UP TO 21 MONTHS 0% INTRO APR | BEST FOR LONGEST INTRO APR

Apply now
On Wells Fargo's secure site
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
Balance transfer intro APR
18 months 0% intro APR for up to 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
Purchase intro APR
0% intro APR for up to 21 months from account opening
Regular APR
12.99%-24.99% Variable APR
Rewards rate
N/A
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

20 Billing Cycles Intro APR | Best for long intro APR period

Apply now
On U.S. Bank's secure site
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
Balance transfer intro APR
20 billing cycles 0%* for 20 billing cycles on balance transfers*
Purchase intro APR
0%* for 20 billing cycles on purchases*
Regular APR
14.49% - 24.49%* (Variable)
Rewards rate
N/A
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

18 MONTH 0% INTRO APR | BEST FOR ROTATING CATEGORY CASH BACK

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On Discover's secure site
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
Balance transfer intro APR
18 months 0% for 18 months
Purchase intro APR
0% for 6 months
Regular APR
11.99% - 22.99% Variable
Rewards rate
1%–5%
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

21 months 0% Intro APR | Excellent credit

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Balance transfer intro APR
21 months 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
Purchase intro APR
0% for 12 months on Purchases
Regular APR
13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
Rewards rate
N/A
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

18 billing cycles Intro APR | No penalty APR

Apply now
On Bank of America's secure site
Terms Apply
Balance transfer intro APR
18 billing cycles 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Purchase intro APR
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases
Regular APR
12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Rewards rate
N/A
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

18 months 0% Intro APR | Up to 2% cash back

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Balance transfer intro APR
18 months 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Purchase intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Rewards rate
2%
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

21 months 0% intro APR | Best for no late fee

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Balance transfer intro APR
21 months 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
Purchase intro APR
0% for 12 months on Purchases
Regular APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Rewards rate
N/A
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

15 months 0% intro APR | 2% cash rewards

Apply now
On Wells Fargo's secure site
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
Balance transfer intro APR
15 months 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
Purchase intro APR
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
Regular APR
14.99%-24.99% (Variable)
Rewards rate
2%
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

15 Months 0% intro APR | Automatic bonus category

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Balance transfer intro APR
15 months 0% for 15 months on balance transfers
Purchase intro APR
0% for 15 months on purchases
Regular APR
13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
Rewards rate
1%–5%
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

15 billing cycles Intro APR | Flexible rewards categories

Apply now
On Bank of America's secure site
Terms Apply
Balance transfer intro APR
15 billing cycles 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Purchase intro APR
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Rewards rate
1%–3%
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

15 Billing Cycles Intro APR | Best for unlimited 1.5% cash back

Apply now
On Bank of America's secure site
Terms Apply
Balance transfer intro APR
15 billing cycles 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Purchase intro APR
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Rewards rate
1.5%
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Compare the best credit cards for balance transfers

Card name Bankrate’s pick for Balance transfer intro APR period Regular APR
Wells Fargo Reflect Card Intro APR Up to 21 months (18 months, plus up to 3 months if you make on-time monthly payments while the intro offer is active) 12.99% – 24.99% variable
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card Best for long intro APR period 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days 14.49% – 24.49% variable
Discover it Balance Transfer Rotating category cash back 18 months 11.99% – 22.99% variable
Citi Diamond Preferred Card Excellent credit 21 months 13.74% – 23.74% variable
BankAmericard credit card No penalty APR 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days 12.99% – 22.99% variable
Citi Double Cash Card Up to 2% cash back 18 months 13.99% – 23.99% variable
Citi Simplicity Card No late fee 21 months 14.74% – 24.74% variable
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card Best for 2% cash rewards 15 months 14.99%-24.99% variable
Citi Custom Cash Card Automatic bonus category 15 months 13.99% – 23.99% variable
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card Flexible rewards categories 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days 13.99% – 23.99% variable
Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card Best for unlimited 1.5% cash back 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days 13.99% – 23.99% variable

A closer look at Bankrate’s best balance transfer cards

Wells Fargo Reflect Card

Best for intro APR

  • This card is best for: If you need an extra-long window to pay off a balance transfer, this card can give you the most breathing room.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Anyone who is looking to skip a balance transfer fee entirely or who can’t transfer a balance within 120 days of account opening to qualify for the intro 3 percent balance transfer fee.
  • What makes this card unique? The intro APR offers are top-notch. Cardholders can secure a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 18 months from account opening (up to 21 months from account opening with on-time payments, then 12.99 percent to 24.99 percent variable APR). They’re also eligible for a 0 percent intro APR for 18 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers made within 120 days of account opening (up to 21 months on qualifying balance transfers made within 120 days of account opening with on-time payments, then then 12.99 percent to 24.99 percent variable APR). Those are among the longest promotional APR offers currently on the market.
  • Is the Wells Fargo Reflect Card worth it? We consider this card a prime pick for people in the market for a balance transfer, given the length of its intro APR period. In this case, the lack of a traditional rewards program could be a boon as it allows you to focus on paying off your debts.

