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The credit cards with balance transfer offers of October 2021
Capital One and American Express credit cards currently do not offer 0% interest on balance transfers.
If you've gone over budget and find yourself carrying credit card debt, you don't need to resign yourself to paying interest. In fact, you should avoid this if at all possible – the average credit card APR is around 16%, and it could be even higher depending on your credit score and the card you're using.
Fortunately, there's one type of credit card that can help you avoid paying interest on your debt if you use it the right way: a balance transfer credit card.
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The best credit cards with balance transfer offers compared
Here are the best offers available today based on their introductory offers, fees, and perks.
Longest intro APR with no late fees: Citi Simplicity® Card
Citi Simplicity® Card
Consumers with a lot of high-interest credit card debt could save more with a card that offers 0% for as long as possible. The Citi Simplicity® Card extends one of the best offers in this category.
Read more: Citi Simplicity Card review
There's no annual fee, yet you get a Citi Simplicity® Card (transfers must be completed in the first four months). After that, your rate goes up to a Citi Simplicity® Card APR based on your creditworthiness. Having a full 21 months with a 0% intro APR on balance transfers could help you pay down a ton of debt, but keep in mind you'll pay a 5% balance transfer fee (minimum of $5) for the privilege, and you need to make all transfers in the first four months.
Other perks this card offers include automatic account alerts, 24/7 customer service, and the ability to choose your payment due date.
Pros: No annual fee, score Citi Simplicity® Card (then a Citi Simplicity® Card APR applies), no late fees
Cons: 5% balance transfer fee (minimum $5), few cardholder perks
Long intro APR offer: Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card
Citi Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card offers an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months (then a 14.74% – 24.74% Variable APR APR applies). It also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then a 14.74% – 24.74% Variable APR applies).
Read more: Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card review
The biggest difference between these two cards is that the Citi Simplicity card doesn't charge late fees, while a penalty APR of up to 29.99% applies if you pay late with the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card.
Pros: No annual fee, 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months (then 14.74% – 24.74% Variable APR applies)
Cons: 5% balance transfer fee (minimum $5), doesn't waive late fees
Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points: Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Unlimited®Chase Freedom Flex℠
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom Flex℠ recently added a 0% APR offer for balance transfers – previously, the introductory offer applied to purchases only.
New cardholders receive a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months (then a Chase Freedom Flex℠ APR). The intro balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount of each transfer (or $5, whichever is greater) on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, the fee jumps to 5% of the amount of each transfer (or $5, whichever is greater).
Both cards are marketed as cash-back credit cards, but they actually earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which you can redeem for cash back, travel booked through the Chase Portal, gift cards, merchandise, and more. Both cards earn 5% back (5x points) on travel booked through Chase and 3% back (3x points) on dining (including takeout) and drugstores. Beyond that, each earns rewards a little differently.
The welcome bonuses on the Freedom cards are quite generous – you can earn Chase Freedom Unlimited®, awarded as 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points. New cardholders can also earn 5% back (5x points) at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 in spending during the first year of account opening (then 1x).
Pros: Solid welcome bonuses and categories, no annual fees, earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points
Cons: 3% balance transfer fee (5% if transfers are made more than 60 days after account opening), foreign transaction fees
Best for easy cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
With the Citi® Double Cash Card, you get a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months from your date of first transfer when transfers are completed within four months from the date of account opening, then there's a rate of 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable). That's a solid amount of time to pay off your debt.
Read more: Citi Double Cash Card review
But what makes the Citi® Double Cash Card a great pick is that it's one of the best cash-back credit cards in general, so it's worth using even after you've paid off your balance. You'll earn 2% cash back on everything – 1% back when you make a purchase, and 1% back when you pay it off. You won't earn cash back on balance transfers, but it's a great card for earning money back on your everyday expenses.
It's also possible to convert the cash back you earn from the Double Cash to Citi ThankYou points, which you can redeem for travel, gift cards, and more.
You do have to pay a fee for transferring a balance; it's 3% of each balance transfer, with a minimum charge of $5.
Pros: Strong cash-back rate, no annual fee, long intro APR period
Cons: 3% balance transfer fee, foreign transaction fees
Earn up to 5% back: Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
The new Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a great choice if your spending habits tend to change from month to month. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on up to $500 in purchases in the eligible category they spend the most in each billing cycle (then 1%), and 1% on all other purchases.
The qualifying categories include everyday expenses that should appeal to most folks: restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment.
Read more: Citi Custom Cash card review
New cardholders receive an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 15 months, then a Citi Custom Cash℠ Card APR. There's a 5% balance transfer fee (minimum $5) and Citi Custom Cash℠ Card annual fee.
Although it's marketed as a cash-back card, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card actually earns rewards in the form of Citi ThankYou points, which are worth 1 cent apiece for cash back, travel booked through Citi, gift cards, merchandise, and more. And if you have the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card (no longer available to new applicants), you can pool your rewards and transfer points to airline partners.
Pros: 0% intro APR on both balance transfers and purchases, no annual fee, strong rewards earning
Cons: 5% balance transfer fee, foreign transaction fees
Intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers: U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card
U.S. Bank U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card is unique in the fact that it offers a 0% intro APR on more than just balance transfers. Once you sign up, you'll get the introductory rate of 0% on balance transfers and purchases for 20 billing cycles (followed by a U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card variable APR).
