2. What credit score do I need? Generally, you need a good credit score or better to qualify for a balance transfer card.
  3. What kinds of debt can I transfer? Aside from credit card debt, you can transfer nearly any type of monthly payment owed, such as student loans, auto loans and personal loans.
  4. What mistakes should I avoid in my application? Applying for a balance transfer card with your existing credit card issuer is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
  5. What happens if I can’t pay off my balance in time? If you can’t pay your full balance in time, the revert APR will kick in and you’ll need to start paying that interest on future payments.

Compare balance transfer cards by credit score

How much debt can I transfer?

Balance transfer calculator

To help you through this process, use our balance transfer calculator to find out how much you could save by making a transfer.

To use the calculator:

  1. Fill out your current credit card information by inputting the balance and APR on each line below. If you know the details about the card you’re transferring to, fill those out to see how much you’ll save.
  2. We’ll input some default values for you if you don’t have a specific card in mind.
  3. Hit “calculate” to see your savings.
Card #1
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%

Card that you are transferring to:

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months
%
%
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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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Bottom line

Balance transfers can be a good way to make a dent in your debt when high interest charges are eating away at your payments. Before you apply, make sure the switch will save you time and money.

Find the right balance transfer card for your financial situation by thoroughly comparing your options.

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