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Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Balance Transfer credit cards can be very useful when used for the right reasons. The purpose of a balance transfer credit card is to allow one to save on interest payments when they currently have a card with a high interest rate and a large balance. A balance transfer credit card allows you to transfer a balance from a credit card with a high interest rate, to a credit card with a low interest rate, allowing you to saving on interest. The attractive feature these cards offer is the 0% introductory A.P.R. period on all balance transfers. The longer the introductory period, the more you will save on interest charges. It is important to watch out for a fee called a balance transfer fee, which some cards might include.

Is a balance transfer card right for me?

If you currently have a credit card with a high balance, and you noticed you are paying a lot of extra money on interest, then you might want to consider switching to a balance transfer credit card. Doing so will allow you to pay off your debt quicker and save money in the process. Many balance transfer credit cards do not offer extensive reward programs, so you must weigh the differences with the interest you are paying monthly, compared to the value of the rewards you are receiving.  If reducing your debt and paying less interest is your main goal, then a switch to a balance transfer credit card should be made.

How To Save Money With A Balance Transfer

Using a balance transfer credit card effectively will no doubt save you money on interest and allow you to pay off your debt quickly. To illustrate this point, imagine you had a card with a $5000 balance, and a 20% interest rate, and made a $500 payment each month. It would take 12 months to pay the balance and the accrued interest would cost you an extra $515. If you were to transfer that balance to a balance transfer credit card, and made the same $500 payments, you would save $515 on interest alone with a card that has a 0% A.P.R. introductory offer on balance transfers.

Each of these cards are designed to fit a specific consumer need, some are ideal for large balances, while some are best for those who want a longer introductory period. Below are the best balance transfer credit cards for each specific need:

Best Balance Transfer Card For  A Large Balance

Chase Slate Card

If you have a very high balance then the Chase Slate Card must be your choice. It is the only card that has no balance transfer fee which means you will not pay for performing the actual balance transfer from your old card to this card.

Most balance Credit Cards have a 3% fee, meaning if you have a $10 000 balance you would be paying a $300 fee on the balance transfer, so it is clear that the Chase Slate Card is ideal, as it would save you $300 in this scenario. While this card does not have a rewards program, your main priority should be no transfer fee if you have a high balance.

Why we recommend as one of the best: this card has no fee on balance transfers, as well as a long intro offer on balance transfers

Features:

  • 0% introductory APR for first 15 months on all balance transfers and purchases
  • $0 introductory balance transfer fees made in the first 60 days of opening the card
  • $0 annual fee
  • named best credit card for balance transfers by Money Magazine
  • interest rate ranges from 12.99% to 22.99%

Pros

  • long introductory offer of 15 months
  • no annual fee
  • no balance transfer fee for first 60 days
  • no penalty APR – no interest increase if payment is made late

Cons

  • there are no rewards with this card

Is this card right for me?

  • this card is ideal if you want a card with a long introductory period on balance transfers. This card is recommended for individuals who have racked up a high balance on their previous card and whose main priority is to lower the balance on your card.
  • this card is not ideal if you are seeking a balance transfer card that is equipped with a rewards system, as the Chase Freedom card would be a better fit.

Best Introductory Period For A Balance Transfer Credit Card

Citi Simplicity Card

If you have excellent credit and do not have a very large balance, then a balance transfer card with a long introductory period is the ideal card. Although there is a 3% balance transfer fee, the Citi Simplicity card has a 21 month introductory period which gives you a long time to pay off your debt without having to pay any interest.

Simply put, if you are looking to pay down your debt over a longer period of time, this card gives you the longest time period to pay down your debt load without any interest to worry about.

Why we recommend as one of the best: this card has the longest 0% offer on balance transfers, at 21 months

Features:

  • 0% introductory offer on all purchases and balance transfers made in the first 21 months
  • no annual fees
  • no late fees
  • P.R. ranges from 12.99% to 22.99% after the intro period
  • balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% (which is greater for each balance transfer made)

Pros

  • very long introductory period
  • very limited number of fees

Cons

  • there is a balance transfer fee
  • no rewards
  • need to have excellent credit score to qualify

Is this card right for me?

  • this card is ideal if you want a credit card with a long 0% introductory balance transfer period.
  • this card is not ideal if you do not have a excellent credit score, as you need to have excellent credit to qualify. If you don’t have excellent credit, there are many other options such as the Chase Slate card or the Chase Freedom card

Best Rewards Balance Transfer Card

Citi Double Cash Card 

If you have a low to medium balance on your current credit card, and want to pay off your debt as well as earn some cash back rewards, then the Citi Double Cash Card is the ideal card. Although there is a balance transfer fee, you will not pay any interest for the first 15 months allowing you to decrease your debt, while still earning 1% cash back rewards on your purchases, as well as another 1% when you make payments on those purchases.

Why we recommend as one of the best

This card has a long 15 month 0% balance transfer period, with a great average of 2% cash back rewards program.

