Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Trying to manage debt? Try a balance transfer card. This card can help you pay down debt faster by letting you move an existing balance to a new card with lower interest. Compare balance transfer offers from our partners and see how much each card could help you save.

See offers from our partners below.

Estimated savings is based on on a total credit card transfer balance of $2,500, current APR of 15.00%, and a monthly repayment of $56.25 for the first 24 months.

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount, assumes you make fixed monthly payments on time, and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

15
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

14.24%, 18.24%
or 24.24%
variable

Estimated Savings

$434.10
?

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

15
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

14.24%, 18.24%
or 24.24%
variable

Estimated Savings

$434.10

Card Details

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases.
  • Earn a $150 cash rewards intro bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers, then a 14.24%, 18.24% or 24.24% variable APR.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
  • Terms Apply.

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR Variable APR of 14.24%, 18.24% or 24.24%
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% Intro APR for 15 months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Assistance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
View More Details

at HSBC's
secure site

See Rates & fees
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

14.24% - 26.24%
variable

Estimated Savings

$163.14
?

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

14.24% - 26.24%
variable

Estimated Savings

$163.14

Card Details

  • Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 3X points at U.S. gas stations, 2X points at U.S. restaurants, 1X point on other purchases
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, cash redemption options or merchandise through Go Far® Rewards
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
  • Earn an annual relationship bonus of 10% on non-bonus rewards points if you maintain a qualifying Wells Fargo account
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 14.24%-26.24% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 12 months
Regular APR 14.24%-26.24% (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months
Balance Transfer Fee 3% Intro for 12 months, then 5%

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Cellphone Insurance
View More Details

at Wells Fargo's
secure site

Susan G. Komen® Cash Rewards Visa® credit card from Bank of America

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
billing cycles for BTs made in the first 60 days

Regular Balance Transfer APR

14.24% - 24.24%
Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Estimated Savings

$243.54
?

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos.

Susan G. Komen® Cash Rewards Visa® credit card from Bank of America

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
billing cycles for BTs made in the first 60 days

Regular Balance Transfer APR

14.24% - 24.24%
Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Estimated Savings

$243.54

Card Details

  • $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • From June 2015 through December 2020, Bank of America is guaranteeing to Susan G. Komen® $3 million in conjunction with its Pink Ribbon Banking credit card and checking program.
  • Susan G. Komen® has received more than $8 million from Bank of America from this program since 2009.
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter.
  • No annual fee
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers.

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Regular APR 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days
Balance Transfer Fee 3% of the amount of each transaction or $10, whichever is greater.

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature®
FICO Score
View More Details

at Bank of America's
secure site

MLB™ Cash Rewards Mastercard® from Bank of America

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
billing cycles for BTs made in the first 60 days

Regular Balance Transfer APR

14.24% - 24.24%
Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Estimated Savings

$243.54
?

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos.

MLB™ Cash Rewards Mastercard® from Bank of America

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
billing cycles for BTs made in the first 60 days

Regular Balance Transfer APR

14.24% - 24.24%
Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Estimated Savings

$243.54

Card Details

  • $150 cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • All 30 team cards are available, customized with your favorite team's colors and logo
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
  • No annual fee
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 14.24% - 24.24% variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Regular APR 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days.
Balance Transfer Fee 3% of the amount of each transaction or $10, whichever is greater.

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Price Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
FICO Score
View More Details

at Bank of America's
secure site

Disabled American Veterans USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

12.15% - 27.15%
variable

Estimated Savings

$326.79
?

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos.

Disabled American Veterans USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

12.15% - 27.15%
variable

Estimated Savings

$326.79

Card Details

  • With this card, you can help DAV empower veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity.
  • Get 2,500 Bonus Points after your first purchase.
  • Start earning 1 point for every $1 spent for all your every day purchases.
  • Redeem points for 1% cash back or use them to purchase travel, gift cards and merchandise. You can also redeem your points and donate to your favorite military affiliate group.
  • Redeem your rewards points anytime on usaa.com or from your mobile phone — with no redemption fee.
  • Enjoy no cap or expiration date on points.
  • Enjoy no foreign transaction fees when you travel outside of the United States
  • Rates and Fees

Recommended Credit Score

580 740
Fair to Good

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 12.15% to 27.15% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months
Balance Transfer Fee Up to 3%*

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature®
View More Details

at USAA's
secure site

Paralyzed Veterans of America USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

12.15% - 27.15%
variable

Estimated Savings

$326.79
?

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos.

