GOBankingRates’ Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

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If you currently have credit card debt, a balance transfer card may help you to reduce your interest rate, lower your payments and help you pay the debt off sooner. A recent GOBankingRates survey found that 15% of Americans have $5,001 or more in credit card debt, so a balance transfer card may be helpful in these cases. However, it’s important to pay attention to balance transfer fees, how long an introductory APR lasts and what the APR will be after that point when deciding which balance transfer credit card to choose.

GOBankingRates identified the best balance transfer cards by looking at these factors and more, including length of the 0% APR for purchase period, balance transfer rate, annual fees, purchase APR and any perks associated with a card that might extend its value past the promotional APR period. Here are GOBankingRates’ picks for the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2021.

Our Top Balance Transfer Card

 

Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card

Why we like it: The Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum card stands out among other balance transfer cards due to its lack of a balance transfer fee, which is uncommon among cards in this category. The card also offers no annual fee and a 0% promotional APR on balance transfers for 12 months. And while the card doesn’t offer a promotional APR for purchases, the regular starting APR is way below the national average for credit cards that incur interest.

Benefits

  • No balance transfer or annual fee
  • Low APR for balance transfer and regular purchases for those who qualify
  • 12 month 0% intro APR period for balance transfers

Drawbacks

  • Must be eligible for membership in Navy Federal Credit Union to get the card

Length of 0% APR Intro for Balance Transfers

12 months

Length of 0% APR Intro for Purchases

None

Balance Transfer Fees

None

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR Balance Transfer Rate

5.99% to 18.00%

Regular Purchase APR

5.99% to 18.00%

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Navy Federal's application page). READ OUR FULL REVIEW

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Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards 2021

Keep reading to see the rest of the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2021.

Union Bank® Platinum™ Visa® Credit Card

Length of 0% APR Intro for Balance Transfers

15 months

Length of 0% APR Intro for Purchases

15 months

Balance Transfer Fees

Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR Balance Transfer Rate

8.49% to 19.99%

Regular Purchase APR

8.49% to 19.99%

Associated Perks:

None GET DETAILS

On Union Bank's site

SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card

Length of 0% APR Intro for Balance Transfers

15 months

Length of 0% APR Intro for Purchases

15 months

Balance Transfer Fees

$10 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR Balance Transfer Rate

11.24% to 21.24%

Regular Purchase APR

11.24% to 21.24%

Associated Perks:

  • 2% unlimited cash back on qualifying gas and grocery purchases
  • 1% unlimited cash back on all other qualifying purchases
GET DETAILS

On SunTrust's site

M&T Visa® Credit Card

Length of 0% APR Intro for Balance Transfers

12 billing cycles

Length of 0% APR Intro for Purchases

12 billing cycles

Balance Transfer Fees

4% of each balance transfer (minimum $10)

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR Balance Transfer Rate

10.24% to 17.24%

Regular Purchase APR

10.24% to 17.24%

Associated Perks:

None GET DETAILS

On M&T Bank's site

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KeyBank Latitude® Credit Card

Length of 0% APR Intro for Balance Transfers

15 billing cycles

Length of 0% APR Intro for Purchases

15 billing cycles

Balance Transfer Fees

Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR Balance Transfer Rate

9.99% to 19.99%

Regular Purchase APR

9.99% to 19.99%

Associated Perks:

None GET DETAILS

On KeyBank's site

BB&T Bright Credit Card

Length of 0% APR Intro for Balance Transfers

15 months

Length of 0% APR Intro for Purchases

15 months

Balance Transfer Fees

Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR Balance Transfer Rate

11.24% to 20.24%

Regular Purchase APR

11.24% to 20.24%

Associated Perks:

None GET DETAILS

On BB&T's site

M&T Visa® Credit Card with Rewards

Length of 0% APR Intro for Balance Transfers

12 billing cycles

Length of 0% APR Intro for Purchases

12 billing cycles

Balance Transfer Fees

4% of each balance transfer (minimum $10)

