The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

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Last updated on August 14th, 2023

Carrying a balance on your credit card can lead to significant interest charges over time. Balance transfers are a great way to pay down credit card balances and debt with 0% APR and a low rate everyday. Thinking of getting a new card and want to ensure you get the best possible deal? Here are our top picks for the best balance transfer credit cards:

This post may contain links from partner offers, and we may receive compensation when you click on links to these offers. Please see our advertiser and editorial disclosures above for more information. Citi is an advertising partner.

At a Glance

What is a Balance Transfer?

A balance transfer is a process of using one credit card to pay off the debt accumulated on another credit card, often at a much lower monthly payment due to reduced interest costs. The best way to begin going about this process is to compare the introductory period balance transfer APRs of credit cards you are considering.

Balance Transfer Cards with the Longest 0% APR

Low rate (or low APR) credit cards provide the ideal platform for balance transfers. Add to that some of the longest introductory 0% APR periods on the market and you can take years off the repayment of your existing credit card balances.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Excellent-Good
BestCards.com uses a variation of FICO Score 8, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Credit Needed: Excellent/ Good
Mastercard Processing Network
$0 Annual Fee

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

  • 17.99% – 28.74% (Variable) Regular Purchase APR
  • 17.99% – 28.74% (Variable) Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.99% (Variable) Cash Advance APR
  • 0% for 12 months on Purchases Intro Purchase APR

At a Glance

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card provides one of the longest 0% intro APR periods on the market for no annual fee.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 17.99% – 28.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.
  • With Citi Entertainment®, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months on Purchases
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.99% – 28.74% (Variable)
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
  • Balance Transfer APR: 17.99% – 28.74% (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% (Variable)
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: 5% of each cash advance; $10 minimum
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
  • You make frequent purchases to entertainment events and want priority access
  • You’re looking for a generous introductory 0% APR period for both purchases and balance transfers

The Citi Simplicity might be Citibank’s most recognizable low APR and balance transfer credit card. Still, it isn’t the only option the bank offers. The Diamond Preferred Card actually offers an equal interest-free introductory period and a slightly lower APR than the Simplicity for applicants with excellent credit.

The Diamond Preferred features a huge 21 months of 0% intro APR on balance transfers, then a low variable APR – a noticeable difference from the APR you’d get with the Simplicity. Note the the Diamond Preferred carries a balance transfer fee, but don’t let that detract from its impressive BT abilities. Plus, the card offers a 12-month 0% intro APR introductory period for purchases. While not as long as the balance transfer offer, one year is still a comfortable amount of time to pay off new purchases without interest charges.

Other Options to Consider

Want some more low rate balance transfer credit card options to consider? Here are some other popular offers:

Rewards Cards for Balance Transfers

Rewards cards are an excellent way to maximize value, thanks to cash back, rewards points, and an ever-increasing number of introductory APR periods for new accounts. These intro periods make cash back cards even more rewarding!

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
Excellent-Good-Fair
BestCards.com uses a variation of FICO Score 8, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Credit Needed: Excellent/ Good/ Fair
Visa Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

  • 14.99%-29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 14.99% to 29.99% Balance Transfer APR

At a Glance

The Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® offers no fees, low rates, cash back, and credit lines from $500 to $25,000 in one unique package. The card provides consumers the flexibility and predictability to quickly pay down balances and get debt-free. The Upgrade credit card is one of the lowest regular APR credit cards on the market for those with excellent credit scores, putting it firmly on any list of the best balance transfer credit card deals – or any list of the best credit cards in the U.S.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • $200 bonus after opening a Rewards Checking Plus account and making 3 debit card transactions*
  • Earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment
  • Combine the flexibility of a credit card with the predictability of a personal loan
  • No annual fee
  • No touch payments with contactless technology built in
  • See if you qualify in minutes without hurting your credit score
  • Great for large purchases with predictable payments you can budget for
  • Mobile app to access your account anytime, anywhere
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud liability
  • *To qualify for the welcome bonus, you must open and fund a new Rewards Checking account and make 3 qualifying debit card transactions from your Rewards Checking account within 60 days of the date the Upgrade Card account is opened. To qualify, debit card transactions must have settled and exclude ATM transactions. Please refer to the applicable Upgrade VISA® Debit Card Agreement and Disclosures for more information. Your Upgrade Card and Rewards Checking account must be open and in good standing to receive a bonus. If you have previously opened a Rewards Checking account or do not open one as part of this application process, you are not eligible for this welcome bonus offer. Welcome bonus offers cannot be combined, substituted, or applied retroactively. The bonus will be applied to your Rewards Checking account as a one-time payout credit within 60 days after the 3rd qualifying card purchase.
  • Regular Purchase APR: 14.99%-29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 14.99% to 29.99%
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Up to 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 3%
  • You struggle to pay off your credit card balances
  • You want a structured repayment plan
  • You can reliably pay off your statement balances to earn cash back for your purchases
  • You have a desire to get debt-free quickly
  • You hate penalty or other hidden fees

Thanks to its impressive everyday APR, the Upgrade Card is one of our favorite credit cards at BestCards. That APR on purchases and balance transfers starts as low as 9% for applicants with excellent credit.

Instead of 0% APR Upgrade prioritizes a great rate along with a unique repayment plan that is more akin to a personal loan than a traditional credit card account. Cardholders pay off balances significantly faster with Upgrade versus other low APR credit cards. According to research from Upgrade, paying off a $10,000 balance takes just a few years with the Upgrade Visa, compared with other traditional credit cards that can take up to 20 years – or more.