Paralyzed Veterans of America USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

12.15% - 27.15%
variable

Estimated Savings

$326.79

Card Details

  • With this card, you can help Paralyzed Veterans of America fulfill their mission: For more than 70 years, PVA has been on a mission to change lives and build brighter futures for our seriously injured heroes.
  • Get 2,500 Bonus Points after your first purchase.
  • Start earning 1 point for every $1 spent for all your every day purchases.
  • Redeem points for 1% cash back or use them to purchase travel, gift cards and merchandise. You can also redeem your points and donate to your favorite military affiliate group.
  • Redeem your rewards points anytime on usaa.com or from your mobile phone - with no redemption fee.
  • Enjoy no cap or expiration date on points.
  • Enjoy no foreign transaction fees when you travel outside of the United States
  • Rates and Fees

Recommended Credit Score

580 740
Fair to Good

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 12.15% to 27.15% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months
Balance Transfer Fee Up to 3%*

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature®
View More Details

at USAA's
secure site

American Veterans USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

12.15% - 27.15%
variable

Estimated Savings

$326.79
?

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos.

American Veterans USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

12.15% - 27.15%
variable

Estimated Savings

$326.79

Card Details

  • With this card, you can help American Veterans assist veterans and their families.
  • Get 2,500 Bonus Points after your first purchase.
  • Start earning 1 point for every $1 spent for all your every day purchases.
  • Redeem points for 1% cash back or use them to purchase travel, gift cards and merchandise. You can also redeem your points and donate to your favorite military affiliate group.
  • Redeem your rewards points anytime on usaa.com or from your mobile phone - with no redemption fee.
  • Enjoy no cap or expiration date on points.
  • Enjoy no foreign transaction fees when you travel outside of the United States
  • Rates and Fees

Recommended Credit Score

580 740
Fair to Good

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 12.15% to 27.15% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months
Balance Transfer Fee Up to 3%*

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature®
View More Details

at USAA's
secure site

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

17.24%, 21.24%
or 24.24%
variable

Estimated Savings

$214.54
?

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

17.24%, 21.24%
or 24.24%
variable

Estimated Savings

$214.54

Card Details

  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.

Recommended Credit Score

740 850
Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $89 - Waived first year
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)
Balance Transfer Fee 3%, Minimum $5

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
MasterCard World Elite
View More Details

at Barclaycard's
secure site

USO USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

12.15% - 27.15%
variable

Estimated Savings

$326.79
?

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos.

USO USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

12.15% - 27.15%
variable

Estimated Savings

$326.79

Card Details

  • With this card, you can help the USO support men and women in the U.S. military and their families - from the moment they join, through their deployments and as they transition back to their communities.
  • Get 2,500 Bonus Points after your first purchase.
  • Start earning 1 point for every $1 spent for all your every day purchases.
  • Redeem points for 1% cash back or use them to purchase travel, gift cards and merchandise. You can also redeem your points and donate to your favorite military affiliate group.
  • Redeem your rewards points anytime on usaa.com or from your mobile phone - with no redemption fee.
  • Enjoy no cap or expiration date on points.
  • Enjoy no foreign transaction fees when you travel outside of the United States
  • Rates and Fees

Recommended Credit Score

580 740
Fair to Good

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 12.15% to 27.15% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months
Balance Transfer Fee Up to 3%*

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature®
View More Details

at USAA's
secure site

Wounded Warrior Project USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

12.15% - 27.15%
variable

Estimated Savings

$326.79
?

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos.

Wounded Warrior Project USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

12.15% - 27.15%
variable

Estimated Savings

$326.79

Card Details

  • With this card, you can show your support for WWP and its mission to honor and empower wounded warriors.
  • Get 2,500 Bonus Points after your first purchase.
  • Start earning 1 point for every $1 spent for all your every day purchases.
  • Redeem points for 1% cash back or use them to purchase travel, gift cards and merchandise. You can also redeem your points and donate to your favorite military affiliate group.
  • Redeem your rewards points anytime on usaa.com or from your mobile phone - with no redemption fee.
  • Enjoy no cap or expiration date on points.
  • Enjoy no foreign transaction fees when you travel outside of the United States
  • Rates and Fees

Recommended Credit Score

580 740
Fair to Good

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 12.15% to 27.15% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months
Balance Transfer Fee Up to 3%*

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature®
View More Details

at USAA's
secure site

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank's website for the most current information.

Compare Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers

Updated: January 16, 2018

CreditCards.com's Top Balance Transfer Credit Cards of January 2018

Balance transfer credit cards work by transferring debt from one card to another for a lower interest rate. A great balance transfer credit card deal is the Discover it® card, which offers 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers for an estimated $445 in savings.

Balance transfers are a great way to avoid the costs of interest charges while turning over a new financial leaf. But it’s important to change your habits when you get a balance transfer card so that you don’t land in worse trouble than you already are. Here, we look at:

  • What are balance transfer credit cards?
  • How does a balance transfer credit card save you money?
  • What is a zero-balance transfer card?
  • Do balance transfers affect your credit?
  • What is a balance transfer intro period?
  • Are credit card balance transfers a good idea?
  • How to select the right balance transfer card

Learn more about how to use a balance transfer card:

What are balance transfer credit cards?

