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Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of August 2022

Written by: Jeanine Skowronski | Edited by: Tracy Stewart | Reviewed by: Sally Herigstad
|

August 2, 2022

Here are the best balance transfer credit cards of August 2022:

BEST FOR LOW INTEREST
BankAmericard® credit card
Our rating:4.2 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$430
Savings over 24 months based on a transfer of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations This amount is the estimated savings over 24 months following a $2,500 balance transfer, compared to keeping the balance on a credit card with a 15% APR. The estimate includes the new card’s balance transfer fee and balance transfer intro period and assumes payments of $56.25/mo during the 24-month period.

After the intro period, remaining months assume the average APR in the card’s disclosed range. This estimate is a CreditCards.com calculation used for educational purposes and is not a guarantee of savings.

At A Glance

Intro balance transfer APR
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Intro balance transfer period
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Regular balance transfer APR
15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
BEST GO-TO BALANCE TRANSFERS
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Our rating:3.6 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Your approval oddsWhen you click “See my approval odds” we’ll run a soft credit check to determine if you have Excellent, Good, Low, or Poor odds of being approved for cards on our site. Approval Odds serves as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$456
Savings over 24 months based on a transfer of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations This amount is the estimated savings over 24 months following a $2,500 balance transfer, compared to keeping the balance on a credit card with a 15% APR. The estimate includes the new card’s balance transfer fee and balance transfer intro period and assumes payments of $56.25/mo during the 24-month period.

After the intro period, remaining months assume the average APR in the card’s disclosed range. This estimate is a CreditCards.com calculation used for educational purposes and is not a guarantee of savings.

At A Glance

Intro balance transfer APR
0%
Intro balance transfer period
21 months
Regular balance transfer APR
15.99% - 25.99% variable
Your approval oddsWhen you click “See my approval odds” we’ll run a soft credit check to determine if you have Excellent, Good, Low, or Poor odds of being approved for cards on our site. Approval Odds serves as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.
BEST FOR GROCERY, GAS AND ONLINE REWARDS
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Our rating:4.4 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Estimated balance transfer savings

N/A
Savings over 24 months based on a transfer of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations This amount is the estimated savings over 24 months following a $2,500 balance transfer, compared to keeping the balance on a credit card with a 15% APR. The estimate includes the new card’s balance transfer fee and balance transfer intro period and assumes payments of $56.25/mo during the 24-month period.

After the intro period, remaining months assume the average APR in the card’s disclosed range. This estimate is a CreditCards.com calculation used for educational purposes and is not a guarantee of savings.

At A Glance

Intro balance transfer APR
0%
Intro balance transfer period
15 months
Regular balance transfer APR
16.24% - 27.24% variable
BEST FOR WELCOME BONUS
Discover it® Balance Transfer
Our rating:4.5 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$385
Savings over 24 months based on a transfer of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations This amount is the estimated savings over 24 months following a $2,500 balance transfer, compared to keeping the balance on a credit card with a 15% APR. The estimate includes the new card’s balance transfer fee and balance transfer intro period and assumes payments of $56.25/mo during the 24-month period.

After the intro period, remaining months assume the average APR in the card’s disclosed range. This estimate is a CreditCards.com calculation used for educational purposes and is not a guarantee of savings.

At A Glance

Intro balance transfer APR
0%
Intro balance transfer period
18 months
Regular balance transfer APR
13.49% - 24.49% variable
BEST FOR PURCHASE PLANNERS
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Our rating:4.2 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Your approval oddsWhen you click “See my approval odds” we’ll run a soft credit check to determine if you have Excellent, Good, Low, or Poor odds of being approved for cards on our site. Approval Odds serves as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$479
Savings over 24 months based on a transfer of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations This amount is the estimated savings over 24 months following a $2,500 balance transfer, compared to keeping the balance on a credit card with a 15% APR. The estimate includes the new card’s balance transfer fee and balance transfer intro period and assumes payments of $56.25/mo during the 24-month period.

After the intro period, remaining months assume the average APR in the card’s disclosed range. This estimate is a CreditCards.com calculation used for educational purposes and is not a guarantee of savings.

At A Glance

Intro balance transfer APR
0%
Intro balance transfer period
20 billing cycles
Regular balance transfer APR
16.74% - 26.74% variable
Your approval oddsWhen you click “See my approval odds” we’ll run a soft credit check to determine if you have Excellent, Good, Low, or Poor odds of being approved for cards on our site. Approval Odds serves as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.
BEST FOR EVERYDAY SPENDING
Choose your 3% category
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Our rating:4.2 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$322
Savings over 24 months based on a transfer of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations This amount is the estimated savings over 24 months following a $2,500 balance transfer, compared to keeping the balance on a credit card with a 15% APR. The estimate includes the new card’s balance transfer fee and balance transfer intro period and assumes payments of $56.25/mo during the 24-month period.

