Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Juan Ruiz
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No one wants to see interest charges on their credit card bills, but they can add up in a big way.
A 0% balance transfer offer from a new credit card could be the perfect solution if you’re carrying a balance on your credit cards — or foresee the need to carry a balance soon.
Promotional balance transfer offers allow you to transfer your high-interest debt to a new credit card with an introductory 0% interest rate for a specific amount of time.
These offers could save you a ton of money by avoiding paying pricey interest payments on your current credit cards.
If you’ve been struggling to pay off your credit card balances or need to make a large purchase soon, a 0% balance transfer credit card could be the perfect solution to save you money.
This article covers the best overall 0% balance transfer card offers with all the information you need to make the best decision for your situation.
We’ve narrowed down the best of the best with our top picks for overall 0% balance transfer credit cards — here’s an overview of what you can expect with each card:
|Card||Welcome Offer and Annual Fee||Balance Transfer Benefits|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||
||0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||
||0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||
||Low Intro APR: 0% on balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening. After that, your APR will be a variable APR of 19.24% - 29.99%. Variable APRs will not exceed 29.99%.|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||
||0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening. After that, 19.24% - 29.99% variable APR.|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||
||0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%|
|Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card||
||0% APR on balance transfers for the first 21 months and purchases for the first 12 months|
|The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card||
||0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months|
When considering any new line of credit, it’s always important to fully understand all the terms and conditions of opening up a new account.
Balance transfer offers are enticing promotions, but you want to make sure there aren’t any surprises with additional fees or short-lived promotions.
Let’s highlight some of the other most important things to consider when thinking of a balance transfer.
The best 0% balance transfer offers will not have an annual fee, but it’s always important to check. The last thing you want to see after striving to reduce the cost of carrying debt is a fee for having an open account.
If you find a balance transfer offer on a new or existing account with an annual fee, it is important to factor that into your cost-savings analysis.
On an account with a balance transfer for 18 months and a $95 annual fee, you will pay at least $190 in annual fees if you keep your account open for the full promotional period.
The length of the promotional 0% balance transfer offer could be the determining factor when deciding what offer works best for you.
Looking at the savings chart, the length of the balance transfer offer will determine how much your monthly payment will be if your goal is to pay the balance in full under the promotion’s terms.
The longer the 0% promotional offer, the lower your monthly payments will be. A longer promotional offer might sound like the best deal, but the sooner you get out of debt, the better!
It’s important to make the best decision for your budget and the length of the promotional offer is just one of many things to consider.
We all make plans that we can’t always keep. That’s why it’s important to know what to expect if you have to carry the balance of your debt after the promotional balance transfer offer is over.
If you transfer a balance with a 0% APR offer for 18 months but do not pay off the entire balance during the promotional period, you will start paying interest on any remaining balance on that account.
You should prepare for the ongoing interest rate by referring to the terms of the original credit card offer.
Hot Tip: Didn’t pay off that balance fast enough? Consider looking for another balance transfer offer to continue the savings with a 0% interest rate.
It’s not uncommon to see new credit cards that offer great balance transfer offers and also extend promotional rates to purchases.
For example, a 0% promotional APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months means all balance transfers and purchases made on that account get 0% interest during the first 15 months of account opening.
A 0% promotional purchase APR could be a huge incentive for those expecting a large purchase soon and considering a balance transfer offer to help finance that expense.
A promotional purchase rate would eliminate the need for a balance transfer since all purchases also get the same promotional rate, almost like a 0% APR credit card. This could even save you more by avoiding balance transfer fees.
Credit limits can be the most frustrating part of balance transfers. Once you’ve decided to open a new credit card to take advantage of a 0% balance transfer offer, you probably already know exactly how much money you want to transfer.
Unfortunately, when applying for a new credit card, you never know how much you’ll be approved for. This could be an issue if the amount you want to transfer is higher than the credit limit you’re approved for.
It’s also important to mention that American Express limits your credit limit even further for balance transfers. It does not allow transfers that exceed the lesser of $7,500 or 75% of your credit limit.
If you have existing credit card accounts with the same bank you’re using for the balance transfer offer, it might be possible to move a portion of your credit limit to increase the one on your 0% offer.