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR Balance Transfer Rate

11.24% to 18.24%

Regular Purchase APR

11.24% to 18.24%

Associated Perks:

  • Earn an unlimited 1 point per each $1 spent on every purchase
GET DETAILS

On M&T Bank's site

M&T Visa® Signature Credit Card

Length of 0% APR Intro for Balance Transfers

12 billing cycles

Length of 0% APR Intro for Purchases

12 billing cycles

Balance Transfer Fees

4% of each balance transfer (minimum $10)

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR Balance Transfer Rate

11.24% to 18.24%

Regular Purchase APR

11.24% to 18.24%

Associated Perks:

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
GET DETAILS

On M&T Bank's site

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TD First ClassSM Visa Signature® Credit Card

Length of 0% APR Intro for Balance Transfers

12 billing cycles

Length of 0% APR Intro for Purchases

N/A

Balance Transfer Fees

Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

Annual Fee

$89

Regular APR Balance Transfer Rate

13.24%

Regular Purchase APR

13.24%

Associated Perks:

  • 3x First Class miles on travel and dining purchases
  • 1x First Class miles on all other purchases
  • 25,000 bonus miles equals a $250 statement credit towards travel or dining purchases
GET DETAILS

On TD Bank's site

Bank of America BankAmericard® Credit Card

Length of 0% APR Intro for Balance Transfers

18 billing cycles

Length of 0% APR Intro for Purchases

18 billing cycles

Balance Transfer Fees

Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR Balance Transfer Rate

12.99% to 22.99%

Regular Purchase APR

12.99% to 22.99%

Associated Perks:

None GET DETAILS

On Bank of America's site

FAQs About Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about balance transfer credit cards.
  • How does a balance transfer work?
    • Balance transfers can save you money and consolidate your payments. When you make a balance transfer on a credit card, you are transferring debt -- or a balance -- from another loan or credit card. This allows you to pay off your balance without incurring interest. However, you must be careful when choosing a balance transfer credit card because it might come with fees and a high interest rate.
  • Can I make a balance transfer online?
    • It's easy to do a balance transfer online. First, decide what the best balance transfer card for your situation is, and apply for it. Once you're approved and you have your card, you can make a balance transfer online by providing the new credit card company with your old account numbers and designating how much of your balance you want to transfer onto the new card. It's that simple.
  • How long does a balance transfer take?
    • The length of time it takes to transfer a balance to another card varies with each credit card company, but you can typically expect a time frame of several days to a few weeks. It will usually take less time if you apply for a balance transfer online, and you'll have the added benefit of being able to monitor your application's progress.
  • Do balance transfers affect my credit score?
    • Balance transfers have a minimal impact on your credit score. It's what happens before and after the transfer that can affect your credit score. If you open a new credit card account to transfer your balance to, you will have what's known as a "hard inquiry" on your credit report. This can cause your score to drop by a few points because it's an indication that you're looking to acquire more credit. The point of a balance transfer is to pay less interest so you can pay off your balance sooner. If you do this, preferably before the introductory balance transfer rate expires, your credit score will improve over the long term.

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More From GOBankingRates

Alicia Bodine, Karen Doyle and Barri Segal contributed to the reporting for this article.

Last updated: Oct. 19, 2021

Methodology: GOBankingRates identified the best balance transfer credit cards by analyzing cards offered by all banks with over $100 billion in total assets as well as the three largest credit unions across the following factors: (1) length of 0% intro APR for balance transfers; (2) length of 0% APR for purchases; (3) balance transfer rate; (4) balance transfer fees; (5) annual fees; (6) purchase APR; and (7) any perks associated with a card that might extend its value past the promotional APR period. All fees and rates are subject to change at the credit card issuers’ discretion. Some offers might not be available on the credit card issuers’ websites, depending on how you access the web page. All data was sourced from each financial institution’s website or promotional material and is accurate as of Aug. 4, 2021. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account. To be considered, the intro APR on balance transfers had to be 0%.

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 

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