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Long-term balance transfer credit cards

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Need more time to repay your debt? Move it to a new credit card at 0% interest with a long-term balance transfer.

If your debt feels out of control, balance transfer credit cards can help you consolidate your debt into one manageable monthly payment. Some credit cards offer promotional periods with low, or no, APR from 12 to 20 months. With a longer interest-free period, you can repay your debt without the burden of high interest rates.

To find the best long-term balance transfer card, weigh the amount of debt you have to transfer and how much time you need to pay it off.

Our pick for a long intro balance transfer period: HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening. Then a variable APR of 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% will apply.
  • No penalty APR
  • Late fee waiver
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases
  • Terms apply
  • See rates and fees
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Compare long-term balance transfer credit cards

Name Product Introductory Balance Transfer APR Standard APR for Balance Transfer Annual Fee
0% for the first 18 months (then 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable)
13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable
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% for the first 21 months (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable)
16.24% to 26.24% variable
Enjoy a 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers and for 12 months on purchases.
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
17.24% to 25.99% variable
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
17.24% to 25.99% variable
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
15.24% to 26.24% variable
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
15.24% to 26.24% variable
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 14.24% variable)
14.24% variable
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable)
15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 17.24% variable)
17.24% variable
Earn 1x points when redeemed for airfare through the Luxury rewards program.
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
15.24% to 26.24% variable
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees

Compare up to 4 providers

What is a long-term balance transfer?

A long-term balance transfer credit card can offer relief if you’re paying off multiple cards with high APRs. Essentially you’re using a new credit card to pay off another, but with better terms. By consolidating your debt and eliminating APRs for 12, 18 or 20 months, you can adjust your finances, make smaller payments and know that the entire payment is being applied to your principal — not fees.

Balance transfer cards let you transfer existing debt up to a set limit, but most charge a transfer fee — usually a percentage of the transfer amount. Compare your savings with the low APR against the fees to make sure its worth it.

What is considered a long-term offer?

Depending on your debt, the difference between a 6-month and 20-month balance transfer card could mean hundreds of dollars in savings. More time could mean lower monthly payments without paying the extra fees. Though, once the introductory period is up, you’ll start paying those fees again.

A long intro period is anywhere from 12 to 20 months. In international countries like Australia you might find a 24 or even the very rare 30-month offer, but you would be hard-pressed to find that in the US.

Credit CardBalance Transfer Intro Period
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card20 billing cycles
Citi Simplicity® Card21 months
Sphere® Credit Card18 billing cycles
Chase Slate® credit card15 months
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express15 months
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™15 billing cycles
HSBC Platinum Mastercard® credit card12 months
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card12 statement closing dates

How much am I allowed to transfer?

The total amount you can transfer is usually a percentage of your credit limit. While some may let you transfer up to 100% of your credit limit, others may only allow you to transfer 95% or even 80%. Many cards depend on your credit score and financial situation to determine how much you can transfer.

If you’re carrying a large debt, consider whether you can transfer the entire amount before applying for the card.

Mistakes to avoid with long-term balance transfers

To make the most of the long-term balance transfer offer, you should avoid the following mistakes:

  • Only meeting your minimum repayments.
    Only paying the minimum monthly payment is unlikely to cover your entire debt by the end of the promotional period. If you can afford to put more than the minimum towards your debt, you’ll clear your debt faster. It could take you more than four years to pay off $5,000 worth of debt with a low $100 monthly payment. If you can afford to pay $200 each month, you can have it paid off in two years — the length of some balance transfer cards.
  • Making purchases on your new credit card.
    The purpose of a balance transfer is to repay your debt in full during the promotional period and get your finances in line. Using your balance transfer card for purchases isn’t recommended, as it only adds to your debt. Plus, your repayments will automatically go to the purchases that are accruing the highest interest. This means that you’ll be wasting time and money repaying your purchases when you should be taking advantage of the low or no interest balance transfer period.

A long-term balance transfer could be your solution to clearing your debt and having a healthy credit report. By designing a realistic budget and working hard to stick to it, you can have your debt cleared before the end of the promotional period.

Bottom line

When it comes to balance transfer credit cards, a strong rate makes a big difference. Finding a card you can qualify for, with a long intro period can save you hundreds of dollars. But, work out your finances so you can have the balance paid by the end of the low intro period. Once it’s over, you’ll pay a high revert rate on the balance. Before choosing a balance transfer card, compare your options and find the best fit for your finances.

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Leah Fallon

Leah Fallon is a writer and editor for finder.com. She's here to fix annoying apostrophes, elusive infinitives and the muddled em and en dash. When she's not helping people with their finances, you can find her wrangling her two sprightly girls in Leesburg, Virginia.

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