Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2018

Review the best balance transfer credit cards to find zero percent introductory APRs to save on interest while lowering your debt.

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When you want to focus on paying off a credit card balance while avoiding higher interest fees, you might consider getting a credit card that offers incentives for balance transfers. That means a card will offer a 0% introductory period or an overall lower annual percentage rate (APR). But how do you choose the best balance transfer credit card for your needs?

The best balance transfer credit cards generally offer no annual fee with an introductory transaction interest rate deal. These intro deals serve as the main perk for most of these cards. Many of the best balance transfer credit cards are also bare-bones, offering minimal or no rewards. Since these cards carry lower fees to help the cardholder save money, they tend to avoid offering customers other perks. Ideally, you’ll be focusing on paying off your transferred balance, not making new purchases. However, some cards do offer both rewards and good balance transfer incentives, so it’s important to consider how you’ll best use the card–while keeping your balance to a minimum.

Below is a list of the best credit cards for balance transfers. Most of these cards share the same characteristics, but there are some variations on the benefits and fees. Be sure to check with the issuer on what it takes to qualify for these cards before you apply – some require good to excellent credit, while others accept poor to fair credit.

LendEDU’s 12 Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2018 (Updated: July 13, 2018)

Note: We are not affiliated with any of the following credit card issuers.

Citi Diamond Preferred Card

Citi Diamond Preferred Card

$0 annual fee 0% intro balance transfer APR for 21 months

Citi Diamond Preferred Card

  • A 0% introductory APR period of 21 months for balance transfers
  • The card comes with EMV chip technology to protect your information
  • Cardholders will have access to travel and emergency assistance systems, as well as accident and car rental insurance abroad
  • $0 lliability on unauthorized charges as well as theft protection/li>
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on Citi's secure website

Intro APR

0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 Months

Regular APR

14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

One of the best balance transfer credit cards, this card has one of the lowest balance transfer annual percentage rate and fees.

APR & Fees

The card offers an incredible introductory APR period, which is nearly two years. Both regular purchase and balance transfer APRs are 0% for the first 21 months with the Citi Diamond Preferred Card. Afterward, this introductory rate ends, which leads to a range of new potential APRs. This new range starts at a low end of 14.74% and tops off at 24.74% for both regular purchases and balance transfers. Other APRs include the cash advance rate of 26.99% as well as the penalty APR of 29.99%.

The balance transfer fee is either $5 or 3% and cash advance fees of either $10 or 5% – whichever amount is higher for each. These charges work the same way as the balance transfer fee. Transactions made abroad have a 3% foreign transaction fee. Returned and late payments are charged up to $35. Additionally, there is no annual fee for having this card.

Bottom Line

Along with the rates and fees, this card offers holders several convenient features. This Citi card comes with EMV chip technology, which is the up-and-coming global transaction technology. Cardholders can take advantage of various travel and emergency assistance systems, as well as accident and car rental insurance abroad. In addition, all purchases with a manufacture warranty are protected by Citi Bank. The card comes with assurances relating to fraud and theft with $0 liability on unauthorized charges as well as theft protection.

Barclaycard Ring Mastercard

Barclaycard Ring Mastercard

$0 annual fee No introductory rates, but a low 10.49% balance transfer APR

Barclaycard Ring Mastercard

  • A low APR of 10.49% for both regular purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances
  • There are no balance transfer, annual, or foreign transaction fees
  • Free access to your FICO credit score
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on Barclays's secure website

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

10.49% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The first thing you’ll notice about the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard is its low fees and low APR. Although there’s no 0% introductory rate like you’ll see with many other cards on this list, it’s still a good opportunity for balance transfers. This card doesn’t offer many rewards or frills. It’s a basic card, with its only listed perks being participation in the Ring online community and free access to your FICO credit score. There are no advertised sign-up bonuses with this card. Instead, the low APR and no balance transfer fees are consistent.

APR & Fees

The APR on the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard is very low, and the card aims to keep that consistently low for account holders. The variable APR is 10.49% on purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. There are no balance transfer fees with the Ring Mastercard. There is also no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.