This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.
Don’t forget too, there’s 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
The Freedom Unlimited card offers a 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.. This card also has a $0 annual fee. There is a balance transfer fee of 5% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5.
The Freedom Unlimited card comes with a fantastic rewards program and lots of benefits. It earns an unlimited 1.5% cash-back on all purchases. There is no minimum amount to redeem your cash-back, and your rewards will not expire as long as you have the card.
This rewards program is somewhat unique because you are actually earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points calculated for earning cash-back. You earn 1.5x points per $1 spent, which equates to 1.5 cents cash-back.
It also earns:
If you have other credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points that participate in the travel rewards program, you can take advantage of those exclusive benefits with these points.
You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned from your Freedom Unlimited card to a travel rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card credit card to unlock more rewards.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers 25% more value for your points when you use them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and those points can be transferred directly to a number of Chase airline and hotel partners.
Hot Tip: It’s important to remember that this card and all of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards credit cards fall under the 5/24 rule.
The card also comes with excellent purchase protection to cover your new purchases at 0% interest (and even beyond that). It covers up to 120 days against theft and accidental damage of up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
It also extends the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty on all purchases by an additional year on eligible warranties of 3 years or less.
These protections do not apply to purchases made on another account involved in the balance transfer offer.
The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.
The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.
The Freedom Flex card comes with a 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.. Like the Freedom Unlimited card, you’ll earn Ultimate Rewards calculated as cash-back. When paired with a credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you’ll be able to transfer those points to hotel and airline partners in order to maximize your redemptions.
The card has a specialized earning system:
It also comes with purchase protection, extended warranty, zero fraud liability protection, cell phone protection, and travel insurance.
This card is great for those who want to earn cash-back with U.S. supermarkets, U.S. streaming subscriptions, transit, and U.S. gas stations.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a stellar cash-back credit card for those looking to maximize every purchase they make.
With bonus categories like U.S. supermarkets, select streaming services, U.S. gas stations, and transit purchases, this card rewards you for the items you spend the most on in a big way! For those looking to earn up to 6% cash-back on their purchases, this could be the card for you!
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card is an awesome cash-back credit card you should consider adding to your wallet, especially if you’re also looking for a solid balance transfer promotion.
There’s a Low Intro APR: 0% on balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening. After that, your APR will be a variable APR of 19.24% - 29.99%. Variable APRs will not exceed 29.99%. available on this card.
Currently, you’ll also earn up to 6% cash-back on your purchases:
There are also 2 statement credits:
Other benefits include secondary rental car insurance, access to Global Assist, return protection, fraud protection, and fee-free authorized user cards (rates and fees).
This cash-back card offers a capped 3% at U.S. supermarkets, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 3% on U.S. online retail purchases!
When it comes to cash-back credit cards, there are dozens of options to choose from. So what sets the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express apart from the rest?
This card is excellent at earning cash-back on your everyday purchases at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. online retail purchases. So if you regularly spend money on everyday purchases, this could be the perfect card to add to your wallet.
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card happens to be the stripped-down version of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, but the balance transfer promotion is actually better on this card!
It has a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening. After that, 19.24% - 29.99% variable APR., as well as up to 3% cash-back rewards:
There are also 2 sets of statement credits with the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card:
Lastly, you’ll find secondary rental car coverage, purchase protection, and fee-free authorized user cards (rates and fees)
Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
The Citi® Double Cash Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!
This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.
Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.
Another fantastic choice is the Double Cash card.
This card comes with a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%. Balance transfers must be done within 4 months of account opening to qualify for this introductory 0% APR.
Just like the name suggests, it earns 2% cash-back on every purchase (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay). Cash-back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou Point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou Point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.
There’s also an introductory balance transfer fee of 3% (minimum is $5) on transfers completed within the first 4 months of account opening.
Other benefits include contactless payments, digital wallets, $0 liability protection, and access to Citi Entertainment.
This card has no annual fee with its strongest point being its introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers.
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a no-annual-fee card that comes with a generous introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers.
The Citi Diamond Preferred card wins for the longest-term 0% balance transfer promotional offer.
