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If you have a credit card balance with a variable APR of about 15% that you are trying to pay off month-over-month, you’re losing out on money. It’s kind of like paying rent to your landlord; you will never see a return on that money and it’s basically like you’re flushing money down the toilet. So, consumers search for a balance transfer credit card in order to consolidate debt, minimize interest, and pay off a debt in the cheapest way possible. It doesn’t make sense to transfer a debt unless you get the 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers.
Lately though, I’ve noticed some credit cards dropping or waiving their balance transfer fee. It’s a way to stay competitive when unable to offer 0% APR on balance transfers by still providing some sort of a savings on that type of transaction. Let’s consider the following scenarios for someone trying to pay off a balance of $4,000 over 15 months to a card with an intro balance transfer APR of 0% and one with no balance transfer fee:
- If you transfer a balance of $4,000 to a card offering 0% APR for 15 months on balance transfers, but charging you a 3% transfer fee, your total cost will come out to $4,120.
- If you transfer a balance of $4,000 to a card waiving the balance transfer fee, but has balance transfer APR of 15% -average variable amount, which will also depend on your creditworthiness- your total cost will come out to $4,411.59.
Clearly, the winner here would be to get a credit card with an intro APR of 0% on balance transfers, but cards like those usually require excellent credit. What about for those that have less-than-perfect credit? You may not save as much, but saving money is saving money. Let’s take a look at the best balance transfer cards currently waiving the balance transfer fee.
Best Fee-Free Balance Transfer Credit Cards From Our Partners
Chase Slate®: This credit card has been waiving the balance transfer fee for a while now, and I’d like to think they are the leader in this fee-waiving trend. What sets Chase Slate apart from the rest of the group though, is that they also have an introductory balance transfer APR of 0% for 15 months. The balance transfer has to be made in the first 60 days of card ownership in order to benefit from no fees on the transfer. The winning combination of no intro balance transfer fee, no annual fee, and a lengthy intro APR has lead many people to consider the Chase Slate the best balance transfer credit card.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card: This card comes with an intro APR on purchases for 12 months along with no annual fee. The rewards rate is set at 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, everyday, which is a little higher than most credit cards that offer 1 mile or 1% per dollar spent on everyday, non-bonus category purchases. The balance transfer APR is 12.24%-22.24% variable, depending on your creditworthiness, and you need excellent/good credit to qualify.
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card: This card would be a good option for consumers who only have average/fair credit. It offers 0% APR on balance transfers for 9 months and a generous 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everyday. The two downsides of this card are that there is an annual fee of $39, and after the intro period is up, the ongoing APR is pretty high at 23.24% (Variable). 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.
Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard®: One of the most unique credit cards on the market -focused on a sort of crowd-sourcing idea- allows users to have a voice in decisions with the card and the benefits it offers. Card holders have access to P&L statements to aid in cost-saving decisions. You get an unbeatable 8% APR all year long, pay no annual fee, and although there's no balance transfer fee, the APR on balance transfers is a low 8.25%.
Other Capital One credit cards that come with no balance transfer fee include:
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
- Capital One® Platinum Credit Card
- Sony Card from Capital One
- Playstation Card from Capital One
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*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.