Bottom Line

The Barclaycard Ring Mastercard is as simple as credit cards come. There aren’t any rewards or sign-up bonuses, but it’s a good card if you want low fees including no balance transfer fee, and low interest rates – which is a great opportunity to save money as you pay off your balance. The biggest perk of the card is the fact that it has such low interest rates on all purchases and balance transfers. If you want an enticing rewards programs or a lot of membership perks, this isn’t the card for you.

Discover it Balance Transfer Card

Discover it Balance Transfer Card

$0 annual fee 0% balance transfer APR for 14 months

Discover it Balance Transfer Card

  • A 0% introductory APR period of 14 months for balance transfers
  • No charge for the first late payment, but there is a $37 fee after that
  • Special 5% cash back rate on category purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • At the end of the first year, all of the accrued cash back is doubled through Discover's Cashback Match program
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on Discover's secure website

Intro APR

0% on Balance Transfers for 14 months and 0% on Purchases for 6 months

Regular APR

13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The Discover it Credit Card offers good balance transfer rates compared to the credit card pack, but not quite as generous as some. This balance transfer credit card is unusual amongst its rivals as it offers a rewards program. Several cash-back offers come with this card. First, there is a special bonus cash-back rate on category purchases. This rate is 5%, and it is updated every quarter of the year. All other purchases are subject to a 1% cash back rate.

APR & Fees

When cardholders open an account with this card, they receive a 0% introductory balance transfer and cash advance APR that lasts for 14 months. After the bonus deal period ends, the APR for both types of transactions increases to between 13.49% and 24.49%. The standard cash advance APR is 26.49%. There is no penalty APR with the Discover it Balance Transfer Card. Each of these rates is not fixed; they are all variable depending on the market.

The Discover it Credit Card has no annual fee, which is great. There are not many transactions fees, either. There is a flat balance transfer fee of 3%. The cash advance fee is either $10 or 5%, one rate between the two is chosen depending on which has a higher value. There’s no charge for the first late payment, but afterward, late payments can be charged up to $37.

Bottom Line

At the end of the first year with this card, all of the accrued cash back is doubled with Discover’s cash-back match offer. They basically award the cardholder with a cash reward equal to the amount of cash back accrued over the first year.

Amex Everyday Credit Card

Amex Everyday Credit Card

$0 annual fee 0% balance transfer APR for 15 months

Amex Everyday Credit Card

  • A 0% introductory APR period of 15 months for balance transfers
  • Earn 2x Membership Rewards points for up to $6,000 per year in purchases at U.S. supermarkets and 1x points on all other purchases
  • Earn 20% extra points on purchases if you make 20 or more purchases per billing cycle
  • There is a sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $1,000 in purchases during the first three months of opening the account
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on American Express's secure website

Intro APR

0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 15 Months

Regular APR

14.74% - 25.74% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card offers a good balance transfer opportunity, plus the option to earn bonus rewards points after a certain dollar amount is spent on purchases. The card can also be good for everyday spending such as at supermarkets, and there are flexible payment options.

This card provides double Membership Rewards points for up to $6,000 per year in purchases made at U.S. supermarkets. Cardholders can also earn 20% extra points on purchases if they make 20 or more purchases per billing cycle. All other purchases earn one point for every eligible dollar spent. Membership Rewards points from Amex can be used for travel, merchandise, entertainment, and gift cards. The points can also be transferred to frequent traveler programs. The current sign-up bonus available with the Amex EveryDay Credit Card is 10,000 Membership Rewards points that can be earned after the new card is used to make $1,000 in purchases during the first three months.

APR & Fees

The APR for the Amex EveryDay card is 0% on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After that, both purchases and balance transfers revert to a variable APR range of 14.74% to 25.74%. Also, if balance transfers are requested within 60 days of opening the account, there is no fee–which is a standout feature for someone who’s actively hoping to save money and pay off a balance. There is no annual fee for the Amex EveryDay Credit Card.

Bottom Line

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card is very straightforward to use. Earning points is more streamlined than cards with multiple categories, and it’s an especially good balance transfer card if you also spend frequently at supermarkets. It’s not necessarily one of the highest-earning reward cards otherwise, however. It’s probably not ideal for frequent travelers since there aren’t additional earning opportunities related to travel. The threshold for earning the initial sign-up bonus only $1,000 over a three-month period, which is good for people who tend to spend less on their credit cards.

