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Compare long-term balance transfer credit cards

How much interest can you save with a long-term balance transfer credit card?

Promoted

Our pick for a long-term balance transfer: Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card logo

21 months

Intro APR on transfers

  • Market-leading 21 months intro APR on transfers and purchases
  • Potentially low revert rate of 13.74%-23.74% variable
  • No annual fee
Apply now

Compare long-term balance transfer credit cards using our table below. You can select up to four products and click "Compare" to see how their features stack up. You can also click "Show filters" to narrow your search to products that fit your needs more specifically.
%
Name Product Amount saved Balance transfer APR Balance transfer fee Minimum Credit Score Filter values
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

Best of Finder 2021

An impressive 21 months intro APR on balance transfers and purchases, as well as no annual fee make this one of the top 0% APR cards available.
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® 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
Get a strong 18 month 0% intro APR on balance transfers AND up to 2% back. This is a rare card that offers both rewards and balance transfers.
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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 18 or more 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.

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 one or more other cards, but with better terms.

By consolidating your debt and eliminating APRs for 12, 15, 18 or 21 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. Also, 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 21-month balance transfer card could mean hundreds of dollars in savings. More time could mean lower monthly payments without paying extra interest. Though, once the introductory period is up, you’ll start paying interest again.

A long intro period is anywhere from 12 to 21 months. In international countries such as 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.

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.

    Using your balance transfer card for purchases isn’t recommended, as it only adds to your debt. Your repayments will automatically go to the purchases that are accruing the highest interest, so you’ll be losing valuable low or interest-free time.

Bottom line

When it comes to balance transfer credit cards, a strong rate makes a big difference. Finding a card you qualify for, with a long intro period can save you hundreds of dollars.

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.

Frequently asked questions

How do long-term balance transfer credit cards work for bad credit?
It depends. Credit cards typically want to offer balance transfer cards to those with a credit score of 600 or better.

But, if you’re committed to paying down your debt and want to transfer your balances to a transfer card with a low APR, you have options. But you’ll likely be on the hook for transfer fees and annual fees, and the intro rate may not be for as long or as low of a rate.

What fees can I expect with balance transfer cards?
Most credit cards charge a balance transfer fee between 3% and 5% of the amount you transfer. Other fees can include annual fees, cash advance fees and foreign exchange fees. Once the low or 0% promotional period is up, watch for the revert APR, which can be between 18% to 25%.

How do I get the low intro APR when I make purchases with my new card?

The APR you’re given for balance transfers may not apply to any new purchases. The purchase APR is applied, and any payments you make are applied to your purchases — not your transferred debt.

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