When looking at the options that are on the market today, we asked, “what are the best credit cards for balance transfers?” The best card for a balance transfer charges the lowest interest and the fewest fees, while offering the most long-term value in the form of rewards.
Many balance transfer credit cards offer 0% intro APR promotions. With these deals, you won’t pay interest on the transferred balance for the first 12-24 months after the card is opened. Use these deals to save money as you pay down your debt.
|Card||Best For||0% APR Period||Transfer Fee||Standard APR||Annual Fee|
|Discover it Balance Transfer||Low interest and rewards potential||14 months||3%||13.74% - 24.74%||$0|
|Amex EveryDay Credit Card||No fees and no interest||15 months||0%||14.74% - 25.74%||$0|
|Citi Diamond Preferred Card||Long interest-free period||21 months||5%||14.74% - 24.74%||$0|
|U.S. Bank Platinum Visa Card||Long interest-free period and phone insurance offer||20 months||3%||11.74% - 23.74%||$0|
|Capital One Quicksilver Card||Average interest-free period and fees, no foreign transaction fees||15 months||3%||14.74% - 24.74%||$0|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||Average interest-free period and good rewards||15 months||5%||16.74% - 25.49%||$0|
Look at cards from issuers other than the card you’re transferring your balance from since you can’t transfer balances between two cards from the same issuer. Choose a card that offers a higher limit than the balance you’re transferring. There’s no point in opening a balance transfer card if you can’t transfer your full balance.
First, check your credit score to determine which cards you qualify for. From those cards, look at the 0% interest balance transfer cards and no fee balance transfer cards. Each card has its own fee structure and interest rate, so you’ll need to do some math for each card you consider to determine which one will save you the most money. Aim for the card that results in the lowest amount paid overall.
Calculate how long it’ll take to pay your balance off and how much interest you’ll pay per month. This is the cost of not transferring your balance. It needs to be higher than a card’s balance transfer fee to make the transfer worthwhile. Knowing how long it will take to pay it off will tell you how long of a 0% intro APR period you need. Use this information to decide whether a card with a longer promotional period but higher balance transfer fee will save more or less than a card with a shorter promotional period but lower balance transfer fee.
Finally, consider which card has long-term value in terms of day-to-day use. If you can get a balance transfer card that also offer rewards, you’ll have a reason to keep it once you pay the balance off.
A balance transfer lets you move the balance of one of your debts to a credit card at a lower interest rate, giving you the chance to lower your monthly bills and save on interest.
Most credit cards will charge you a small flat amount or a percentage of the amount you transfer to your credit card. If you need to transfer a large balance, look for credit cards with no balance transfer fee.
|Type of Fee||Fee Charged||Starting Balance|
|Greater of $10 or 3%||$30||$1,030|
|Greater of $20 or 1%||20||$1,020|
|Greater of $10 or 5%||$50||$1,050|
Many people ask, “is there a limit to balance transfers?” For most cards, the limit is equal to your credit limit, but some issuers restrict balance transfers to 75% of your credit limit. Another common question is “Can you do a balance transfer twice?” So long as you have credit available, you may, though fees may apply.
It is possible, but generally a bad idea to use a balance transfer to put money in your bank account. The only time you’d want to do so is if you need to pay multiple creditors. You can get one check, deposit it to your checking account, and then pay each creditor from that account.
Balance transfers will have some affect on your credit score. Opening a new account will reduce your score in the short-term. Over the long-term, as you use your balance transfer to pay down your debts, your score will increase.
Other similar questions are “can I deposit a credit card check?” and “can you cash balance transfer checks?” In short, you can deposit or cash balance transfer checks. You may want to do so if you plan to pay multiple creditors out of your bank account and only want to handle one check to complete the transfer.
Typically, a balance transfer takes 5-10 business days once you’ve received your new card and started the process.
MyThreeCents’ personal finance team carefully evaluates each credit card and ranks them based on their merit. The process involves analyzing various factors, including but not limited to, Annual Percentage Rate (APR), fees, cash back offers, airline miles and other rewards. Our team independently collects the information and carefully assesses each credit card, looking for maximum consumer value. As always, we strive to help consumers to become better educated before making a purchase.
The information we provide and the analysis we share is always free. So, how do we survive? We get compensated by our partners, which may sometimes influence the products or services we review and the order in which they appear. Our suggestions and guidance are unbiased and are based only on our thorough research.