A balance transfer credit card is typically used by consumers to avoid paying a higher interest fee. The balance on Card A is transferred to Card B, which may have a low or 0% intro APR, which is sometimes used to attract new customers.

Balance transfer cards may also have a 0% introductory APR for purchases. For example, the Discover it® has an introductory 0% APR of 18 months for purchases. Each credit card specifies which balances will be paid first typically starting with the lowest–rate balances. Some balance transfer card rules specify that only transferred balances qualify for the lower rate, while new purchases collect interest at the regular, higher APR.

How does a balance transfer credit card save you money?

By transferring your credit card balance to a card with a 0% intro APR, you can save thousands of dollars by avoiding interest rates. If you have a $3,000 balance with a 17% APR and you are paying the minimum each month, it will take you 126 months to pay it back and it will cost you $2,241 in interest fees. With a 0% intro APR, you can avoid that expense, provided you pay back the balance before the limited-time offer ends.

What are zero-balance transfer cards?

A zero-balance transfer card is a product that allows you to pay back a balance without paying interest for a set amount of time. The offers vary from 6 to 21 months, which means you have that amount of time to pay the balance back without incurring interest charges. Heads up that there are penalties for not following the rules of the card, such as paying on time. Fail to obey the terms of the agreement and risk ending up with an even higher interest rate than you had before.

Do balance transfers affect your credit?

There are a few ways balance transfers can affect your credit indirectly:

  • Applying for more than one card. You can ding your credit if you apply for multiple cards – it looks as though you are desperate for credit.
  • Increasing your available credit. This improves your utilization ratio, which is the amount of credit you have available by the amount you owe. You want the ratio as close to zero as possible. So, if you owe $100 and you have $1,000 in available credit, your utilization ratio is 10%, which is considered good.
  • Failing to pay on time. This is the No. 1 hit to your credit. It can also cause the 0% offer to end immediately, reverting the interest rate back to the go-to rate, which is the interest rate of the card after the offer ends.
  • Incurring more debt. This can harm your utilization ratio as well as put you back in the mess you were originally in.

Are credit card balance transfers a good idea?

Balance transfers are a good idea if:

  • You are not making headway on your debt. If interest charges are weighing down your ability to pay off your balance, a balance transfer card can help.
  • You can pay more than the minimum. It’s best that you pay the balance before the intro offer ends so you avoid interest charges.
  • You can refrain from making new purchases. You need a fair amount of self-control so you don’t incur additional debt.
  • You have good credit. You need to check your credit, because most balance transfer cards require good or excellent credit. Good credit typically starts at 670 out of a scale of 300-850; excellent credit starts at 740.

How to select the right balance transfer credit card

  • How long does the intro rate last? Introductory offers on balance transfer cards can range from 6 months to 21 months. You’ll want to draw up a budget to see how much money you can devote to the balance transfer card each month. That can help inform you on which card to choose.
  • What is your credit score? You’ll need your credit score to know which card you are most likely to land. You can get your VantageScore for free at creditcards.com or your FICO score for about $20 each at MyFICO.com. On a scale of 300-850, you’ll want at least a 670 for good credit and at least 740 for excellent credit.
  • Does the card offer a no balance transfer fee? Most balance transfer cards require a balance transfer fee, which is usually $5-$10 or 3%-5% of the balance, whichever is greater. Occasionally, there is a card that offers no balance transfer fee, either as an ongoing feature or as a limited-time offer. This can be helpful if you have a sizeable balance that you are transferring.
  • Are there rewards or benefits that interest you? Balance transfer cards can double as rewards cards, which is advantageous if you are planning to use the card after the balance is paid off. In some cases, you can get a sign-up bonus and cash back for groceries, gas and more.
  • Is there an annual fee? Most cards with 0% intro APR on balance transfers have no annual fee, but there are exceptions. Check for this when looking at cards.

Recap: Our Top Balance Transfer Credit Cards of January 2018

Card0% Intro BT APR PeriodBalance Transfer FeeOur Savings EstimateRegular APR
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express15 months3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.N/A14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card21 months3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.$514.9014.24% - 24.24% Variable
Chase Freedom Unlimited®15 months5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum$417.1216.24% - 24.99% Variable
Discover it®18 months3.00%$445.3612.24% - 24.24% Variable
Citi® Double Cash Card18 months3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum$435.7214.74% - 24.74%* Variable
Chase Slate®15 months$0 intro fee for first 60 days. After that, 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
$417.1216.99% - 24.99% Variable
Citi Simplicity® Card18 months3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.$429.9115.24% - 25.24% Variable
Chase Freedom®15 months5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum$417.1216.24% - 24.99% Variable
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card9 months3.00%$124.4514.24% - 24.24% Variable
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card15 months3% Intro for 15 months, then 5%$261.8816.40% - 26.24% Variable

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