The Citi Diamond Preferred card does not have a rewards program but does offer some of the best long-term 0% balance transfer APR promotions available.
The card gives you the flexibility to carry a balance or pay in full every month. Plus, it provides loads of options for racking up rewards on everyday purchases and a 50% bonus!
All information about Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points.
Credit cards can provide a convenient way to pay for the items you use every day. If you have The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, you can shop away and get rewarded in the process.
You’ll find a great option in this card if you use it often and you’re also looking for solid travel rewards. This is especially the case at U.S. supermarkets, since you can earn 3x points per dollar you spend.
Here’s a look at the rewards you’ll earn with the Amex EveryDay Preferred card:
These points are a part of the flexible and valuable American Express Membership Rewards program.
Membership Rewards points can be used for all sorts of travel rewards, including transferring directly to one of the Amex travel partners. You can also use points for retail, dining, and entertainment purchases online.
There’s also a bonus for using your card regularly. When you use your card 30 times for purchases in a billing period, you will earn 50% more points that will be credited on a subsequent statement.
If you’re able to reach this threshold, you’ll earn up to 4.5x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases/year), 3x points at U.S. gas stations, and 1.5x points on all other purchases.
This card comes with a wide variety of additional benefits that add extra protection for your purchases. These include extended warranty protection, additional purchase protection, car rental insurance, and no foreign transaction fees (rates and fees).
Hot Tip: Welcome offers add tremendous value to a 0% APR card so always check for the best offer and complete minimum spending requirements after you’re approved for the card to earn your bonus.
A balance transfer is a request to transfer a balance of debt from one creditor to another. You will initiate this request with the card that you will transfer your balance to.
It’s a simple process. Most of the time, all you need to provide is the name of the financial institution, the account number, and the amount of debt you want to transfer.
If the balance transfer request is approved, the bank will assume the debt (and debit your account for that amount, sometimes immediately) and arrange the payment with the original creditor.
You are still responsible for making any payments on the existing debt during the balance transfer process. Most balance transfers take 7 to 10 days to complete.
Many credit cards offer promotional balance transfer offers when you sign up for a new account, and it’s not uncommon to get these offers on existing credit card accounts.
Banks share these special offers to either attract new customers or try and do more business with existing customers. With that being said, it’s important to note that you cannot transfer a balance from accounts held by the same financial institution.
Carrying a balance on a high-interest-rate credit card is not a good situation to be in. It can lead to a lot of stress for those who are looking to reduce the burden of debt.
Interest charges can add up quickly. Sometimes, your minimum payment will barely make a dent in your balance.
Consider a balance transfer offer to provide immediate relief from high-interest charges and help you take control of reducing your debt without adding to it.
Another situation where a balance transfer could be advantageous: you may be faced with a large upcoming expense that you know is beyond your immediate budget. You may want to consider a balance transfer offer as a financing option for that purchase.
You will just need to be able to put that purchase on an existing account and could then take advantage of a balance transfer offer to avoid paying any interest charges at all.
Even for new credit card accounts that offer a promotional balance transfer on approval, most balance transfer promotions give you at least 30 days to take advantage of the offer. The transfer does not need to take place immediately.
You can save significantly with a promotional balance transfer offer since credit cards often charge interest rates from 15% to 25% APR.
Let’s say you have a $5,000 balance on your credit card that you’re currently unable to pay off. You want to set a goal to pay off this debt with regular monthly payments.
The chart below shows how much a 0% balance transfer offer can save you on a $5,000 balance if you plan to pay off the entire balance before the promotional offer expires with fixed payments each month:
|12 Months||15 Months||18 Months||21 Months|
|0% APR Payment||$416.67||$333.33||$277.78||$238.10|
|Total Interest Charges||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|15% APR Payment||$451.29||$367.63||$311.92||$272.19|
|Total Interest Charges||$415.50||$514.48||$614.63||$715.94|
|20% APR Payment||$463.17||$379.49||$323.82||$284.14|
|Total Interest Charges||$558.07||$692.35||$828.69||$967.07|
|25 % APR Payment||$475.22||$391.56||$335.96||$296.40|
|Total Interest Charges||$702.65||$873.36||$1,047.26||$1,224.34|
A balance transfer can also help you manage your monthly payments. Using the same example, if the goal is to pay the debt in 18 months with or without the balance transfer, you will save close to $60 a month on your monthly payment.