Getting a 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases makes this card a solid option for anyone who has debt to transfer or a big purchase to make. If you wanted to buy new appliances or use credit to cover a minor kitchen remodel, for example, you could do so and repay your balance at 0% APR for 20 billing cycles.
Other benefits you'll get with this card include cell phone protection, a free TransUnion credit score each month, and the ability to choose your payment due date. This card also comes with no annual fee, although there is a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5.
Pros: 0% intro APR good for both balance transfers and purchases, no annual fee, cell phone protection
Cons: 3% balance transfer fee
Earn cash back on rotating categories: Discover it® Cash Back
Discover Discover it® Cash Back
Consumers who want to make a big purchase and pay it off slowly over time should consider the Discover it® Cash Back. It offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months (then an APR of Discover it® Cash Back), with a balance transfer fee of 3% (increasing to 5% for future transfers (see rates)).
Read more: Discover it Cash Back credit card review
Not only does the Discover it® Cash Back offer 5% cash back in categories that rotate each quarter up to the first $1,500 on purchases, then 1% (enrollment required), but Discover will also match all the rewards you earn after the first year Discover It Cashback rotation. There's no annual fee, and you qualify for free Social Security Number alerts, no foreign transaction fees, and no late fees on your first late payment.
Pros: 0% intro APR good for both balance transfers and purchases, Cashback Match in the first year
Cons: Only earns 1% back outside of bonus categories, 3% balance transfer fee
Good for building credit: Chase Slate Edge℠
Chase Slate Edge℠
The Chase Slate Edge℠ comes with a Chase Slate Edge℠, but beyond that, it doesn't earn rewards. It's geared toward those who are taking steps to improve their financial situation, and offers features that can help you increase your credit score and reduce the amount of interest you pay.
It offers a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months, then a Chase Slate Edge℠ APR. Cardholders receive an automatic, one-time review for a higher credit limit if they've paid on time and spent at least $500 in the first six months of opening the Chase Slate Edge℠.
Each account anniversary, you'll be considered for a 2% APR reduction, as long as you've paid your card on time and spent at least $1,000 on purchases in the previous anniversary year. The reduction is capped, though – it will only be reduced until your APR reaches the Prime Rate plus 9.74% (currently 12.99% variable APR based on the Prime Rate of 3.25% as of February 4, 2021).
Pros: 0% intro APR good for both balance transfers and purchases, automatic consideration for credit line increase and APR reduction if spending requirements are met
Cons: Card doesn't earn rewards outside of the welcome bonus
How we chose the best cards with balance transfer offers
Insider selected the best balance transfer cards by looking at all the credit cards with balance transfer offers that are currently available to new applicants.
From there, we narrowed our list down to balance transfer credit cards offering 0% introductory offers. We arrived at our final picks by evaluating the terms of each introductory APR offer and other card benefits. We prioritized cards that don't charge balance transfer fees as well as cards with the longest introductory 0% APR periods on balance transfers. We also factored in other card benefits, such as cash back or travel rewards, annual fee, and waived late fees.
Frequently asked questions about credit cards with balance transfer offers
What is a balance transfer card?
Balance transfer cards let consumers with existing credit card debt move their outstanding balance over from another card to avoid interest fees. You're able to avoid interest on a balance transfer card thanks to an intro 0% APR offer, which lasts anywhere from nine to 21 months.
After this introductory period is over, your APR will reset to the standard variable rate. So you need to pay off your credit card debt in full before the intro APR period ends in order to avoid interest charges.
What's the catch? Some balance transfer credit cards charge an upfront balance transfer fee of 3% or 5% of your balance – or $300 to $500 for every $10,000 in high-interest debt you transfer. If you don't need to transfer a balance but you need to make a large purchase that you'll need time to pay off, see our list of the best credit cards with intro APR offers.
How do balance transfer cards work?
Balance transfer cards can save you money by securing you a lower interest rate on your existing credit card debt. When you apply and are approved for a balance transfer credit card, you move over debt from another card, and you generally have an introductory 0% APR period before you have to start paying interest on that debt.
Ideally, you'll pay off your debt before the introductory period ends – otherwise, you'll have to pay interest on your remaining balance.
Is a balance transfer card right for me?
A balance transfer could be right for you if you currently have credit card debt, and you have a plan to pay it off. By using a balance transfer credit card, you'll get a bit of breathing room with the introductory 0% APR period. This allows you to pay off your debt without adding interest.
If you don't think you'll be able to pay off your debt in full by the time the introductory APR offer expires, a balance transfer credit card may not be worth it. You'll end up having to pay interest on your remaining balance.
How do I perform a balance transfer?
The first step in completing a balance transfer is applying for – and getting approved for – a balance transfer credit card. Once you have a card with an introductory APR offer on balance transfers, to transfer your credit card balance, you'll need to request the transfer with the bank that issues your new balance transfer credit card.
You can generally initiate this process either online or by calling the number on the back of your card.
How long does a balance transfer take?
A balance transfer generally takes five to seven days, but the actual time can vary by issuer. Your bank may ask you to allow for up to 21 days for a balance transfer to go through, but usually, the transfer should be completed sooner. Experian has a handy chart listing the average balance transfer timeframes by bank.
What credit score do I need for a balance transfer card?
If you have bad credit – which is defined as a credit score below 669 – you probably won't be approved for a balance transfer card.
Read more: The best credit cards for bad credit in 2021
A bank may be less inclined to approve you for a balance transfer card if your credit score and credit report indicate that you haven't been able to consistently pay off debts in the past.
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