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If you’re looking for ways to reduce and ultimately eliminate high-interest credit card debt, you have several options.
You can dramatically reduce your exposure to interest charges by forgoing credit card usage entirely or scrupulously paying off your credit card balances in full each month. You can seek out low-APR credit cards that don’t charge you as much to carry balances from month to month. Or you can look for credit cards with attractive balance transfer promotions or low regular balance transfer APRs.
The best balance transfer credit cards often have generous 0% APR introductory periods that stretch for longer than 12 months. Many have attractive regular balance transfer APRs that remain significantly below other cards’ balance transfer rates (and, often, below their own purchase APRs). Some also have low or nonexistent balance transfer fees.
Evaluating Balance Transfer Credit Cards: What to Know
If you intend to use a new credit card to make low- or no-interest balance transfers, remember that your minimum monthly payment will always go toward that low- or no-interest balance. If the card doesn’t also have a special introductory purchase APR, any purchases you make with that card will accrue interest charges unless you pay them off in full by each statement due date.
To avoid interest charges on low- or no-APR balance transfer cards without purchase APR promos, you have two options: pay off all purchases in full each month and make the monthly minimum payment on any transferred balances, or refrain from making any purchases at all. Otherwise, look for low- or no-APR balance transfer cards with identical purchase APR deals.
Also, pay special attention to:
- The length of these cards’ promotional interest periods (if applicable)
- The APR once the promotional period expires
- Any terms or restrictions that lessen their appeal
Remember that cards with great balance transfer promotions often tend to have downsides, such as nonexistent sign-up bonuses and meager rewards. Finally, always commit to paying off the entirety of your transferred balance by the end of the low- or no-interest promotional period. Otherwise, you’ll be hit with accrued interest.
Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
These are the best credit cards for balance transfers on the market right now. Check back often for the latest offers and updates.
0% Intro Balance Transfer APR for 20 Months
The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is a straightforward credit card with an excellent balance transfer promotion: 0% APR for the first 20 months of card membership. To qualify, transfers must be made within 60 days of account opening.
This card doesn’t have many frills, but fringe benefits aren’t the main attraction here anyway. Two notable perks are cell phone protection and a free credit score on demand.
- Sign-Up Bonus: None.
- Important Fees: There is no annual fee. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3%. Foreign transaction fees range from 2% to 3%, depending on how the transaction is denominated.
- Introductory APR: The 0% intro APR period applies to purchases and balance transfers for 20 months from account opening. After this period ends, variable regular APR applies.
- Other Perks: Earn complementary auto insurance coverage when you pay for your entire car rental with your U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card, plus cell phone protection worth up to $600 per incident (less a $25 deductible) and a free credit score on demand.
0% Intro Balance Transfer APR for 18 Months; 1% Cash Back on All Purchases; 1% Cash Back on Balance Payments at or Above Minimum
The Citi Double Cash Card earns unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases, plus 1% cash back on all monthly payments, provided you at least make the minimum payment on time. Put that together, and you’ve got an unlimited 2% cash-back rate. Once you reach the $25 redemption minimum, you can redeem cash back by statement credit, paper check, or gift card.
- Sign-Up Bonus: None.
- Important Fees: There is no annual fee. The balance transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3%. Foreign transactions cost 3%.
- Introductory APR: 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months. There’s no corresponding purchase promotion. After the promotional period ends, variable regular APR applies.
- Other Perks: Like other Citi cards, Double Cash comes with Private Pass benefits (exclusive event and experience access).
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 Months
The Wells Fargo Platinum Credit Card‘s 18-month 0% APR balance transfer promotion makes it one of the best cards in the business for paying down high-interest credit card balances. The matching 0% APR promotion on purchases is a big perk to cardholders looking to finance major purchases over time without incurring interest charges.
The lack of rewards and no balance transfer fee waiver are both bummers, but those omissions do only so much to dampen the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card’s appeal.
- Sign-Up Bonus: None.
- Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months. Purchases also incur no interest for 18 months from account opening. Qualifying balance transfers must be made within 120 days of account opening. After the promotional period ends, variable regular APR applies.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. Balance transfers cost $5 or 3% of the transferred amount, whichever is greater, for the first 120 days. Then, the balance transfer fee rises to the greater of $5 or 5%. Foreign transactions cost 3%.
- Other Perks: Enjoy on-demand access to your FICO® score through Wells Fargo Online and a slew of complimentary benefits backed by Visa, including a cell phone protection plan (up to $600 in reimbursement per claim for stolen or damaged phones, minus a $25 deductible), rental car insurance when you pay in full with your card, and roadside dispatch.
0% Intro Balance Transfer APR for 18 Months
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a straightforward product. The headline here is a 18-month, 0% APR balance transfer promotion that applies to balance transfers made within four months (120 days) of your account opening date. New cardholders enjoy a 0% APR purchase rate for the same length of time too.
Otherwise, this is a pretty low-key card, with Citi® Private Pass® perks (exclusive event and experience access) among its top draws.
- Sign-Up Bonus: None.
- Important Fees: There are no annual, late payment, or foreign transaction fees. The balance transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3%.
- Introductory APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months. After the promotional period ends, variable regular APR applies. Qualifying balance transfers must be made within 120 days of account opening.
