Best Balance Transfer Cards
Credit card debt is very common. Once you get into credit card debt, it can be hard to get out of it because of high-interest charges. If you’re someone who has a lot of debt, it may be worthwhile for you to open a new balance transfer card so you can transfer your debt balance and pay your debt off faster.
Most balance transfer cards offer a 0% introductory APR when you open a new credit card. This makes it easier to pay off debt without worrying about paying additional fees.
There are so many card offers out there, and it can be overwhelming trying to find the right card for you. If you’re looking for a balance transfer card, look no further. Here are the best balance transfer cards.
- Overview of the best balance transfer cards
- Summary of the best balance transfer cards
- The bottom line
Overview of the best balance transfer cards
|Card Issuer||Best for|
|Bank of America Cash Back Rewards Credit Card||Cash back rewards|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||Travel rewards|
|Citi Simplicity Card||Lengthy time frame for balance transfer offer + a lot of debt|
|Discover it Chrome||Cash back rewards|
|Wells Fargo Platinum Card||Lengthy low-rate transfer|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card||High points bonus|
Best balance transfer cards
Bank of America Cash Back Rewards Credit Card
The Bank of America Cash Back Rewards Credit Card has an introductory APR of 0% for the first 12 billing cycles. This offer applies to purchases and qualifying balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening. The variable APR will be 13.99% to 23.99% after the introductory APR period, depending on creditworthiness. This card's balance transfer fee is 3% per transferred balance, with a minimum fee of $10. There's no annual fee to use this card.
This credit card offers an intro APR for balance transfers and functions as a rewards card with perks. For starters, cardholders can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account ownership. This card also gives you the chance to earn cash back in a variety of spending categories.
You can earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice—gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvements and furnishings. You can earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. The 3% and 2% earning potential caps out at $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter. All other purchases will earn 1% cash back. You can change your 3% earning category each month.
Cash rewards don't expire as long as you maintain an account. You can redeem your rewards in several ways, including statement credits, deposit the money to a Bank of America checking or savings account, or request a check.
While 12 billing cycles isn't the most lengthy APR offer for balance transfers, this may be a good card for you if you want to transfer a credit card balance while also taking advantage of a credit card rewards program.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a card with no annual fee. New cardholders can take advantage of an intro APR of 0% for the first 12 months, and the introductory APR is valid for purchases and balance transfers. After that, the variable APR will be 14.99% to 23.74%, depending on creditworthiness.
This card does charge balance transfer fees. During the first 60 days of account opening, each balance transfer fee will be $5 or 3% of each transfer amount, whichever is greater. After that, the fee will be $5 or 5% of each transfer amount, whichever is greater.
You can also take advantage of a $200 welcome bonus after spending $500 or more during the first three months of account ownership. In addition to a bonus offer, this card earns rewards. Cardmembers can earn at the following rates:
- 5% on travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
- 5% on Lyft ride purchases through March 2022
- 3% on dining purchases made at restaurants (includes delivery and takeout)
- 3% on drug store purchases
- 1.5% on all other purchases
Cash back rewards don't expire, and there's no minimum to redeem rewards. For a no-fee card, this credit card offers good earning potential. You can redeem rewards for cash, gift cards, travel, or use rewards to make purchases.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited also comes with DoorDash perks. Cardmembers can get access to a three-month complimentary DashPass subscription. This service offers unlimited deliveries for a $0 fee on eligible orders over $12. Cardmembers will also be enrolled in DashPass at 50% off for nine months.
Citi Simplicity Card
The Citi Simplicity Card is a good balance transfer card option. This card offers new cardholders a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months from the date of card opening. Since some other credit cards only provide this kind of intro for 12 months, the lengthy 18-month promotional period is notable. This card also has no annual fee.
To take advantage of this offer, balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening. After that time, standard variable APR will be applied to unpaid introductory balances, new purchases, and new balance transfers. Cardmembers will need to pay a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater.
What else is there to like about this balance transfer card? You can choose your own payment date, depending on what works for your budget and schedule. This card also functions as a contactless chip-enabled card for easy tap-and-go payments.
While this card provides a lengthy balance transfer APR offer, it's essential to know that this card doesn't offer a sign-up bonus or the ability to earn rewards. Because of this, it's not a good card option for someone who wants to earn credit card rewards. Instead, it's a good option for anyone who needs to transfer credit card debt to a new card to pay it off without paying high-interest fees.
Discover it Chrome
Discover it Chrome is another card to consider. This card has a 0% balance transfer offer and 0% APR offer for new cardmembers. For the first 14 months of account ownership, you can take advantage of 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers. The APR will be changed from 11.99% to 22.99% after this time, depending on creditworthiness.
This card also offers an intro balance transfer fee of 3% until June 10, 2021. After that date, the balance transfer fee will be 5% of the amount of each transfer. This credit card has no annual fee. A balance transfer must also occur by June 10, 2021, to take advantage of the promotional 0% APR.
If you want a good balance transfer card that also earns rewards, this is it. Discover it Chrome offers cardholders the ability to earn 2% cash back on restaurant and gas station purchases. The earning potential is capped out at $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter. All other purchases will earn an unlimited 1% cash back automatically.
This card also offers a Cashback Match after the first year. You'll be eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match on all cash back earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn $100 cash back throughout the year, you'll earn $200 cash back at the end of your first year. This is an excellent way to maximize your rewards potential.
