20 Billing Cycles Intro APR | Best for long intro APR on balance transfers and purchases

Apply now
On U.S. Bank's secure site
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
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Rewards rate
N/A
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

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

Apply now
On Wells Fargo's secure site
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
13.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
Rewards rate
N/A
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

21 months 0% Intro APR | Best for Excellent credit

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Balance transfer intro APR
21 months 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
Purchase intro APR
0% for 12 months on Purchases
Regular APR
14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
Rewards rate
N/A
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

18 billing cycles Intro APR | Best for No penalty APR

Apply now
On Bank of America's secure site
Balance transfer intro APR
18 billing cycles 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles on BTs made 1st 60 days. 3% fee, min $10. Then 13.24-23.24% Var. APR
Purchase intro APR
0% for 18 billing cycles
Regular APR
13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Rewards rate
N/A
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Balance transfer intro APR
15 months 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Purchase intro APR
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Regular APR
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Rewards rate
1.5%–5%
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

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

Apply now
On Discover's secure site
Balance transfer intro APR
18 months 0% for 18 months
Purchase intro APR
0% for 6 months
Regular APR
12.24% - 23.24% Variable
Rewards rate
1%–5%
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

18 months 0% Intro APR | Best for good credit

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Balance transfer intro APR
18 months 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Purchase intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
14.74% - 24.74% (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
Balance transfer intro APR
21 months 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
Purchase intro APR
0% for 12 months on Purchases
Regular APR
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
Rewards rate
N/A
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

15 months 0% intro APR | Best for 2% cash rewards

Apply now
On Wells Fargo's secure site
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
15.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% Variable APR
Rewards rate
2%
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

TRAVEL CARD WITH A BALANCE TRANSFER OFFER

Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Balance transfer intro APR
15 months 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Purchase intro APR
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Regular APR
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Rewards rate
1.25X–5X
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

15 Months 0% intro APR | Best for automatic bonus category

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Balance transfer intro APR
15 months 0% for 15 months on balance transfers
Purchase intro APR
0% for 15 months on purchases
Regular APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Rewards rate
1%–5%
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
Balance transfer intro APR
15 billing cycles 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles on BTs made 1st 60 days. 3% fee, min $10. Then 14.24-24.24% Var. APR
Purchase intro APR
0% for 15 billing cycles
Regular APR
14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases
Rewards rate
1.5%
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

15 billing cycles Intro APR | Best for flexible rewards categories

Apply now
On Bank of America's secure site
Balance transfer intro APR
15 billing cycles 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles on BTs made 1st 60 days. 3% fee, min $10. Then 14.24-24.24% Var. APR
Purchase intro APR
0% for 15 billing cycles
Regular APR
14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Rewards rate
1%–3%
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Compare Bankrate’s top balance transfer credit cards

Card name Bankrate’s pick for Balance transfer intro APR period Regular APR Bankrate review score
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card Intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days 15.24%–25.24% variable 4.0 / 5
(Read full card review)
Wells Fargo Reflect Card Longest 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) 13.74%–25.74% variable 4.2 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Diamond Preferred Card Excellent credit 21 months 14.49%–24.49% variable 3.7 / 5
(Read full card review)
BankAmericard credit card No penalty APR 0% APR for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days 13.24%–23.24% variable 4.3 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card No foreign transaction fee 15 months 15.24%–25.24% variable 3.2 / 5
(Read full card review)
Discover it Balance Transfer Rotating category cash back 18 months 12.24%–23.24% variable 4.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Double Cash Card Good credit 18 months 14.74%–24.74% variable 3.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Simplicity Card No late fee 21 months 15.49%–25.49% variable 3.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card 2% cash rewards 15 months 15.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% variable 3.8 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card Travel card with a balance transfer offer 15 months 15.24%–25.24% variable 3.8 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Custom Cash Card Automatic bonus category 15 months 14.74%–24.74% variable 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card Unlimited 1.5% cash back 0% APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days 14.24%–24.24% variable 3.3 / 5
(Read full card review)
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card Flexible rewards categories 0% APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days 14.24%–24.24% variable 4.1 / 5
(Read full card review)

A closer look at Bankrate’s best balance transfer cards

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card: Best for long intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers

  • What we love about the U.S Bank Visa Platinum Card: 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.
  • Who this card is good for: Anyone who wants to potentially finance a large purchase and transfer a balance to reduce debt.
  • Alternatives: If you want to earn rewards with a credit card after a balance transfer, the Citi Double Cash Card promises a potent combination of short-term and long-term value and you might be tempted to keep it well after the balance transfer offer expires.

