A balance transfer on a credit card involves moving outstanding debt from one credit card to another, usually new, card. Depending on the promotional offer from the credit card company and the other balance transfer terms, making a balance transfer can be a beneficial practice if you have credit card debt you want to pay down.
Credit card companies often offer 0% interest promotional periods on balance transfers to entice new cardholders. These can be an appealing way to reduce the interest you owe on current balances — an effective way to lower and manage debt, as long as you use them strategically. If you’re thinking about taking advantage of a 0% interest promotional APR offer, take a look at these great card options and how they can help you reach your financial goals.
Editor’s Note: The rates, percentages, terms and offerings listed below were current at the time of publishing. However, these are subject to change at each lender’s discretion, and the content may not accurately reflect recent updates. Check with the prospective lender for the most up-to-date information.
US Bank Visa Platinum
U.S. Bank’s Visa Platinum card offers a lengthy 0% APR promotional period with no annual fee. This limited-time offer is applicable for eligible transfers and purchases made within the first 20 months of opening your account. Once the promotional period is over, you’ll be charged a variable APR of 14.49% to 24.29% on your remaining balance. This card also offers additional perks that include fraud protection, payment due-date selection, and cell phone protection of up to $600 if you pay your monthly cellular bill with the card.
Although it is one of the highest-rated cards, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum has two drawbacks: a balance transfer fee of 3% and no rewards program.
Citi Double Cash
The Citi Double Cash card offers a competitive introductory 0% APR for 18 months on all eligible transfers. Once the promotional period is over, you’ll pay a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99% on the remaining balance. It also offers an unlimited cashback incentive of 2% on every purchase, letting you earn 1% cashback when you buy something and 1% cashback when you pay for that purchase.
It’s a good option for potential earnings; there’s no limit on the cashback rewards you can earn, and it doesn’t charge any annual fees. However, there are two caveats to this card. First, a balance transfer fee of 3% is applied to all transfers you make within the first four months of use, after which time you’ll pay a balance transfer fee of 5% on each transfer. Second, there is no introductory 0% APR on purchases, just on transfers.
Wells Fargo Reflect
With an introductory 0% APR on eligible transfers and purchases for up to 18 months, the Wells Fargo Reflect card offers a great opportunity to pay less interest on existing debt. Additionally, making on-time minimum payments during this period enables you to receive an extension period of three months, for a total introductory 0% APR lasting 21 months. After that, you’ll pay a variable APR of 12.99% to 24.99% on the remaining balance.
The card offers perks like cell protection of up to $600 when you pay your monthly cellphone bill with the card. The drawbacks of this card include the lack of a reward program and the balance transfer fees. However, the fees are pretty typical — an introductory 3% fee on each transfer for the first 120 days, then a 5% fee.
The Citi Simplicity card offers payment flexibility, as it has no late or penalty fees. It provides an introductory 0% APR for 21 months on balance transfers. There’s also a 0% APR for 12 months on purchases made within a year of opening your account, as well as no annual fees. Once the promotional period is over, you’ll pay a variable APR of 14.74% to 24.74% on your remaining balance. The main disadvantages of this card are that it charges a balance transfer fee of 5%, and there’s no reward program.
Discover it Balance Transfer
The Discover it® Balance Transfer card offers a favorable promotional 0% APR rate and reward programs that provide long-term value. You’ll enjoy an introductory 0% APR of 18 months on eligible balance transfers. This rate also applies for six months on purchases you make during the first six months after opening your account. After that, a variable APR of 11.99% to 29.11% applies.
It also offers reward programs in the form of 5% cashback earnings on everyday purchases from categories of your choosing. These can include grocery shopping, gas station payments or restaurants, up to your quarterly limit. Additionally, it offers an unlimited 1% cashback rate on all other purchases you set up to pay automatically. You can then redeem these cashback offers at any time.
The main caveat for this card is a balance transfer fee of 3% for the introductory period, which later increases to 5% on any balance transferred. You also need to activate the 5% cashback reward for everyday purchases, and there’s a quarterly maximum limit — you can earn up to $75 in rewards each quarter.
Chase Slate Edge
The Chase Slate Edge credit card offers a competitive balance transfer system to help you pay less interest in the long run. It includes an introductory 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers and purchases. Once the promotional period is over, a variable APR of 14.99% to 23.74% applies. Also, there are no annual fees.
The main drawback of this card is a fee of 3% on the amount of each transfer you make in the first 60 days after opening your account. After that, you’ll pay a fee of 5% on transfers. However, the company offers an opportunity to reduce the regular APR by 2% when you make payments on time and you spend at least $1,000 by your next account anniversary. It also offers automatic credit limit reviews when you make on-time payments and spend at least $500 in the first six months after opening your account.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Balance Transfer Credit Card
Balance transfer credit cards’ main aim is to help you save on interest. So, before signing up for a balance transfer credit card, it’s important to consider these features that minimize cost, increase savings on interest and increase your earnings from reward programs.
Longest Introductory Offer
The ideal balance transfer credit card should provide a lengthier 0% APR offer on transfers and purchases. Some intro periods last 12 months, while others last 21. A longer 0% offer period helps you save more on interest.
Minimal or No Transfer Fee
A good balance transfer card should have minimal or no transfer fees. Keep in mind that some banks won’t allow you to transfer debt from one of their cards to another. Therefore, having strong credit is usually a bonus, because it may help the lender determine a higher transfer limit for you. Always make sure to check the fine print.
Finally, make sure to look out for other benefits, such as cashback rewards that can potentially offer long-term value to the card even after the promotional APR ends.