If you're shopping for the best balance transfer credit cards, you're about to make a smart move. Debt is a tremendous problem in the US and credit card debt specifically, plagues many households. According to numbers released by the Federal Reserve at the end of 2015, the average American adult is in credit card debt to the tune of $4717.
The problem with credit card debt is that it often grows faster than it can be paid off. While $4717 may seem manageable, each month interest and fees are added to that principle amount making it incredibly difficult to climb the growing mountain of debt. I've put together a list of the top credit cards for balance transfers in order to make your climb a little easier.
In This Guide
Best Credit Cards for Balance Transfers: Our Top Picks
Chase Slate Review
- No introductory balance transfer fees
- A long introductory period
- No penalty APR
- No annual fee
- Free monthly FICO scores
- No cash back rewards
- Cannot transfer balances from other Chase products
The Chase Slate card is the ideal option if you have high balances to transfer and pay off. The reason for this lies in the 15-month 0% APR period. This introductory rate applies to both new purchases and balance transfers, making it an even more appealing choice. After the introductory period expires the Chase Slate APR is 13.24% to 23.24%.
While there is no cash back rewards program with this card, it does provide other attractive benefits. There's no annual fee, and your APR won't go up if you make a late payment.
Keep in mind that you'll need to transfer your balances within 60 days of opening your account, or else you'll be charged at the regular APR, plus a 5% fee. In addition, you cannot transfer balances from other Chase cards.
The Chase Slate card ranks number one in my balance transfer credit cards comparison due to the long period of time it affords you to pay back significant amounts free of interest charges.
- Sign-up bonus: There is no balance transfer fee on transfers made with the first 60 days of account opening.
- Key fees: After the first 60 days, balance transfers cost $5 or 5%, whichever is higher. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%, and foreign transactions carry a 3% fee. Late payments run between $15 and $37, and returned payments cost up to $37.
- Introductory APR: You get 0% APR for the first 15 billing cycles on both purchases and balance transfers.
- APR: After the introductory APR expires your rate will be between 13.24% and 23.24% on both new purchases and balance transfers. The cash advance APR is 25.24%.
- Other perks: You'll also enjoy no penalty APR, free monthly FICO scores, an embedded chip, purchase and price protection, as well as fraud monitoring and protection.
- 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months
- Good cash back rewards program
- Excellent customer service
- Free FICO scores
- Cash back matching for first year
- Discover not universally accepted
- 0% APR for new purchases only for first six months
The Discover it® card offers 0% introductory rates which means you do not have to pay interest on balance transfers for a generous 18 months. There is no annual fee, and Discover is well known for its outstanding customer service.
Another appealing feature of this offer is the cash back rewards program, which is fairly atypical of the top balance transfer credit cards. You get 5% cash back up to $1500 in qualifying purchases through affilates like Amazon.com, Sam's Club, and more. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. On top of this, Discover offers a Cashback Match program, which means they will match your rewards earnings dollar for dollar at the end of your first year.
Although Discover cards are not accepted everywhere, the Discover it® 18-month balance transfer offer is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a long introductory period. The rates are not only good, the card itself has an excellent cash back rewards program.
The fact that you get so long to catch up on paying off balance transfers - free of interest charges - combined with the rewards program earn this card a slot in my top 5 best credit card balance transfer offers.
- Sign-up bonus: Discover will match your cash back earned dollar-for-dollar at the end of your first year of membership.
- Key fees: Balance transfers cost 3% of the amount transferred, and cash advances are charged a $10 or 5% fee, whichever is greater. Your first late payment fee is waived, however second and subsequent late payments will cost up to $37. Returned payments are $37 as well.
- Introductory APR: There are two introductory interest rate tiers - 0% for six months on purchases, and 0% on balance transfers for 18 months. Transfers must post by February 10, 2017.
- APR: At the end of the intro period, the APR for both purchases and balance transfers ranges between 11.24% and 23.24%. Cash advances carry an APR of 25.24%.
- Other Perks: There is no penalty APR, and you get $0 fraud liability. You also get access to Freeze it® which allows you to switch your card on and off from the mobile app, just in case you misplace it. You get free FICO scores, and there are no overlimit fees or foreign transaction fees.
Citi Simplicity Card
- 21-month introductory period
- No late fees or penalty interest
- 0% APR during the introductory period for both transferred balances and new purchases
- Set your own due date option
- No annual fee
- No rewards program
The Citi Simplicity Card features the longest 0% APR in