Too much debt can wreak havoc on your credit score, especially if you aren’t making your payments. If a significant portion of that debt is on credit cards, the problem only compounds — creating an ever-larger debt burden.
With the holidays fast approaching, that debt can be an enormous source of anxiety. But credit card debt doesn’t have to be insurmountable. Balance transfer credit cards, for instance, allow you to move your balances to a credit card with a low introductory APR while you pay off your debt.
To help quell your debt anxiety, we’ll take a look at some of the best balance transfer credit cards. Note that you should only pursue this strategy when ready to pay off your balances. If not, you may end up in the same debt cycle as before.
What Is a Balance Transfer Credit Card?
A balance transfer credit card has many of the same features as other credit cards. However, balance transfer cards have the added benefit of a favorable introductory APR for balance transfers. Often, the intro APR for balance transfers is 0%, which might also be extended to purchases. Many balance transfer credit cards have a year or longer introductory period.
Any balance you transfer to your balance transfer credit card will typically have this lower APR during the introductory period. However, most balance transfer cards charge a fee to make transfers. For instance, they might charge you 3% of the transferred amount during the introductory period and 5% thereafter.
Because balance transfer cards often have a low introductory APR, they are ideal for repaying credit card debt balances on other cards. The intro period doesn’t last forever, though. The APR on these cards can be as high as — or higher than — the APRs you have on other credit cards. Thus, you should only consider a balance transfer card if you are ready to start repaying your credit card debt.
Balance Transfer Cards To Help Your Debt Anxiety
While many cards allow you to transfer balances, these credit cards are among the best balance transfer credit cards available.
The Wells Fargo Reflect is a no-annual-fee credit card made for balance transfers. It has 0% APR for 21 months from account opening on balance transfers and purchases, followed by a APR. The balance transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3% during the introductory period and 5% thereafter.
The Chase Freedom Flex is a great all-around card that works well for balance transfers. It has no annual fee and 0% APR for 15 months from account opening, followed by a APR. The introductory balance transfer fee is the greater of 3% of the transfer amount or $5, and $5 or 5% thereafter. You might be able to claim a sign-up bonus with the card, too. Other perks include quarterly 5% cashback categories.
The Citi Diamond Preferred has no annual fee and currently offers 0% APR for 21 months from the date of the first transfer. It also has a 0% introductory period for purchases, which lasts a shorter 12 months from account opening, then APR. It does not have an introductory balance transfer fee; instead, it has the same $5 or 5% that other cards on this list have after their intro periods. The card includes other benefits, such as identity theft protection and special access to tickets for events.
The Citi Double Cash is a no-annual-fee card perhaps best known for the perk for which it is named: 1% cash back on purchases, then 1% additional cash back when you make a payment. However, it currently has an offer for 0% APR for 18 months from account opening, followed by a APR. It has an intro fee of 3% for each transfer of at least $5 within the first four months of account opening. After that, the typical 5% balance transfer fee applies.
The BankAmericard is a no-annual-fee card with an offer for 0% APR on purchases for 21 billing cycles after account opening. Balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening also have a 0% APR for 21 billing cycles. After the intro period, this card offers a . Other benefits include no penalty APR — paying late won’t automatically raise your interest rate. It also includes access to your FICO score, updated monthly.
6. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card has no annual fee and a generous 15-month intro period for balance transfers and purchases, then APR. It has a 3% balance transfer fee on transfers completed in the first 15 months. There is no additional balance transfer fee for transfers completed at the purchase APR after the introductory period.
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The information related to Chase Freedom Flex was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product/card. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for this product.