Advertiser Disclosure: ValuePenguin is an advertising-supported comparison service which receives compensation from some of the financial providers whose offers appear on our site. This compensation from our advertising partners may impact how and where products appear on our site (including for example, the order in which they appear). To provide more complete comparisons, the site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

What Are the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2019?

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

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 FeesRegular APR
Citi Simplicity® Card
Citi Simplicity® CardLong 0% Intro APRGreater of $5 or 5%16.24% - 26.24%* (Variable)
Discover it® Balance Transfer
Discover it® Balance TransferRewards3%14.24% - 25.24% 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 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, 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 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, 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*
Regular APR
16.24% - 26.24%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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 16.24% - 26.24%* (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 15 months from account opening. Then a variable APR of 14.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% 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 15 months from account opening. Then a variable APR of 14.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% 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
Regular APR
Variable APR of 14.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% will apply after the Introductory Period
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good/Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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 15 months from account opening (3-6 months longer than what's standard). Then a Variable APR of 14.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% 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 15 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

BankAmericard® credit card
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
BankAmericard® credit card
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

BankAmericard® credit card

BankAmericard® credit card
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
BankAmericard® credit card
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
  • 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all 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
  • 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all 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
$0
Regular APR
15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR on purchases
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent/Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

The BankAmericard® credit card offers an outstanding 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and on any balance transfer made within the first 60 days. After the intro period, cardholders will be subject to the card's ongoing APR of 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers. Most competing cards offer 0% intro APR periods that are at least 3 months shorter, making this one of the better cards for paying down debt.

The one downside to the card is that it doesn't offer a rewards program. Regardless, the 0% intro APR offer is still strong enough for us to recommend this card for prospective applicants. Lastly, the card doesn't have an annual fee so it won't put a strain on your budget.

Alternative Pick

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
Regular APR
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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.

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
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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 (then a 14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR applies), 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 2019, the categories include grocery stores (January-March), gas stations, Uber & Lyft (April-June), restaurants (July-September), Amazon.com (October-December). 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 15.74% - 25.74% 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 15.74% - 25.74% 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*
Regular APR
15.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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 (15.74% - 25.74%* (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.

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:
%
$
$
{"cardCategory":"rewards","cardIds":"251,279,36,1178,58","initialResultsLimit":14,"endpoint":"https:\/\/creditcards.valuepenguin.com\/api\/creditcards\/models\/balance-transfer","onCurrent":"true"}

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.

Comments and Questions

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.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, 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, and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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 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).