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2019

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

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When used responsibly, balance transfers can be a great way to reduce the amount of interest you’re charged as you pay off debt. Many credit cards offer 0% introductory APRs for balance transfers that vary in length. The details change from time to time, but you can find balance transfer intro offers that span nearly two years — giving you quite a while to pay off debt interest-free.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Brendan Harkness

By Brendan Harkness

Our Selection Criteria

When scoping out the best balance transfer cards, look at these features:s:

  • Balance transfer APR (aka interest rate): Lower is better. Get one with a lower interest rate than what you have now (preferably a 0% introductory rate). With most cards, you’ll need to request or complete the transfers within a certain time frame of being approved to qualify for the 0% rate.
  • Introductory balance transfer APR period: This is the amount of time you’ll have to pay off the transferred balance at the specified rate. Longer is better, giving you more time to pay off your debt at low interest before the intro period ends.
  • Balance transfer fee: Lower is better. Some cards today have no balance transfer fees at all, or no fees for a certain period after being approved.
  • Card issuer: You usually won’t be able to transfer balances between two cards from the same issuer. So you can’t transfer from one Amex card to another, for example, or one Discover card to another. You’ll have to transfer to a different credit card issuer or bank.

On a credit card, the balance transfer APR is separate from the purchase APR. In most cases the purchase and balance transfer APRs will be the same rate, but not always.

A 0% APR is the best you can get for balance transfers, so look for these no-interest introductory offers. Many credit cards allow balance transfers, but they aren’t always at zero interest.

Ready to transfer your balance and start saving money? Learn what to do next in How Credit Card Balance Transfers Work.

Is a Balance Transfer Card Right for You?
Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Brendan Harkness

By Brendan Harkness

Is a Balance Transfer Card Right for You?

Balance transfer credit cards can help you save a lot of money and get out of credit card debt more quickly. If you’re carrying a balance with an interest rate on almost any type of account, you may be able to transfer some or all of it  (depending on your credit limit) to a new credit card and pay it off at 0% APR.

Are you carrying a balance on a credit card with an interest rate over 0%? If so, even if your card has a lower-than-average interest rate, you should consider moving it to a card with a 0% APR to save money. If you have personal loans or other installment loans you’re thinking about transferring, this may not be a good idea because they tend to have low interest rates and don’t hurt your credit much compared to revolving debt.

Balance transfers can be a great tactic in your fight to reduce debt. Whether you use the snowball method or the avalanche method, it’s always a good idea to try to reduce the amount of interest charges you end up paying.

Consider a balance transfer credit card if you:

  • Have credit card debt or other debt at an APR above 0%, which you won’t be able to pay off within the next few months
  • Have a plan to pay off the debt without accumulating more debt on a different card
  • Don’t mind the credit inquiry or the impact the new card account will have on the account age of your credit scores (generally a small impact, which will usually be worth the hit to get out of debt sooner)

Sometimes you’ll get balance transfer offers on credit cards that you already have. For example, our editor’s Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review) recently gave him a balance transfer offer of 0% for 12 months or 1.99% for 15 months. There was a 3% transfer fee for each offer. Card issuers might do this occasionally to encourage you to carry a balance on one of their cards again.

Our Selection Criteria
BEST PICK FOR

Long 0% Period

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
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securely on the issuer's website

There’s nothing complicated about the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever (Review).

It’s all about the balance transfers, with an exceptionally long intro period. New purchases will get a shorter introductory APR period.

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 21 months, then 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer fee: 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

This could be the right card if all you want is a long time to pay off some debt, although it does have a transfer fee. Compare this card to others without transfer fees, but with shorter promotional periods, to see which intro APR offer will end up saving you the most money over time.

  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months, then 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
  • Annual fee: $0
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

  • Purchase and balance transfer APR: 0% for 20 billing cycles, for transfers made within 60 days, then 14.24%–25.24% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%, $5 minimum
  • Annual fee: $0
View card details
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 21 months, then 15.24%–25.24% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: 5%, $5 minimum
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months, then 15.24%–25.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
View card details
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • 2% cash back for every purchase
  • Balance transfer APR: 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers, for transfers completed within 4 months, then 15.49% – 25.49% (Variable)
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
  • Purchase APR: 15.49% – 25.49% (Variable)
  • Annual fee: $0
View card details
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card

  • Purchase and balance transfer APR: 0% for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers, for transfers requested within 120 days, then 13.74%-27.24% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% for 120 days, then 5%
  • Annual fee: $0
View card details
2 4

The information related to Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

BEST PICK FOR

No Transfer Fees

BankAmericard® Credit Card

BankAmericard® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 15.24%–25.24% Variable
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securely on the issuer's website

The BankAmericard® Credit Card isn’t too flashy, but it’s excellent for balance transfers.

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 billing cycles, then 15.24%–25.24% Variable (for transfers made within 60 days of account opening)
  • Balance Transfer fee: $0 for first 60 days, then 3%, $10 minimum

Take note that you’ll have to make your transfers within the first 60 days to get the 0% rate and the $0 transfer fee. After that, any transfers will be at the regular rate and will cost a fee.

Like most cards designed around balance transfers, there isn’t much else here. Its main purpose is to help you pay off a balance over time. And if you use it responsibly, making monthly payments by the due date, it can do just that.

  • Free FICO credit score: Check your FICO Score 8 whenever you’d like, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 15 billing cycles, then 15.24%–25.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
BEST PICK FOR

Earning Rewards

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 14.99%–25.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card (Review) is a rare breed because it offers a top-notch balance transfer deal — a long intro period and no transfer fee — along with a solid rewards program (most great balance transfer cards don’t have very good rewards).

