Balance Transfer Credit Cards

A move to a balance transfer credit card can help you manage interest and pay down debt faster. Our savings estimates make it easy to find the best balance transfer credit cards, by identifying cards that save you money on interest. Compare great balance transfer offers below.

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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.

Citi® Double Cash Card

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

18
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

14.49% - 24.49%
variable

Estimated Savings

$435.72
?

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., with the Intro Balance Transfer Period at the Intro Balance Transfer APR rate, plus any remaining months at the Regular APR.

Citi® Double Cash Card

APPLY BY PHONE

or call Citi at

888-252-3753

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

18
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

14.49% - 24.49%
variable

Estimated Savings

$435.72

Card Details

  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.49% - 24.49% based on your creditworthiness
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 14.49% - 24.49%* (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 18 months*
Balance Transfer Fee 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Presale Tickets
View More Details

at Citi's
secure site

or call Citi at

888-252-3753
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

N/A

Intro Balance Transfer Period

N/A

Regular Balance Transfer APR

N/A

Estimated Savings

N/A

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

APPLY BY PHONE

or call American Express at

877-915-6432 See Rates & fees

Intro Balance Transfer APR

N/A

Intro Balance Transfer Period

N/A

Regular Balance Transfer APR

N/A

Estimated Savings

N/A

Card Details

  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR See Rates and Fees for See Rates and Fees
Regular APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Presale Tickets
View More Details

at American Express's
secure site

or call American Express at

877-915-6432 See Rates & fees
Terms Apply
Citi Simplicity® Card

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

21
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

14.99% - 24.99%
variable

Estimated Savings

$512.31
?

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., with the Intro Balance Transfer Period at the Intro Balance Transfer APR rate, plus any remaining months at the Regular APR.

Citi Simplicity® Card

APPLY BY PHONE

or call Citi at

877-328-9712

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

21
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

14.99% - 24.99%
variable

Estimated Savings

$512.31

Card Details

  • The Only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee...Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.99% - 24.99% based on your creditworthiness*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day - just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*
Regular APR 14.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*
Balance Transfer Fee 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Features

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

at Citi's
secure site

or call Citi at

877-328-9712
Chase Slate®

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

15
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

15.99% - 24.74%
variable

Estimated Savings

$420.22
?

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.

Chase Slate®

(5,692 Reviews)

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

15
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

15.99% - 24.74%
variable

Estimated Savings

$420.22

Card Details

  • $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard for free
  • No Penalty APR - Paying late won't raise your interest rate (APR). All other account pricing and terms apply
  • $0 Annual Fee

Recommended Credit Score

740 850
Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Regular APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Balance Transfer Fee $0 Intro Fee on Transfers made within 60 days of Account Opening.

Features

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

at Chase's
secure site

Discover it®

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

18
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

11.99% - 23.99%
variable

Estimated Savings

$447.28
?

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.

Discover it®

(25,774 Reviews)

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

18
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

11.99% - 23.99%
variable

Estimated Savings

$447.28

Card Details

  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • New! Receive Free Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 6 months
Regular APR 11.99% - 23.99% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 18 months
Balance Transfer Fee 3%

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Free Credit Score
Price Protection
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
View More Details

at Discover's
secure site

See Rates & fees
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

21
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

13.99% - 23.99%
variable

Estimated Savings

$515.76
?

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., with the Intro Balance Transfer Period at the Intro Balance Transfer APR rate, plus any remaining months at the Regular APR.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

APPLY BY PHONE

or call Citi at

877-342-7930

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

21
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

13.99% - 23.99%
variable

Estimated Savings

$515.76

Card Details

  • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99% based upon your creditworthiness*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer
  • Citi® Price Rewind searches for lower prices online for 60 days for your registered purchases: you can get back up to $500 per item and $2,500 a year*
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions
  • No annual fee*
  • Free access to FICO® Scores*

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*
Regular APR 13.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0%* for 21 months*
Balance Transfer Fee 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Features

EMV
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
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Presale Tickets
View More Details

at Citi's
secure site

or call Citi at

877-342-7930
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

15
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

15.99% - 24.74%
variable

Estimated Savings

$420.22
?