After the intro period, remaining months assume the average APR in the card’s disclosed range. This estimate is a CreditCards.com calculation used for educational purposes and is not a guarantee of savings.

At A Glance

Intro balance transfer APR
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Intro balance transfer period
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Regular balance transfer APR
16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
BEST FOR 0% INTRO APR + LOW FEES
Citi Simplicity® Card
Our rating:3.6 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Your approval oddsWhen you click “See my approval odds” we’ll run a soft credit check to determine if you have Excellent, Good, Low, or Poor odds of being approved for cards on our site. Approval Odds serves as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$453
Savings over 24 months based on a transfer of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations This amount is the estimated savings over 24 months following a $2,500 balance transfer, compared to keeping the balance on a credit card with a 15% APR. The estimate includes the new card’s balance transfer fee and balance transfer intro period and assumes payments of $56.25/mo during the 24-month period.

After the intro period, remaining months assume the average APR in the card’s disclosed range. This estimate is a CreditCards.com calculation used for educational purposes and is not a guarantee of savings.

At A Glance

Intro balance transfer APR
0%
Intro balance transfer period
21 months
Regular balance transfer APR
16.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
Your approval oddsWhen you click “See my approval odds” we’ll run a soft credit check to determine if you have Excellent, Good, Low, or Poor odds of being approved for cards on our site. Approval Odds serves as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.
BEST FOR VERSATILE REWARDS
Citi® Double Cash Card
Our rating:3.6 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Your approval oddsWhen you click “See my approval odds” we’ll run a soft credit check to determine if you have Excellent, Good, Low, or Poor odds of being approved for cards on our site. Approval Odds serves as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$367
Savings over 24 months based on a transfer of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations This amount is the estimated savings over 24 months following a $2,500 balance transfer, compared to keeping the balance on a credit card with a 15% APR. The estimate includes the new card’s balance transfer fee and balance transfer intro period and assumes payments of $56.25/mo during the 24-month period.

After the intro period, remaining months assume the average APR in the card’s disclosed range. This estimate is a CreditCards.com calculation used for educational purposes and is not a guarantee of savings.

At A Glance

Intro balance transfer APR
0%
Intro balance transfer period
18 months
Regular balance transfer APR
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
Your approval oddsWhen you click “See my approval odds” we’ll run a soft credit check to determine if you have Excellent, Good, Low, or Poor odds of being approved for cards on our site. Approval Odds serves as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.
BEST FOR FLAT-RATE CASH REWARDS
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Our rating:4.1 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Your approval oddsWhen you click “See my approval odds” we’ll run a soft credit check to determine if you have Excellent, Good, Low, or Poor odds of being approved for cards on our site. Approval Odds serves as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$249
Savings over 24 months based on a transfer of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations This amount is the estimated savings over 24 months following a $2,500 balance transfer, compared to keeping the balance on a credit card with a 15% APR. The estimate includes the new card’s balance transfer fee and balance transfer intro period and assumes payments of $56.25/mo during the 24-month period.

After the intro period, remaining months assume the average APR in the card’s disclosed range. This estimate is a CreditCards.com calculation used for educational purposes and is not a guarantee of savings.

At A Glance

Intro balance transfer APR
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
Intro balance transfer period
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
Regular balance transfer APR
17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable APR
Your approval oddsWhen you click “See my approval odds” we’ll run a soft credit check to determine if you have Excellent, Good, Low, or Poor odds of being approved for cards on our site. Approval Odds serves as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.
BEST FOR AUTOMATICALLY MAXIMIZING REWARDS
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Our rating:4.0 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Your approval oddsWhen you click “See my approval odds” we’ll run a soft credit check to determine if you have Excellent, Good, Low, or Poor odds of being approved for cards on our site. Approval Odds serves as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$263
Savings over 24 months based on a transfer of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations This amount is the estimated savings over 24 months following a $2,500 balance transfer, compared to keeping the balance on a credit card with a 15% APR. The estimate includes the new card’s balance transfer fee and balance transfer intro period and assumes payments of $56.25/mo during the 24-month period.

After the intro period, remaining months assume the average APR in the card’s disclosed range. This estimate is a CreditCards.com calculation used for educational purposes and is not a guarantee of savings.