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months, then 14.99%–25.99% Variable (for transfers requested within 60 days)
  • Balance Transfer fee: None

There are many rewards cards with 0% intro APR periods. But they usually have transfer fees of 3% or so, and that makes them not as good for balance transfers. This might be the only credit card to offer bonus categories and a 0% fee for all transfers.

Take note of the 60-day limit for balance transfers at the 0% rate. But the 0% transfer fee has no time limit, unlike the balance transfer credit cards above — this is a rare find, but it’s not too useful because after 60 days any transfers will get the regular APR, making them poor choices for paying down debt.

  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 spent per year (then 1X)
  • 20% point bonus: Earn 20% more points if you make 20 or more purchases per month
  • 10,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Amex Offers: Discounts or extra points at specific merchants, like Sam’s Club, Pinterest, Boxed, and many more.
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership: Register with ShopRunner for free two-day shipping and returns at select online retailers.
  • Entertainment Access: Exclusive discounts to events, concerts, sporting events, and shows.
  • Annual fee: $0
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • 2% cash back for every purchase
    • 1% cash back when you make purchases
    • 1% cash back when you pay for purchases
  • Balance transfer APR: 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers, for transfers completed within 4 months, then 15.49% – 25.49% (Variable)
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
  • Purchase APR: 15.49% – 25.49% (Variable)
  • Annual fee: $0
View card details
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 spent per year (then 1%)
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • $150 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Purchase and balance transfer APR: 0% for 15 months, for transfers requested within 60 days, then 14.49–25.49% Variable (Rates & Fees)
  • Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Annual fee: $0
View card details
Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate every three months, up to $1,500 spent per quarter (then 1%)
  • $150 statement credit for spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • Purchase and balance transfer APR: 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months, then 16.49% - 25.24% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Annual fee: $0
View card details
Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate every three months, up to $1,500 spent per quarter (then 1%)
  • Cashback Match: Earn double the cash back in your first year
  • Purchase and balance transfer APR: 0% for 14 months, for transfers completed by a specified date, then 13.74%–24.74% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee (5% on later balance transfers)
  • Annual fee: $0
View card details
2 4

The information related to Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

BEST PICK FOR

Students

BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students

BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students

Our rating
Min. credit level No Credit
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 14.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Student credit cards are made for people with limited or no credit, designed to help you bridge the gap between having no credit at all to getting that first credit card account on your credit reports. As such, most student cards aren’t great for paying down debt.

But there are a handful of exceptions, led by Bank of America, most notably the BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students. Not only do you get a great intro period (which is long even compared to non-student cards), you’ll also have no transfer fee for some time after being approved.

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months, then 14.99%–24.99% Variable (for transfers made within 60 days)
  • Balance Transfer fee: $0 for first 60 days, then 3%, $10 minimum

This card offer is basically the exact same as the regular BankAmericard® Credit Card.

  • Free FICO credit score: Check your FICO Score 8 whenever you’d like, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months, then 14.99%–24.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
Bank of America Cash Rewards™ Credit Card for Students

Bank of America Cash Rewards™ Credit Card for Students

  • Purchase and balance transfer APR: 0% for 12 months, for transfers made within 60 days, then 16.24%–26.24%Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%, $10 minimum
  • Annual fee: $0
View card details
Discover it® Student Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back

  • Purchase and balance transfer APR: 10.99% for 6 months, for transfers made by a specified date, then 14.74%–23.74% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee (5% on later balance transfers)
  • Annual fee: $0
View card details
Discover it® Chrome for Students

Discover it® Chrome for Students

  • Purchase and balance transfer APR: 10.99% for 6 months, for transfers made by a specified date, then 14.74%–23.74% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee (5% on later balance transfers)
  • Annual fee: $0
View card details
2 3
BEST PICK FOR

Fair Credit

Chase Slate®

Chase Slate®

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 17.24%–25.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Chase Slate® (Review) is about as straightforward as balance transfer cards get, offering a strong introductory APR period and no balance transfer fee for transfers made during your first 60 days as a cardholder. There’s no annual fee, either.

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months, then 17.24%–25.99% Variable (for transfers requested within 60 days)
  • Balance Transfer fee: $0 for the first 60 days, then 5%, $5 minimum

The Slate was designed with balance transfers in mind, so that’s really its only talking point. Fortunately, its transfer offer is strong enough that it’s tough to beat if you’re working with fair credit.

  • Chase Credit Journey: Check and monitor your VantageScore 3.0, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months (then 17.24%–25.99% Variable)
  • Balance transfer limit: $15,000
  • Annual fee: $0
BEST PICK FOR

Bad Credit

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Bad
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

A bit of an outlier when compared to the cards above, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card (Review) provides a reduced balance transfer APR offer with a relatively short introductory period. That’s likely the best you’re going to find with a secured card.

If you’re desperate to transfer a high-interest balance, but your less-than-stellar creditworthiness keeps you from getting one of the above cards, the Discover it Secured might be worth your time.

  • Balance Transfer APR: 10.99% for 6 months, then 24.74% Variable
  • Balance Transfer fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee (5% on later balance transfers)
  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent per quarter (then 1%) at Gas stations and Restaurants
  • Cashback Match: New cardmembers get double cash back rewards in the first year (awarded after the first year)
  • Free FICO credit score: Check and monitor your FICO Score 8, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Purchase APR: 24.74% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever and Amex EveryDay® Credit Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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