Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards


Best Overall Balance Transfer Credit Card

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

 

Rated 5/5 stars by our editorial team

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4.3/5.0 from 2,284 Offer Ratings
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  • Intro and Regular APR 0% for 15 Months, then 14.49%-25.49% Variable
  • Rates & Fees $0 annual fee & $0 balance transfer fee.
  • Rewards Rate 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases.
  • Annual Fee $0
  • Credit Needed Excellent/Good
  • Card Brand American Express

Highlights

  • Click "APPLY NOW" to apply online or call 866-901-8258
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%.
  • $0 balance transfer fee. Balance transfers must be requested within 60 days from account opening.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases.
  • Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

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The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is our top pick for a balance transfer card since it offers a combination of perks unmatched by competitors. You have a good length of time to pay off your balance with an intro 0% for 15 Months on balance transfers. There is also an intro 0% for 15 Months on purchases, great if you also want to take time to pay off new purchases. After the intro period ends, the regular purchase APR is pretty standard at 14.49%-25.49% Variable. An exceptional feature of this card is the $0 balance transfer fee.. This saves you the typical 3% BT fee that most other cards charge. What makes this card even more unique is the rewards program where you can earn 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases. The ability to earn rewards in addition to both intro periods sets this card apart from competitors and makes it an overall standout card. Take note that this card requires excellent/good credit.

Best Balance Transfer Cards by Category


Longest balance transfer period

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer offers the longest 0% intro period of any card in our database with an intro 0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*, and 14.49% - 24.49%* (Variable) APR afterwards. This card is relatively basic with no rewards program, however, this allows you to focus on repaying your debt instead of accruing more. Cardholders can take advantage of potential money saving features like Citi® Price Rewind or exclusive entertainment access with Citi® Private Pass®. As mentioned above, you need excellent/good credit to qualify. Overall, if you’re looking for one of the longest time periods to pay off your debt, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer has you covered.

Best BT card if you plan to carry a balance after the intro period

Let’s face it. You can’t always pay off your balance within the intro APR period. In that case, it’s best to sign up for a card that has the best terms for ongoing balances.

The Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer offers the second longest balance transfer intro period on this list at intro 0% for 18 Months. The regular purchase APR of 13.49% - 24.49% Variable is one of the lower ranges among balance transfer cards. This provides an increased benefit for people who may continue to carry a balance once the intro period ends. In addition, there is a cash back program where you can 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. 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases. As stated above, this card requires excellent/good credit.

Best balance transfer card with rewards

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has a great intro 0%* for 18 months on Balance Transfers* and average ongoing APR at 14.99% - 24.99%* (Variable). While the balance transfer offer is one of the highest, this card offers more than an opportunity to pay off debt with a cash back program. The cash back program allows you to earn 1% cash back when you buy and 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases — compared to balance transfer cards without rewards programs. Just don’t let the prospect of cash back lead you to overspending — remember your goal is to pay off debt, not get into more. Keep in mind excellent, good credit is needed to qualify.

Best no-fee balance transfer credit card

Chase Slate® is one of two cards on this list with an Intro $0 on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that: Either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater. This feature adds value to the average intro period of 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months and allows you to save on the 3% fee most other cards charge. After the intro period, the APR range is typical at 16.49% - 25.24% Variable. Overall, this card doesn’t come with any unique perks beyond the $0 intro fee — which alone can save you a good amount of money. As shown above, excellent/good credit is needed to qualify.

Other Cards to Consider

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is just that, a simple card that has “no late fees, no penalty rate and no annual fee — ever.” This is a great balance transfer card for people with excellent/good credit looking for the longest 0% intro period in our database at intro 0%* for 18 months on Balance Transfers*. You will be charged an ongoing APR of 15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable) once the intro period ends. When used with responsible credit behavior, this card can help you eliminate debt.

The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card offers a long intro 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. After the intro period ends, the regular purchase APR is 16.65%-26.49% (Variable) — one of the highest on this list. That makes it all the more reason to pay off your debt before the intro period is over. Besides the intro period, this card doesn’t offer much additional benefit since there are no rewards. As mentioned above, excellent credit is required.

How Balance Transfer Credit Cards Work


If you find yourself overwhelmed by credit card debt and unable to make a dent in it due to high interest rates, a balance transfer can be a great way to eliminate debt.

To complete a balance transfer, the first step is finding a good card offer. The best balance transfer credit cards let you transfer balances from other cards and offer 0% intro APR periods. Those intro APR periods typically last 12 or 15 months, with some cards going as long as 21 months. The majority of balance transfer cards have a balance transfer fee that is typically 2-4% of the amount you transfer. So, transferring $3,000 to a card with a 3% balance transfer fee will incur a $90 fee.

Once you’ve settled on the best card for you, then apply and see if you’re approved. Some cards may allow you to check if you prequalify, which only performs a soft pull so your credit score won’t get dinged. It’s not an official approval — you might still be denied — but if you pass the mark, you’ll at least be able to apply knowing you have a decent shot at getting approved.

Next, you’ll follow the card issuer’s instructions on how to transfer balances from existing credit cards to your new card. Essentially, you’re using the new card to pay off your old cards, leaving you with one card and one balance.

From the time you complete the balance transfer, the clock on your intro APR period usually starts ticking. For example, your card term may allow the intro APR to apply only to funds transferred within 30 to 90 days. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to transfer your balance as soon as possible so you don’t miss out and read the terms and conditions.

Remember that you likely can’t transfer balances between cards of the same issuer; so you can’t transfer a balance from one Discover card to another Discover card. Also, the majority of balance transfer cards require excellent or good credit, so those with bad or fair credit will have low approval chances. Check out our post to see alternative options for people with bad or fair credit looking to transfer a balance.

Methodology


Regarding the methodology for our card selections, we began by weighing balance transfer fee and 0% intro period the most because these are arguably the two most important factors for a balance transfer. The longer the 0% intro period and the lower the balance transfer fee, the better the card was rated. But, these aren’t the only factors we considered.

Minimum APR, maximum APR, and average APR were weighed the second most since they are key factors to consider if you continue to carry a balance post intro period. The last two terms we analyzed were annual fee and rewards. We rated these lowest as we considered these two terms not as important since the goal of a balance transfer is to get out of debt, and not earn rewards. Also, none of these cards have an annual fee, so they all received the same score.

Lastly, for each card we averaged the scores for all of the proceeding terms to come up with these rankings.

Reviews
" " CompareCards says issuers are providing such generous deals, they're virtually irresistible for those willing to switch.

" " Those who always pay their balances in full and on time will usually come out ahead.

" " The offers on the credit card landscape are constantly changing which is great news for consumers.

" " In the future, the companies that will thrive are those able to give customers exactly what they want, the way they want it, when they want it.

" " CompareCards was one of three sites that met all the criteria.

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