Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards Of 2018 – Review and Compare – Info Money Manage

Credit card debt in America has reached an all-time high, as people all around the country are struggling to pay off mortgages, student loans, and card debt. Luckily there’s a healthy solution that could make debt more palatable for many who are struggling to make their minimum payments: Balance Transfers cards.

If you’re one of the many Americans feeling overwhelmed with their financial situation, the right card could help lower your monthly payments, save on interest, and better manage your mounting debt.

If you already know that you want a balance transfer card, we’ve compiled a list of the best ones on the market to help you find the one that’s right for you.

If you’re not sure you even need a balance transfer card, you can scroll down for an in-depth analysis of what these cards are for, what makes them good (or bad), and when they might be appropriate for you.

In-depth analysis of the Best Balance Transfer

Editor’s Choice, July 2018

Chase Freedom® Card

This offer requires Excellent/Good credit.

    Card Highlights

    • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
    • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
    • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
    • View Chase Freedom® details and how to apply »

The Chase Freedom® Card is another great option for anyone who wants to make a balance transfer and enjoys shopping.

The 15-month introductory rate applies to balance transfers and new purchases, and what’s more, you’ll receive a nice $150 bonus when you spend your first $500 on the card within the first three months of opening the account.

The Chase Freedom® Card provides a generous 5 percent cashback on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.

This is similar to how Discover offers cash back on its Balance Transfer card.

You’ll also receive the same shopping, travel, and security benefits as many of the cards on this list, making the Chase Freedom® Card a viable option for top balance transfer card all around.

  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory Term: 15 months
  • Regular APR: 16.74% – 25.49% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Good to Excellent (700+)

Check out our full Chase Freedom® Card

BankAmericard® Credit Card

BankAmericard® Credit Card

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 14.74% – 24.74% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won’t automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR on purchases 15 billing cycles 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days 15 billing cycles 14.74% – 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers $0.00

The BankAmericard® Credit Card is a top balance transfer credit cards for those looking to save money.

It also has 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days, after the intro period the rate would go to the regular APR, which is still reasonable.

So, you can save a lot and make your monthly installments without drowning in interest payments.

Additionally, the BankAmericard® Credit Card has no annual fees and no penalty APRs.

That means that even if you are late making a payment, your APR won’t be raised.

This Bank of America card provides $0 liability insurance on fraudulent charges and access to your FICO score for free.

Bank of America rounds this offer up nicely with a sleek mobile app that makes banking more convenient and faster than ever.

  • Introductory APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days
  • Introductory Term: 15 billing cycles
  • Regular APR: 14.74% – 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the amount of each transaction or $10, whichever is greater.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Good to Excellent (700+)

Check out our full BankAmericard® Credit Card review

Discover it® Balance Transfer

This offer requires Excellent, Good credit.

    Card Highlights

    • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
    • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
    • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
    • View Discover it® Balance Transfer details and how to apply »

The Discover it® Balance Transfer is one of the most beneficial cards anyone can sign up for, and if you have the credit credentials, it’s well worth your time.

It has a tremendous 18-month introductory period in which you pay 0 percent APR on all balance transfer amounts.  Additionally, this card offers 0 percent APR on all purchases for the first six months. After the introductory period ends, the regular APR of 13.74% – 24.74% Variable applies.

And, the rewards don’t end when the introductory period runs out. The Discover it® Balance Transfer also has an outstanding rewards program.

To begin with, you’ll receive 5 percent cashback on rotating categories each quarter that you activate, up to $1,500 in combined purchases.

That is a very generous offer, considering most cards only give at most 1 -3 percent back.

However, you must activate the rewards each quarter. But this card will match all of the rewards points you earned your first year, so it’s definitely worth the extra effort.

Finally, the $0 annual fee is the cherry on top that makes this one of the best balance transfer cards on the market today.

  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 0%
  • Introductory Term: 18 months
  • Regular APR: 13.74% – 24.74% Variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Good to Excellent (700+)

Check out our full Discover it® Balance Transfer review

Truly Simple® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank

This offer requires Good, Excellent credit.

    Card Highlights

    • Start saving by consolidating your high interest rate cards and making everyday purchases on one card that can help you get what you want.
    • Low 0% introductory APR for your first 15 billing cycles after the account is opened on purchases and balance transfers. After that, your variable APR will be 13.74% to 24.74% based on your creditworthiness.
    • No Penalty Rate (APR) for a missed payment
    • View Truly Simple® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank details and how to apply »

The Truly Simple® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank is just what it claims to be, truly simple, making it just perfect for those who don’t like all the nitty-gritty details involved in most financial decisions.