Citi Simplicity Credit Card

Citi Simplicity Credit Card

$0 annual fee 0% intro balance transfer APR for 18 months

Citi Simplicity Credit Card

  • A 0% introductory APR period of 18 months for balance transfers
  • This card does not have any penalty or late payment fees
  • EMV chip technology for additional security when using the card
  • Assistance hotlines for travel and emergency issues
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on Citi's secure website

Intro APR

0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 18 Months

Regular APR

15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

Citibank claims the first and second place on this list of best balance transfer credit cards in terms of rates with their Citi Simplicity Credit Card.

APR & Fees

This card shares the same introductory APR rate as its fellow Citi product in first place. For the first 18 months with the card, users can enjoy 0% APR on balance transfers and regular purchases. The major difference between this deal and the Diamond Preferred deal is the APR after the introductory period. The balance transfer and regular purchase APRs jump up to a range between 15.74% and 25.74%, depending on your creditworthiness. These rates are slightly higher than the Diamond Preferred card. There are more differences in terms of penalty and cash advance APRs. Instead of one rate, the cash advance APR also ranges between 15.74% and 25.74%, which is the same rate applied to balance transfers and regular purchases without the introductory period. The Simplicity Credit Card has no penalty APR, unlike the Diamond Preferred’s 29.99% penalty rate.

There is one major difference between the Simplicity Card and the Diamond Preferred Card regarding additional fees. The Simplicity Card has no penalty fee for late payments while the Diamond Preferred Card does. All other rates are the same. Balance transfer fees are either $5 or 3%, and cash advance fees are either $10 or 5%–whichever is higher. Foreign transactions are charged 3%, and penalties on returned payments run up to $35. Also, the annual fee is $0.

Bottom Line

The Simplicity card offers many of the standard perks that come with a Citi Credit Card. Like its Diamond counterpart, the Simplicity Card has EMV chip technology, which is used around the world for additional security. There are assistance hotlines for travel or emergency issues. Additionally, car rental insurance is provided across the globe. Purchase guarantees provide extended manufacturer warranties and fraud protection.

BankAmericard Credit Card

BankAmericard Credit Card

$0 annual fee 0% balance transfer APR for 15 months

BankAmericard Credit Card

  • A 0% introductory APR period of 15 months for balance transfers
  • Includes fraud protection and online purchase security
  • Cardholders have the option to receive text message alerts on their account activity
  • Chip technology to help add security and protection to your purchases
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on Bank of America's secure website

Intro APR

0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 15 months

Regular APR

14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

Bank of America has a competitive credit card in terms of balance transfer rates, ranking among the best balance transfer credit cards.

APR & Fees

There is an introductory period for the balance transfer APR (the rate is 0%) that lasts for 15 months from the opening of an account. After this period ends, the balance transfer APR ranges from 14.49% to 26.49%. This same range is used for the regular purchase APR, but the introductory period deal is not offered. There are two cash advance APRs. First, there is a range for direct deposit and check cash advances. This range is 14.49% to 26.49%. Second, bank cash advances have an APR of 26.49%. Each of these annual percentage rates is variable. There is no penalty APR.

There are plenty of fees to list for various transactions and instances. First, there is no annual fee, which is always a positive. There are different rates when it comes to some transactions. While there are two different rates, there is only one charge. It just depends on which rate generates a greater fee. For wire transfers, a charge of either $10 or 5% is assessed. For balance transfers, either $10 or 3% is charged. There are a couple of rates for different cash advances. Direct deposit and check cash advances are charged $10 or 3%. Over the counter or ATM cash advances are charged either $10 or 5%. There is also a foreign transaction fee of 3%. Late payments are charged $38 while returned payments are charged $27.

Bottom Line

Since the BankAmericard credit card does not come with many extra benefits, its best features are the standard perks that come with all Bank of America cards. These perks include fraud protection and online purchase security. Cardholders can get text message alerts on their phone on their account activity. There is also chip technology, which is one of the recent standard technological improvements on credit cards. This card is a decent product in terms of reducing additional expenses such as balance transfer fees. Low fees are always a positive, but this card lacks some benefits that seem to be typical for top performing cards in this category.

