2019’s Best Credit Cards With No Balance Transfer Fees and 0% APR

Sean Messier

Sean Messier | Blog

Aug 28, 2019 | Updated Aug 29, 2019

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Balance transfer credit cards offer an excellent opportunity to kick-start the debt damage control process. If you’re struggling to pay down debt, one of these cards could be the money-saving solution you’re looking for.

Balance transfer cards are available through a variety of credit card issuers, and they generally provide 0% APR periods on transferred balances for your first year or more. While the cards are usually pretty simple, their lack of interest can make it much easier to manage your credit card debt — especially when it comes to larger balances currently attached to accounts with high interest rates.

Sometimes, however, these cards have balance transfer fees. They’re usually smallish, but can still take a financial toll if you’re trying to transfer a big balance.

Fortunately, several of the best balance transfer credit cards don’t charge balance transfer fees, making a transfer sound that much more enticing.

We’ll give you more details about the select few big-name balance transfer cards with no-fee transfers and interest-free intro periods in a moment, and you can see a quick rundown of these cards in the table below. But first…

Card Balance Transfer APR Balance Transfer Fee
Amex EveryDay Credit Card (Review)

0% for 15 months, then 15.24%–26.24% Variable

None
BankAmericard® Credit Card

0% for 15 billing cycles, then 15.24%–25.24% Variable

$0 for first 60 days, then 3%, $10 minimum
Chase Slate (Review)

0% for 15 months, then 17.24%–25.99% Variable

$0 for the first 60 days, then 5%, $5 minimum
NFCU Platinum Credit Card

0% for 12 months, for transfers requested within 30 days, then 8.24%–18.00% Variable

None

What Is a Balance Transfer Fee?

If you’ve never actually conducted a balance transfer, you may not know how the process unfolds.

Transferring a balance is pretty easy. In most cases, you simply fill out an online form found on your credit card’s account management portal with information concerning the balance you’d like to transfer, and then you’ll have to wait a bit before your transfer request is approved or denied. Occasionally, there will be a limit on how large a balance you can transfer, though this will often just be the card’s credit limit.

Balance transfers will often require you to pay a fee. 

Most balance transfer fees range from 3%–5%, and there’s nearly always a minimum fee of at least $5.

Because balance transfer fees are charged as a percentage, they can grow quite large if you’re looking to transfer a bigger balance.

Imagine you’re trying to transfer a $2,000 balance, for example. With a 5% fee, you’d be charged $100, and that’s quite a bit.

The card’s 0% introductory APR would likely help you offset that and then some with saved interest, but still — if you don’t have to pay it, why would you?

That’s exactly what makes the credit card offers we’ve compiled below so appealing.

Aside from fees, there are several other points worth considering if you’re planning to transfer a balance in the near future, including:

  • A limited time: You’ll generally have a limited time, usually around 60 days, to transfer a balance to a card with no fees and at a 0% interest rate.
  • A large enough credit limit: You’ll want a card with a credit limit large enough to accommodate your full balance, though your ability to get a high credit limit is mostly dependent on your creditworthiness and income.
  • Minimum payments: You’ll still have to pay at least your minimum monthly payment by the due date to avoid late fees, even if your balance transfer card has a 0% introductory offer.
  • Hard inquiries: Applying for a new credit card will nearly always result in a hard credit inquiry, which may impact your credit scores slightly and temporarily. Fortunately, it should be a small sacrifice for the opportunity to take care of your debt. Plus, the additional available credit provided by your new card should contribute positively to your credit utilization ratio, potentially helping to offset the effect of the inquiry on your credit scores.
  • Different lenders: Regular balance transfers must be conducted between cards issued by two different credit card companies, or between a credit card company and another lender; you won’t be able to transfer a balance between two cards from the same issuer.
In addition to the typical card-to-card balance transfer, there are also bank balance transfers, which work a bit differently. You request a transfer with the issuer of your balance transfer card, but instead of paying off the balance of another card, the issuer sends money directly to your bank account. Then, that amount becomes your transfer card’s balance, which you’ll have to pay off as usual.

The Best Credit Cards With No Balance Transfer Fees and 0% Balance Transfer APR Offers

There’s a relatively rich selection of credit cards that charge no balance transfer fees. But if you’d actually like to transfer a balance, you’re probably best off with a card that has both no-fee transfers and a 0% introductory balance transfer APR offer. Very few cards check both boxes, so we’ll talk first about the cards that do.