In addition to 0 annual fee, it has some excellent benefits for new customers including a 0 percent APR for the first 15 billing cycles after the account is opened.

This introductory rate applies to balance transfers and new purchases, making it a really worthwhile deal for anyone who is planning on making some big purchases in the near future.

On top of the hefty welcome APR, the Truly Simple® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank provides cell phone protection in case of damage or theft, shopping perks like price protection, extended warranty, and convenient digital payment options, and travel benefits like airport concierge and emergency assistance.

Cardholders will also appreciate the VIP perks that come with this card, and zero liability policy for fraudulent charges rounds it out nicely.

  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory Term: 15 billing cycles
  • Regular APR: 13.74%-24.74% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: 4% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
  • Annual Fee: 0
  • Credit Needed: Good to Excellent (700+)

Check out our full Truly Simple® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank card review

Capital One® Quicksilver® Card—0% Intro APR for 15 Months

This offer requires Excellent/Good credit.

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Card—0% Intro APR for 15 Months is another obvious choice for balance transfers because of the great terms and low regular APRs.

To start you off, Capital One offers 0 percent APR for the first 15 months on balance transfers and purchases.

After that, you’ll pay between 14.74% – 24.74% (Variable) on all purchases going forward, with no annual fees.

To make this card even better, with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card you can earn 1.5 percent cashback on every purchase, regardless of category.

Finally, cardholders will receive a $150 bonus by spending $500 within the first three months of opening the account.

  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory Term: for 15 months
  • Regular APR: 14.74% – 24.74% (Variable)
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Good to Excellent (700+)

Check out our full Capital One® Quicksilver® Card

USAA® Rate Advantage Platinum Visa® Card

This offer requires Good, Excellent credit.

The USAA® Rate Advantage Platinum Visa® card is a different type of offer than most on this list. That’s because it offers no introductory APR or welcome bonuses.

If that’s the case, you may wonder why it’s being mentioned at all. The key to this card is related to your being in the military or connected to it somehow.

In fact, the USAA® Rate Advantage Platinum Visa® Card offers the lowest regular APR of any card around to those in the service, in deployment, or PCS, or anyone related to them.

If you fall into any of those categories, you’ll receive a 4 percent APR! That’s unprecedented.

Additionally, cardholders will appreciate $0 annual fees, no foreign transaction fee, no penalty APR, no over the credit limit fees, $0 liability insurance, and convenient chip technology.

The package deal makes it an attractive offer for those who are eligible.

  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory Term: N/A
  • Regular APR: 8.65% to 25.65% APR (See note2) Same Rate on Purchases, Cash and Transfers
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer (maximum fee per transfer $200)
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Fair to Good (600+)

Check out our full USAA® Rate Advantage Platinum Visa® card

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard

This offer requires Good/Excellent credit.

While cards like the Discover it® Balance Transfer have a lot to offer, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® might just be the best balance transfer card out there.

That’s because it bundles all sorts of benefits into a neat package and ties it with a community-sharing bow.

To begin with, there are no annual fees, making it easy to keep no matter what you do with it.

Additionally, you’ll get no foreign transaction fees while making purchases in a foreign currency.

With an average foreign transaction fee of 3 percent on other cards, no fees add up to a lot of savings.

Where the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® really shines though, is its balance transfer and interest payment offers.

You’ll pay no balance transfer fees (already saving you 3-5 percent that most credit cards charge). You will also receive 0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 13.74% APR will apply..

Additionally, you’ll receive the regular purchase rate of 13.74% Variable.

This lower than almost anyone else rate makes the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® the best option if you are planning on carrying a balance out over time.

The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® also has a rewards program that entitles you to a share in the profits of the card.

This is a revolutionary crowd sharing concept that no other credit card offers.

  • Introductory APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 13.74% APR will apply.
  • Introductory Term: Within 45 days of account opening
  • Regular APR: 13.74% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: $0
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Good to Excellent (700+)

Check out our full Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

Terms and conditions

How to Choose the Right Balance Transfer Credit Card

With so many options for valuable balance transfer credit cards, it might be hard to pick the right one. Or worse yet, if your credit isn’t great, you might not be able to find a good card to help you out of your tight spot. So, whether you are limited or trying to limit your choices, what are the most important features to look out for in a balance transfer credit card?