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

$0 annual fee 0% balance transfer APR for 18 months

Citi Double Cash Card

  • A 0% introductory APR period of 18 months for balance transfers
  • The first late payment fee is waived, but any late payment after will have a $35 fee
  • Get 1% cash back on all purchases you make with this card
  • Receive 1% cash back for paying your account balance; hence the "Double Cash"
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on Citi's secure website

Intro APR

0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Regular APR

15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

Citibank outdoes itself on this list with the Citi Double Cash Card, which offers low balance transfer rates plus cash-back rewards. Citi credit cards continue to rank on this list. Though this is the only one with a rewards program. All purchases get one cent on the dollar in cash-back returns (or 1% cash back). When account balances are paid off, Citi awards another 1% cash reward on the debt payments. The net result is “double cash back.” For example, spending $1,000 gets $10 in cash back. When you pay your $1,000 credit card balance, you get another $10. The end result is $20 in cash-back rewards.

APR & Fees

There is an introductory balance transfer APR of 0% for the first 18 months. This rate increases to a range of 15.24% to 25.24% after this introductory period. The regular purchase APR does not carry an introductory rate, but it offers the same range as the balance transfer. Cash advance APR is set at 26.99%, and the penalty APR is 29.99%.

Several fees for several different transactions and occasions apply. The balance transfer fee is decided between two rates: a flat rate of $5 or a rate of 3%, whichever is greater. For cash advances, the greater of the fees of $10 or 5% is charged to the account. Foreign transactions carry a 3% charge. While the first late payment fee is waived, these charges generally cost $35. Returned payments are always going to be a maximum of $35. There is no annual fee.

Bottom Line

This product is another mix of credit card rewards and low transaction fees. It makes for a good balance for someone who wants cash back from their credit card.

Chase Slate Card

Chase Slate Card

$0 annual fee 0% balance transfer APR for 15 months

Chase Slate Card

  • A 0% introductory APR period of 15 months for balance transfers
  • The first balance transfer does not have a fee, as long as it occurs within the first 60 days of opening the account
  • Late payment fees vary between $15 and $37 depending on the balance
  • This card does provide cardholders with free credit scores and fraud protection
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on Chase's secure website

Intro APR

0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months

Regular APR

16.49% - 25.24% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

Chase Slate Credit Card is another card that is centered around offering low transaction fees and APR since it does not have any enticing benefits. Since the main benefit of this card is its low balance transfer fee, there are no special benefits offered to cardholders. They still get the usual benefits that all Chase customers get such as free credit scores and fraud protection.

APR & Fees

The Slate card offers a decent introduction period. The balance transfer and regular purchase APR is 0% for the initial 15 months. After this introduction period terminates, these rates fall in between a range of 16.49% and 25.24%. When a cash advance or overdraft advance occurs, an APR of 26.49% applies. There is no specific penalty APR with this card. All of these rates are variable, depending on the market. The first balance transfer comes with no fee, provided that it occurs within the first 60 days of opening the account. After that, a charge of either $5 or 5% applies to the transfer amount. Cash advance fees are either $10 or 5%. Foreign transaction fees are 3%.

There are some specific guidelines for late payment fees. Late payments on balances less than $100 can be charged up to $15. For a balance between $100 and $250, a maximum penalty of $27 applies. Finally, for payments over $250, there is a maximum fee of $37. Returned payment fees run up to $37 for any amount. Aside from these transaction fees, there is no annual fee.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a decent balance transfer credit card with limited penalties, but it lacks extra benefits and rewards that some cardholders seek.

JetBlue Card

JetBlue Card

$0 annual fee 0% balance transfer APR for 12 months

JetBlue Card

  • A 0% introductory APR period of 12 months for balance transfers
  • An introductory offer of 10,000 points for spending $1,000 within the first three months of opening the card
  • There is no foreign transaction fee on this card
  • Earn 3 miles on JetBlue products, 2 miles on purchases at grocery stores and gas stations, and 1 mile on all other purchases
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on Barclay's secure website

Intro APR

0% on Balance Transfers for 12 months and 0% on Purchases for 6 months

Regular APR

16.49% - 26.49% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

JetBlue, a popular airline company, has partnered with Barclays to offer one of the best credit cards for balance transfers. The JetBlue Card happens to also provide some of the best benefits. Additionally, these benefits are meant for travel, which makes this the only travel-oriented card on the list.

