Best Balance Transfer Offers of 2021
||Minimum BT fee
||Intro APR and term
|Citi® Diamond® Preferred Card
||Good to Excellent credit
||$5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater
||0% intro for 18 months (13.74% – 23.74% variable)
|Alliant Visa® Platinum Credit Card
||Low regular variable APR
||$5 or 2% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
||0% – 5.99% based on your creditworthiness for 12 months (10.24% – 22.24% variable)
|Citi® Double Cash Card
||Cash back rewards
||$5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
||0% intro for 18 months (13.99% - 23.99% variable)
|U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
||Longest 0% intro balance transfer offer
||3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater
||0% introductory APR for the first 20 billing cycles for balance transfers. (14.49% to 24.49% variable)
What is a balance transfer and why should I use one?
A balance transfer
occurs when you move debt from one account to another, normally to one with lower interest rates, and can be the perfect option for those looking to reorganize their debt, pay off a medical bill or student loan and more. By completing a balance transfer, you’ll end up paying less interest each month or no interest at all, depending on if your card comes with an introductory 0% APR offer on balance transfers. Paying less in interest means you’ll end up saving a portion of money each month that would have normally gone to your issuer (a balance transfer fee usually applies).
How to use a balance transfer card
Many consumers move debt from high-interest credit cards to a balance transfer card
. These cards offer longer introductory APR periods on balance transfers ranging from 12 to 21 months/billing cycles long. With a balance transfer credit card, you’ll be expected to pay a balance transfer fee for each transfer made to the card. These fees commonly charge 3% of the amount transferred with a $5 minimum although amounts vary by issuer. For more information, read our guide on how to complete a credit card balance transfer
Using our calculator to find the perfect balance transfer offer
To choose the best balance transfer card for your lifestyle, decide how much time you’ll need to pay off your debt by using our calculator.
Step 1: Find out how much you owe
You can pinpoint the amount of money you owe by looking at a recent credit card statement. Once you have your statement, identify both your current outstanding balance and interest rate. Say you found out you owed $3,000 on a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
with an interest rate of 22.99% (APR 15.99%-22.99% variable). Using our Credit Card Payoff Calculator
, you’d need to pay $200 a month for 18 months in order to pay off your debt.
Step 2: Choose a card based on what you find
We recommend a card with an introductory 0% interest offer of 15 months or longer. You’ll also want to take into account any balance transfer fees, annual fees and the variable interest rate you’ll be charged after your introductory period ends. Continuing with our example, say you choose the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.
Step 3: Enter your new card details
The Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months, then 13.74% - 23.74% variable APR. There’s a balance transfer fee minimum of $5 or 3% for each transfer, whichever is greater. If you continued to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’d pay $200 a month for 18 months to erase that $3,000 balance, incurring $570 in interest charges along the way. If you transferred that balance to the Citi Diamond Preferred Card, you’d pay $167 a month for 18 months (plus a $90 balance transfer fee) and avoid interest charges entirely for that 18-month introductory period.
How to apply for a balance transfer card on Bankrate
To apply for a balance transfer card, view our expert recommendations for the best balance transfer cards of 2021
. You can also read more in-depth reviews of these cards here
. For further information on how to make purchases while temporarily avoiding interest, check out the best 0% introductory APR cards
according to our experts.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank's website for the most current information.