Read our full Wells Fargo Reflect Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

Best for long intro APR period

  • This card is best for: Anyone who needs a significant amount of time to pay down a card balance. This card boasts one of the longer intro APR periods on purchases and balance transfers on the market.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Someone looking to earn extra rewards like cash back in the long term.
  • What makes this card unique? The length of this card’s intro APR period is relatively rare and the balance transfer fee is on the lower side of the standard when paired with the intro APR length.
  • Is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card worth it? The value of this card is strongly based on the amount of time you need to pay down your balance. If you need more time, this card is one of the best out there. If you don’t need as much time or ultimately want to cash in on rewards, another card may be a better fit.

Read our full U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card review.
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Discover it Balance Transfer

Best for rotating category cash back

  • This card is best for: Someone who needs to pay down existing credit card debt in the short term, but wants to earn rewards for the long term.
  • This card is not a great choice for: People who are looking for a low maintenance rewards program, as you’ll need to enroll each quarter to earn your 5 percent bonus cash back (on rotating categories each quarter when you activate, up to $1,500 in combined purchases, then 1 percent) and you’ll need to pay attention to applicable categories to maximize your spend. You might also want to avoid this card if you fear the opportunity to earn cash back will entice you to overspend.
  • What makes this card unique? The competitive base rewards, generous welcome offer and consumer-friendly terms make this a decidedly well-rounded balance transfer credit card.
  • Is the Discover it Balance Transfer worth it? This is a solid balance transfer offer, and, for disciplined spenders, the rewards program could prove to be a boon in the long term.

Read our full Discover it Balance Transfer review.
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Citi Diamond Preferred Card

Best for good to excellent credit

  • This card is best for: Someone interested in a simple but effective method of temporarily avoiding interest on a balance transfer or purchase.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Anyone looking for benefits such as rewards programs or premium perks.
  • What makes this card unique? The promotional APR on balance transfers made within the first four months of account opening lasts 21 months, one of the longest periods currently on the market. The Citi Flex Loans feature provides an opportunity to borrow money against your Citi card credit limit at a fixed rate, although it’s not available to all cardholders. Also, taking out additional loans could be risky if you’re already doing a balance transfer.
  • Is the Citi Diamond Preferred Card worth it? This is a straightforward credit card. It might not do the most things, but it does the main thing — giving you a chance at a temporary break from incurring interest on purchases and balance transfers — quite well.

Read our full Citi Diamond Preferred Card review.
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BankAmericard credit card

Best for no penalty APR

  • This card is best for: Someone who wants the assurance of a lengthy introductory offer without the prospect of a penalty APR looming over them.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Anyone who incorrectly assumes that “no penalty APR” means “no consequences.” You might be subject to a flat late fee for missing an on-time payment on this card, not to mention the fact that late payments of any kind can also do a number on your credit score.
  • What makes this card unique? Although the BankAmericard doesn’t have a standard rewards program, you might be able to earn cash back through BankAmeriDeals if your card is eligible.
  • Is the BankAmericard credit card worth it? If you’re committed to paying off a balance transfer during the introductory period, this card might be worth a look. Just don’t let the lack of penalty APR let you get complacent about making payments on time and in full.

Read our full BankAmericard credit card review.
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Citi Double Cash Card

Best for up to 2% cash back

  • This card is best for: Anyone looking for a card with lengthy introductory offers on balance transfers plus a cash back program.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Shoppers looking for a temporary break from interest. The card currently doesn’t have an introductory offer on new purchases.
  • What makes this card unique? The Citi Double Cash Card offers an inventive cash back rewards program. You’ll earn 1 percent cash back on every purchase and another 1 percent (2 percent total) when you pay for those purchases.
  • Is the Citi Double Cash Card worth it? The balance transfer offer and the cash back rewards promise a potent combination of short-term and long-term value. You might be tempted to keep it well after the balance transfer offer expires.