Cardholders get bonus miles that are redeemable towards travel expenses. JetBlue card’s introductory offer is 10,000 points for spending $1,000 within the first three months of getting the balance transfer credit card. In addition to this bonus, there are several different rates of return on purchases. Users earn three miles per dollar spent on JetBlue products. Two points per dollar are awarded for purchases at grocery stores and gas stations, and one point is awarded for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

APR & Fees

Before having to worry about the balance transfer APR, cardholders have a 0% APR for the first year with the JetBlue Card. When this year is up, the APR converts to a new rate. These rates are applicable for both balance transfers and regular purchases, and there are three possible rates: 17.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49%. The cash advance annual percentage rate is 26.74%.

While there is no annual fee with the JetBlue credit card, there are other common transaction fees to consider. Balance transfers are subject to a $5 or 3% fee, and cash advances carry a $10 or 5% fee. This card carries no foreign transaction fee and no annual fee. Late fees and returned payment fees vary by state, but none exceed $37.

Bottom Line

This card offers a friendly introductory APR on balance transfers, as well as excellent travel benefits compared to other cards on this list. If you plan on using this card daily, and not just for a balance transfer, you should be sure to consider this offer.

NFL Extra Points Card

NFL Extra Points Card

$0 annual fee 0% balance transfer APR for 15 months

NFL Extra Points Card

  • A 0% introductory APR period of 15 months for balance transfers
  • Cardholders receive 10,000 bonus points after spending $500 within the first three months of opening an account
  • Two points are earned for NFL product purchases and one point is awarded for all other purchases
  • You can receive 20% off all NFL purchases with this card
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on Barclay's secure website

Intro APR

0% APR on purchases for 6 months

Regular APR

16.49% - 26.49% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The ever-popular National Football League is teamed up with the prominent Barclays in order to provide a product geared towards football fans. It just so happens that the product of this partnership has some of the lowest balance transfer rates on the market; additionally, this is one of the few cards with a rewards package.

There are several enticing benefits related to National Football League with this credit card. Cardholders receive 10,000 bonus points (or $100) after spending $500 within the first three months of opening an account. Two bonus points are earned for NFL product purchases while one point is awarded for all other purchases. These points are redeemable for NFL rewards or general cash back. With this card, NFL fans can get 20% off all NFL purchases.

APR & Fees

During the first six months with the NFL Extra Points Credit Card, there is an introductory APR for regular transactions of 0%. After that, this rate becomes either 16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49%. Balance transfers follow the same stipulations, except the introductory period is extended to 15 months. The cash advance APR lacks an introductory rate, but it is set around 26.74%. Each of these rates is variable.

This balance transfer credit card has no annual fee, but there are several other associated fees. First, balance transfers cost about $5 or 3% per transaction. Additionally, cash advances cost either $10 or 5%. Cardholders who are abroad will be charged a 3% foreign transaction fee. Late payments and returned payments all cost a maximum of $37.

Bottom Line

The avid National Football League supporter may do well to invest in this card since it offers many NFL-related discounts and benefits. The low balance transfer rates are a key supporting factor for the rewards package offered by the NFL and Barclays.

Wells Fargo Platinum Card

Wells Fargo Platinum Card

$0 annual fee 0% balance transfer APR for 18 months

Wells Fargo Platinum Card

  • A 0% introductory APR period of 18 months for balance transfers
  • Wells Fargo guarantees fraud protection, so cardholders will not be charged if their account is compromised
  • The card also comes with chip technology to make it more compatible worldwide
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on Wells Fargo's secure website

Intro APR

0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 18 months

Regular APR

16.90% - 26.74% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

While Wells Fargo's Platinum Card does not necessarily have "platinum" benefits, it fares well in the realm of balance transfer fees and annual percentage rates. This credit card is meant for customers who want a low-cost credit card and who might not qualify for a card with extensive benefits. This balance transfer credit card might lack certain benefits, but there are still standard perks for having a Wells Fargo credit card. Wells Fargo guarantees fraud protection, so customers will not be charged if their account information becomes compromised. Additionally, there is chip technology with the Platinum Card which makes it more compatible worldwide.

