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Balance transfer credit card offers from our partners

By Curtis Arnold Editor-in-chief, updated on January 29, 2015

Should you apply for a balance transfer credit card offer?  If you're like many Americans, you may have struggled with credit card debt for years or perhaps you've found yourself on an endless treadmill of making a minimum payment each month and never reducing the balance on your credit card. If your goal is to reduce your credit card debt, a balance transfer credit card may be one way to increase the speed of your debt reduction plan.

The primary reason to choose a balance transfer offer is to give yourself time to pay off the debt while getting relief from ongoing interest charges that add to that debt. Balance transfer credit cards frequently offer side benefits such as cash back rewards, airline miles or low interest rates on new purchases.

Compare your card and see how it stacks up
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Chase Freedom<sup>®</sup>
About Our Ratings

Chase Freedom®

Editor's take by Curtis Arnold
  • Currently offering a sign-up bonus and no annual fee
  • Offers a long introductory period in addition to a solid rewards program
Watch out for: Watch out for the cap on bonus cash back and be sure to set reminders to sign up for bonus categories each quarter
APPLY NOW Credit Needed Good
Citi Simplicity<sup>®</sup> Card
About Our Ratings

Citi Simplicity® Card

  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99% - 22.99% based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • No late fees - EVER
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Balance Transfer Intro APR 0%*
Balance Transfer Intro Period 18 months on Balance Transfers*
Balance Transfer Fee 3% of each balance transfer $5 minimum
Purchase APR 12.99 - 22.99% Variable
Annual Fee $0*
APPLY NOW Credit Needed Excellent
Chase Slate<sup>®</sup>
About Our Ratings

Chase Slate®

Editor's take by Curtis Arnold
  • Features the one of few zero-percent balance transfer offers with no balance-transfer fee currently available
  • Long standing editor's pick because of consistently above-average introductory offer
APPLY NOW Credit Needed Good
BankAmericard<sup>®</sup> Visa<sup>®</sup> Card
About Our Ratings

BankAmericard® Visa® Card

Editor's take by Curtis Arnold
  • This value version of the BankAmericard card offers a zero-percent introductory rate on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, chip technology for enhanced security at chip-enabled merchant terminals, and no annual fee.
APPLY NOW Credit Needed Excellent
The Amex EveryDay<sup>SM</sup> Credit Card from American Express
About Our Ratings

The Amex EveryDaySM Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Reward® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 20% more points: Make 20 or more purchases with your Card in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
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Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% on Balance Transfers
Balance Transfer Intro Period for 15 months
Balance Transfer Fee See terms
Purchase APR 12.99% - 21.99% Variable
Annual Fee $0
APPLY NOW Credit Needed Excellent
Discover it<sup>®</sup> card
About Our Ratings

Discover it® card

  • 0% intro APR on purchases & balance transfers for 14 months--then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • Over 6,000 cardmembers rated 4.8 out of 5 stars* and J.D. Power awarded Discover "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Credit Card Companies. Tied in 2014."+
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on monthly statements, online and in our mobile app.*
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Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% Intro APR on balance transfers
Balance Transfer Intro Period 14 months
Balance Transfer Fee 3% fee
Purchase APR 10.99% - 22.99% Variable*
Annual Fee $0
APPLY NOW Credit Needed Excellent
Capital One<sup>®</sup> Quicksilver<sup>®</sup> Cash Rewards Credit Card
About Our Ratings

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • One-time $100 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories and no sign ups needed to earn cash rewards
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Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% intro on balance transfers
Balance Transfer Intro Period until November 2015
Balance Transfer Fee 3%
Purchase APR 12.9% - 22.9% (Variable) 
Annual Fee $0
APPLY NOW Credit Needed Excellent / Good
Discover it<sup>®</sup>
About Our Ratings

Discover it®

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months--then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on monthly statements, online and in our mobile app.*
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Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% Intro APR on balance transfers
Balance Transfer Intro Period 18 months
Balance Transfer Fee 3% fee
Purchase APR 10.99% - 22.99% Variable*
Annual Fee $0
APPLY NOW Credit Needed Excellent
The Amex EveryDay<sup>SM</sup> Preferred Credit Card from American Express
About Our Ratings

