Best balance transfer cards with 0% intro APRs | finder.com

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Deal with your credit card debt: Move existing debt to a new balance transfer card

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Best balance transfer credit cards

Best balance transfer card for everyday: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Please note: All information about Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has been collected independently by Finder and this card is no longer available through this site.

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.

  • Intro balance transfer APR. 0% intro APR for the first 15 months — then 14.99% to 25.99% variable (see rates & fees).
  • Intro purchase APR. 0% intro APR for the first 15 months — then 14.99% to 25.99% 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%.

Best balance transfer card for low ongoing interest: HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

While there are a few cards with potentially lower ongoing APR, those cards don’t pack the fee-free value and simplicity of the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card. Plus, the 0% APR period on this credit card is quite lengthy at 18 months.

  • Intro purchase and balance transfer APR. 0% intro APR on purchase and balance transfers for the first 18 months — then 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable.
  • Low ongoing purchase APR. Your standard rate starts at either 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable. Plus, you won’t have to worry about a penalty APR.
  • Few fees. If you plan on using the card after paying off your balance, you won’t need to worry about paying an annual fee. You’ll also enjoy no foreign transaction fees, no penalty APR and a late fee waiver.

Best balance transfer card for an intro balance transfer fee: Chase Slate® credit card

Pay a balance transfer fee of $0 when you complete the transfer within 60 days of your account opening. On top of no balance transfer fee, you can also enjoy intro APRs for both balance transfers and purchases.

  • Intro balance transfer APR. 0% intro APR for the first 15 months — then 17.24% to 25.99% variable.
  • Intro purchase APR. 0% intro APR for the first 15 months — then 17.24% to 25.99% variable.
  • No annual fee. Pay a $0 annual fee on top of no balance transfer fee.

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

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.

  • Intro balance transfer APR. 0% intro APR for the first 21 months — then 16.74% to 26.74% variable.
  • Intro purchase APR. 0% intro APR for the first 12 months — then 16.74% to 26.74% variable.
  • No penalty APR. Late fees and penalty APRs are waived.

Best balance transfer card for 0% intro balance transfer and unlimited cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card

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.

  • Intro balance transfer APR. 0% intro APR for the first 18 months — then 15.99% to 25.99% 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.

Methodology

Current credit cards on the market with balance transfer offers were evaluated primarily based on the length of balance transfer intro APR and balance transfer fee costs. Secondary factors that were considered include purchase intro APR offer availability and length, standard APR, annual fee, additional benefits and rewards programs.

Our pick for balance transfers

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that. Pay just 3% fee on balances transferred within the first 15 months
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
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Compare balance transfer cards

%
Name Product Amount saved Balance transfer APR Balance transfer fee Recommended minimum credit score Filter values
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.24%, 22.24% or 26.24% variable)
3%
670
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable)
$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
An 18 months 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% intro for the first 12 billing cycles (then 15.99% to 25.49% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
When you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive a $150 cash back bonus. Rates & Fees
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
680
Earn $250 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable)
$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
Earn 3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases. See Rates and Fees.

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Let’s break down how balance transfers work.

A balance transfer credit card allows you to move your existing debt — other card balances, medical payments, student debt and even personal loans — to a new card with a lower rate, sometimes as low as 0%. Lower rates typically run for 6 to 18 months, after which the interest reverts to a higher rate.

During that introductory period, you can make serious headway in paying down your debt with the bonus of simplifying your many bills to just one.

You’re typically required to pay a one-time fee to transfer your balance with these cards, often a percentage of the amount you’re transferring to the new card. These fees are often added to the amount you transfer to the new card, rather than paid as a separate fee. You may also be on the hook for an annual fee.

Still, a lower APR can result in significant savings.

How much money do I save? How much does it cost?

A number of factors need to be considered when figuring how much a balance transfer can save you versus how much it costs. Luckily, it can be broken down into a few simple steps:

  1. Find out how much it would cost without a balance transfer.
    Calculate the amount of interest you’ll pay without transferring the balance. For a balance of $4,000 with an interest rate of 19% and a monthly payment of $300, you would spend about $525 in interest payments and it would take 15 months to pay off your debt.
  2. Calculate how much the balance transfer would cost.
    Typically, a balance transfer fee runs between 3% and 5% of the amount being transferred. Check the card you’re transferring to for its specific balance transfer fee. Let’s say you’re transferring your $4,000 balance to a card with a 5% balance transfer fee. That would add $200 to your debt, making your total transferred amount $4,200.
  3. Figure out how long of an intro period you need to pay off your debt.
    Once you have the full amount you’re transferring, you can find out how much time you need to pay it off without interest. For your $4,200, you would need 14 months to pay off the balance without interest. Thankfully, there are balance transfer cards with 15-, 18- and 21-month intro APR periods.
  4. Determine what will save you more.
    A card with a higher balance transfer fee may also come with a longer introductory APR. However, you may not need as long to pay off your debt if you have a lower balance or are able to put more toward the balance each month. Be sure to take into account that not paying your debt off before the intro period ends means having to pay interest on it again. If that interest rate is higher than your last, you could be worse off. Budget honestly to avoid getting trapped in a debt cycle.

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

Balance transfer calculator

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.
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Card that you are transferring to:

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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.

Ask the experts

John Ulzheimer
John Ulzheimer
johnulzheimer.com
Credit Expert

Can a balance transfer card help you improve your credit?

Eric Rosenberg
Eric Rosenberg
personalprofitability.com
Personal Finance Expert

What are the biggest mistakes you can make when requesting a balance transfer?


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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