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What are the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2019?

We examined over 50 balance transfer credit card options to see which worked best for cardholders. Our research indicates that the Citi Simplicity® Card is the best balance transfer credit card because of its exceptionally long 0% intro APR period, which can save you thousands. Applicants more interested in eliminating balance transfer fees or earning rewards would be better served by some of the more tailored cards mentioned below.

Recommended Cards

Best ForBalance Transfer FeesAPR
Image
Citi Simplicity® CardLong 0% Intro APRGreater of $5 or 5%15.99% - 25.99%* (Variable)
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Chase Slate®No Transfer FeeMax of $5 or 5% ($0 within 60 days)16.74% - 25.49% Variable
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Discover it® Balance TransferRewards3%13.99% - 24.99% Variable
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The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American ExpressBusinessesMax of $5 or 3%13.24% - 21.24% Variable

In-Depth Reviews of the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

We'll discuss how each of the cards on our list can reduce your interest and overall debt burden below. Our team of analysts studied each card closely and these cards have the potential to save you thousands of dollars in credit card interest. Even better, some of these cards actually put cash back in your wallet through cash back rewards.

Longest 0% Intro APR Offer For Balance Transfers

On Citi's Secure Website

Citi Simplicity® Card

On Citi's Secure Website
  • The only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% - 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% - 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day — just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
  • The only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% - 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% - 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day — just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
Annual Fee
$0*
APR
15.99% - 25.99%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

The Citi Simplicity® Card is our top recommendation for those interested in a balance transfer credit card because its 21 month 0% intro APR period is 3 months longer than the next most competitive offer. After the intro period your APR will be 15.99% - 25.99%* (Variable), based on your creditworthiness.

This long 0% intro APR period means you'll have more time to pay off your debt interest-free. Unfortunately, you will have to contend with a transfer fee that's on the higher end of what our analysts saw ($5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater). We suggest using our calculator below if you want to see whether you can save more money on a longer 0% intro APR offer or by avoiding transfer fees.

One aspect we like about the Citi Simplicity® Card is that it doesn't charge users late fees. Other cards on the market typically charge users $35 if they're late to pay their bill. Another aspect we really like about this card is that it doesn't have a penalty APR, while other cards' APRs generally shoot up to 29.99%. Most balance transfer credit cards lack the type of safe guards that come equipped with this one.

Alternative Pick

On HSBC's Secure Website

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

On HSBC's Secure Website
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening. Then a variable APR of 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% will apply.
  • No Penalty APR.
  • Late Fee Waiver.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $0 Annual Fee.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening. Then a variable APR of 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% will apply.
  • No Penalty APR.
  • Late Fee Waiver.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $0 Annual Fee.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$0
*Rates and Fees
APR
Variable APR of 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% will apply after the Introductory Period
Credit Needed
Good/Excellent

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card is another solid credit card with a longer than average 0% APR period. Cardholders can go interest-free for 18 months from account opening (3-6 months longer than what's standard). Then a Variable APR of 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% will apply after the Introductory Period. The transfer fee is on the higher end of what we tend to see of either $10 or 4% of the amount transferred, whichever is greater. Still, if you're taking full advantage of those 18 months of no interest, you'll likely save much more than you pay towards that fee.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Card with No Transfer Fee

Chase Slate®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Chase Slate®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

Chase Slate®

Chase Slate®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Chase Slate®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
APR
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
Credit Needed
Good

The Chase Slate® has two features that, when combined, allow consumers to maximize their savings and efficiently reduce their credit card debt. First, the card has a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases that lasts 15 billing cycles — this is on the longer end of what cards typically offer.

This card also uniquely waives the balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open. Other credit cards—including other ones on this list—will charge between 3% and 5% for each transfer. Depending on how much debt you have, that fee can cost you hundreds of dollars. By skipping the transfer fee, the Chase Slate® allows you to put all your available funds toward paying down your debt.

Like most balance transfer cards, the Chase Slate® has limited value after the promotional APR period ends. It has no rewards program or other bells and whistles that would make it useful for you in the long run. If that's an issue for you, we recommend checking out balance transfer/rewards cards hybrids.

