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Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of December 2022

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

December 1, 2022

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

BEST GO-TO BALANCE TRANSFERS
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Our rating:3.9 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

$452
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
16.74% - 27.49% variable
BEST FOR WELCOME BONUS
Discover it® Balance Transfer
Our rating:5.0 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.

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
15.74% - 26.74% variable
BEST FOR 0% INTRO APR + LOW FEES
Citi Simplicity® Card
Our rating:4.3 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

$449
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
17.74% - 28.49% (Variable)
BEST FOR VERSATILE REWARDS
Citi® Double 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.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$354
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
17.74% - 27.74% (Variable)
BEST FOR FINANCING PURCHASES
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Our rating:4.3 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

$406
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 billing cycles
Regular balance transfer APR
18.24% - 28.24% variable
BEST FOR LOW INTEREST
BankAmericard® credit card
Our rating:5.0 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.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$510
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 21 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 21 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Regular balance transfer APR
15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
BEST FOR GROCERY, GAS AND ONLINE REWARDS
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Our rating:4.9 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
17.74% - 28.74% variable
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.

Estimated balance transfer savings

$229
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
18.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74% Variable APR
BEST FOR AUTOMATICALLY MAXIMIZING REWARDS
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
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

$243
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
17.74% - 27.74% variable
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

$410
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
17.74% - 27.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
BEST FOR EVERYDAY SPENDING
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
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.

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

$410
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
17.74% - 27.74% 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® CardLongest 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 a three-month extension if you make on-time monthly minimum payments during the intro period16.74% to 28.74% variable4.6 /5
Citi® Diamond Preferred® CardGo-to balance transfers0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers made within the first 4 months of account opening16.74% to 27.49% variable3.9 / 5
Discover it® Balance TransferWelcome bonus0% intro APR for 18 months15.74% to 26.74% variable5.0 / 5
Citi Simplicity® Card0% intro APR + low fees0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers completed within the first four months of account opening17.74% to 28.49% variable4.3 / 5
Citi® Double Cash CardVersatile rewards0% intro APR for 18 months17.74% to 27.74% variable4.1 / 5
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum CardFinancing purchases0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made within the first 60 days18.24% to 28.24% variable4.3 /5
BankAmericard® credit cardLow interest0% intro APR for 21 billing cycles, for transfers made in first 60 days15.74% to 25.74% variable5.0 / 5
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressGrocery, gas and online rewards0% intro APR for 15 months17.74% to 28.74% variable4.9 /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 days18.74%, 23.74% or 28.74% variable4.1 / 5
Citi Custom Cash℠ CardAutomatically maximizing rewards0% intro APR for 15 months17.74% to 27.74% variable4.5 / 5
Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit cardPreferred Rewards members0% intro APR on transfers made within the first 60 days for 18 billing cycles17.74% to 27.74% variable3.8 / 5
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit cardEveryday spending0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles, for transfers made within first 60 days17.74% to 27.74% variable4.4 / 5

best balance transfer credit cards of 2022

Editor’s picks: Best 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, giving you ample time to pay off a larger purchase or tackle debt from other high-interest credit cards with a qualifying balance transfer. With no rewards program, it’s an ideal card for those who want to focus solely on paying off a balance.
  • Biggest drawbacks: You only have 120 days from account opening to take advantage of a 3% balance transfer fee (min $5). The 5% balance transfer fee after the promotional period (min $5) is hefty compared to others and could tack on a significant amount to your balance transfer.
  • 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 welcome 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 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 16.74%-27.49% variable after that). Read more on how finance expert Emily Sherman uses the Citi Diamond Preferred card. Also, for a limited time earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • 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 additional perks to enjoy, like access to Citi Entertainment®, Citi Flex Plan and the Citi Easy Deals program.
  • Alternatives: The BankAmericard offers a longer intro APR period on new purchases.
  • 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 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 (15.74% to 26.74% 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 0% intro APR + low fees: Citi Simplicity® Card

  • Best features: This card offers one of the longest intro APR offers around for balance transfers. You can get 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers completed within the first four months of account opening (then 17.74% to 28.49% variable APR thereafter). And since it doesn’t charge a late fee or penalty APR, it’s far more forgiving than most credit cards if you forget to make a payment.
  • Biggest drawbacks: This card does not have a rewards program, leaving very little incentive to use it for purchases once the intro APR period has expired. If you do use the card for a balance transfer, there is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) completed within the first four months of account opening. A balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies if completed after 4 months of account opening.
  • Alternatives: The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is another alternative worth considering. It also charges a 3% or $5 fee (whichever is greater), so if you think you may take longer than four months to complete your balance transfer this may be a better alternative.
  • Bottom line: If you need to transfer high-interest credit card debt with a low-fee card, this may be a smart option due to the longer intro APR period for balance transfers.