At A Glance

Intro balance transfer APR
0%
Intro balance transfer period
15 months
Regular balance transfer APR
16.24% - 26.24% variable
Your approval oddsWhen you click “See my approval odds” we’ll run a soft credit check to determine if you have Excellent, Good, Low, or Poor odds of being approved for cards on our site. Approval Odds serves as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.
BEST FOR PREFERRED REWARDS MEMBERS
Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card
Our rating:3.8 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Recommended credit

670-850 (Good to Excellent) CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$322
Savings over 24 months based on a transfer of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations This amount is the estimated savings over 24 months following a $2,500 balance transfer, compared to keeping the balance on a credit card with a 15% APR. The estimate includes the new card’s balance transfer fee and balance transfer intro period and assumes payments of $56.25/mo during the 24-month period.

After the intro period, remaining months assume the average APR in the card’s disclosed range. This estimate is a CreditCards.com calculation used for educational purposes and is not a guarantee of savings.

At A Glance

Intro balance transfer APR
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Intro balance transfer period
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Regular balance transfer APR
16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Back to top

Comparing the best balance transfer credit cards of 2022

Credit cardBest forBalance transfer intro APR offerRegular APRCreditCards.com Score
Wells Fargo Reflect® CardBest for longest intro APR0% intro APR for up to 18 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers made within 120 days of account opening with an option for up to a three-month extension if you make on-time monthly minimum payments for the intro and extension periods15.24% to 27.24% variable4.1 /5
BankAmericard® credit cardLow interest0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles, for transfers made in first 60 days15.24% to 25.24% variable4.2 / 5
Citi® Diamond Preferred® CardGo-to balance transfers0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers made within the first 4 months of account opening15.99% to 25.99% variable3.6 / 5
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressGrocery, gas and online rewards0% intro APR for 15 months16.24% – 27.24% variable4.4 / 5
Discover it® Balance TransferWelcome bonus0% intro APR for 18 months13.49% to 24.49% variable4.5 / 5
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum CardPurchase Planners0% intro APR for the first 20 billing cycles16.74% to 26.74% variable4.2 / 5
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit cardEveryday spending0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles, for transfers made within first 60 days16.24% to 26.24% variable4.2 / 5
Citi Simplicity® Card0% intro APR + low fees0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers completed within the first four months of account opening16.99%-26.99% variable3.6 / 5
Citi® Double Cash CardVersatile rewards0% intro APR for 18 months16.24% to 26.24% variable3.6 / 5
Wells Fargo Active Cash® CardFlat-rate cash rewards0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers made in first 120 days17.24%, 22.24% or 27.24% variable3.6 / 5
Citi Custom Cash℠ CardAutomatically maximizing rewards0% intro APR for 15 months16.24% to 26.24% variable4 / 5
Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit cardPreferred Rewards members0% intro APR on transfers made within the first 60 days for 15 billing cycles16.24% to 26.24% variable3.3 / 5

best balance transfer credit cards of 2022

Editor’s picks: Balance transfer credit card details

Best for longest intro APR: Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

  • Best features: This card features one of the longest intro APR offers on the market. Cardholders enjoy 18-months from account opening of introductory 0% interest on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then variable 15.24% to 27.24% APR) with the option for a three-month extension if they make monthly minimum payments on-time for the full length of the intro offer and extension period. This card’s lack of traditional rewards could be a boon for people who want to remain laser-focused on paying off debt for good.
  • Biggest drawbacks: You’ll have to transfer a balance within 120 days of account opening to qualify for the intro offer and the 3% intro balance transfer fee. After that, the balance transfer fee goes up to 5% or $5 (minimum), whichever is greater. While the ancillary benefits are a bonus, the lack of a traditional rewards program does dampen the card’s long-term value.
  • Alternatives: The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is an excellent flat-rate cash rewards card with both an attractive ongoing rewards rate and a better sign-up bonus, in addition to a great intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers completed within the first 120 days.
  • Bottom line: If you need an extended window of time to pay off existing high-interest debt or a forthcoming large purchase (and you can commit to making on-time monthly minimum payments), this card can’t really be beaten.

Related: What credit score is needed for the Wells Fargo Reflect card?

Read our Wells Fargo Reflect® Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Best for low interest: BankAmericard® credit card

  • Best features: The BankAmericard allows you 18 billing cycles to work on paying off a balance transfer (made within the first 60 days) without accruing interest. After that, your interest rate could still be quite low. The regular APR is 15.24% to 25.24% variable, which is good, especially if you can secure an interest rate at the low end of that spectrum.
  • Biggest drawbacks: You’ll need to act fast to capitalize on the balance transfer offer, given it applies only to balances transferred in your first 60 days. You’ll pay a balance transfer fee of 3% or $10 (whichever is greater).
  • Alternatives: Besides offering a lengthy introductory APR period on both balance transfers and purchases, the Citi Simplicity® Card never charges late fees. That’s good news for anyone who is occasionally late with their payment.
  • Bottom line: This card has no rewards program, but that may not be a detraction for cardholders with big balances who can take advantage of the low APR intro rate and manage to do so within the first 60 days of opening the account. For larger debts, the balance transfer fee may sting a bit at 3% (or $10, whichever is greater).