Read our full Citi Double Cash Card review.
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Citi Simplicity Card

Best for no late fee

  • This card is best for: People with two goals in mind: temporarily avoiding interest on a balance transfer for an extended period and not having to pay late fees or annual fees.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Anyone interested in a card for everyday use. The balance transfer offer is this card’s main appeal, since it doesn’t have a rewards program that earns cash back or points. There is a promotional APR on purchases, but it’s not particularly lengthy (0 percent intro APR for 12 months, then 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent variable APR).
  • What makes this card unique? Citi cardholders enjoy a solid array of security benefits, including Citi® Identity Theft Solutions and Citi® Quick Lock. If you’re looking to manage debt with a balance transfer, you might also appreciate features designed to protect you from fraudulent threats to your credit score.
  • Is the Citi Simplicity Card worth it? What it lacks in flash, this card makes up for with its potential to help you pay off debt via its intro promotional APR. The lack of late fees and annual fees adds to its value.

Read our full Citi Simplicity Card review.
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Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Best for 2% cash rewards

  • This card is best for: Anyone looking for a card that has both a 0 percent intro APR offer for qualifying balance transfers and purchases from account opening, as well as an exceptional cash rewards program.
  • This card is not a great choice for: People who make the length of the introductory offer the top priority. This card offers 15 months at an introductory 0 percent APR (followed by 14.99 percent to 24.99 percent variable APR) on qualifying balance transfers from account opening and purchases from account opening, which is average.
  • What makes this card unique? Cards that earn unlimited 2 percent cash rewards on purchases are rare, but a card that also has introductory APR offers is rarer still.
  • Is the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card worth it? Although a 15-month window to avoid APR is fairly run-of-the-mill, the potential long-term value for cash rewards could more than make up for the length of the intro offer.

Read our full Wells Fargo Active Cash Card review.
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Citi Custom Cash Card

Best for automatic bonus category

  • This card is best for: Anyone who wants a balance transfer credit card that also earns bonus rate cash back — automatically, in any of 10 eligible categories — based on their spending each billing cycle (up to the maximum spend each billing cycle).
  • This card is not a great choice for: Those concerned about paying a balance transfer fee higher than the typical 3 percent. This card’s fee is 5 percent of the amount being transferred ($5 minimum), which could take a larger bite out of your potential interest savings.
  • What makes this card unique? Some bonus-rate cards involve rotating categories that you’re required to activate every quarter. With this card, your bonus category is determined by where you spend the most each billing cycle.
  • Is the Citi Custom Cash Card worth it? The length of the balance transfer offer is standard but not spectacular, and the balance transfer fee might be a concern. The Citi Custom Cash is serviceable as a balance transfer card, but the main feature is the innovative cash back program.

Read our full Citi Custom Cash Card review.
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Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Best for flexible rewards categories

  • This card is best for: Frequent shoppers looking to match their spending habits with plus-rate cash back categories — but ideally, without letting it affect their responsible use of the introductory offer.
  • This card is not a great choice for: People who just want to take advantage of an introductory APR offer and have no interest in pursuing rewards.
  • What makes this card unique? Not many cards offer the opportunity to choose a rewards category. The Customized Cash Rewards card lets you earn 3 percent cash back in one of six categories — travel, gas, dining, online shopping, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings — and 2 percent on grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases, then 1 percent).
  • Is the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card worth it? There’s a lot of cash back potential with this card, if your spending habits are in line with the categories. Just remember that the introductory offer is a temporary break from interest charges, not a license to spend.

Read our full Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card review.
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Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

Best for unlimited 1.5% cash back

  • This card is best for: Those seeking unlimited, uncomplicated cash back that never expires.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Cash back maximizers who don’t mind keeping track of a few bonus categories to earn a higher rewards rate.
  • What makes this card unique? Bank of America Preferred Rewards members earn 25 percent – 75 percent more cash back (based on your enrolled tier). That means Preferred Rewards members could earn a maximum of up to 2.62 percent cash back on every purchase.
  • Is the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card worth it? If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, the boosted rewards rate makes this card a no-brainer. Otherwise, a flat rate of 1.5 percent cash back is becoming less competitive in the cash back market. But it’s still a solid rate, especially because it’s paired with a good balance transfer offer.