Add to that great rate simplified cash back rewards, and you have the makings of an excellent low APR credit card. Even better, that 1.5% cash back applies to every purchase, making the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa a versatile credit card suitable for everyday usage.

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back
Excellent-Good
BestCards.com uses a variation of FICO Score 8, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Credit Needed: Excellent/ Good
Discover Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Discover it® Cash Back

  • 17.24% to 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 17.24% to 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR
  • 0% for 18 months from account opening Intro Purchase APR

At a Glance

The Discover It Cash Back Card is a cash back credit card that offers enhanced earning potential in a selection of rotating categories. Cardholders earn 5% back on purchases in categories that rotate each quarter, and 1% on all other purchases. The card also features 0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, Discover’s 100% U.S.-based customer service, Discover’s bonus cash back match, and no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically
  • Discover matches all of the cash back earned by the cardholder at the end of the first year automatically; there is no limit to how much cash back is matched
  • Cash back rewards never expire, earn unlimited cash back
  • Use rewards at Amazon checkout
  • No annual fee
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 18 months from account opening
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.24% to 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months from date of first transfer
  • Balance Transfer APR: 17.24% to 28.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer posted at the promotional rate. After that, 5% of the amount of each transfer
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: None the first time you pay late. After that, up to $41
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
  • You want to earn 5% back on select category purchases each quarter, including restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares, and online shopping
  • You don’t want to pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • You want 100% U.S.-based customer service
  • You don’t mind rotating categories changing every three months

The Discover it® Cash Back card is a perennial favorite because of its enticing Cashback Match perk, which matches all of the cash back you earn, dollar-for-dollar, during your first year. But it’s easy to overlook the fact that it’s also a pretty solid balance transfer card choice. If approved, you’ll get 15 months of 0% APR on transfers (as well as purchases). Another unique add-on is a reduced balance transfer fee of 3% (usually 5%), which is applied to any transfers that post to your account within a certain period of time after opening an account.

Wells Fargo Reflect Card

Wells Fargo Reflect Card
Excellent-Good
BestCards.com uses a variation of FICO Score 8, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Credit Needed: Excellent/ Good
Visa Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Wells Fargo Reflect Card

  • 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR
  • 0% for 18 months from date of account opening, with an extension of up to 3 months for meeting minimum requirements Intro Purchase APR

At a Glance

The Wells Fargo Reflect Visa is a low APR credit card that offers one of the lengthiest intro APR periods available. The card, which features no annual fee, starts with 18 months of 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, with that period extending to up to 21 months when the cardholder makes their minimum payment due each month.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers.
  • Intro APR extension of up to 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the introductory and extension periods
  • Cell phone protection for up to $600 when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 18 months from date of account opening, with an extension of up to 3 months for meeting minimum requirements
  • Regular Purchase APR: 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months from date of account opening, with an extension of up to 3 months for meeting minimum requirements
  • Balance Transfer APR: 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Introductory fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater, for 120 days from account opening. After that, up to 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each advance, whichever is greater.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction converted to U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • You have a significant credit card balance they want to pay down
  • You plan on making your payments on time each month
  • You have a good credit score
  • You do’t want to pay an annual fee

The recently launched Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card doesn’t have the bells and whistles of other rewards cards, but it does have an above-average 18-month 0% APR intro offer on balance transfers and purchases. However, those 18 months can turn into 21 months. By simply making the minimum monthly payment every month during the 18-month intro period, you’ll get a 3-month extension with no interest charges (during which you’ll still need to make the minimum monthly payment on your statement). Almost two years without interest charges, plus no annual fee, make this a sweet deal for those looking to save money.

Other Options to Consider

Want some more low rate balance transfer rewards credit card options to consider? Here are some other popular offers:

Balance Transfer FAQs

Balance transfers can seem confusing – but they don’t have to be. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about balance transfers and balance transfer credit cards:

  • A balance transfer is a process of taking an existing credit card balance and moving it to a new account with a lower regular APR. These transfers make it easier to pay down balances and often come with intro APR offers.
  • Because these types of cards offer low-interest rates, a good credit score is a minimum requirement for a balance transfer card. Many issuers require an excellent credit score, so a good benchmark for obtaining a card like these is a FICO Score of 700 or higher.
  • Because these cards feature an introductory rate, you might find yourself stuck with more debt than you began. After the promotional period ends, only those with the best credit scores will have the lowest rates. Those with good credit might be paying a higher APR – primarily if they conduct their transfer using a rewards credit card. Other negatives of transferring a balance include:
  • Increasing credit utilization on a single card, which can lower your credit score.
  • Lowering the average age of your credit accounts by opening a new line of credit.
  • A new line of credit also means a further hard inquiry, which can also impact your credit score.
  • While many cards feature 0% intro AR, not all balance transfer cards provide an interest-free period, some cards – especially those from credit unions or smaller banks – may only offer a reduced interest rate. These rates maybe 3.99% or higher, but are often significantly lower than the standard variable APR.
  • While most major card issuers provide a variety of offers, not all currently offer a balance transfer credit card. Most significant issuers and banks, like Chase (Chase Slate Card), Citi (the Citi Simplicity Card), and others, provide balance transfer cards and low APR Cards. Discover also reintroduced its balance transfer card, the Discover It Balance Transfer.
  • In some cases, yes. Some cash back cards, like the Citi Double Cash Card, offer 0% APR on balance transfers and cash back rewards program in one package. Just be sure to pay your statement balance in full before the due date, or you might incur a late fee or penalty APR.
About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. Cory holds academic degrees in both the U.S. and U.K. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.

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