Ultimately, the right balance transfer credit card for you will depend on your financial situation. It should offer you the best combination of the most important factors including:

Annual Fee

A balance transfer credit card that charges a high annual fee will invariably eat away at any savings you were hoping to glean from the lack of balance transfer fees. Search for a card that offers low or even no annual fees. Many of the cards on the chart above charge no annual fees.

Balance Transfer Fee

Many credit cards that are great for balance transfers because of their low or 0 percent introductory APR offer still charge a fee for moving the money over to your new card. So, you have to ask how much will it cost you to transfer your balance over to the other card? Fees can range from 0 – 5 percent depending on the card.

One thing you need to be careful of with balance transfer credit cards is the misleading calculations. Sometimes, a card will offer you a low balance transfer fee with an astronomical interest rate. At this point, you are likely paying more than you would have by opting for a higher balance transfer fee.

Always use an online calculator like the one we provide to give you a clear idea of how much you will be paying monthly and overall with all factors (including balance transfer fees and interest rates) being taken into consideration.

Incidentally, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® charges no balance transfer fee and a low regular APR.

Introductory APR

This is the most intriguing factor for many people drowning in debt. If you are being choked by a suffocating interest rate, an offer that allows you to pay 0 percent interest for a limited amount of time can be incredibly enticing.

In fact, these balance transfer credit cards are extremely helpful in allowing people to pay off a large chunk of their debt without the overbearing weight of staggering interest payments cancelling out their payments. So, a credit card that offers an attractive introductory APR is a good one.

You can get 15 months at 0 percent APR from cards like Truly Simple® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank, Chase Freedom®, or the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, while the Discover it® Balance Transfer card offers a whopping 18 months in the clear.

Regular APR

Finally, take a look at the card’s regular APR. Why? Because if you haven’t finished paying off your debt by the time the promotional period ends (and many people will not), then you’ll be left paying the regular interest rates for the remainder of your balance. If the regular APR is astronomical, you had better be prepared to pay off your debt before the introductory promotion ends, or pay for it through the nose.

At the end of the day, the best balance transfer credit card for you is one that has the features that work with your finances best.

Plan on paying your debt off quickly? Then look for a card with no balance transfer or annual fees. Need more time to pay it off? Opt for a card that offers low APRs all the time.

Either way, you can take advantage of the great offers made by these reputable balance transfer credit cards to help you alleviate a lot of the weight of your current debt.

Who Needs a Balance Transfer Credit Card?

Credit card debt continues to rise each year, with more than $1.02 trillion dollars in revolving balances nationally. The average American household owes approximately $15,654, and that’s just in credit card debt. Factor in mortgages, auto payments, student loans, and other types of debt, and the figures rise to roughly $131,431 per household.

With such crippling figures, it isn’t surprising that Americans are seeking a better way to handle their finances. Many aren’t even aware of the balance transfer option, forcing them to use more desperate means to manage their debt. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to continue this way. Most people can take advantage of the tremendous savings a balance transfer credit card has to offer, including:

People paying excessively high interest rates

Balance transfer credit cards can help you save significantly on your interest payments. See the section below to understand just how much you can save.

People with debt on multiple credit cards

Multiple monthly payments can be difficult to manage both financially as well as organizationally. Most people lose track of these payments, and that is the beginning of the slippery slope known as credit card debt that often ends in crippling charges that are too much to handle.

Consolidating debt is one of the smartest ways to get ahead of a mounting pile of bills that might have gotten away from you. After all, it’s much easier to make one payment each month than it is to juggle multiple payments simultaneously. Transferring the balance of several credit cards into one lower payment is more financially feasible and simpler to manage.

People with other forms of debt

You can transfer other types of debt in addition to credit card debt. Car payments, personal loans, and other monthly installment payments can be lumped together with the help of a balance transfer credit card.

How Much Can You Save with a Balance Transfer Card?

Practically speaking, the big question on everyone’s mind is how much can you really save at the end of the day with a balance transfer card? Is it worth the effort of applying, transferring, and reorganizing?

Will a balance transfer really save you money? Get your individual balance transfer savings estimate with our balance transfer calculator now:

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* Assumes one payment monthly and interest compounding daily (365/yr). For variable rate cards, interest costs are calculated using lowest regular APR. The regular APR you are offered may vary dependent on creditworthiness. See issuer site for complete offer terms and conditions.