Read our full Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card review.
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What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer involves moving debt from one credit account to a different account, typically by using a balance transfer credit card that has a lower interest rate than the original account. A balance transfer card can help you pay off debt by transferring your existing balance to a new credit card with a 0% intro APR period. During that time, you have the chance to pay off the principal without having to pay interest.

Although balance transfers are primarily used for credit card debt, each issuer has its own rules for what types of debt you can transfer. Depending on the issuer, your balance transfer options could include:

  • Credit card balances
  • Auto loans
  • Personal loans
  • Student loans
  • Payday loans

However, most issuers will not let you transfer a balance from an existing account with that same issuer. Also, some issuers let you transfer multiple debts to one balance transfer card, a form of debt consolidation.

Bankrate insight
How much credit card debt does the average American owe? According to Experian, the average credit card balance was $5,313 in 2020.

Pros and cons of balance transfer credit cards

Pros

  • Save money: By temporarily avoiding interest on the debt you’ve transferred, you could save money on interest payments.
  • Improve credit utilization ratio: Over the long term, reducing debt can improve your credit utilization ratio, meaning that you’re using less of the credit available to you.
  • Reduce monthly payments: The temporary break from interest on your transferred balance could translate to a smaller monthly payment than what you’re currently making.
  • Consolidate debts: Some card issuers give you the opportunity to transfer the balance on multiple credit accounts. If you have multiple cards with high balances you can simplify your debt payment process by consolidating the debt onto one card, as well as saving money on interest payments.

Cons

  • High credit approval threshold: The best offers with the longest 0% APR terms tend to go to people who have good or excellent credit.
  • Dip in credit score: As with any credit card, applying for a balance transfer card typically leads to a short-term dip in your credit score.
  • Interest paid on remaining balance after introductory period ends: If you don’t pay off the transfer entirely during the introductory period, the remaining balance will be subject to the new card’s regular APR.
  • Less attractive rewards: The main feature on most balance transfer cards is a lengthy intro APR period, though some cards do offer fairly modest cash back rewards.
  • Limits on transfer amounts: Balance transfer cards may limit the amount that you’re allowed to transfer and it can be difficult to know these limits until you apply for the card.

The key to getting the most value out of a balance transfer credit card is to keep making your monthly payments during the intro period until the balance reaches zero. The potential benefits are significant, just as long as you hold up your end of the bargain.

Who should get a balance transfer credit card?

According to The Federal Reserve, about half of all credit card users carry a balance month to month. If you find yourself among this group and your current card has a high interest rate, a balance transfer credit card with an introductory 0 percent APR offer can help you address some key financial issues and save a bit on interest. A balance transfer card is worth considering for the following people:

How much money could you save with a balance transfer?

If you’re paying down a large balance, a 0% intro offer could save you several hundred dollars or more.

Experian reports that the average credit card balance reached $5,315 in 2020. Here’s how much you could save by transferring $5,315 in debt to one of our best balance transfer credit cards, based on the following conditions:

  • That you would pay the balance transfer fee upfront and pay off a $5,315 balance within the intro offer period.
  • Potential savings with each card are calculated by comparing how much interest you would pay on your current card at 20% APR (using our Credit Card Payoff Calculator), minus the balance transfer fee.

Example savings by credit card

Card Name Balance transfer intro offer period Regular APR Balance transfer fee Potential savings minus transfer fee
Discover it Balance Transfer 18 months 11.99% to 22.99% variable $159.45 (3%)

$720.55
Citi Diamond Preferred Card 21 months 13.74% – 23.74% variable $265.75 (5%) $762.25
BankAmericard credit card 18 billing cycles (on any transfers made in first 60 days) 12.99% – 22.99% variable $159.45 (3%) $720.55
Wells Fargo Reflect Card Up to 21 months (18 months, plus up to 3 months if you make on-time monthly payments while the intro offer is active) 12.99% – 24.99% variable $159.45 (3%)

$868.55

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card 20 billing cycles (on transfers made in first 60 days) 14.49% – 24.49% variable $159.45 (3%) $818.55
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card 15 months for qualifying transfers from account opening 14.99%-24.99% variable $159.45 (3%)

$575.55
Citi Custom Cash Card 15 months 13.99% – 23.99% variable $265.75 (5%) $469.25
Citi Simplicity Card 21 months 14.74% – 24.74% variable $265.75 (5%) $762.25
Citi Double Cash Card 18 months 13.99% – 23.99% variable $159.45 (3%)

$720.55
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card 15 billing cycles (on any transfers made in first 60 days) 13.99% – 23.99% variable $159.45 (3%) $575.55
Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card 15 months 13.99% – 23.99% variable $159.45 (3%) $575.55
Bankrate insight
What’s the difference in cost between a 2 percent and 3 percent balance transfer fee? On a $5,000 balance, a 2 percent fee would be $100 and a 3 percent fee would be $150. The difference in cost is even more pronounced with a 5 percent balance transfer fee: $250.