Afterward, we’ll list a few cards that charge no balance transfer fees, but don’t provide a balance transfer intro APR.

 

Amex EveryDay Credit Card
Balance Transfer APR Balance Transfer Fee

0% for 15 months, then 15.24%–26.24% Variable

(for transfers requested within 60 days)

None

Compared to the other cards we’ll mention here, the Amex EveryDay Credit Card (Review) is a clear outlier, because it features a fairly strong rewards program and has a one-time welcome bonus. Otherwise, this American Express rewards card boasts a very similar introductory APR offer, and also charges no balance transfer fees for the first 60 days.

If you’re after a card with no balance transfer fee that’ll retain its appeal after your transferred balance has been paid off, the Amex EveryDay is awfully hard to beat.

Spending Rewards
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar at:
    • U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
    • American Express Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar for all other purchases
  • 20% point bonus: For making 20 or more purchases per billing period
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 10,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $100–$200 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 10%–20%

Key Features

  • Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months, then 15.24%–26.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Balance Transfer APR Balance Transfer Fee

0% for 15 billing cycles, then 15.24%–25.24% Variable

$0 for first 60 days, then 3%, $10 minimum

The BankAmericard® Credit Card, issued by Bank of America, is designed for balance transfers, period. You get a strong introductory period, and there’s no balance transfer fee if you initiate the transfer within the allotted amount of time. After that, the card charges a balance transfer fee that’s on the low end, which is a nice perk if you need to transfer a balance after the fee-free promotional period.

The card also features no penalty APR, though other fees and terms may come into play if you pay late.

Key Features

  • Purchase APR: 0% for 15 billing cycles, then 15.24%–25.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
There’s a student version of the BankAmericard, suitably called the BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students. This card offer is virtually identical to the standard BankAmericard, albeit with very slight fee-related differences, so we didn’t bother including it as a separate entry.

 

Balance Transfer APR Balance Transfer Fee

0% for 15 months, then 17.24%–25.99% Variable

(for transfers made within 60 days of account opening)

$0 for the first 60 days, then 5%, $5 minimum

Take a quick glance at the terms and features of the Chase Slate (Review), and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s essentially the same credit card offer as the BankAmericard. The most significant difference is that the balance transfer fee that kicks in after the first 60 days is a touch higher.

Key Features

  • Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months, then 17.24%–25.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Like most balance transfer cards with intro APR offers and no balance transfers fees, there’s little else to say about Navy Federal Credit Union’s NFCU Platinum Credit Card. There are no rewards, and few fees, aside from interest charges. Its primary catch is that you only get the introductory offer if you request your balance transfer in the first 30 days.

Balance Transfer APR Balance Transfer Fee

0% for 12 months, for transfers requested within 30 days, then 8.24%–18.00% Variable

None

Key Features

  • Purchase APR: 8.24%–18.00% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

Cards With No Balance Transfer Fees, But No Intro APR Offer

Cards that offer no-fee balance transfers, but don’t provide 0% APR offers, aren’t usually going to be the best choices if you’d like to transfer a balance. Nevertheless, we’ve compiled several cards that offer this perk below.

It’s also worth noting that you may be more likely to find a credit card with no balance transfer fees at your local (or an online) credit union. These cards may not offer the same perks as big-name picks, but credit unions are governed by strict laws that usually lead to a lower regular APR, and this could still help you save some cash over time. Just remember that most credit unions have specific membership requirements you’ll have to meet if you want one of their cards. We’ve included a few credit union cards below for good measure.

Most Capital One cards feature no balance transfer fees unless you’re transferring a balance to a card with a promotional APR offer. So if you find a Capital One card with a 0% balance transfer APR, you’ll likely pay a balance transfer fee, while you probably won’t if you opt to transfer to a card with a standard balance transfer APR.

For Consumers

For Businesses

Pay Less Interest With Balance Transfers

Credit cards with no balance transfer fees and intro APR offers are among the best ways to pay off an outstanding credit card balance. But if you’re looking for a new credit card with a longer introductory period than is offered by any of the above options, you might find the perfect match among our favorite balance transfer credit cards.

Top picks include the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever (Review), which boasts an introductory APR period of 21 months, and the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card, with an intro period that lasts 18 months on qualifying balance transfers.

After all, with a strong intro period, your long-term savings on interest will often offset any balance transfer fee with ease.

Looking to avoid interest on purchases too? You’ll find several credit cards — including some of our favorite cards overall — that provide 0% introductory purchase APR offers.
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