Read our full U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Wells Fargo Reflect Card: Best for intro APR

  • What we love about the Wells Fargo Reflect Card: We consider this card a prime pick for people in the market for a balance transfer, as the intro APR offers are top-notch and among the longest promotional APR offers currently available.
  • Who this card is good for: People who need an extra-long window to pay off a balance transfer.
  • Alternatives: The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is ideal for anyone ready to forego a longer introductory APR period in exchange for the opportunity to receive cash back rewards.

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

Citi Diamond Preferred Card: Best for good to excellent credit

  • What we love about the Citi Diamond Preferred Card: 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).
  • Who this card is good for: Someone interested in a simple but effective method of temporarily avoiding interest on a balance transfer or purchase.
  • Alternatives: The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is ideal for anybody looking for additional benefits such as rewards programs or premium perks.

Read our full Citi Diamond Preferred Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

BankAmericard credit card: Best for no penalty APR

  • What we love about the BankAmericard Credit Card: This card boasts one of the market’s longest promotional offers for purchases and balance transfers, which can save you money on interest and help you pay off your balance faster.
  • Who this card is good for: Someone who wants the assurance of a lengthy introductory offer without the prospect of a penalty APR looming over them.
  • Alternatives: The Citi Simplicity Card may be the ideal solution for anybody looking to avoid an annual fee, penalty APR, and late penalties altogether.

Read our full BankAmericard credit card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for no foreign transaction fee

  • What we love about the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card: Its additional benefits, as cardholders have access to exclusive travel and entertainment perks through Capital One Access.
  • Who this card is good for: Anyone who wants to use their card for more than just a balance transfer. There are no foreign transaction fees and an intro APR offer on purchases.
  • Alternatives: The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card may be a better match for someone looking to earn high rewards rates with bonus categories.

Read our full Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Discover it Balance Transfer: Best for rotating category cash back

  • What we love about the Discover it Balance Transfer Card: The card is decidedly well-rounded, with competitive base rewards, a generous welcome offer with Cashback Match (all cash back earned in the first year will be matched at the end of it) and consumer-friendly terms.
  • Who this card is good for: Someone who needs to pay down existing credit card debt in the short term but wants to earn rewards for the long term.
  • Alternatives: If you’re looking for a low-maintenance rewards program, a flat-rate rewards card such as Wells Fargo Active Cash Card could help you better maximize your spending.

Read our full Discover it Balance Transfer review.
Jump back to offer details.

Citi Double Cash Card: Best for good credit

  • What we love about the Citi Double Cash Card: With the Citi Double Cash, you’ll earn 1 percent cash back on every purchase and another 1 percent (2 percent total) when you pay for those purchases.
  • Who this card is good for: Anyone who wants a card with lengthy introductory offers on balance transfers plus a cash back program.
  • Alternatives: The Double Cash currently doesn’t have an introductory offer on new purchases, so shoppers looking for a temporary break from interest may find the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card to be a better fit.

Read our full Citi Double Cash Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Citi Simplicity Card: Best for no late fee

  • What we love about the Citi Simplicity Card: The Citi Simplicity charges no penalty APRs or late fees for missed payments, making it a very friendly card for people struggling to pay off credit card debt.
  • Who this card is good for: People who are temporarily avoiding interest on a balance transfer for an extended period and do not want to pay late fees or annual fees.
  • Alternatives: If you’re more interested in a cash back rewards card for everyday use, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express could provide better long-term value.

Read our full Citi Simplicity Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card: Best for 2% cash rewards

  • What we love about the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card: Its generous cash back rewards rate and introductory APR offer. Cards that earn unlimited 2 percent cash rewards on purchases are rare, but a card that also has introductory APR offers is rarer still.
  • Who this card is good for: Anyone looking for a card with both an intro APR offer for qualifying balance transfers and purchases from account opening, as well as an exceptional cash rewards program.
  • Alternatives: For people who want to make the length of the introductory offer the top priority, the Wells Fargo Reflect Card would provide a longer introductory period.