APR & Fees

Wells Fargo’s Platinum card has solid introductory deals for balance transfer and regular transaction APRs. For both transaction types, there is an 18-month period where the APR is set at 0%. Afterward, this rate increased to between 16.90% and 26.74%. There is also a cash advance APR between 25.74% and 27.74%.

There are some fees and charges that come standard with Wells Fargo credit card products. Since this card has limited rewards, there is no annual membership fee. However, there are fees for certain transactions to consider. For balance transfers that occur within the 18-month introductory period, a fee of either $5 or 3% is charged. After this intro period, the fee is 5% for balance transfers. Cash advance fees are either $10 or 5% of the transaction amount. There are a couple of overdraft charges as well. A $12.50 fee is charged for over-drafted balances under $50; balances over this amount are charged $20. Foreign transactions are charged 3%. Penalty fees on late and returned payments are up to $37.

Bottom Line

Overall, this card offers good deals when it comes to balance transfer expenses. If cardholders don’t mind a total lack of benefits and rewards, then this card can be considered an excellent deal.

Discover it Secured Credit Card

Discover it Secured Credit Card

$0 annual fee 10.99% balance transfer APR for 6 months

Discover it Secured Credit Card

  • A 10.99% introductory APR period of 6 months for balance transfers
  • A security deposit is required before receiving this card
  • Discover matches all accrued cash back after the first year
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations and 1% cash back on all other purchases
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on Discover's secure website

Intro APR

10.99% APR on Balance Transfers

Regular APR

24.49% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Poor

Card Highlights

Despite the fact this is a secured credit card, Discover offers a top-of-the-line product for people with bad credit in the Discover it Secured credit card. It even has more benefits than some of the balance transfer credit cards on this list. However, its strongest feature is its low balance transfer rates and expenses. This card is popular because it is one of the few secured credit products that offers rewards. There are two cash-back rates on this card: 2% back at restaurants and gas stations, and 1% back on all other purchases. On top of these rates, Discover matches all accrued cash back after the first year, which effectively doubles the rewards for the first year. Again, these benefits are rare for a secured credit card.

APR & Fees

This secured credit card starts out with one introductory deal for balance transfers. For the first six months with this card, there is a 10.99% APR on balance transfers. This rate is increased to 24.49% after the intro period. This same rate is used for regular purchases without the introductory period. The cash advance APR is set at 26.49%. There is also a security deposit to keep in mind. Starting with this security deposit, cardholders are required to submit a deposit before receiving the card. The deposit amount defines the credit limit on the card, which is an important feature.

There are a few simple fees with this credit card, although it has no annual fee. A simple fee of 3% is applied to all balance transfer transactions. The cash advance fee is either $10 or 5% depending on which is greater. Late and returned payments are $37, but the first late payment does not warrant a fee. No foreign transaction fee is listed with the secured credit card from Discover.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, this credit card offers low balance transfer rates with strong benefits. It is one of the best secured credit cards on the market.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards Comparison

Card Intro Balance Transfer Offer Regular Balance Transfer APR
Citi Diamond Preferred Card 0% APR for first 21 months 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR
Barclaycard Ring Mastercard N/A 10.49% Variable APR
Discover it Balance Transfer Card 0% APR for first 14 months 13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
Amex Everyday Credit Card 0% APR for first 15 months 14.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
Citi Simplicity Credit Card 0% APR for first 18 months 15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
BankAmericard Credit Card 0% APR for first 15 months 14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
Citi Double Cash Card 0% APR for first 18 months 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR
Chase Slate Card 0% APR for first 15 months 16.74% - 25.49% Variable APR
JetBlue Card 0% APR for first 12 months 17.49% - 26.49% Variable APR
NFL Extra Points Card 0% APR for first 15 months 16.49% - 26.49% Variable APR
Wells Fargo Platinum Card 0% APR for first 18 months 16.90% - 26.74 Variable APR
Discover it Secured Credit Card 10.99% APR for first 6 months 24.49% Variable APR

Frequently Asked Questions About Balance Transfer Credit Cards

How Do Credit Card Balance Transfers Work?

When someone transfers a balance, they’re moving their debt from one card to another. The primary reason someone might do a balance transfer is to get a better interest rate so they can pay their balance off faster.