Therefore, not only does a 0% balance transfer save you on high-interest charges, but it can also reduce your monthly payment if you have a specific timeline to pay off your debt.
You always want to be sure you’re meeting the minimum payment set by your credit issuer. Making payments below that minimum could trigger late fees and penalties for not making an on-time payment.
When considering balance transfer offers, it’s important to read over all the fine print in the offer’s terms. Most promotional balance transfer offers come with balance transfer fees.
Fees are charged by the bank you will use to transfer the balance. These commonly range from 3% to 5% of the total amount transferred and are a one-time fee.
If you were to transfer a $5,000 balance with a 3% balance transfer fee, you would pay $150.
While $150 sounds like a lot of money to transfer a balance, if you were to keep that balance at a 25% APR, you would be paying more than that in interest within just 2 months!
It’s important to understand all the terms and conditions of any balance transfer offer, especially any upfront costs like balance transfer fees.
The best 0% balance transfer credit cards are already rewarding by offering an incredible promotional rate. While some of these credit cards offer a rewards program, you typically do not earn any rewards by completing a balance transfer.
For example, if you were considering a rewards credit card that offered 1x points on every $1 spent, you do not earn 1x points for every $1 transferred. In almost all cases, you earn 0 points for balance transfers.
But if there is a promotional 0% interest rate on purchases, you can earn rewards based on those purchases, but not on balance transfers.
Conducting a balance transfer is very simple. When applying for a new account, you’ll be asked if you want to transfer a balance.
Most of the time, all you need is the name of your credit card company that currently holds your debt, your account number, and the amount you want to transfer.
Sometimes, you will need to provide the address of where you mail your payments, but these days, most of the credit card companies know each other.
Some banks will conduct the balance transfer request electronically; others will process it by mail.
Balance transfers can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to complete. It all depends on how each credit card issuer handles the request.
It’s important that you continue to make the minimum payments on the credit card that carries the original debt. Just because you initiate a balance transfer request doesn’t mean your credit card company knows about it instantaneously.
It’s not uncommon for the account you’re transferring the balance to for the 0% promotional rate to instantly add the requested amount to your credit card.
Taking advantage of a 0% balance transfer offer by getting a new credit card will save you a ton of money by avoiding high-interest charges on your current credit cards.
As we’ve described, it’s important to consider the length of the offer, any other fees associated with the card and balance transfer, and what the interest charges will be once the promotional rate ends.
It’s a bonus when some of these cards extend the 0% APR rate to purchases for the length of the offer, providing even more opportunities for you to save on interest charges.
It gets even better yet when some of these 0% balance transfer credit cards also earn travel reward points for purchases (but not balance transfers).
For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car rental loss or damage coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Transferring your credit card balance will move your debt from 1 credit card to another. This is commonly done with new accounts, but can also be requested on existing accounts. It’s best to take advantage of a promotional balance transfer offer when transferring a balance.
It can be. If you’re taking advantage of a promotional balance transfer offer, like 0% APR, then, yes, it is. You’ll want to consider any additional fees that come along with the balance transfer before deciding if it’s a good idea for you.
It depends. There are many factors that affect your credit score. If you’re opening a new credit card account to transfer a balance or maxing out a credit line to transfer a balance, it will affect your score. If you’re transferring a balance between existing accounts and maintaining a similar credit utilization, it may not affect your score.
Transferring your balance from one credit card to another is the most common transfer of debt, and most widely accepted. It is possible to transfer your balance from other debt accounts, but it depends on the financial institution.
Balance transfers can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. It all depends on how each credit card issuer handles the balance transfer request. Some banks conduct balance transfers electronically, which increases the speed of the transfer.
Transferring a balance doesn’t close your old credit card, nor does it require you to. In fact, it might be a good idea to keep your old credit account open to maintain your credit history and increase your average age of accounts, which could have a positive effect on your credit score.
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