Alternative Pick

BankAmericard® credit card
BankAmericard® credit card

BankAmericard® credit card

BankAmericard® credit card
BankAmericard® credit card
  • NEW OFFER: 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 14.99% - 24.99% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
  • NEW OFFER: 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 14.99% - 24.99% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
APR
14.99% - 24.99% Variable
Credit Needed
Excellent

From a features perspective, the BankAmericard® credit card is almost identical in the introductory APR and transfer waiver to the Chase Slate®. The reason we moved the BankAmericard® credit card down as an alternative is because of Bank of America's lower satisfaction ratings. Chase consistently ranked higher in J.D. Power's 2017 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. In all regions of the study, Bank of America performed below average—sometimes coming in near the bottom. Therefore, if you have a choice, we recommend going with the Chase Slate®.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Card with Rewards

On Discover's Secure Website

Discover it® Balance Transfer

On Discover's Secure Website
INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
    • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
    • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
    • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
    • 100% U.S. based customer service.
    • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
    • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
    • No annual fee.
    • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
    • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
    • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
    • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
    • 100% U.S. based customer service.
    • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
    • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
    • No annual fee.
    • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Annual Fee
$0
APR
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

The Discover it® Balance Transfer is one of the only credit cards we've seen that does an outstanding job as both a balance transfer and rewards credit card, at the same time. Most cards will specialize in one or the other. Cardholders get a 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months, which is extremely long compared to most credit cards out there. In fact, among the 50 cards we surveyed, only the Citi Simplicity® Card came with a longer zero interest period.

On the rewards side, this is also one of also our favorite cash back credit cards. Users get 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases each time they activate. This rewards rate applies to categories that change every quarter. For a point of comparison, most credit cards struggle to provide cardholders with more than 2% back.

Alternative Pick

On Citi's Secure Website

Citi® Double Cash Card

On Citi's Secure Website
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Annual Fee
$0*
APR
15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

The Citi® Double Cash Card is another top cash back credit card, but it can be an amazing balance transfer card as well. Cardholders get a very long zero percent interest period on balance transfers (18 months vs an average of 12 across the credit card industry); after that cardholders get a standard APR of (15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)).

If you have the choice, we recommend applying for the Discover it® Balance Transfer because it has a lower transfer fee. However, if you prefer Citibank, or already have card debt with Discover, the Citi® Double Cash Card can be a great alternative.

On the cash back end, this card gives rewards that can't be rivaled by most cards. Users get 1% cash back whenever they use this card to make a purchase, and then another 1% back when that purchase is paid off. That effectively translates to a 2% cash back rate. Very few credit cards give their users 2% back on every single purchase. Most do so in one or two shopping categories.

Best Business Balance Transfer Card

On American Express' Secure Website

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

On American Express' Secure Website
  • Get rewarded for business as usual. Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners.
  • 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to put more purchases on the Card and earn rewards when you buy above your credit limit*.
  • More buying power for your business* means more opportunities to earn points. That's everyday business with the new Blue Business Plus Card.
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Get rewarded for business as usual. Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners.
  • 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to put more purchases on the Card and earn rewards when you buy above your credit limit*.
  • More buying power for your business* means more opportunities to earn points. That's everyday business with the new Blue Business Plus Card.
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
No annual fee
*Rates and Fees
APR
13.24% - 21.24% Variable
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express is one of the few small business credit cards to come with any sort of 0% APR offer. The card offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. That's extremely competitive, even when compared to non-business cards. After that, your APR will be 13.24% - 21.24% Variable, based on your creditworthiness. The 15 months is among the longest we've seen for a business card. If you want the most time you can possibly get to pay down any major capital expenditure, this card is our #1 recommendation.

This card also doubles as a fantastic, easy-to-use rewards credit card. You'll earn a 2% rewards rate on all purchases, up to $50,000 each year. This is an extremely competitive return, matching some of the best business cards. The simple 2% rewards structure is also fantastic for busy entrepreneurs who don't want to manage special categories, and instead want a card that will provide them with outstanding value across the board.

Alternative Pick

On Chase's Secure Website

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website
Earn $500 bonus cash back when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee
Annual Fee
$0
APR
15.24% - 21.24% Variable
Credit Needed
Excellent Credit

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is another one of the few top balance transfer business cards available for entrepreneurs. With the card you get to skip paying interest on balance transfers for a full year. While that's not as impressive as other cards on here, keep in mind that there aren't that many options available for business owners. After the introductory period, the card still comes with some of the lowest ongoing interest rates we've seen on a business card. That means debt your firm takes on with this card is likely to be much cheaper than other business cards.

Unlike most other balance transfer cards, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is also a rewards credit card, which gives it significantly better long-term value than its competitors. The card awards some of the highest cash back rates you can get on common office-related expenses. This sort of rebate can take some pressure off your bottom line, making it slightly easier to manage cash flows when times are tough.

How Do the Best Cards Compare?