Related: Is the BankAmericard card worth it?

Read the full BankAmericard credit card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Best for go-to balance transfers: Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

  • Best features: This card pairs one of the longest balance transfer offers currently on the market with a potentially low go-to interest rate: cardholders receive a 0% introductory APR for 21 months on balance transfers made in the first four months (the APR is 15.99%-25.99% variable after that). Read more on how finance expert Emily Sherman uses the Citi Diamond Preferred card.
  • Biggest drawbacks: You’ll pay a balance transfer fee of 5% (or $5, whichever is higher). Plus, the fact that there’s no base rewards program may limit its long-term value, though there are a few ancillary perks to enjoy, like access to Citi Entertainment®, Citi Flex Plan and the Citi Easy Deals program.
  • Alternatives: The BankAmericard’s intro period may be shorter for balance transfers, but it does offer a longer intro APR period on new purchases if you transfer within 60 days of account opening.
  • Bottom line: So long as you’ve done the math on that 5% balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is higher), the Citi Diamond Preferred is an attractive option for anyone hoping to pay down debt or finance a big purchase, and who doesn’t mind the lack of rewards.

Related: Is the Citi Diamond Preferred card worth it?

Read our full Citi Diamond Preferred Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Best for grocery, gas and online rewards: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • Best features: There aren’t a lot of balance transfer cards that offer rewards, and those that do are light on additional benefits. But the Blue Cash Everyday Card goes further, offering up generous rewards, a welcome offer, plenty of secondary benefits, and even two valuable credits on streaming and meal kits — all for no annual fee.
  • Biggest drawbacks: If you make even one late payment, you could get hit with a 29.99% variable penalty APR that lasts at least six months. Combined with the late fee, that could add up to a lot of debt on top of what you already owe.
  • Alternatives: The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card has a similar intro APR offer, but you won’t have to worry about a penalty APR if you miss a payment. Plus, the card’s unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases could be more useful if many of your everyday purchases fall outside the Blue Cash Everyday Card’s bonus categories (such as superstore or wholesale club purchases).
  • Bottom line: This card’s cash back categories, intro offer and unique perks make the refreshed Blue Cash Everyday card a great choice for households.

Read our Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Best for welcome bonus: Discover it® Balance Transfer

  • Best features: This card offers the best of both worlds, giving you an impressive 18 months to pay off a transferred balance without accruing any interest (13.49% to 24.49% variable APR after that), a generous cash back program and unique first-year promotion that matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
  • Biggest drawbacks: While this card does not carry an annual fee, you’ll want to keep in mind the intro balance transfer fee of 3% or $5 (whichever is higher) and up to 5% for future transfers.
  • Alternatives: The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card doesn’t offer rewards, but it does have one of the longest intro APR periods on the market. That’s great for anyone who prefers a little extra time to pay down their balance.
  • Bottom line: Those looking for a long runway for paying down credit card debt will see long-term value from this card’s rewards program, especially if you’re willing to keep track of its bonus categories. But individuals looking for a lengthier period to finance new purchases or a flat-rate cash back credit card will want to look elsewhere.

Related: Citi Simplicity vs. Discover it Balance Transfer

Read the full Discover it® Balance Transfer review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Best for purchase planners: U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

  • Best features: Cardholders get a full 20 billing cycles before accruing interest on new purchases (16.74% to 26.74% variable APR thereafter). Plus, this card offers cellphone protection (coverage of up to $600, $25 deductible) in the case of covered damage or theft (when you pay your cell phone bill with this card) and does not carry an annual fee.
  • Biggest drawbacks: This card has limited long-term value as it has no rewards program to speak of. The card also charges a fee of up to $40 for late payments and 2% to 3% on each foreign transaction you make (2% if the transaction is in U.S. dollars, 3% if in a foreign currency).
  • Alternatives: The BankAmericard® offers a lengthy 18 billing cycle 0% intro APR on balance transfers completed within the first 60 days and a reasonable ongoing APR of 15.24% to 25.24% (variable), which is better than what’s offered on the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card.
  • Bottom line: The U.S. Bank Platinum card offers a generous amount of time to pay down new purchases. While it does not carry an annual fee, you’ll likely see more long-term value from a card with a dedicated rewards program.