This can also lead to lower payments. Many times with a balance transfer credit card, there might be a period where the interest rate is 0% on those transfers.

That can save the cardholder quite a bit of money. A balance transfer can also make it easier to make payments if multiple card debts are consolidated into one. Sometimes consumers can transfer other debts along with credit card debt. For example, they might be able to transfer car loans or other installment payments onto a card with a lower balance transfer interest rate.

Can Balance Transfers Help You Save Money?

The main way balance transfers can help you save money is by reducing interest. If someone has a lot of debt at a high interest rate, they will be paying a significant amount just in interest each year. Borrowers can save hundreds or thousands of dollars through a balance transfer that lowers the interest rate.

If someone has multiple cards or debts, a balance transfer can also help them avoid the costs of late payments and penalties by making it easier to keep track of payments. The consequence of a late or missed payment can get expensive quickly.

Of course, to save money with balance transfers, it’s essential to compare the interest rates on the balance transfer credit cards so you pay with the card that has the lowest APR. It’s also important to look for any potential hidden fees and to look beyond the initial introductory APR for balance transfers to determine the long-term APR.

Can Balance Transfers Help to Improve Your Credit Score?

For the most part, a balance transfer will not have a significant impact on your credit score.

First, a balance transfer does not reduce the amount of money owed. The money is moved to another account, but the debt isn’t reduced. Also, your previous account history remains the same as before the transfer. For example, if someone had late or missed payments before doing a balance transfer, that will reflect on their credit history.

However, in the long-term, a balance transfer may help your credit score by making it easier for them to pay off debts and keep their payments organized, so no payments are missed. Also, with a lower interest rate, a cardholder can pay off the total debt more quickly, which will improve their credit by lowering their credit utilization rate. The faster you can lower the amount of debt you owe, the better for your credit. You should try to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30 percent for the sake of their credit score.

Can You Combine Multiple Balances Into One Transfer?

Many borrowers do combine multiple balances into one transfer. It streamlines their payments and simplifies repayment when several balances are merged into one low-interest credit card.

In some cases, you may add other sources of debt into the balance transfer. Consumers should check the fine print and ensure that the transfers make the most financial sense. Research how much is the balance transfer fee will be and consider if that makes the transfer worthwhile.

What Sort of Fees Are Charged When You Do a Balance Transfer?

Most balance transfer fees range from 3% to 5% percent of the balance being transferred. So, if someone wanted to transfer a balance of $3,000, their balance transfer fee may range from $90 to $150. Some companies assign either a flat rate or percentage, for example either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater. Of course, balance transfer fees can be higher or lower, which is why reading the fine print is so important.

Many credit card issuers that focus on balance transfers will offer a $0 introductory fee if the balance transfers are made within a certain time after opening a new account. For example, new cardholders might have no balance transfer fees if they make all the transfers within the first 30 days of opening a new account.

Can You Do a Balance Transfer When You Have Authorized Users On Your Account?

Whether or not you can do a balance transfer when you have authorized users on your account depends on the card company. You can typically do this kind of transfer. An authorized user is someone who can make purchases on the card, but they’re not the primary owner.

The primary owner of the card is the one who is responsible for paying the debt. If you are the primary owner of a card and you have authorized users, you may transfer even the authorized user’s debt to a new balance transfer credit card. Legally, an authorized user isn’t responsible for charges or balances, so doing a balance transfer with their accounts is typically permissible.

How Long Does It Take for a Balance Transfer to Complete?

Most balance transfers are completed within seven to 10 days. However, there’s no guarantee of how long it will take for a transfer to be completed. It can take several weeks for a balance transfer to be completed in some cases. One reason it could longer for transfer to process is if a creditor needs to be paid by check, as opposed to receiving an electronic payment.

On the other hand, if you already have an account with the financial company and you request a balance transfer to that card, it may go through more quickly than if you’re applying for a new card and a balance transfer with a different bank.

When you are waiting for a balance transfer, keep paying your cards as usual. If they accumulate late fees or additional interest, you will be held responsible.

Should You Cancel Your Old Credit Card After a Balance Transfer?

Many cardholders consider canceling their old card after they complete a balance transfer. Whether or not this is a good financial move depends on several factors.

