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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 principle of your balance during the introductory period.
But as you would expect, there is often a catch. Most balance transfer credit cards charge a balance transfer fee which is typically 3% to 5% of the amount that you transfer. For example, if you make a balance transfer of $5,000, you would end up with a balance of $5,150 on your new card after the 3% balance transfer fee.
Paying the balance transfer fee is usually a smart move when you consider the money you save in the long run, but wouldn't it be nice if you don't have to pay any fee at all?
Balance Transfer Battle: Chase Slate® vs. Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
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 you're card charges a high annual fee or balance transfer fee, that can eat into your savings.
There are only two credit cards that offer the winning combination of no annual fee, no intro balance transfer fee, and a lengthy 0% intro APR. Let's check them out.
Chase Slate®: This credit card has long been the gold-standard for fee-free balance transfers. There is no annual fee on the Chase Slate® and it also offers an intro APR of 0% for 15 months and no fee for balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening. After the first 60 days the balance transfer fee becomes either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater. The ongoing APR after the 15 month intro period is 15.74% - 24.49% Variable
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®: Just like the Chase Slate®, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® offers 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers made within the first 45 days of account opening. There is also no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, and no foreign transaction fees. The ongoing APR for this card is a competitive 13.74% Variable.
Our Analysis: Which is the Best No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card?
The Chase Slate® and the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® look very similar at first glance. While they do have a lot in common, we've concluded the Barlaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is the better balance transfer card because it has more favoriable ongoing rates and fees.
If you are only looking for a credit card to do a one-time, fee free balance transfer with 0% intro APR for 15 months, then these two cards are virtually exactly the same. But unlike the Chase Slate®, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® offers no balance transfer fee as well as no foreign transaction fees for as long as you hold the card. Furthermore, the ongoing APR of 13.74% Variable is a little more favorable than the 15.74% - 24.49% Variable rate you receive with the Chase Slate®.
One big advantage that the Chase Slate® does have over the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is that it is availble to consumers whose credit may be considered "good" but not quite "excellent". Although the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® may have slightly better balance transfer features, the Chase Slate® will likely be a better option for folks whose credit isn't quite perfect.
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 12.74% - 22.74% (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.
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.
With cards like the Chase Slate® and Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® offering incredible deals with no intro balance transfer fee, there's never been a better time to pay off your debt once and for all.