Read the full U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Best for everyday spending: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

  • Best features: The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card offers a solid 3% cash back on a category of your choice and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%).
  • Biggest drawbacks: The introductory APR period for balance transfers is good, though certainly not the longest one out there. Plus, you’ll have to act fast to capitalize on that intro APR. Only balance transfers made within the first 60 days of opening an account qualify. A 3% fee (minimum $10) applies to all balance transfers.
  • Alternatives: The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers year-round cash back on Ultimate Rewards travel, dining and drugstore purchases, plus 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories that you activate each quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1 percent cash back.
  • Bottom line: The ability to choose your own monthly bonus category is a definite plus for anyone seeking flexibility in a cash back card, but be mindful of the spending caps. This card is best suited for earning rewards for everyday moderate spending.

Related: Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards benefits

Read the full Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Best for 0% intro APR + low fees: Citi Simplicity® Card

  • Best features: You’ll enjoy a lengthy 21-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers conducted within the first four months of account opening and on purchases for 12 months (then variable 16.99% to 26.99% APR). You also won’t pay an annual fee or incur late fees or a penalty APR for missed payments. (Note: late payments will still hurt your credit score and are best avoided.)
  • Biggest drawbacks: The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card does offer a longer 0% introductory APR on purchases (20 billing cycles, then variable 16.74% to 26.74% APR). There are also a few cards, mostly from credit unions, that let you skip a balance transfer fee, though their intro APRs are usually higher or the time period is shorter.
  • Alternatives: The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card comes with one of the longest intro APR periods available. Cardholders have 20 billing cycles to pay off their balance with no interest. The card’s ongoing 16.74% to 26.74% variable APR is similar to what’s offered by the Citi Simplicity Card.
  • Bottom line: The Citi Simplicity® Card is a solid choice for people who want to pay down some debt without mastering a complex rewards program or confusing fee structure.

Related: Citi Diamond Preferred vs. Citi Simplicity

Read our full Citi Simplicity® Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Best for versatile rewards: Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Best features: In addition to an introductory 18-month zero-interest offer on balance transfers (then a variable APR of 16.24% to 26.24% after that), the base rewards are the real highlight here. The potential to earn 2% cash back (1% when you buy and 1% as you pay), after all, is competitive among the best rewards credit cards. Plus, there’s no annual fee.
  • Biggest drawbacks: You’ll need good-to-excellent credit to qualify for the card, so people with bad, fair or thin credit might need to look elsewhere. There’s no 0% introductory APR offer for purchases. You’ll also pay an intro balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is higher, for balance transfers completed within the first four months of account opening.
  • Alternatives: The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers bonus categories rather than a flat cash back rate. That means, depending on your spending, you could potentially earn more on everyday purchases at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations.
  • Bottom line: For those with good-to-excellent credit, the Citi Double Cash Card gives you the versatility of a flat-rate cash back card coupled with one of the longest no-interest balance transfer deals available. Existing Citi customers already earning ThankYou points could earn even more by pairing with this card.

Related: Citi Double Cash card benefits

Read the full Citi Double Cash review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Best for flat-rate cash rewards: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

  • Best features: This straightforward rewards card offers an unlimited 2% cash rewards on eligible purchases, unlike the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers 1% cash back on eligible purchases and another 1% when you pay your bill. The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card comes with an introductory bonus of $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. Members enjoy a 0% introductory APR on purchases as well as qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening, then 17.24%, 22.24% or 27.24% variable APR.
  • Biggest drawbacks: Rewards can only be redeemed for cash back and cannot be transferred to other programs.
  • Alternatives: While the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card beats out the Citi Double Cash card in terms of an introductory bonus, the Citi Double Cash Card has the longer APR intro period for balance transfers.
  • Bottom line: If you’re on the hunt for a simple flat-rate unlimited rewards card to earn cash rewards on day-to-day purchases that just so happens to have favorable balance transfer terms, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card should be at the top of your list.

Read the full Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Best for automatically maximizing rewards: Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

  • Best features: This cash back card from Citi comes with a lengthy 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases (0% for 15 months, then variable 16.24% to 26.24%). Cardholders also earn rewards: 5% cash back on up to $500 in purchases in your top spending category each billing cycle, then 1%, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Biggest drawbacks: The big drawback here is the balance transfer fee, which is 5% of the transferred balance (or $5, whichever is greater). That’s on the higher side for a balance transfer, which is typically 3%.
  • Alternatives: While the Citi Custom Cash Card comes with a $500 spending cap in a single category each billing cycle, the Citi Double Cash Card lets you earn 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay off those purchases) with no spending caps or select categories.
  • Bottom line: This card is an option if you have a mid-level amount of card debt for a balance transfer but want to earn rewards once you’re finished paying down your debt. For higher debts, the 5% balance transfer fee can be hefty.

Related: Is the Citi Custom Cash card worth it?

Read our Citi Custom Cash Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.