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

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card: Best travel card with a balance transfer offer

  • What we love about the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card: It’s an affordable travel card that has the added perk of an intro offer on balance transfers. Plus, cardholders can get special entry rates into Capital One’s new airport lounges with this card.
  • Who this card is good for: People who want a low-cost travel card that’s fairly well-rounded.
  • Alternatives: Anyone looking for the luxury perks and benefits that come with higher-cost travel credit cards may prefer the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

Read our full Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Citi Custom Cash Card: Best for automatic bonus category

  • What we love about the Citi Custom Cash Card: Some bonus-rate cards involve rotating categories that you’re required to activate every quarter. With this card, your top spending category is your bonus category each billing cycle.
  • Who this card is good 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).
  • Alternatives: People concerned about paying a balance transfer fee higher than the typical 3 percent may be interested in the BankAmericard credit card, as it can help increase potential interest savings.

Read our full Citi Custom Cash Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card: Best for unlimited 1.5% cash back

  • What we love about the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Card: The boosted rewards rate makes this card a no-brainer. Bank of America Preferred Rewards members earn 25 percent to 75 percent more cash back (based on your enrollment tier), meaning members could earn a maximum of up to 2.62 percent cash back on every purchase.
  • Who this card is good for: People who want unlimited, uncomplicated cash back that never expires.
  • Alternatives: Cash back maximizers who don’t mind keeping track of a few bonus categories to earn a higher rewards rate may find more value with the Discover it® Cash Back .

Read our full Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Best for flexible rewards categories

  • What we love about the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card: Its cash back potential, as not many cards offer the opportunity to choose a rewards category. The Customized Cash Rewards card lets you pick your highest earning in one of six categories—travel, gas, dining, online shopping, drug stores or home improvement and furnishings—and your next tier of earnings are on grocery store and wholesale club purchases.
  • Who this card is good for: Frequent shoppers who want to match their spending habits with cash back categories without affecting their responsible use of the introductory offer.
  • Alternatives: People who just want to take advantage of an introductory APR offer and have no interest in pursuing rewards may want to consider the Citi Diamond Preferred Card.

Read our full Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card review.
Jump back to offer details.


What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card can help you pay off debt by transferring existing card balances to a new credit card with a 0 percent intro APR period. During that time, you have the chance to pay off the principal without paying interest. When the intro APR period ends, interest will apply to any remaining balance at the end of each billing cycle like a regular credit card.

Want to learn more? Read our full guide on how balance transfer credit cards work.

How to choose the best 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:

You can search for preapproval 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?

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. Apply for and open a balance transfer card: As is the case with any credit card option, you’ll first need to apply for a balance transfer card and be approved. Balance transfer cards are most attainable with a good to excellent credit score.
  2. Know how much time you have: Once you’ve applied for and received a balance transfer card, you have a certain period of time in which you can make transfers that qualify for the zero-interest offer.
  3. Initiate the transfer: Most issuers will have a process online or in the mobile app that allows you to make balance transfer requests. You’ll need account and credit card numbers handy to start the process.
  4. Look for confirmation: The issuer of your balance transfer card will notify you when the transfer is completed, but always check your other account(s) and keep making payments on your previous card(s) until it’s done. Timelines for processing balance transfers vary from issuer to issuer. In some cases, it could take 7 to 10 days to complete. In some cases, it could take a couple of weeks—or even as long as a month.
  5. Consider keeping your old card open: 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.
  6. Call for help: 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.

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.

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).
  • Initiate your transfer quickly. Some cards on the market have a window of time within which you must initiate your balance transfer to receive the full benefits of the intro offer.
  • Always pay on time and more than the minimum amount due whenever possible. To expedite 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 more than the minimum amount due when you can in addition to paying on time, every time.
  • Make a strategic plan to tackle your debt. Understand 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. As a general rule of thumb, try to make your pay-off timeline match up with the balance transfer card’s intro APR period.

Pros and cons of balance transfer credit cards

Pros

  • Save money: By temporarily avoiding interest on transferred debt, you could save money on interest payments.
  • Improve credit utilization ratio: Over time, reducing debt can improve your credit utilization ratio, meaning you’re using less of your available credit.
  • Reduce monthly payments: The temporary break from interest on your transferred balance could translate to a lower monthly payment.
  • Consolidate debts: If you have multiple cards with high balances, you can simplify your debt payment process by consolidating the debt onto one card.