You can redeem cash rewards at any time. Cardmembers can redeem for credit back to their account, transfer cash back to their bank account, donate to charity, exchange for gift cards, or use their cash back to shop with select merchants.
Wells Fargo Platinum Card
The Wells Fargo Platinum Card is a no-fee card with an introductory offer of 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers for up to 18 months from account opening. The APR for purchases and balance transfers will be 16.49% to 24.49% after the introductory period, depending on creditworthiness.
Balance transfers must be made within 120 days from account opening. There are balance transfer fees when using this card. During the first 120 days of account ownership, balance transfer fees are $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer fee, whichever is greater. After that time, each balance transfer will incur a fee of 5%, with a minimum of $5.
While this card has a long introductory APR period of balance transfers, this card doesn't offer cardmembers the chance to earn rewards. This card does, however, provide cell phone protection. When using your Wells Fargo Platinum card to pay your cell phone bill, you'll get up to $600 in protection against cell phone damage and theft. You'll need to pay a $25 deductible when making a claim.
This card comes with access to tools that can make it easier to manage your money and credit. The My Money Map tool can make it easier to budget and track spending. You'll also get access to your FICO credit score through your online account. This can help you keep track of your credit progress and monitor factors like your total debt, credit card utilization ratio to credit limit, and available credit.
Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card is another balance transfer card option. This balance transfer card has a low-interest offer of 0% APR for up to 12 months and is available for both purchases and balance transfers. When that interest-free period ends, the interest rate will be 14.49% to 24.49% based on creditworthiness.
Balance transfer requests must occur within 120 days from account opening. This card charges balance transfer fees. For the first 120 days of account ownership, the fee is $5 or 3% of each transfer amount, whichever is greater. After that, the fee is 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum fee of $5.
This card also offers a sign-up bonus of 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 within the first three months of account ownership. These points have a value of $200 in cash redemption. Cardholders can earn rewards with this card. You can earn 3 points on dining and takeout orders, gas stations, rideshare services, transit fees, flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, and eligible streaming services. All other purchases will earn 1 point. Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, and cash redemption.
This card has no annual fee. There are also no foreign transaction fees when using the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card. This balance transfer card also offers cell phone protection. You must use your card to pay your cell phone bill, and you'll be eligible for up to $600 per claim for damage to or theft of your cell phone. You must pay a deductible of $25 per claim, and there is a limit of two claims per 12 month period.
As with most credit cards, this card has penalty fees and late fees. You'll pay a $40 fee for a late payment and a $40 fee for a returned check or returned payment. Paying your bill on time can help you avoid unwanted fees and penalty APR fees.
Summary of the best balance transfer cards
Here’s a quick look at the important details of each card on this list. This summary can make it easier for you to choose the right student card for your needs:
|Card Issuer||Intro APR||Balance Transfer Fees||Balance Transfer Period for intro APR|
|Bank of America Cash Back Rewards Credit Card||0% for 12 billing cycles||3% per transferred balance with a minimum fee of $10||60 days|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||0% for 12 months||During the first 60 days: $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, After that, $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater||60 days60 days|
|Citi Simplicity Card||0% for 18 months||$5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater||4 months|
|Discover it Chrome||0% for 12 months||3% of the amount of the transfer until June 10, 2021, After that date, the balance transfer fee will be 5% of the amount of each transfer||By June 10, 2021|
|Wells Fargo Platinum Card||0% for 18 months||During the first 120 days of account ownership, balance transfer fees are $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer fee, whichever is greater, After that time period, each balance transfer will incur a fee of 5%, with a minimum fee of $5||120 days|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card||0% for 12 months||During the first 120 days of account ownership, balance transfer fees are $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer fee, whichever is greater, After that time period, each balance transfer will incur a fee of 5%, with a minimum fee of $5||120 days|
How does a balance transfer card work?
A balance transfer works by transferring the debt from one credit card to a new one. The goal is to transfer debt from a high-interest card to one with lower interest or no interest at all. This can make it possible for you to pay off your debt faster because more of your payments will go towards the principal. It’s a good option if you feel stuck with credit card debt on a high-interest credit card.
What fees are associated with a balance transfer?
Most balance transfer cards charge balance transfer fees. Typically, this is a minimum of $5 per transfer. Usually, card issuers will charge 3% to 5% of the total balance transfer amount. The fee is then added to your balance on your new balance transfer card.
Will I save money with a balance transfer?
In many cases, you can save money by doing a balance transfer. This is especially true if you have a lot of debt on other cards. Leaving the debt on those cards will mean you’ll continue to pay high-interest rates. If you get a balance transfer card with a 0% intro APR offer and pay off all the debt within the promo timeline, you can save money. Do consider balance transfer fees when calculating whether you can save money.
Why you should use balance transfer cards?
You should use a balance transfer card if you feel stuck in credit card debt. If you have one or more cards with high-interest rates, and are struggling to pay off your debt, this may be a good option for you. Do be aware of timelines for introductory APR rates and timelines for when you’ll need to initiate the balance transfer. You’ll also want to be mindful of balance transfer fees, so you know how much extra you’ll need to pay.
The bottom line
Balance transfer cards can offer a fantastic opportunity to pay down credit card debt quickly. If you’re unsure how to get ahead because you have a credit card with high-interest rates and a high credit card balance, look for balance transfer cards with introductory 0% APR offers. This way, you can get ahead of your debt faster.