Best for Preferred Rewards members: Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

  • Best features: Not only does this card feature an attractive 0% intro APR on purchases as well as balance transfers made within the first 60 days for 15 billing cycles (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable APR), it also offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases. Cardmembers can also earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Biggest drawbacks: If you carry a balance past the introductory 15 billing cycles, the interest you owe could be high, particularly if the higher APR applies. Depending on your spending habits, a card that offers a high rewards rate on specific bonus categories may be a better option.
  • Alternatives: The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card offers the same welcome bonus and a similar intro APR period as Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards, but the Active Cash also comes with 2% cash rewards on purchases compared to just 1.5% on the Unlimited Cash Rewards card.
  • Bottom line: Thanks to its competitive intro APR offer and the unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards, this is an excellent option for anyone hoping to tackle an existing card debt or make a large purchase.

Read the full Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.


What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card is an excellent tool to help you manage debt and save on interest. With iInflation is wreaking havoc on Americans’ budgets, many of them are turning to credit cards to help ease the sting of higher prices. According to a recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, credit card balances are $71 Billion higher than during this same time last year. Not only are Americans carrying more debt than ever before, but the average account holder’s interest rate is approaching record highs at 17.13%. These interest charges often cost hundreds of dollars for those who are already experiencing financial hardships. In these situations, a balance transfer card can help.

A balance transfer allows you to move your credit card debt from older cards to a new card, often with a lower interest rate. The main benefits of a balance transfer credit card include:

  • Avoiding interest. This is a great tool for temporarily avoiding interest charges since many offer a 0% intro offer of six to 18 months. By paying no interest for a period of time, you’ll save money on interest expenses, potentially pay your balance off over a shorter period of time and pay less interest overall.
  • Consolidating debt. If you are looking to simplify payments by combining them into one bill, a balance transfer card is an option. This can help make it easier for you to pay on time because you only have one bill to worry about.

What is a 0% balance transfer?

If you’re ready to break out of credit card debt, there are several different strategies to get you there, and one of the most effective methods is to move an existing balance to another credit card with a balance transfer. Some credit card issuers offer special promotional interest rates on balance transfers to entice new customers.

The 0% introductory APR balance transfer is the most effective of all balance transfer promotions because it means you won’t pay any interest on the transferred amount until after the promotional APR period, which can range from 6 to 21 months. Balance transfer offers usually require good to excellent credit, so you must take your credit score and approval odds into account.

Although balance transfers are primarily used for credit card debt, each issuer has its own rules for what types of debt you can transfer. Depending on the issuer, your balance transfer options could include credit card balances, auto loans, personal loans, and student loans.

One thing to consider is that most issuers will not let you transfer a balance from an existing account with that same issuer. Also, some issuers allow you to transfer multiple debts to one balance transfer card as a form of debt consolidation.

How to do a balance transfer

If you’re considering a balance transfer card, you may be wondering how much work goes into moving the balance from one card to another. Overall, the balance transfer process is relatively simple on the end of the cardholder. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Check the rules. Pay attention to the rules, because some cards require the transfer to be made within a certain time period. Many issuers include this information in their marketing materials, but you can verify the details by referencing a card’s Schumer Box, a standardized disclosure form that helps people compare card offers easily, or in a card’s full terms and conditions. Other important information to note includes the balance transfer fee you’ll be paying (usually 3% or 5% of the transferred balance) and how long you have to pay the transferred debt back before the regular APR kicks in.
  2. Collect your information. Next, gather the account details for the card that has the debt – referred to as the “transfer from” card – including the account number and card balance. You’ll need to provide this information to the issuer of your new balance transfer credit card.
  3. Contact customer service. After receiving your balance transfer card, call customer service and inform them that you want to transfer a balance onto your new card. Some issuers will give you a balance transfer check but most issuers allow you to request a balance transfer online. You can alternately try logging into your new account to get the process started. Once you provide the new issuer with the necessary information, they will reach out to the old card company and move the requested amount onto your new card. (Technically, the new issuer pays off the balance on your old card and charges that amount, plus any applicable balance transfer fee, to your new card.)
  4. Keep paying the minimum. We recommend that you pay the minimum amount on your old card until the transfer closes to avoid late fees and other penalties. Balance transfers typically take between five days to six weeks to complete.
  5. Monitor your accounts. That way, you’ll know that the balance transfer has officially been completed. (The balance will show up as paid on your old card and appear as an outstanding balance on your new card.)
  6. Carefully consider if (and when) you should close your old card. Doing so before you have a chance to pay down the balance on the new card could negatively affect your credit utilization rate and, subsequently, your credit score. In fact, closing the card in general might ding your credit, given scoring models look favorably on people using less than 20% of their available credit (in total and on individual cards). Having said that, if that available credit is going to entice you to overspend, you may, in fact, be best served by canceling the old account.