Cons

  • High credit approval threshold: The best offers with the longest 0 percent APR terms tend to be available to people with good or excellent credit.
  • Interest paid on remaining balance: 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.

Who should get a balance transfer credit card?

According to The Federal Reserve, about half of all credit card users carry a month-to-month balance. 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:

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Bankrate insight
Still unsure if a balance transfer credit card is right for you? Check out our Credit Card Spender Type Tool where you can get personalized credit card recommendations based on your credit score, spending habits and daily needs.

How much money could you save with a balance transfer?

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

Experian’s 2021 State of Credit report shows that the average credit card balance reached $5,525. Here’s how much you could save by transferring $5,525 in debt to one of our best balance transfer credit cards, based on the following conditions:

  • You would pay the balance transfer fee upfront and pay off the $5,525 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 percent 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 12.24%–23.24% variable $165.75 (3%)

$749.25
Citi Diamond Preferred Card 21 months 14.49%–24.49% variable $276.25 (5%) $791.75
BankAmericard credit card 18 billing cycles (on any transfers made in first 60 days) 13.24%–23.24% variable $165.75 (3%) $749.25
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) 13.74%–25.74% variable $165.75 (3%)

$902.25

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card 20 billing cycles (on transfers made in first 60 days) 15.24%–25.24% variable $165.75 (3%) $851.25
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card 15 months for qualifying transfers from account opening 15.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% variable $165.75 (3%)

$599.25
Citi Custom Cash Card 15 months 14.74%–24.74% variable $276.25 (5%) $488.75
Citi Simplicity Card 21 months 15.49%–25.49% variable $276.25 (5%) $791.35
Citi Double Cash Card 18 months 14.74%–24.74% variable $165.75 (3%)

$749.25
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card 15 billing cycles (on any transfers made in first 60 days) 14.24%–24.24% variable $165.75 (3%) $599.25
Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card 15 billing cycles (on any transfers made in first 60 days) 14.24%–24.24% variable $165.75 (3%) $599.25
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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.

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

Currently, the longest intro APR offers on the market are up to 21 months, offered by the Wells Fargo Reflect, Citi Diamond Preferred and Citi Simplicity cards. Although any temporary break from credit card APR is beneficial, a longer intro offer will give you the best opportunity to avoid interest as you pay off your transferred balance. The chart below shows the top three cards with the longest intro APR offers.

Balance transfer credit card 0% intro APR offer Transfer a balance by May 31, 2022 and avoid regular APR until:
Citi Diamond Preferred Card 21 months (14.49%–24.49% variable after) February 2024
Citi Simplicity Card 21 months (15.49%–25.49% variable after) February 2024
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, then 13.74%–25.74% variable after) At least November 2023

*Terms and Restrictions Apply

 

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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. Your focus shouldn’t be on earning rewards until you’ve paid off your transferred balance.

Alternatives to a balance transfer card

Using balance transfer credit cards is one of the best ways to pay off debt and save money, but there are other ways to manage your debt that don’t involve a balance transfer card. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Find out if you can qualify for a reduced interest rate: Because your credit score may have improved since you opened the account, requesting a reduced interest rate from your issuer may be beneficial. You might be able to get some points deducted from your rate or have your account transferred to a lower-interest card.
  2. Pay more than the minimum due using a debt repayment calculator: The minimum monthly payment is the absolute least you can pay without penalty—but you won’t get far paying off your debt that way. By using a debt payment calculator, you can figure out how much interest you could save if you paid off your credit card balance without having to transfer. You need to pay interest on less money to see actual savings, so by paying more than the minimum, you can reduce the principal balance.
  3. Take advantage of a personal loan or debt consolidation loan: A personal loan can help you pay off your high-interest debt, but it’s critical to remember that a personal loan only makes sense if the interest rate is lower than the interest on your credit card debt. You can get a loan from a bank, credit union or online lender, and you may even be able to pay your creditors directly with some loans designed for debt consolidation.
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Bankrate insight
According to a recent Bankrate survey, credit card debt is one of the most uncomfortable topics among generations. It’s important to keep an open conversation about possible solutions, as well as educate and support each other without judgment.

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



Have more questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.


Frequently asked questions about balance transfer credit cards

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 small businesses and credit. Mariah is a lifelong writer, but joined the Bankrate team in 2019, excited by the opportunity to help people make good financial decisions. Send your questions to mackary@bankrate.com

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.