How to choose a balance transfer credit card

The best credit cards for balance transfers share a number of key features. To find the one that’s best for you and your unique financial situation, consider the following questions:

Does the card offer an introductory APR?

Some balance transfer cards tout a promotional APR on purchases; many do not. If you suspect you’ll need a promotional APR on purchases, in addition to a low balance transfer fee, look for a zero interest credit card with an offer that extends to both balance transfers and purchases. Keep in mind, however, that charging a new purchase you can’t readily pay off could make it harder to pay off the transferred balance while the promotional APR is in effect.

The longer a promotional offer lasts, the more time you’ll have to pay down your transferred debt. A longer introductory period also translates to smaller monthly payments. Every month of temporary relief from interest represents potential savings.

What are the card’s terms and conditions?

You’ll find essential details in the card’s terms and conditions, including the balance transfer fee, penalties for late payments and how much time you’ll have to transfer the balance to qualify for the introductory offer. These terms and conditions will also note what happens when your 0 percent intro APR period ends. If you have trouble finding the information you’re looking for, call the issuer or go to their website.

What is the balance transfer limit?

Before going through with a balance transfer be sure to arm yourself with all the needed information. Review your current credit card balance and interest rates to determine if the card you’re looking into is appropriate for your balance transfer. The limit for balance transfer cards depends on the card, the issuer and specific aspects of your financial situation.

Typically, issuers will let you transfer a balance (plus fees) that is no higher than your credit limit. If you want to make a balance transfer that exceeds your credit limit, you’ll have to ask the issuer for an increase. A Bankrate poll found that only 18 percent of cardholders requested a credit limit increase in 2020, but 70 percent of those who asked did receive a higher limit.

Is it worth applying for a balance transfer card (and the card credit pull) if you’re unsure you’ll get approved?

Applying for a balance transfer card, like applying for any other credit card, will result in either an approval or denial of your application. You may be considering applying for a balance transfer card, but are leery of the short-term effects on your credit score if you’re denied.

You can search for pre-approval options using tools like CardMatch™ by Bankrate and get a glimpse of what you could feasibly be approved for without the consequences of a hard credit pull.

Still not sure if a balance transfer is the right move? Read the full story: Is a balance transfer a good idea?

Bankrate insight
If your balance transfer credit card has a rewards program, don’t expect to see a bundle of cash back or points show up in your account after you complete the transfer. Balance transfers generally aren’t included in the list of rewards-eligible transactions. Besides, you shouldn’t focus on earning rewards until you’ve paid off your transferred balance.

How to do a balance transfer

You don’t have to be an expert in personal finance to understand the balance transfer process. It’s essentially a matter of moving debt from one credit account to another. The main things to know are:

  1. Consider keeping your old card open, especially in the short-term: Doing so could improve your credit utilization rate and, as such, your credit score. However, if you’re afraid that you’ll just run up another balance or if the card has a high annual fee you can no longer justify paying, it may be in your best interest to close the account.
  2. Know how much time you have: Once you’ve applied for and received a balance transfer card, you’ll have a certain period of time (spelled out in the card’s terms and conditions) when you can make transfers that qualify for the zero-interest offer.
  3. Initiate the transfer: Most issuers will have a process online or in their mobile app that allows you to make balance transfer requests. Depending on the issuer, you might be able to make the request by phone.
  4. Provide your account info: You’ll need to give the issuer the account numbers of the card or loan accounts you want to transfer balances from.
  5. Follow the issuer’s instructions: If you request your balance transfer online, your card issuer’s website will take you through a step-by-step process where you’ll select options and enter information on a series of screens.
  6. Look for confirmation: The issuer of your balance transfer card will notify you when the transfer is approved, but always check your other account(s) to make sure the new balance reflects the amount you’ve transferred. Pending charges made before you initiated the transfer will still show up.