Try to avoid using your old credit card for new purchases as much as possible, but you shouldn’t necessarily close the account. There’s a reason you wanted to transfer the balance of the old card, and that’s likely because it has a high interest rate. If you do a balance transfer and then keep using the high rate card, you’re not doing yourself any financial favors.

However, if you close the old card, then you’re potentially hurting your credit score. This is because the length of your credit history factors into your score, so the longer you’re using a card, the better.

Also, if you close the old card you’re going to reduce your available credit which will cause a problem regarding your credit utilization rate. Credit utilization is one of the most important factors in how a credit score is calculated. If you have a card with a limit of $8,000 in the form of the card you’re transferring the balance from, that gives you more available credit. The more credit you have, and the less of it you’re using, the better your credit score will be. So it’s best to just hold the credit.

What Are the Risks of Doing a Balance Transfer?

A balance transfer can seem like a great idea, but there are some risks. First, it can be expensive to use balance transfer cards for additional purchases. The purchase APR for most balance transfer cards is different from the balance transfer interest rate. In most instances, using a balance transfer card should only be used to pay off existing debts more quickly.

Also, while introductory balance transfer APRs may be 0% on many cards, the APR can be higher than it would be with other cards when the introductory rate expires.

Transferring a balance to a new card may also tempt some cardholders to overspend. Some may revert to old spending habits on the old card and rack up new debt as they’re paying off the old debt on a new card.

Finally consider all the fees associated with these cards, not just the low balance transfer fee. For example, many cards have annual fees. Do the math and ensure that the balance transfer will pay off.

What Should You Expect After the Promotional Period is Over?

Consumers can be lured by the appeal of 0% introductory APRs on balance transfer credit cards, but keep in mind their perks are limited. First, these offers usually only apply the 0% interest rates to the actual balance transfers. Even during an introductory period, for new purchases, most of these cards will charge regular interest rates.

Also, once the introductory period ends, interest rates on a balance transfer credit card can be higher than average. They can be even higher than the rates on the original card.

Here are three examples of post-introductory APRs on popular balance transfer cards:

  • Discover it Balance Transfer: The introductory period is 18 months, and after that, the ongoing variable APR is 13.49% to 24.49%
  • Amex EveryDay Credit Card: The introductory APR period is 15 months, and the ongoing APR is 14.74% to 25.74%
  • Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card: The introductory APR period for balance transfers is 18 months. After that, the ongoing APR is 16.90% to 26.74%

Can You Do Back-to-Back Balance Transfers With Different Cards?

A lot of consumers wonder if they can conduct multiple balance transfer offers at the same time. While you may be able to take advantage of multiple offers, you also have to consider the effect these hard credit pulls will have on your score.

Also, applying for several credit cards at once can make you look as if you’re scrambling for access to credit. A better option is to find one good balance transfer offer and transfer multiple balances to that card, rather than using different new cards.

Can You Earn Rewards On a Balance Transfer Credit Card?

There are plenty of cards that allow for earning rewards and are geared toward offering balance transfer options. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to earn rewards on the balance transfer itself. Instead, the terms of the card may only allow for reward earnings on new purchases. In fact, this is the case with every credit card company offering balance transfers right now.

Essentially, you can choose a card with an appealing introductory balance transfer offer, such as 0% APR for 18 months on transfers. So, you can pay off that debt with the benefit of no accumulating interest. Then, if you make new purchases on the card, those will be applied toward earning rewards.

Can You Get Approved for a Balance Transfer Credit Card With Fair or Bad Credit?

As with other credit cards, some cards are for good, fair or even bad credit. For good credit, the best card options include the American Express EveryDay Credit Card and the BankAmericard Credit Card. Both tend to require high credit scores for approval. For fair credit, there are other options such as the Discover it Balance Transfer Card. It can be difficult to get one of the best balance transfer credit cards with fair or bad credit, but not necessarily impossible.

Are There Alternatives to a Balance Transfer?

Yes, there are alternatives to a balance transfer that you may need to consider if you don’t qualify for a balance transfer. One alternative is an unsecured personal loan. Although, make sure the interest rates offered are lower than the rate you’re paying on your current credit card debt. Finally, a secured consolidated loan may be an option. Then you can try to improve your credit score and reapply for one of the best balance transfer credit cards later on.