Best Balance Transfer Cards

balance transfer

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Balance transfer cards provide an excellent opportunity to help us combine, and pay off our existing credit card debt. When used correctly, they can enable us become credit card debt free in under two years, entirely interest and, in some cases even, fee free. Not all balance transfer cards are equal. They all have their pros and cons and some provide more of a long term value than others. I’ve compiled a list of my top choices.

 

1 Chase Slate

The Chase Slate is at the top of my list because, in my opinion, it is the only “true” balance transfer card out there. It is the only card I found that does not charge a fee to transfer other credit card balances. This card offers:

  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR for paying late
  • 0% APR for 15 Months
  • Free balance transfers within 60 days of account opening
  • Monthly FICO Score

This card is a true winner in my book. Free balance transfers can be extremely lucrative, and no interest for a full 15 months is also fairly generous. This card is great for people with high balances to transfer and no need for a longer 0% APR introduction period.

 

2 Citi Diamond Preferred Card

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card comes with a few additional features over the Chase Slate.

  • No annual fee
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions
  • Free FICO scores
  • 24/7 Concierge Service
  • 0% APR for 21 Months
  • Balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount being transferred

Overall, very similar to the Citi Simplicity Card. This card is great when a little more time is needed to pay off the transferred amount. A one time balance transfer fee definitely beats having the interest free period expire, so if you know you’ll need more than 15 months to pay everything off, this card is one for you to consider.

 

3 Citi Double Cash

The Citi Double Cash Card is great in two ways: It’s generous with the length of its 0% intro APR period and it earns a total of 2% Cash Back on purchases, so it’s definitely a good card to hold onto and use for day to day purchases after you’ve paid off the transfer balance.

  • No annual fee
  • 18 months no APR on balance transfers
  • 2% Cash Back; 1% at time of purchase and 1% when bill is paid
  • $5 or 3 percent balance transfer fee
  • balance transfers restricted to initial 4 months

Please keep in mind that balance transfers do not earn Cash Back. Also, I recommend not to use this card as anything other than a balance transfer card until the entire balance that was transferred over is paid off. Once you make any purchases with this card, the 0% APR period expires and you will pay interest on the entire balance, balance transfer included, unless the entire amount gets paid by the due date of that billing period. In short, do not use this as a cash back card until you’ve paid off your original debt first.

 

4 Amex Everyday Card

The only American Express card that made the list, the American Express Everyday Card. This card is the no annual fee version of the Everyday Preferred Card.

  • No annual fee
  • 12 months 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases
  • Earn Membership Rewards on purchases
  • 10,000 point sign-up bonuses after $1,000 spent in purchases within 90 days
  • earn 2x points at U.S. supermarkets, 1x points everywhere else
  • ability to earn 20% bonus points each month after using the card 20 times or more in a billing period
  • $5 or 3% balance transfer fee

Although the interest free period applies to both balance transfers and purchases, I recommend holding off on using it for purchases (even if that means losing out on the sign-up bonus), unless you know for sure you will pay the entire balance made on purchases, in addition to your pre-determined monthly balance transfer payments. Also, keep in mind that as an active duty military member, you’re eligible to get the American Express Everyday Preferred Card for free as well. That card, however, does not serve as a very good balance transfer card.

 

5 Discover it

Discover has released some interesting new products in recent years and has really made a name for itself in the customer service department. The Discover it Cash Back card also doubles as an attractive balance transfer option.

  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR for 14 months on balance transfers and purchases
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 100% U.S. based customer service
  • 5% cash back on purchases in quarterly rotating categories, think of the Chase Freedom card
  • 3% balance transfer fee

The Discover it card is the only card in the group that does not charge any foreign transaction fees, and it also makes for a really good Cash Back card. Unfortunately, Discover cards aren’t accepted abroad, not directly anyway. Discover has partnered with Diners Club in Europe and JCP in Asia and gets accepted at retailers honoring those cards, but only major retailers in Europe even accept Diners Club cards. That makes the no FTF feature, while generous, not very beneficial for travelers to Europe.

We have a wide variety of credit cards available to us for balance transfer purposes. The two main things to consider are balance transfer fees and 0% APR periods. All other features are secondary and I would only put weight on those if you’re having to decide between cards that are, otherwise, identical.

 

Have you used a credit card to transfer balances before? What features do you value most? Comment below and follow us on social media.