The answer highly depends on the rates and terms of the new credit card you are looking into. With the right APR, repayment terms, and fees, you can save substantially on your monthly payments as well as on your overall debt in the long run. Here is a clear example of how much you can save with a balance transfer credit card:

So, in our example, you’d be saving $1,822 by transferring to the Discover it® Balance Transfer. However, it’s important to note that balance transfers are not always beneficial to the cardholder. Sometimes, they can actually do more damage than good. For example:

By transferring your balance over to a card with a high transfer fee, despite the no-interest introductory period, you end up paying more. Use this convenient balance transfer calculator to figure out how much you’ll save and whether or not this move is the right one for you.

How Does a Balance Transfer affect your Credit Score?

Balance transfers themselves don’t inherently affect your credit score. That’s not to say that there is no penalty involved. Whenever you apply or open a new credit card or line of credit, your credit score goes down a little bit. If you are responsible with your payments, this small dip will not adversely affect your credit history or your chances of being approved further down the line.

However, you should be aware that when you open a new credit card to make the balance transfer, your credit score will decrease slightly for a short amount of time.

For this reason, it is a good idea to only apply for credit cards that are relevant and beneficial. Focus on the cards that will offer you the most benefits.

At the end of the day, a balance transfer can really help your credit history as long as you’re responsible with your payments. Use this quick and free credit score estimator tool if you’re not sure what your score is.

Most Important Things to Know About Balance Transfer

Before you send in those applications, there are a few things about balance transfers you ought to know.

Keep your old card open

After you’ve made your balance transfer, keep your old card open. This seems counter intuitive, but it is actually a smart move for building your credit history. Short stints with multiple cards don’t give your credit history the longevity and consistency that creditors look for in applicants.

Aim high with your credit limit

Look for a card that has a higher credit limit than the amount you need. This allows you to keep your credit utilization ratio low, building your credit history positively.

Seek 0 percent balance transfer fees

Also, look for a card that offers 0 percent balance transfer fees. While not as prevalent as we’d like, there are still several credit cards that make this generous offer. If not, try to find one that has a very low balance transfer fee. Otherwise, these charges can cancel out any savings you hoped to garnish from the transfer.

Beware the APR on purchases

Even the credit cards that offer an appealing 0 percent interest rate aren’t always so clear with their terms. This offer might not apply to new purchases and only to balance transfer amounts or lines of credit. That means that anything new that you purchase with your new card will be charged the full interest amount. Always read the fine print available to make sure that you know what you’re signing up for.

Mind the post-promotional period

Examine the post-promotional offer APR to make an accurate calculation of whether or not this transfer is worthwhile. A company that offers low or no interest when you make the transfer is doing so only for a limited time, a sort of welcome bonus for signing up. After the promotional period, usually six months to a year, the interest rate will increase. How much this new rate is should be an important factor in your calculation.

Understand dual balances

Be aware of dual balances. If your new card offers 0 percent APR on the balance transfer but not on new purchases, you can wind up in a dual balance situation.

The problem with this is what happens to payments you make beyond the monthly amount? Which balance does it get allocated to?

While the law is on your side according to the Credit Card Act of 2009, there are situations when credit card companies can use their own discretion, applying the excess payment to the balance that is most profitable to them (rather than to the one that will lower your debt fastest). Be aware of these terms when signing a contract.

Pay down your balance!

Finally, if you really want to make the most out of your new balance transfer credit card, pay as much as you can towards the balance each month. By paying off your debt with no or low introductory interest rates, you save yourself a significant amount on interest payments that accrue each month after the promotional period expires.

Read the terms, pay attention to promotional term expiration, and pay off your card consistently, and your balance transfer credit card will help you get out of debt and even improve your credit rating for the future.

Should you get a balance transfer credit card?

Not sure you want a balance transfer credit card? Finding the right credit card for you is much simpler if you know your credit score, and can narrow your search to only the cards you know you’ll get approved for. We’ve made it easy for you. If you don’t already know your score, use our quick and free Credit Score Estimator tool – then find the perfect card for you!

Summary

Balance transfer credit cards can be a godsend if you’re drowning in a lot of high-interest debt. These cards will allow you to organize your financial life, and will give you some breathing room to get on top of your monthly payments. Don’t waste the introductory period. Whether it lasts nine months or 18, the day will come when you’ll be back to paying your regular APR. Make sure your balance is as low as possible when that day comes.

The first step is getting your balance transfer card. But don’t forget the second step: pay off your balance!

Article Prepared by Ollala Corp

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