Features:

  • 0% intro A.P.R. on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months
  • regular variable A.P.R. ranges from 12.99% to 22.99%
  • no annual fee
  • balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% (whichever is greater)
  • earn 1 % cash back on all purchases, and earn another 1% when you pay for those purchases, whether in full or over time

Pros

  • long intro period of 15 months on balance transfers
  • great cash back system that averages to 2% cash back
  • no annual fee

Cons

  • need to have excellent credit to qualify
  • balance transfer fee

Is this card right for me?

  • this card is ideal if you have excellent credit, and do not mind the balance transfer fee, as you will enjoy the benefits that this card offers. This card has a fantastic cash back system along with a long intro period for balance transfers.
  • this card is not ideal if you do not have excellent credit but still want a quality balance transfer card with a reward system. The Chase Freedom card would be a better fit.

 

More Recommended Best Balance Transfer Card Recommendations

 

Below are the best balance transfer credit cards with a detailed analysis of each card. When reading through the cards make sure you keep your best interests in mind, and choose the best card based on your situation.

Bank Americard Credit Card

Why we recommend as one of the best: this card has a long 18 month intro offer on balance transfers, along with a low, ongoing interest rate

Features:

  • 0% introductory A.P.R. for 18 months on balance transfers made in the first 60 days of opening the card
  • no annual fee
  • regular A.P.R. ranges from as low as 10.99% to 20.99%
  • includes worry free zero liability fraud protection
  • balance transfer fee of 3% for each transfer

Pros

  • lengthy intro period of 18 months
  • no annual fee

Cons

  • has a balance transfer fee
  • no rewards

Is this card right for me?

  • this card is ideal if you plan to transfer your entire balance within the first 60 days, as you do not need to have excellent credit to qualify. This card has a long intro period of 18 months of 0% A.P.R. on balance transfers, however it only applies to balance transfers made in the first 60 days.
  • this card is not ideal if you are planning on gradually transferring your balance to a balance transfer.

Discover IT Credit Card

Why we recommend as one of the best: this card has a long 0% balance transfer period, along with a low interest rate, and a good cash back program

Features:

  • 0% intro A.P.R. on balance transfers for the first 18 months
  • 3% fee for each balance transfer made
  • regular variable A.P.R. ranges from 10.99% to 22.99%
  • includes 5% cash back on rotating categories such as gas and groceries, earn 1 % cash back on all other purchases
  • no annual or foreign transaction fees

Pros

  • lengthy intro period on balance transfers
  • very limited number of fees
  • has a good cash back reward system

Cons

  • merchant acceptance for this card outside of the U.S.A. can sometimes be an issue
  • has a balance transfer fee

Is this card right for me?

  • this card is ideal if you want to enjoy a 0% intro balance period as well as enjoy the cash back benefits. The 0% intro A.P.R. on purchases is only for 6 months, so if you are fine with that then you will enjoy this card.
  • this card is not ideal if you are looking for a longer intro period on purchases, if you want a card with no balance transfer fee then there are other options available.

Chase Freedom Card

Why we recommend as one of the best: This card has a good combination of 0% balance transfer period, good rewards program, and a good bonus offer.

Features:

  • 0% intro A.P.R. on all purchases and balance transfers made in the first 12 months
  • regular variable A.P.R. ranges from 13.99% to 22.99%
  • balance transfer fee of 3%
  • earn 5% cash back on rotating categories up to $1500 per quarter, and 1% on all other purchases
  • earn $100 bonus money after you spend $500, within the first 3 months of opening the card

Pros

  • long intro period for both purchases and balance transfers
  • no annual fee
  • high 5% cash back on the revolving categories

Cons

  • has a balance transfer fee
  • interest rate can be high

Is this card right for me?

  • this card is ideal if you do not have an excellent credit score, also it has a reasonably long intro period of 12 months for both purchases and balance transfers, as well as a solid cash back reward system. If you are confident you can pay off the entire balance transferred to this card within 12 months, then this card is a perfect fit your you as you can enjoy the cash back rewards.
  • this card is not ideal if you feel more comfortable with a longer intro period such as the 21 month period seen on the Citi Simplicity card.

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

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Why we recommend as one of the best: this card has a long 0% offer on balance transfers, as well as solid rewards program, and no annual fee

Features:

  • 0% introductory A.P.R. on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months
  • regular variable A.P.R. after intro period ranges from 12.99% to 21.99%
  • earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, 2% at gas stations and department stores, and 1 % on all other purchases
  • receive a $100 statement credit after you spend $1000 in the first 3 months
  • has a balance transfer fee of either 3%, or $5 (whichever is greater)

Pros

  • no annual fee
  • long intro period on both purchases and balance transfers
  • good rewards system
  • no annual fee
  • do need need to have excellent credit

Cons

  • has a balance transfer fee

Is this card right for me?

  • this card is ideal if you would like a credit card with a good balance transfer intro period, along with a good cash back rewards system.
  • this card is not ideal if you have a large balance that you will be transferring since there is a balance transfer fee, if you have a large balance that you are transferring, then you might want to go with a card that does not have a balance transfer fee such as the Chase Slate Card previously discussed in this article.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. ‘

He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could.

And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created echeck.org to help others do likewise!

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