BACK

Hero Images / Getty Images

Products

Balance transfer credit cards with no transfer fee

A card with no balance transfer fee is often the better deal

Summary

Long 0 percent introductory APRs are tempting offers, but save you less money than no balance transfer fee.

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

For cardholders ready to break out of credit card debt, there are several different strategies to get you there. One of these is to take advantage of a balance transfer offer – a credit card designed to give you more time to pay off your debt without accruing steep interest.

With so many great balance transfer cards out there, it can be hard to decide which is best for you. Of course, you should consider your credit score and approval odds, as well as any other perks the card may have. You’ll also want to take a look at how many months you’ll get with a 0 percent APR – and determine if that’s enough time to pay down your debt.

There’s one other thing you should always keep an eye on when choosing a balance transfer card – the transfer fee. Typically between 3 and 5 percent of your balance, balance transfer fees can be very costly if you have significant debt to pay down. They can be worth it – especially if you’ll save more on interest in the long run – but it can be a tough price to pay.

Luckily, there are several 0 percent APR credit cards that do not charge a balance transfer fee. These credit cards might not have the longest introductory offers, but often they can save you even more.

See related: 9 things you should know about balance transfer cards

0 percent APR credit cards with no balance transfer fee

Most cards do charge a balance transfer fee, so your options are unfortunately limited. Nevertheless, there are several great offers for balance transfer cards that save you the fee.

CardTransfer fee0% APR intro periodRegular APR
Chase Slate
  • $0 for first 60 days
  • $5 or 5% thereafter (whichever is greater)
15 months16.99-25.74% (variable)
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card$015 months (can only transfer balance in first 60 days)14.49-25.49% (variable)
BankAmericard® credit card
  • $0 for first 60 days*
  • 3% or $10 thereafter (whichever is greater)
15 billing cycles14.99-24.99% (variable)
Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card$012 months7.99-18% (variable)
*Note, the intro balance transfer fee may only be available on the BankAmericard credit card when you apply directly through the issuer’s site. If you apply through a site like CreditCards.com, you might not be eligible. Additionally, the intro APR period may vary between sites. For rates available on CreditCards.com, read the full review here.

Information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.

While all of these offers can save you the upfront cost of a balance transfer fee, the introductory periods are not the best on the market.

Comparing balance transfer offers: Why no fee is a better value

If you’ve been paying hefty interest charges on a large balance for a while, it is natural to hope for some reprieve when you choose a balance transfer card. While it can be tempting to jump at an 18-month or longer interest-free offer, it is almost always a better idea to go with a no-fee card – even if you’ll have less time with a 0 percent APR.

Since balance transfer fees typically hover between 3 and 5 percent, you’ll usually save more money with a no-fee card than you’d pay in interest with a shorter introductory period.

To understand just how this works out, consider the Citi Simplicity® Card. While the Citi Simplicity has a regular variable APR of 16.24 to 26.24 percent, it has one of the longest introductory APRs you’ll find on a balance transfer card – 0 percent for 21 months. That’s six more interest-free months than the Chase Slate. However, the offer comes with a 5 percent balance transfer fee ($5 minimum). Here’s a quick look at what you could end up paying for the Citi Simplicity card’s transfer fee versus the Chase Slate card’s extra six months of interest.

Cost of transferring and paying down a balance over 21 months

Citi Simplicity® Card Chase Slate (with a 25.74% APR)
$500 balance with $25 monthly payment$25 balance transfer fee$9 in interest
$2,000 balance with $98 monthly payment$100 balance transfer fee$39 in interest
$4,000 balance with $195 monthly payment$200 balance transfer fee$81 in interest
$8,000 balance with $400 monthly payment$400 balance transfer fee$139 in interest

Bottom line

If paying down debt is a top priority, a balance transfer card with no transfer fee is probably your best option. You’ll almost always save enough to make up for shorter introductory APR periods.

What’s up next?

In Products

How to upgrade an American Express card

American Express has a credit or charge card for every kind of spender – but puts strict limitations on which you can upgrade or downgrade to.

Published: September 12, 2019

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: November 13th, 2019
Business
15.14%
Airline
16.97%
Cash Back
17.16%
Reward
17.01%
Student
17.23%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.