The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 In Credit Card Debt | CompareCards.com

The Fastest Way To Pay Off $10,000 In Credit Card Debt

Paying off a large credit card balance can feel like a never-ending battle, but what if there was a way to pay it off faster without damaging your credit? It turns out there’s a simple and effective way to do it — it only takes two steps and it leverages programs created by credit card issuers to your advantage.

The Breakdown: 

  • Press Pause on Interest Payments: Using the right balance transfer card, you can avoid paying interest for over a year or longer.
  • Pay Down Debt Faster: With zero interest to pay, you can put more of your money every month to pay down your principal balance instead of potentially wasting hundreds on interest.

Step 1: Stop Paying Interest on Your Balance Immediately

The first step is to stop hemorrhaging cash every month on interest payments. The way to do this is simple and it takes advantage of the banks’ existing marketing offers: find a card offering a long “promotional 0% APR period,” and transfer your balance to it. Many of these cards offer long periods of time (often 18+ months) where you can avoid paying interest on balances that have been transferred.

If you need more motivation, just think of it this way: on a $10,000 balance, roughly $175 of a $200 monthly payment would get vacuumed up by interest charges.* That means only $25 of your $200 payment actually goes toward reducing your existing balance, the rest vanishing into the bank’s pockets. That's just brutal.

Use our review below to find balance transfer cards offering some of the longest no interest periods on the market. Moving your balances to the card you choose will stop the bleeding, allowing you to move on to step two.

Step 2: Power Through Your Balance During The 0% Period

Once you’ve transferred your balance, you can capitalize on the lengthy 0% interest period. And you don’t have to do anything crazy — just keep making the monthly payments you would have already made, but now your balance will shrink faster. Instead of lining the bank’s pockets with huge chunks of your payment, you’ll be paying down more of your balance every month.

Going back to the $10,000 example above: if you transferred that balance onto a card that offers 15 months of 0% intro APR with no transfer fee, and maintained the same $200 monthly payment, you can see how much faster you'll be reducing your balance in the chart below.

The red line shows how much headway you'd be making with a card offering 22.16% APR, while the green line shows your progress with a card offering 0% APR for 15 months. 


The graph speaks for itself. Without the 0% intro APR card, your $200 monthly payment barely makes any headway — it's like swimming upstream. Move your balance onto one of the cards below and start making real progress toward getting rid of credit card debt.



Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

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Citi<sup>®</sup> Diamond Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card
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Citi is the leader in long 0% intro interest periods, and this card is perfect for anyone looking to get out of debt with an ultra-long 0% intro APR period.

Intro APR: You’ll get 0% for 21 months on balance transfers, then 18.24% - 28.99% (variable) APR after the intro period. If you have a big purchase, event, or trip coming up, this card comes with an amazing intro APR of 0% for 12 months on Purchases and 18.24% - 28.99% (variable) APR after the intro period.

The Perks: On top of getting one of the longest 0% intro APR periods around, you also get free access to your FICO® score online. With Citi Entertainment, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, and dining experiences.

Most Appropriate For: If you are interested in transferring a balance to a 0% intro APR card, this is our highest-rated card for anyone carrying a large balance. The extra interest-free time could allow you to make significantly more headway paying down your balance.

The Verdict: This $0 annual fee card towers above the competition with one of the longest 0% intro APR periods on balance transfers available.

Credit Required: excellent-good

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

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The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is an absolute game-changer in the rewards space with the most impressive unlimited cash back rate we’ve seen on a -annual-fee card.

Rewards Breakdown: How is this card reshaping the rewards landscape? It all starts with its headline feature: cardholders earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases with no restrictions on categories and no expiration date on rewards. Let that sink in – no other card on the market today offers such a high rate of truly unlimited cash back. And it gets even better if you’re a new cardholder: you can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months from account open.

Intro APR Offer: Press pause on interest payments with 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR after the intro period. You also get more than a year of no interest payments on purchases: 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR after that intro period is up.

Most Appropriate For: People looking to maximize their cash back benefit without having to bother with remembering categories or paying an annual fee.

The Verdict: This card’s high rate of unlimited cash back rewards makes it unique among -annual-fee cards – if you’re looking for the best unlimited cash backcard on the market, you’ve found it.

Credit Required: Good/Excellent

Citi Simplicity® Card

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Take advantage of 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers with $0 annual fee with this outstanding offer from Citi.

The Big Picture: Reshape your financial picture with this industry-leading low-interest card from Citi. For people who want to kick high-interest credit card debt to the curb, this is one of the best get-out-of-debt cards available. It’s one of the only cards with no late fees, no penalty rate, and a $0 annual fee. If you’re one to forget about a payment or two, this card is perfect for you.

Intro APR Offer: Transfer your high-interest debt to this card with an intro APR of 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers. After that, an APR of 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable) applies. Cardholders also get a generous intro APR of 0% for 12 months on Purchases, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable) APR after that.

The Verdict: Citi Simplicity® Card is one of the best balance transfer offers available. If you want a long period of time to pay down your debt, you’ve found it in this amazing offer.

Most Appropriate For: This card is our highest-rated choice for anyone carrying a large balance. The extra interest-free time will allow you to make significantly more headway in paying down debt, even factoring in the balance transfer fee. If you want to pay down credit card debt interest-free over a long period of time, this card is a near-perfect match.

Credit Required: Good/Excellent

Citi Custom Cash® Card

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Citi Custom Cash<sup>®</sup> Card
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The Citi Custom Cash® Card is one of the most innovative cards on the market, offering a rewards program that tailors itself to your spending habits.

The Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Unlike many cards that require you to go in and manually select a top cash back category, this card automatically determines the category where you’ve spent the most and applies the highest rate of cash back return, ensuring you’ll always be maximizing your earning potential.