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.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

(8,797 Reviews)

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

15
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

15.99% - 24.74%
variable

Estimated Savings

$420.22

Card Details

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Regular APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature®
View More Details

at Chase's
secure site

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
billing cycles

Regular Balance Transfer APR

15.24% - 24.24%
variable

Estimated Savings

$233.92
?

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.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

12
billing cycles

Regular Balance Transfer APR

15.24% - 24.24%
variable

Estimated Savings

$233.92

Card Details

  • Special Cash Back Offer: 5.5% cash back for the first year on your first $2,000 in eligible purchases each quarter on the combined two categories you choose. Thereafter, earn 5%.
  • 2.5% cash back for the first year on your choice of one everyday category (i.e. gas or groceries). Thereafter, earn 2%.
  • 1.5% cash back for the first year on all other eligible net purchases. Thereafter, earn 1%
  • New Cardmember bonus: $100 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days you have the card
  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 15.24% - 24.24%
  • Unlimited cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Great Offer for Customers of U.S. Bank, a 2017 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, March 2017

Recommended Credit Score

740 850
Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 15.24% - 24.24%* (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0%* intro on BTs for 12 months
Balance Transfer Fee 3%

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature®
View More Details

at U.S. Bank's
secure site

Chase Freedom®

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

15
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

15.99% - 24.74%
variable

Estimated Savings

$420.22
?

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.

Chase Freedom®

(13,392 Reviews)

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

15
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

15.99% - 24.74%
variable

Estimated Savings

$420.22

Card Details

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants and drugstores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Regular APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature®
View More Details

at Chase's
secure site

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

APPLY NOW

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

9
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

13.99% - 23.99%
variable

Estimated Savings

$131.11
?

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.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Intro Balance Transfer APR

0%

Intro Balance Transfer Period

9
months

Regular Balance Transfer APR

13.99% - 23.99%
variable

Estimated Savings

$131.11

Card Details

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your Quicksilver card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% intro on purchases for 9 months
Regular APR 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% intro on balance transfers for 9 months
Balance Transfer Fee 3%

Features

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

at Capital One'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: December 15, 2017

Our Top Balance Transfer Credit Cards for December 2017

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 Citi Simplicity Card, which offers 0% APR for 21 months on balance transfers for an estimated $512 in savings.

  • Citi® Double Cash Card - $435.72 in estimated savings
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
  • Citi Simplicity® Card - $512.31 in estimated savings
  • Chase Slate® - $420.22 in estimated savings
  • Discover it® - $447.28 in estimated savings
  • Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card - $515.76 in estimated savings
  • Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card - $248.33 in estimated savings
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited® - $420.22 in estimated savings
  • U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card - $238.73 in estimated savings
  • Chase Freedom® - $420.22 in estimated 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 Citi Simplicity has an introductory 0% APR of 21 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 December 2017

Card0% Intro BT APR PeriodBalance Transfer FeeOur Savings EstimateRegular APR
Citi® Double Cash Card18 months3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.$435.7214.49% - 24.49% Variable
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express15 months3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.N/ASee Rates & Fees
Citi Simplicity® Card21 months3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.$512.3114.99% - 24.99% Variable
Chase Slate®15 months5.00%$420.2215.99% - 24.74% Variable
Discover it®18 months3.00%$447.2811.99% - 23.99% Variable
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card21 months3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.$515.7613.99% - 23.99% Variable
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card12 billing cycles3.00%$248.3313.99% - 23.99% Variable
Chase Freedom Unlimited®15 months5.00%$420.2215.99% - 24.74% Variable
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card12 billing cycles3.00%$238.7315.24% - 24.24% Variable
Chase Freedom®15 months5.00%$420.2215.99% - 24.74% Variable

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