Note: The balance transfer completion process varies slightly from issuer to issuer. We’ve put together the resources below to provide more details on how each major credit card company conducts them.

How long do balance transfers take?

The time it takes to complete a balance transfer will vary by card issuer, but generally you should expect the process to run anywhere from a few days to several weeks. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, it’s a good idea to contact the issuer before initiating the transfer and confirm exactly how long the process will take to complete. If you’ve only recently opened the account, that could have an impact on your wait time.

On the lower end of the waiting scale, Capital One balance transfers can take as little as three business days, while Citi can take up to 21 days. See our comprehensive guide to balance transfer processing times by issuer.

Pros and cons of balance transfer credit cards

Pros

  • Avoid paying high interest. If you want to avoid interest rates for a period of time, a balance transfer credit card is a great way to achieve that since many of these cards offer a 0% intro APR. Keep in mind that you will pay interest on any balance you have after the offer ends (typically 6-18 months), but if you can pay off all or most of the debt before that, you can save hundreds of dollars.
  • Consolidate debt. With a balance transfer card, you can consolidate debt from multiple cards, then pay a single bill each month. You might do this for convenience or budgeting purposes. Your minimum monthly payment may also be lower for one consolidated debt than your total payments for multiple accounts.
  • Fastrack repayment. A balance transfer card’s repayment schedule and lack of interest charges means you’ll have the opportunity to get out of debt much faster than you would otherwise.
  • Improve your credit score. Once you’ve paid off your balance, you might have improved your credit score, notably by lowering your credit utilization ratio. You will also have a higher overall credit limit if you keep your original accounts open. By expanding available credit and paying down debt, you can improve your score.

Cons

  • You can lose your low or zero-interest rate if you make late payments. It’s a good idea to set up an automatic payment through your bank and schedule it a few days before your due date to be on the safe side.
  • More available credit can make it easy to keep incurring debt. To avoid racking up more debt, track all of your spending for a month. Then make a budget that includes room for fun and room for emergencies. Do the same with your credit card spending, and check your spending every week to make sure you are on track.
  • When the offer ends, your interest rate goes up. If you might not be able to pay your balance off before the card’s introductory period ends, look for cards with longer offers, which can be up to 18 months. That gives you a little more time to tackle that balance before the interest charges begin. You’ll likely have to forgo the shiny object of rewards – paying down debt should be your first priority.
  • Balance transfer fees can be steep. Most balance transfer cards have a balance transfer fee of up to 3% to 5% of the transfer. If you can opt out of a balance transfer card and just pay down the debt quickly, you may be better off.

How to choose a balance transfer credit card

  • What’s your credit score? Many balance transfer cards have high credit requirements. If your credit score needs work, consider other ways to pay off your debt.
  • How long is the 0% intro APR period? Not all balance transfer credit cards are created equal. Standout balance transfer cards offer introductory APR periods as long as 18 to 21 months. Always check the APR period first when deciding on a balance transfer credit card.
  • Do you need low-interest or zero-interest? Although it seems obvious at first that you should take the card with 0% interest, that’s not always the case. A card with an ongoing low-interest rate might be best for you if you think you’ll need longer than the  introductory period to completely pay off your debt.
  • What are the fees? Ideally your balance transfer card will let you complete your balance transfer without charging you fees. If you’re unable to secure a balance transfer credit card that doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee, be prepared to pay a fee of around 3% – 5% of the amount transferred.

Should I get a balance transfer credit card?

Who should get a balance transfer credit card

  • The debt manager. If you’re currently carrying high-interest credit card debt on one (or more) credit cards, you’re a prime candidate for a balance transfer credit card. A top-notch offer can save you money on interest and help you pay down existing balances faster, given they won’t accrue interest during the introductory period.
  • The credit-builder. Paying off existing debt can improve your credit utilization rate, a core component of credit scores. Your credit utilization rate is how much debt you’re carrying vs. how much credit has been extended to you. The best practice is to keep this rate below 30%. Unsure of your credit utilization ratio? Use our credit utilization calculator to know where you stand.

Who should skip a balance transfer credit card

  • The rewards seeker. While some balance transfer credit cards do offer rewards, you can generally find more lucrative programs attached to traditional or premium rewards credit cards.
  • The luxury traveler. Balance transfer credit cards rarely, if ever, offer ancillary travel perks, like complimentary lounge access, a free checked bag or travel insurance. If you’re in the market for those perks, consider a travel, airline or hotel credit card.
  • The frequent revolver. If you tend to consistently carry at least some purchases over from month to month, you might be best served by a low-interest credit card, which offers a competitive APR for the long term vs. simply during an introductory period.

