Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

No Interest Until 2017

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
May 20, 2016

Balance transfer cards are credit cards that are designed specifically to help you consolidate your debts by transferring existing balances over to a single credit card. They have a 0% or a low introductory interest rate for a period of time, which allows you time to pay down the principal. With clever choices and a few card-switching steps, you can use balance transfer cards to whittle down a debt principal with minimal interest charges.

Typically, there are balance transfer fees and limits on transfer amounts. At the end of the introductory offer, the rate shifts to a typical or slightly higher interest rate. The introductory rate applies to balance transfers, but on many cards it does not extend to new purchases or cash advances for the same amount of time — if it extends to them at all. Make sure you fully understand how interest rates apply before you choose a balance transfer card.

Moving forward beyond the introductory period, annual percentage rates (APRs) vary along with the prime rate — so start with the lowest interest rate offer that meets your other needs.

Some of the best balance transfer cards allow you a 0% interest introductory period until 2017. Here are five of the best offers available as of this writing.

  • Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® Not only does this card offer 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months, you'll also pay 0% APR on purchases during that period. Balance transfers must be completed within 45 days of opening the account to qualify. In addition, you'll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards, and a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus every time you redeem your cash back, while paying no annual fee. However, you will need excellent credit to qualify for this card.

  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® With the 12-month 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, this card offers great traveling rewards for those with excellent credit. You'll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on all purchases and a bonus of 50,000 miles (enough for $500 in travel credit) if you spend $3,000 in the first ninety days. Your miles never expire, so there is no rush to redeem them. There is an annual fee of $89, but that fee is waived for a year so you learn to appreciate the card.

  • Chase Slate® The Chase Slate card offers a combination rarely seen in balance transfer cards. It offers fifteen months of 0% APR applied to both balance transfers and purchases while waiving balance transfer fees if the balance transfers occur within sixty days of opening the account. Ongoing annual percentage rate (APR) is 13.24%, 18.24%, and 23.24% based on creditworthiness. There are also no annual fees.

  • Citi Simplicity® Card Simplicity has one of the longest introductory periods of all, with 21 months of 0% interest on both balance transfers and purchases. The balance transfer fee is $5 or 3% of the transfer total, whichever is greater. There is no annual fee. Ongoing APR is 13.24% to 23.24%. Simplicity also allows you to set up automatic account alerts on items like balance levels and payment due dates.

  • BankAmericard® Credit Card This card offers 0% for eighteen billing cycles and extends to qualifying balance transfers made within sixty days of opening the account. There is a balance transfer fee of $10 or 3% of the transfer total, whichever is greater, but there is no annual fee. Ongoing APR ranges from 11.24% to 21.24% at the time of the account opening.

Several other cards offered similar promotions but have either expired or the terms have changed to less than fifteen months. Examples include the Discover It Card, and Capital One's Platinum Prestige Credit Card. However, new promotions pop up frequently, so whenever you are ready to look for balance transfer deals, visit our offers.

Information is subject to change at any time, so check the details on any credit card before making an application. Be sure to evaluate the new purchases policy, especially as it pertains to any card offering rewards. Check grace periods and transfer limits, and make sure that there are no limitations specific to the card — for example, you may not be able to transfer a balance from one issuer's card to a different balance transfer card by that same issuer.

With some research, you should be able to find a balance transfer card that can help you reduce your overall debt more quickly and minimize interest charges. Of course, spending restraint would also help.

If you want more credit, check out MoneyTips' list of credit card offers.


Disclaimer: The editorial content on this site is not provided by the companies whose products are featured. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). This content was accurate at the time of publication, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer affiliate program.

Photo ©iStock.com/Kenishirotie

  Conversation   |   10 Comments

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Carla Truett | 05.23.16 @ 14:32
Some of these options are really worth checking out. It might be a great idea to consolidate soon for us.
Erin | 05.23.16 @ 14:32
This looks like a great place to start if you need to transfer any balances. We did that a time or two right after we graduated from college and were starting out. Now that we're more financially stable, I hope we won't have to do that again, but it's nice to know there are some friendly cards out there for that.
Irene | 05.23.16 @ 14:32
I need to look into this more, I do have 1 card with a large balance that I may be better off transferring at a lower rate
Jane | 05.23.16 @ 14:33
I've use 0% balance transfer offers in the past. For a balance that can be paid off during the 0% interest period, it really does save a lot of money.
Beverly | 05.23.16 @ 14:34
Interesting article, with some good tips. We just don't keep a balance on our cards and find that is the safest way.
Kyle | 05.23.16 @ 14:34
Oooh. I've been wanting to look into a new card, so this is great info.
Heather | 05.23.16 @ 14:35
These are great! I guess I have never looked into these type of transfer credit cards before. Definitely something to look into.
Steffanie | 05.23.16 @ 14:35
We just recently combined our cards to an interest free rate to Bank of America. Great company.
brittany.martinez530 | 05.23.16 @ 14:36
There are quite a few options on here that actually sound really interesting. I might have to look into them.
connie | 05.23.16 @ 14:59
Credit cards with attractive introductory rates are very beneficial for someone who is struggling to pay off a credit card with a high interest rate. Depending on how much you owe the transfer fee can be very hefty! However, the Chase Slate is offering to waive the balance transfer fee... so if I needed to transfer a credit card balance I would not waste any time in making the switch to Chase before this offer ended.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.10.16 @ 07:09
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