If you have questions at any point in the process, contact a customer service representative for help. It’s your money, after all, so you’ll want to get everything right.

What’s the longest 0% APR balance transfer offer?

Nowadays, 21 months, 20 months and 18 months are the gold, silver and bronze standards for 0% intro APR offers with balance transfer credit cards. A number of cards offer 15 months at an introductory zero-interest rate, while others fall into the 12-month range.

Although any temporary break from credit card APR is beneficial, a more lengthy intro offer will give you the best opportunity to avoid interest as you pay off your transferred balance.

Here’s a look at some of the longest 0 percent intro APR offers currently available:

Balance transfer credit card 0% intro APR offer Transfer a balance by November 30, 2021 and avoid regular APR until:
Discover it Balance Transfer 18 months (11.99% – 22.99% variable after) May 31, 2023
Citi Diamond Preferred Card 21 months (13.74% – 23.74% variable after) August 31, 2023
BankAmericard credit card 18 billing cycles on any balance transfers made in first 60 days (12.99% – 22.99% variable after) May 31, 2023
Wells Fargo Reflect Card Up to 21 months (18 months, plus up to 3 months if you make on-time monthly payments while the intro offer is active) At least May 31, 2023
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card 20 billing cycles on balance transfers made in first 60 days (14.49% – 24.49% variable after) July 30, 2023
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card 15 months on qualifying transfers from account opening (14.99% – 24.99% variable after) February 28, 2023
Citi Custom Cash Card 15 months from date of first transfer (13.99% – 23.99% variable after) February 28, 2023
Citi Simplicity Card 21 months (14.74% – 24.74% variable after) August 31, 2023
Citi Double Cash Card 18 months (13.99% – 23.99% variable after) May 31, 2023
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card 15 billing cycles on any balance transfers made in first 60 days (13.99% – 23.99% variable after) February 28, 2023
Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (13.99% – 23.99% variable after) February 28, 2023

*Terms and Restrictions Apply

How to maximize your balance transfer card

  • Try to only use your balance transfer credit card to handle debts. Unless your balance transfer card also has an intro APR offer on purchases, it’s best to use one card to primarily aid in paying down your debts and a different card to handle small purchases that you can pay off immediately (and potentially earn rewards on).
  • Always pay on time and pay over the minimum amount due whenever possible. To expedite the process of paying down debt and to take even further advantage of a balance transfer card’s intro APR offer, it’s always a great practice to pay over the minimum amount due when you can in addition to paying on time, every time.
  • Make a strategic plan to tackle your debt. Be fully aware of how much debt you owe, how long you want to take to pay it off and how your balance transfer card can help you manage your debt over that timeframe. As a general rule of thumb, try to make your pay-off timeline match up with the balance transfer card’s intro APR period.

How we chose our best balance transfer cards

Bankrate writers and editors have evaluated dozens of options to determine which cards are most likely to help you achieve your financial goals with a balance transfer. In this category, our 5-star scoring system pays particular attention to the essential features of a balance transfer credit card, including:

0% introductory APR offer

Balance transfer cards should ideally have a long 0% APR introductory offer — between 12 and 18 months, if not longer. You’ll have more time to pay off the transferred balance before the regular APR takes effect.

Regular variable APR

Regular variable APR is the interest rate that you will be charged after the introductory 0% APR period. Ideally, the low end of the variable APR range should be at least a few points below 16% with a high end no more than 26%.

Balance transfer fee

The best balance transfer credit cards will charge a low fee on transferred balances, or even no fee at all. If you have an excellent credit score, consider asking to have the fee lowered or waived.

More information on balance transfer credit cards

Want to know more about transferring balances to a credit card? Here’s a list of our top resources from Bankrate’s personal finance experts:

Balance transfer guides by credit card issuer

If you want to do a balance transfer with a specific bank or card issuer, Bankrate has detailed guides from the following financial companies:

Video guide: What you should know about balance transfer credit cards



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Frequently Asked Questions

about the author
Former Senior Editor Barry Bridges has been writing about credit cards, personal loans, mortgages and other personal finance products since 2017. Before joining Bankrate, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist in his native North Carolina.
about the editor
Mariah Ackary is a personal finance writer who specializes in credit card rewards and small business credit. Mariah is a lifelong writer, but she began writing about finance in 2018. She joined the Bankrate team in 2019, excited by the opportunity to directly help people make good financial decisions. Send your questions to mackary@bankrate.com ...

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