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 17.74% to 27.74% 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: There’s no 0% introductory APR offer for purchases. So you will have interest charged on your purchases unless you pay your balance in full each month, including your balance transfer debt if it is not paid before the intro APR offer ends. That can slow down your progress to paying off your debt. There’s also a penalty APR of 29.99% if you make a late payment, which could burden you with heavy interest charges and leave you stuck in a cycle of debt.
  • Alternatives: The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has a generous intro APR offer for purchases and balance transfers. It also 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 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 financing purchases: U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

  • Best features: Along with its intro APR offers and relatively low balance transfer fee, this card gives you a chance to save on interest via its ExtendPay Plan, which lets you split eligible large purchases into fixed monthly installments and pay them off over time for a fixed monthly fee. Depending on how much time you need to pay off purchases, that could cost a lot less than paying at the card’s regular APR.
  • Biggest drawbacks: Other than its intro APR offer and ExtendPay Plan features, this card doesn’t offer much in terms of ongoing value. You won’t earn rewards on purchases or enjoy any especially valuable perks.
  • Alternatives: If you need at least 18 months to pay off debt or new purchases, but want a card that offers better long-term value, consider the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card. It offers 18 billing cycles of 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers made in the first 60 days (after which a 17.74% to 27.74% variable APR applies) as well as 1.5% cash back rate on all purchases (or even more if you’re a qualifying Preferred Rewards member).
  • Bottom line: If you need time to pay off debt and could use additional payment flexibility even after your intro APR period ends, this card is definitely worth a look.

Related: U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card benefits guide

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

Best for low interest: BankAmericard® credit card

  • Best features: The BankAmericard allows you 21 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 15.74% to 25.74% 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 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 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 18.74%, 23.74% or 28.74% 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 the rewards rate, 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 17.74% to 27.74%). 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 18 billing cycles (then 17.74% to 27.74% 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 18 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 slightly shorter 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.

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

  • Best features: In addition to the lengthy intro APR period, cardholders earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases. There’s also a sign-up bonus worth $200 online cash rewards if you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening. This is ideal for those who want to use a credit card for everyday purchases while taking advantage of a long balance transfer introductory period.
  • 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.


What is a balance transfer credit card?

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.

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.
  • Improving your credit score. After paying off your balance, you may find yourself with a higher credit score due to lowering your credit utilization ratio. Plus, you also expand your overall credit limit if you keep your original account open.

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.

See related:How does a balance transfer work?

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 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 with a 0% intro APR offer is a great way to achieve that. Keep in mind that you will pay interest on any balance you have after the offer ends, 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.
  • Fast track repayment. A balance transfer card’s repayment schedule and lack of interest charges mean 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. Give yourself as much time as possible to pay off your debt. Once the intro APR offer ends, interest will begin to add on to any remaining balance.
  • 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.

Is a balance transfer fee worth paying?

Balance transfer fees are often worth the cost. Moving your balance over to a lower-interest account can save you significant money over time by reducing the amount you pay toward interest, which may offset or exceed what you pay as a one-time balance transfer fee.

For example, the average American carries $5,525 in credit card debt. Here’s how a balance transfer card could help you pay that debt off even with a 3% fee of $165.75:

BalanceAPRMinimum paymentTotal interest or feesPayoff time
Current Card$5,52520%$350$940.2319 months
18-month Balance transfer card$5,5250%$350$165.7517 months

Based on the above scenario, after paying a 3% balance transfer fee, you could save over $750 using a balance transfer card to pay off your debt ($940.23 – $165.75 = $774.48).

In order to see if a balance transfer is your best option, use our balance transfer calculator to push the numbers. As you do, you’ll see top offers from Bankrate partners and an estimate of how much you could save if you take advantage of a balance transfer offer.

How to choose a balance transfer credit card

If you’re trying to pay down your credit card debt by transferring a balance, choosing the right balance transfer credit card may seem difficult — but if you ask the right questions before making a decision, you’ll have a much better idea of which one is right for you.

Does your credit score qualify?

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 pay off your debt completely.

What are the fees?

Watch out for fees that can make it harder to pay off your debt. While some balance transfer cards don’t charge a fee, most charge between 3% and 5% of the balance being moved. To make the most of your balance transfer, pay on time to avoid late fees and pay off the full balance before your promotional APR rate expires to avoid interest charges. If you’re unable to do so, make sure that the regular APR on the new account is lower, and scan the fine print to be sure a penalty APR isn’t involved.

Do you want a card with long-term value?

Balance transfer offers often provide excellent short-term value, but some cards may lack additional features. If you’re looking for a card you can use long after an intro APR period ends, look for one that offers rewards, especially if you intend to consistently pay your balances in full each month. Or a low-interest credit card with an intro APR offer and a low ongoing interest rate can be a good fit if you tend to carry a balance.

Should I get a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card can help you pay off debt faster, but it is not suited for everyone. Some cardholders will benefit from transferring their balances to a balance transfer credit card, while others may realize that another method of debt repayment makes more sense — as it all depends on your specific situation.

Who should get a balance transfer credit card

  • The debt manager. If you’re currently carrying 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 interest won’t accrue 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. If you’re unsure of your credit utilization ratio, you can use our credit utilization calculator to know where you stand.
  • The strategist. If you’re a financial planner, then it’s important to find a card that will help meet your long-term financial goals. Balance transfer cards typically have low interest rates and can help with this goal because they allow you to pay off high-interest debt without sacrificing your finances later on down the road.

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. One option we like is the BankAmericard® credit card (regular APR is 15.74% to 25.74% 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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