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The holiday season is typically the most expensive time of year from the average consumer. Between paying for gifts, traveling to see family, and buying festive decorations, it’s all too easy to rack up an ugly credit card balance around the holidays. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re carrying your holiday credit card debt into the New Year, you could end up paying a fortune in interest if your credit card has a steep interest rate.
The good news is that there are a number of credit that essentially offer a way to refinance your debt by transferring the balance to a new card. Since credit card issuers are always competing for a spot in your wallet, they’ll often offer 0% introductory APR, and even waive transfer fees, to consumers who want to open a new card to escape a high interest rate. Here are the best credit cards for paying off your holiday debt with a balance transfer:
Chase Slate® - No intro balance transfer fee for transfers made within the first 60 days
There’s no credit card more specifically designed for balance transfers than the Chase Slate®. This card comes with 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers and new purchases, plus, there is no annual fee and no intro balance transfer fee for transfers made within the first 60 days.
This is the only credit card that offers the winning combination of a lengthy no interest period, no annual fee, and no intro balance transfer fee, making it the perfect choice for paying off holiday debt.
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever – Longest Intro APR with 0% for 21 months.
If you’re looking for the longest possible intro APR, then the Citi Simplicity® Card may be your best choice. This card offers 0% intro APR for the first 21 months on balance transfers and purchases. There is no annual fee with this card, and it also stands out because there are no late fees and no penalty rate.
The one down side is that there’s a 3% fee ($5 minimum) on balance transfers. However, having almost two years to pay off your balance totally interest free could easily save you more money than you will pay in the 3% fee.
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer: – Earn cash back while you pay off your balance
This credit card offers 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers and 0% APR for 6 months on purchases. There is no annual fee, but there is a 3% balance transfer fee, just like the Citi Simplicity. But if you’re looking for a card that will continue to reward you even after the intro APR is up, then the Discover it® Card may be your best choice.
This card comes with a generous cash back program that offers 5% cash back in certain rotating categories each quarter and 1% back on all other purchases. The 5% categories usually include like gas, restaurants, and Amazon.com, and more. To make it even sweeter for new cardholders, Discover will double all of the cash back you earn the first year!
Here is a side-by-side comparison of these balance transfer credit cards so you can see which one best fits your needs:
The Bottom Line
There will never be a “one size fits all” credit card for balance transfers. Each card has its unique pros and cons, so it’s important to do a thorough comparison to make sure you choose the right balance transfer card. Whichever card you choose, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars on your holiday debt by transferring the balance to a low interest credit card. Be sure to check out our balance transfer credit cards page to see even more options!