The best way of selecting a balance transfer credit card is to pick one based on your specific financial situation. Using our tool below, you can enter your current amount of debt, estimated monthly payments and current interest rate, and our tool will figure out which credit cards will provide you with the best value, ranking them from highest to lowest value. If you would like to know more about some of the top cards, look to our picks above.

Image
Your current interest rate is 20%
Current interest rate:
%
$
$
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Most top-rated balance transfer credit cards are only open to individuals with good-to-excellent credit (FICO 680+). If you're a student or have a poor credit history, you likely won't be able to find a balance transfer card until your score improves.

No matter what balance transfer credit card you get, it should have no annual fees, a 0% intro APR period that lasts at least 12 months, and average interest rates below 20% once the intro APR runs out. It's vital to pick a card with no annual fee, because all your available funds should be going towards paying down your principal balance.

You should not open a balance transfer credit card with a bank at which you already have outstanding credit card debt. Our researchers found that buried in most cardmember agreements is a clause that prevents you from transferring balances between cards issued by the same bank.

In your search, we recommend choosing a credit card with the longest 0% APR period you need to pay off your debt. For example, if you think that you can pay off your balance within 12 months, seek out cards that give you 0% interest for around 12 months. Generally, the longer a 0% period lasts, the harder a card will be to qualify for. We recommend you use the calculator below to figure out how long you need to pay off your debt, given your current financial situation. Make sure to consider scenarios where you don't pay a transfer fee, as that may lead to higher savings. However, know that among cards that don't charge transfer fees, you shouldn't expect to get anything more than 15 months of no interest.

balance

payment

interest (APR)

payoff time

You will pay a total of $0 in interest over this time.

Please enter the details of the card you are transferring balances to:

promo length (months)

transfer fee

APR after promo

%
%

You can save approximately $NaN in interest by transferring your balance. It will take you 0 months to pay off your debt at this rate.

Visualizing Your Savings

Another added benefit of a balance transfer credit card is the fact that it speeds up how quickly you pay down your debt. The following graph can help you visualize this. Use the drop down menu to choose between graphing your remaining balance, savings, or interest paid.

Balance
{"onCurrent":"true"}

You should only look at balance transfer/rewards credit card hybrids if the balance transfer part of a card is the best that's available to you. We recommend that our priority be minimizing interest charges, not earning rewards. That's because credit card rewards tend to provide no more than a 5% return. At the same time, you will pay, on average, 15% through credit card APR.

Our team considered over 51 different credit cards when coming up with this guide. While our researchers gathered data and information on the various card offers, our team of developers built an interactive model to help gauge the relative money-saving power of each balance transfer card. The tool allowed us to narrow down our search by understanding how each card could help pay down different amounts of debt. We considered different payment schedules and different amounts of debt when coming up with our rankings.

We outline the selection criteria used in our rankings below. For each criteria, we considered industry averages, and made sure to select cards that performed above and beyond the norm.

Selection Criteria

0% Intro APR that lasts at least 12 months. We found that the average 0% term lasts 12 months, so consumers shouldn't consider any card with a shorter promo period. Most of the cards we recommend provide no interest for 15 months, and a select few push the upper bound at 18-21 months.

No annual fees. There are plenty of great balance transfer credit cards that don't charge an annual fee. Therefore, no one should settle for anything other than a no fee card. The added benefits that come on cards with an annual fee are generally not worth the added cost.

Ongoing APRs below 20%. Once the 0% period runs out, you may still carry debt from time to time, which is why a low ongoing interest rate is important. Generally, consumers should look for cards that have interest rates below 20%. We categorize anything higher than that as too expensive, compared to industry standards.

Strong preference to cards with no transfer fees. While balance transfer fees are standard (the average is between 3-5% of the transferred amount), most of our spreadsheets indicate that skipping the fee results in the greatest overall savings. Even if you end up with a card that gives you a slightly shorter 0% APR period, not having to pay the transfer fee makes a significantly bigger impact on your overall debt. If you want to know for certain which will be better for you, we recommend using our calculator above.

Great Balance Transfer Cards That Missed The Cut

We wanted to recognize a few credit cards that had amazing terms for balance transfers, but were missing just one or two things that got them cut from our list. You can consider these options, if their limitations do not bother you.

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card: Another fantastic 18-month balance transfer credit card. What kept this card from our list was its high ongoing APR, after the 0% interest period expires. That makes this card a very bad choice for people who are worried about having to potentially carry a balance on their card in the future.

Robert Harrow

Robert is the head of the Credit Card vertical at ValuePenguin and has been covering the card industry since 2014. His work has been featured in Reuters, Marketwatch, the New York Times and more.

Comments and Questions

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer's Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Info about the following cards: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, and Amazon Business American Express Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).