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The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Last updated on May 5th, 2022

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:

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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.

guide to balance transfers infographic guide

Balance Transfer Cards with the Longest 0% APR

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

Citi Simplicity® Card

citi simplicity card
0% Intro APR on Purchases and BTs
  • 0% APR for 12 months on purchases
  • 0% APR for 21 months on balance transfers
☆ Choose Your Payment Date
☆ Contactless Payment - Tap and Pay
☆ No Annual Fee

If some is good, more is better. That is the case with the Citi Simplicity® card, which offers a huge 21 months of 0%  intro APR on balance transfers. This gives you ample time to pay off any debt that you move over to this card without the added cost of interest charges. What’s more, the card also offers 12 months of no interest on new purchases. However, if you are planning to transfer an external balance, you’ll want to be careful with making large purchases, otherwise, you’ll dig yourself into a bigger hole.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

0% Intro APR on Purchases and BTs
  • 0% APR for 12 months on purchases
  • 0% APR for 21 months on balance transfers
☆ Choose Your Payment Date
☆ Contactless Payment - Tap and Pay
☆ No Annual Fee

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 for applicants with excellent credit than Simplicity.

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.

Other Options to Consider

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

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!

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

citi custom cash 224x141
Earn 5% Back On Your Top Spending Category
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter
  • Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
☆ 5% Categories Include Gas, Streaming, Groceries, Travel, & More!
☆ 0% Intro APR for 15 Months
☆ No Annual Fee

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is Citibank’s latest cash back credit card. The card earns 5% back on your highest spending category each billing period, making it a direct competitor to the Bank of America Customized Cash RewardsWells Fargo Active Cash, or the Chase Freedom Flex.

The 5% back categories with the Custom Cash include the following and is limited to the first $500 spent every billing period, 1% cash back thereafter: dining, drugstores, fitness clubs, gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores, live entertainment, select travel, select streaming services, and select transit. Furthermore, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Like its rivals, the Custom Cash also features a lengthy introductory period on balance transfers and purchases. That 0% intro APR period extends for 15 months, making the card rewarding, versatile, and convenient.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

doublecash 224x141
Earn 2% Cash Back on All Purchases
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
☆ Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months
☆ No Reward Caps or Categories
☆ No Annual Fee

The Citi® Double Cash Card does not offer a special rewards categories Instead, Citi provides 2% cash back on all eligible purchases. The card earns a flat-rate 1% cash back on all eligible purchases – and another 1% back when the account holder pays off that balance.

The lack of an annual fee, the 2% back , and the 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months make the Citi Double Cash Card the perfect everyday card that just happens to reward your streaming habits.

Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards

upgrade visa credit card
Earn Unlimited Cash Back
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash abck on all purchases
  • No fees of any kind!
☆ $0 Annual Fee, $0 Maintenance Fees
☆ Quick Online Pre-Approval
☆ Exceptionally Low APR

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 Card with Cash Rewards a versatile credit card suitable for everyday usage.

Discover it Cash Back

merit
Earn Up to 5% Cash Back
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate
  • 0% for 15 months from account opening
☆ Discover Cash Back Match
☆ Use Points with Amazon
☆ No Annual Fee

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.

Related Article: Chase, Discover, & Citi 2022 5% Cash Back Calendars

Wells Fargo Reflect Card

Wells Fargo Reflect Card
Enjoy Wells Fargo's Lowest Intro APR for Up to 21 Months
  • 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
  • ntro APR extension of up to 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the introductory and extension periods
☆ Cell Phone Protection
☆ Roadside Dispatch
☆ No 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.