0% Interest Offer: You’ll get 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases, then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) APR based on creditworthiness. It's the same for balance transfers: 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) APR after that intro period is up.

The Verdict: This card really surprised us with its unique and innovative rewards program, and its extensive suite of other features make it one you shouldn’t miss. And as if it couldn’t get any better, this card also sports a $0 annual fee.

Most Appropriate For: If you don’t want to bother with remembering to enable your rotating cash back categories, this is the ideal card for you.

Credit Required: Fair/Good/Excellent

Discover it® Balance Transfer

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This flagship balance transfer card from Discover pairs an incredibly long period of 0% intro APR on balance transfers with a solid ongoing rewards rate and a truly stunning welcome offer.

Intro APR Offer: This card really sets itself apart from the competition with its wildly long periods of 0% intro APR on offer for both purchases and balance transfers. If you want to transfer debt from a high-interest credit card, you can enjoy an intro APR of 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, and then 17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR after that. Even better, you can use all that extra interest-free time combined with the cash back rewards you'll earn to pay down your debt even faster! Balance transfer eligibility is determined at Discover’s discretion.

You can also enjoy added flexibility on purchases with an intro rate of 0% Intro APR for 6 months, followed by 17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR.

The Goodies: This card offers a blockbuster combination of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers with the opportunity to earn Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically. And that rewards program only gets better when you consider this card's astonishing sign-up feature: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300. This card really is the complete package. And with a $0 annual fee, there's never been a better time to apply.

Most Appropriate For: People who enjoy both cash rewards and lengthy balance transfer offers.

The Verdict: If you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card that teams up with a cash back rewards system, this card is right up your alley. It has a unique sign-up bonus system that doubles your cash back at the end of your first year. So if you’re in the market for a rewards card and would like to transfer your current balance, this card is perfect for you.

Credit Required: Good/Excellent

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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This balance transfer card comes with a generous ongoing cash back rewards rate. Use that cash back to help pay down your debt faster.

Intro APR: New cardholders get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months on balance transfers, followed by an ongoing 20.49% – 29.24% Variable APR. Plus, you get flexibility with 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, with 20.49% – 29.24% Variable APR after that.

The Rewards: The standout features that set this apart from other low-interest offers are the rich cash rewards, and enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% on all other purchases Just think how much faster you can pay down your balance with those cash back rewards. The balance transfer fee is either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days. then, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

The Verdict: This is an enticing balance transfer offer, with a long 0% intro APR period. The cash back gives you an extra boost and can help you reach your goal faster.

Most Appropriate For: Anyone who wants cash back rewards and a lengthy 0% intro APR period.

Credit Required: Good/Excellent

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

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This card from Wells Fargo rewards you for what you should already be doing – consistently paying down your credit card bill month-to-month.

Intro APR: If you’ve got a substantial expense looming on the horizon, this card has you covered with 0% intro APR 21 months from account opening , followed by an ongoing 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% Variable APR after that. You also get 0% intro APR for 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% Variable APR.

A Savings Machine: This $0 annual fee card is an exceptional savings tool because it rewards you for what you should already be doing – promptly paying down your credit card debt – and with such generous windows on interest-free time to make that happen, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars in interest fees alone.

Most Appropriate For: Anyone looking to get out of credit card debt by making consistent on-time payments each and every month.

The Verdict: We're really excited about this card from Wells Fargo because it’s laser-focused on saving you money when it comes to interest payments.

Credit Required: Good/Excellent

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

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Bank of America<sup>®</sup> Customized Cash Rewards credit card
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This card is unique because of its incredibly robust cash back program – no other card on this list gives you the flexibility to choose the perfect rewards category for you each and every month.

Intro APR: New cardholders get 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. on balance transfers, and then 18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR on balance transfers after that intro period is up.

The Rewards: Where this card really shines is in its rewards program: earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice. 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases. 1% cash back on all other purchases. and, if you’re a new cardholder, $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. And since this card has no annual fee, you can maximize your rewards without having to worry about extra costs.

The Verdict: While this card doesn’t have the longest period of 0% intro APR for balance transfers on this list, its compelling cash back rewards package is hard to ignore.

Most Appropriate For: Those looking to transfer a smaller balance or pay off their balance more quickly, and those looking for a solid everyday cash back card.

Credit Required: Good/Excellent

Citi Rewards+® Card

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Intro APR Period: Take advantage of 0% for 15 months on purchases then 18.74% - 28.74% (variable). Plus, you get 0% for 15 months on balance transfers, and then 18.74% - 28.74% (variable).

The Rewards: Earn more points on every purchase (even the little ones). The Citi Rewards+® Card is the only card that automatically rounds up every purchase to the nearest 10 points. That means when you buy a $2 coffee, you’ll earn 10 points back.

Cardholders rake in Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases. There is a low spending requirement to earn the sign-up bonus. Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.

The Verdict: This attractive new rewards card from Citi includes long zero intro interest periods on both purchases and balance transfers, and a nice sign-up bonus all with $0 annual fee.

Most Appropriate For: This is a great everyday rewards card that also features an attractive balance transfer offer.

Credit Required: Good/Excellent



*Interest calculation: Credit Card Balance*((Average Card Rate/365)*30 days) – Balance Transfer Fee (Average Household Credit Card Balance Balance transfer fee is minimum of 3% or $10). Monthly interest calculated on $10k balance at 21% as: (.21/365)*30

Methodology

Each month, the CompareCards team reviews over 100 credit card offers examining the features most valuable to consumers including rewards, welcome offer, the interest rate, fees and other features to identify the best offers shown here.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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