Alternatives to a balance transfer

While a balance transfer can be a great tool, it’s also a new commitment. If you’re looking for breathing room rather than another card, here are some options:

  • Pay more than the minimum. It may not always be feasible to pay off your entire balance at the end of the month. However, it’s always better to pay off more as that will contribute to incurring less debt per month as well as avoiding any penalty. This is an easy way to lower your debt quicker.
  • Consider getting a personal loan. If you need to pay off credit card debt swiftly – especially if you’re carrying high balances on numerous credit cards – a personal loan may be better than a balance transfer card. By combining multiple debts into a single payment, you could pay less interest over time and save money on fees.
  • Ask for a lower interest rate. If you’ve been making on-time payments and maintained a good credit score, you may be able to ask for a lower interest rate from your issuer. There is, of course, a chance they can deny you, but you can then ask how you can improve should you want to try again later down the line.
  • Get a credit building card. If you’re concerned that your credit is not good enough to make a case, then looking at a credit building card could be a good option for you. Be aware that the interest can be high on these cards, so weigh your options carefully.
  • Use a payoff payment calculator. Often, looking at the amount owed can be overwhelming for people. Instead of looking at the larger number, it can be beneficial to break it down into smaller, more manageable payments using a payoff calculator. Play around with the numbers until you find one you are comfortable with as a starting point.

How to make the most of your balance transfer credit card

A balance transfer card can provide a fresh start for someone in debt, but only when used properly. Once you find a card that’s right for you, it’s all about sticking to the plan and keeping your spending in check. The following guidelines will help you get on track and stay the course:

  • Look into high-limit credit cards. It’s possible to get approved for a card, but at a lower credit limit than the balance you’re looking to transfer. To increase the odds of qualifying for a credit limit that covers the full amount you’re trying to pay off, consider applying for these balance transfer cards that could offer you a high limit based on your creditworthiness.
  • Avoid new, unplanned charges. While you might have a balance transfer credit card that offers rewards on spending or a 0% intro APR on new purchases for a limited time, make sure you have a plan before making new charges. That way, you don’t go into further debt. Focus instead on paying the transferred balance off before the card’s regular APR applies.
  • Set up auto-payments to ensure you don’t miss a monthly bill. This step is particularly important with balance transfer credit cards, given some issuers stipulate that their promotional terms are contingent on an account being in good standing (meaning a late payment can cost you that 0% introductory APR even if the promotional period hasn’t ended). Plus, late fees and penalty APRs will only add to your debt load.
  • Pay off your balance before the promotional APR period ends. Many balance transfer credit cards charge average-to-high go-to interest rates, depending on your credit, so if you don’t pay balances back by the time the 0% introductory APR expires, you’ll risk foregoing any savings and getting caught in a cycle of debt. Draft a payment plan and consider redoing your budget to ensure you’re out of the red by the deadline.
  • Look into low interest offers. If you anticipate that you might still have a balance after the 0% intro APR offer ends, take a look at balance transfer cards with low interest rates. Keep in mind that the better your credit, the lower your regular APR will likely be on a card. Here are a couple we like: Alliant Visa® Platinum Credit Card (regular APR is 10.24% to 22.24% variable) and BankAmericard® credit card (regular APR is 15.24% to 25.24% variable).

How we picked the best credit cards for balance transfers

In our research methodology: We analyzed 1,002 credit cards to identify the top balance transfer credit cards on the market. While a large number of factors contribute to the quality of a credit card, the following were our most important criteria in evaluating and choosing the best balance transfer cards:

  • Length of 0% intro APR period: The longest balance transfer offers on the market currently offer 0% intro APR periods on balance transfers that last between 15 to 18 months. Historically, there have been offers that tout a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for close to two years.
  • Balance transfer fee: Most credit cards charge a balance transfer fee between 3% to 5% of the transferred balance (minimums apply). A few cards have historically skipped the charge or waived the charge if a balance is transferred within a certain time period.
  • Regular APR after the intro period: There’s always a chance that cardholders won’t pay their balance off by the time the 0% introductory APR expires. As such, we considered whether the go-to APR on that balance was reasonable, compared to the current industry average. (See the current average credit card interest rates.)
  • Annual fee: The best balance transfer credit cards minimize the cost of a credit card so cardholders have more money to put toward their balance. As such, we more heavily weighted credit cards with no annual fee.

Our full criteria include 0% intro APR period for balance transfers, balance transfer fees, regular APR, savings period, current APR assumption, monthly payment assumption, other rates and fees, customer service, credit needed, security, ease of application, potential rewards and miscellaneous benefits.

More information on balance transfer credit cards

For more information on all things balance transfer cards, continue reading content from our credit card experts:


Frequently asked questions about balance transfer credit cards

Ask the Experts: When does it make sense to consider doing a balance transfer?

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