The Amex EveryDaySM Preferred Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 15,000 Membership Reward® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 50% more points: Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.
  • 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 2x points at US gas stations; 1x points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
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Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% on Balance Transfers
Balance Transfer Intro Period for 15 months
Balance Transfer Fee See terms
Purchase APR 12.99% - 21.99% Variable
Annual Fee $95
APPLY NOW Credit Needed Excellent
Capital One<sup>®</sup> Platinum Prestige Credit Card
About Our Ratings

Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card

  • Get 0% intro APR on all purchases until May 2016; 10.9%-18.9% variable APR after that
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR until May 2016, a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
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Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% intro on balance transfers
Balance Transfer Intro Period until May 2016
Balance Transfer Fee 3%
Purchase APR 10.9% - 18.9% (Variable) 
Annual Fee $0
APPLY NOW Credit Needed Excellent / Good
Barclaycard Arrival<sup>™</sup> World MasterCard<sup>®</sup>
About Our Ratings

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard®

  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on travel and dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
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Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers
Balance Transfer Intro Period for 12 Months*
Balance Transfer Fee 3% Fee, Minimum $5
Purchase APR 14.99% or 18.99%* Variable
Annual Fee $0
APPLY NOW Credit Needed Excellent
BankAmericard Cash Rewards<sup>™</sup> Credit Card
About Our Ratings

BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card

Editor's take by Curtis Arnold
  • Offers bonus cash-back rewards in popular categories
  • Recommended to people who use their card for gas and at grocery stores
Watch out for: Be mindful of the spending cap on bonus cash back
APPLY NOW Credit Needed Excellent
Credit Card Database

More about Balance transfer credit card offers

  • What are they?
  • What to look for?
  • Do I need good credit?
  • Tips on balance transfer offers

A balance transfer card is very much like any other credit card: You make monthly payments on the debt, but the credit card company charges you a reduced (often zero) rate of interest for a set period of time. Once that time is up, you'll start paying interest on any remaining debt until the debt is fully paid.

The main feature of balance transfer cards is that the initial low interest rate is applied only to debt that is transferred from another credit card. You can use the balance transfer cards for future purchases; some cards offer reduced or zero introductory APR for a limited time for new purchases as well. While most cards charge a fee for a transfer, typically 3 to 5 percent of the balance transferred, a rare few cards either do not charge this fee or have introductory offers with no balance transfer fee or a reduced balance transfer fee for a specified period of time.

The most important part of choosing a balance transfer offer is figuring out how long it will take you to pay off your balance. A credit card payoff calculator can be a big help when you are comparing balance transfer offers.

Here's what you need to compare:

  • Introductory APR
  • How long the introductory period lasts
  • The fee to make the transfer, if any
  • Interest rate for new purchases and for the remaining balance after the introductory period ends

The longer you can keep a low or zero introductory APR, the better the card offer. First, you need to decide how much you can afford to pay toward your credit card each month. For example, if you know you can pay off your balance within 12 months, then you can want to make sure you are comparing balance transfer offers that have a promotional period of at least 12 months.

Check your free credit report before applying for a balance transfer credit card. Even though balance transfer offers seem like a great idea if you're struggling with debt, credit card issuers typically require you to have excellent to good credit when you apply.

If your credit history has a few spots on it, you may need to spend a few months improving your credit score by making on-time payments and reducing your credit card debt before you can qualify for a balance transfer card.

When you apply for a balance transfer, you should carefully calculate how much you will need to pay each month in order to eliminate the balance entirely before the promotional period ends.

For example, if you transfer $2,000 to a credit card with zero percent APR for 12 months and a balance transfer fee of 3 percent, you will need to pay $172 per month to pay off the balance (plus the $60 transfer fee) within 12 payments.

Be careful not to rack up more credit card debt on your old card after you transfer your balance. It can be tempting to spend more if you have a credit card with a few thousand dollars of available credit, but this will put you in a worse position because you will now have two credit cards to pay off instead of one.

To truly benefit from a low introductory rate balance transfer, you need to be disciplined enough to continue making regular payments that are large enough to pay off your credit card debt in full before the promotional period expires. You may be tempted to pay less when you see the minimum payment drop along with your balance, but don't let that temptation sway you from your goal of reducing or eliminating your credit card debt.

 

About Our Ratings ×

Our editors rate credit cards objectively based on the features the credit card offers consumers, the fees and interest rates, and how a credit card compares with other cards in its category. Ratings vary by category, and the same card may receive a certain number of stars in one category and a higher or lower number in another.

The ratings are the expert opinion of our editors, and not influenced by any remuneration this site may receive from card issuers.

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