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Let's face it, credit card interest rates can be outrageously high! Too many consumers are stuck in a seemingly endless cycle with credit card payments that just won't go away. There is nothing more frustrating than paying your credit card bills each month but only watching your balance drop by a portion of what you paid. Luckily, balance transfer credit cards offer a way out of this vicious cycle. By offering 0% introductory APR for a number of months, these helpful credit cards allow every penny of your monthly payments to go towards the principal of your balance during the introductory period. Some don't even charge a fee for the balance transfer.
Balance Transfer Battle: Chase Slate®* vs. BankAmericard® Credit Card
When it comes to balance transfer credit cards, the two most important things to consider are the interest rates and the fees. In order save money with a balance transfer, you'll need 0% intro APR – the longer the better! But if your card charges a high annual fee or balance transfer fee, that can eat into your savings.
There are only a few credit cards that offer the winning combination of no annual fee, no intro balance transfer fee, and a lengthy 0% intro APR. Here's two of our favorites:
The Chase Slate® offers Intro $0 on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that: Either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater..
The BankAmericard® Credit Card offers a 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days. There is also a $0 annual fee and $0 intro balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. after that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10). The ongoing APR for this card is a competitive 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR.
Our Analysis: Which is the Best No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card?
The Chase Slate® and the BankAmericard® Credit Card look very similar at first glance. While they do have a lot in common, we've concluded the BankAmericard® Credit Card is the better balance transfer card because it has more favorable ongoing rates.
If you are only looking for a credit card to do a one-time, fee free balance transfer with a nice intro APR period, then these two cards are virtually the same. The ongoing APR of 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR is a little more favorable than the 15.99% - 24.74% Variable APR you receive with the Chase Slate®. Therefore, if you may carry a balance after the intro period, the BankAmericard® Credit Card is a better option that can save you money in interest payments with its’ lower APR range.
More Credit Cards with No Balance Transfer Fee
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card: With this card, the balance transfer fee is $0 and the annual fee is $0. But the fact that it only has an APR of 0% intro on purchases for 12 months means that it's not a great balance transfer credit card. What makes the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card shine is it's travel rewards program; cardholders earn an unlimited 1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.You can also receive a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening, equal to $200 in travel. The ongoing APR for balance transfers and purchases is 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable) depending on your creditworthiness.
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card: This card would be a good option for consumers who only have average/fair credit. It offers a generous 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. The two downsides of this card are that there is an annual fee of $39, and there is no intro APR. Nonetheless, it's still a good offer for consumers who can't get approved for cards like the Chase Slate® because their credit is too low. But be aware that any balance you transfer will be charged an APR of 24.99% (Variable) with NO grace period.
Balance Transfer Credit Cards with Transfer Fees
Sometimes transferring your balance to a card that offers a 0% intro period but has an annual fee makes sense. The transfer fee is often outweighed by the money you save on interest, and if you choose one of the cards below, you will benefit from a longer intro period than the cards that waive the transfer fee. This gives you more time to pay off your debt and can save you more money in the long run (so long as you pay your debt in full before the intro period is over).
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases: This card offers the longest 0% intro period in our database at 0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*. This is a fantastic length of time for you to pay off your debt before the intro period ends. The ongoing APR is 13.99% - 23.99%* (Variable), and there is an annual fee of $0*. The downside of this card is the balance transfer fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum., but this can be outweighed by the money you save during the intro period.
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer: This card offers an above average intro period at 0% for 18 Months on balance transfers. There is also a cash back program for people who want to maximize rewards in bonus categories. You’ll earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.. The downside of this card is the 3% balance transfer fee, although that can potentially be offset by your savings from the transfer. The annual fee is $0, and the APR range is slightly lower than other cards at 11.99% - 23.99% Variable.
The Bottom Line
It may seem counterintuitive to open another credit card if you're trying to get out of debt. But when you crunch the numbers, you will likely find that balance transfer credit cards with 0% intro APR are really an excellent tool to get out of high interest rates.