- Other Perks: In addition to Private Pass, Citi® Concierge connects you round the clock with experts capable of crafting the perfect night (or day) out.
0% Intro Balance Transfer APR for 18 Months
The Citi Simplicity® Card is, well, simple. Though it doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus or cash-back rewards, it has one of the best balance transfer promotions in the business: 0% APR for 18 months from account opening. The absence of foreign transaction fees and late fees helps too.
The introductory rate applies to all balances transferred within four months (120 days) of account opening. After the promo period ends, the balance transfer APR rises to the variable regular APR range, which depends on prevailing interest rates and your creditworthiness. The balance transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount.
- Sign-Up Bonus: None.
- Key Fees: There are no annual, late payment, or foreign transaction fees. The balance transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3%.
- Introductory APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months, then variable regular APR applies.
- Other Perks: This card has some basic benefits, including 24/7 customer service and the ability to choose your payment due date.
0% APR on Balance Transfers for 15 Months From Account Opening
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a cash back credit card with no annual fee and a very attractive 0% APR balance transfer promotion that lasts for 15 months from account opening. This promo pairs with an equally long purchase APR promotion as well. And a fantastic cash back program keeps you earning rewards even as you pay off that sticky credit card debt.
- Sign-up Bonus: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $750 in the first 3 months of card membership. This bonus is fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou points.
- Important Fees: There’s no annual fee. Foreign transactions cost 3% of the transaction amount.
- Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. Thereafter, variable regular APR applies.
- Other Perks: This card has a generous cash back program. Earn 5% cash back on the first $500 in purchases in the top eligible spending category each month. Above the $500 monthly spending cap, earn 1% cash back on top category purchases and on all other eligible purchases as well. Spending categories eligible for the bonus include restaurants, gas stations, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, live entertainment, home improvement stores, and drugstores.
Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.
0% Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR for 15 Months; 2x Points on Supermarket & Gas Station Purchases
The Citi Rewards+℠ Card is a rewards credit card with no annual fee and a very generous introductory APR promotion that covers both balance transfers and purchases.
The introductory period lasts 15 months at 0% APR, with the balance transfer APR kicking in only after the first transfer. Thereafter, variable regular APR applies, dependent on cardholder creditworthiness and prevailing interest rates.
Citi Rewards+ has a rewards program worth writing home about too. Eligible supermarket and gas station spending earns 2 points per $1 spent (up to $6,000 in combined category spending per year), while all other eligible spending earns unlimited 1 point per $1 spent.
Even better, this card rounds up rewards earned on every purchase to the nearest 10 points. That’s enough to turn a 5-point purchase into a 10-point purchase, for example. And Citi pays a bonus of 10% of redeemed points each year, up to the first 100,000 points redeemed during the period.
All this means that, if you spend and redeem as you should, your rate of return on spending with the Citi Rewards+ can easily exceed 2% on supermarket and gas station purchases and 1% on all other purchases.
- Sign-up Bonus: Earn 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within three months of account opening (worth up to $150 when redeemed for gift cards).
- Important Fees: There is no annual fee. Foreign transactions cost 3%.
- Introductory APR: Enjoy a 0% introductory purchase and balance transfer APR for the first 15 months. After that, variable regular APR applies.
- Other Perks: Claim specially priced and/or exclusive tickets, reservations, and experiences through Citi Entertainment. Fees and restrictions may apply.
0% Intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 Months; Lower Your Interest Rate by 2% Each Year With Qualifying Activities
Chase Slate Edge℠ has a 12-month 0% APR balance transfer promotion for new account holders. A matching 0% APR intro promotion on purchases sweetens the deal for people who aren’t sure they need a balance transfer card, as does an unusually generous sign-up bonus for a no-rewards credit card.
Even better, Slate Edge cardholders can pay less on carried balances over time. Chase automatically considers cardholders for a 2% interest rate reduction each year when they meet two straightforward criteria: paying on time and making at least $1,000 in purchases on the card between account anniversary dates.
- Sign-up Bonus: Spend $500 in the first 6 months from account opening to earn a $100 bonus on your statement.
- Important Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3% of each transfer on transfers made within 60 days of account opening, then the greater of $5 or 5% of each transfer.
- Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. Thereafter, variable regular APR applies (currently 14.99% to 23.74%, depending on creditworthiness and prevailing rates).
- Other Perks: Chase automatically considers Slate Edge cardholders for a lower rate (2% lower each year) when they meet two criteria: spending at least $1,000 on the card between account anniversaries and paying their bills on time.
Find out how to apply for this card here.
Transferring high-interest credit card balances to lower-interest credit cards is a well-worn way to make credit card debt more manageable. However, it’s important not to put too much stock in it – or any other single debt-reduction method, for that matter.
If you transfer a high-interest balance to a card with a temporary promotional balance transfer APR and then fail to pay it down before interest rates spike, you’ll find yourself dealing with another pile of debt that’s rapidly accumulating interest. And if you made purchases with your balance transfer card during the introductory APR period, your balance could well be higher than when you first opened the account.
If you’re committed to reducing your debt and living within your means, make sure you’ve paid off your transferred balance in full before the end of any introductory period. Also, refrain from making large purchases with credit cards used primarily for balance transfer purposes.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.