Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

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All too often, we get wrapped up in introductory APRs and signup bonuses that we don’t pay enough attention to what happens with our cards when those offers run out. High APRs kick in and rack up interest before we can pay off those high balances, which can really chip away at your ability to pay off your debt.

Luckily, there are more than a few credit cards out there that are great for balance transfers – cards with low introductory APRs and little to no balance transfer fees that will allow you to transfer debt from one high-interest card to something with a little more breathing room.

 It’s a really important aspect to choosing a credit card that often gets overlooked, but we feel it’s crucial to keep it in mind when the need arises. For that reason, we looked over some of the best balance transfer credit cards out there and came up with a few we’d recommend.


Wells Fargo Platinum Credit Card

Wells Fargo Platinum Card

On Wells Fargo's home portal

750 - 850
Best for excellent credit

Highlight: 0% annual fee and access to My Money Map budgeting tools
  • 0% introductory APR (purchases and balance transfers) for 15 months

  • $0 annual fee

  • Zero Liability Protection

  • My Money Map budgeting tools

  • FICO Score Access with Wells Fargo Online

Intro APR

0%

Variable APR

16.65% - 26.49%

Annual Fee

$0

Cash Back

1% - 5%

Why It's Good

When looking for the best balance transfer credit cards, a low introductory APR that lasts longer than usual is a great place to start looking. With that in mind, the Wells Fargo Platinum Credit Card is one of your better options for transferring balances from one card to another – with this card, you get 15 months of 0% APR, for both purchases and balance transfers.

That doesn’t mean you can just transfer your balance scot-fee, though; fees still apply for balance transfers with the Wells Fargo Platinum card. With every balance transfer in the first twelve months, you have to pay a minimum of $5, or 3% of the amount you’re transferring (whichever is bigger). Once that trial period ends, future balance transfers cost 5% of the amount.

While that’s not ideal, it’s still a wonderful option for those transferring balances, if for no other reason than you’re saving on 15 months of accrued interest, which can really help you get ahead of your debt.

 Apart from just being a balance transfer card, though, the Wells Fargo Platinum card still offers plenty of robust features. The card comes with no annual fee, and travelers can benefit from $600 of cell phone protection and travel accident insurance, as well as auto rental collision damage waivers, among other things.


Citi Simplicity Card

On Citi's home portal

700-750
Best for good credit

Highlight: 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers
  • No annual fee

  • 0% introductory APR for 18 months on balance transfers

  • 0% introductory APR for 18 months on purchases

  • No late fees

  • No penalty rates for missed or late payments

Intro APR

0%

Variable APR

15.49% - 25.49%

Annual Fee

$0

Intro Transfer Fee

$0

Why It's Good

The Citi Simplicity Card could be a great option for people who like to switch to make sure they keep getting the best deal. This is down to one thing -- 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers and purchases.

Yep, 18 months.

There's one caveat. The balance transfer has to be completed within 4 months of opening your account. Any balance transfers taking place after the initial 4 months are, therefore, subject to the standard APR (15.49% - 25.49% depending on your credit rating.) So, 18 months after your first balance transfer takes place, you'll be paying this rate on the total balance you have transferred. 

Basically, there are two scenarios where the Citi Simplicity Card may come in extremely useful. The first is if you have credit card debt you believe you can pay off within 18 months. In this case, you can transfer the entire balance to this card to do just that interest free. The second is if you like to shop around. You can transfer your debt to this card. Then, enjoy 18 months interest free before transferring to yet another card to enjoy a similar, introductory offer.


Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

On American Express' home portal

750 - 850
Best for excellent credit

Highlight: 1-6% cash back and a $200 signup bonus
  • 6% cash back at supermarkets

  • 3% cash back at gas stations and department stores

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • $200 cash back signup bonus

  • $95 annual fee

  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months

Intro APR

0%

Variable APR

14.49% - 25.49%

Annual Fee

$95

Cash Back

1% - 6%

Why It's Good

Having a card with a long, generous introductory no-interest period is great, but as we can attest, it helps to have some other robust features as well. The Blue Cash Preferred Card definitely fits those requirements, with great cash back rewards features to go along with its 12-month introductory 0% APR.

This is the best balance transfer credit card for those who want to get a little more out of their everyday expenses – the Blue Cash card offers a whopping 6% cash back for supermarket purchases, which will help subsidize your next trip to the grocery store.

In addition to that, you get 3% cash back at department stores and gas stations, two other places most of us make everyday purchases. For the rest, an unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases still applies.

 While its other features aren’t as great as some of the other cards on this list (it still sports a $95 annual fee), it might be worth it if you want to add debt consolidation with some great crash back rewards for some of your most frequent purchases


Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

On Bank of America's home portal

750 - 850
Best for excellent credit

Highlight: $150 signup bonus and 1-3% cash back
  • 3% cash back on gas

  • 2% cash back at grocery stores

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • $0 annual fee

  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months

  • $150 online cash rewards signup bonus

Intro APR

0%

Variable APR

16.24% - 24.99%

Annual Fee

$0

Cash Back

1% - 3%

Why It's Good

Another great all-purpose card that combines a long introductory APR period (12 months) with a tiered cash back rewards system for everyday purchases is the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card.

The rewards aren’t as robust and generous as the Blue Cash card; it’s a 3-2-1 system that gives those respective percentages of cash back rewards on gas station, grocery store, and other purchases. Again, if you plan on using that card just for your purchases at the pump, or at the checkout counter, the Bank of America Cash Rewards card is a great investment.

One advantage it has over the Blue Cash card is its $0 annual fee, which is another nice way to cut down on the little extra expenses you’re trying to avoid by getting a balance transfer credit card in the first place. Also, you can get more out of your rewards with their Preferred Rewards Program, which can give you extra value depending on the state of your B of A accounts.

 Overall, if you already bank with Bank of America, and want to take advantage of their existing rewards program while having a great place to put your existing balance, the Cash Rewards card is a fine way to go.


Chase Freedom Credit Card

Chase Freedom Card

On Chase's home portal

700-750
Best for good credit

Highlight: $150 bonus and unlimited cash back on all purchases
  • $0 annual fee

  • 0% introductory APR for 15 months

  • $150 bonus (after spending $500 in first 3 months)

  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases

  • 5% cash back in bonus categories

  • No expiration on cashback rewards

  • Zero liability and fraud protection

  • Extended warranty and purchase protection

Intro APR

0%

Variable APR

16.24% - 24.99%

Annual Fee

$0

Cash Back

1.5%

Why It's Good

While we’ve already mentioned the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card earlier, the original Chase Freedom card is still around, and it’s just as good a place to transfer your existing balances as the other. Like the Unlimited, the Freedom has a 15-month introductory period for 0% APR, as well as no annual fee.

Where it differs from the Unlimited, however, is in its cash back rewards system – its unlimited tier is a bit smaller at 1%, but it also offers a rewards tier where you can get 5% cash back in purchases made along a rotating set of spending categories (gas, groceries, etc.). If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep track of how to get extra rewards, this is the card for you.

 The Freedom is also similar to the Unlimited in that its cash back rewards don’t expire, and you can pool your rewards through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program for greater value. So if you bank with Chase, and want a solid balance transfer card, get the Freedom if you’ll pay attention to your spending categories. For more easy-going spenders, the Unlimited’s the way to go.


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