Balance Transfer Credit Card Guide – and Featured 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers

by Ryan Guina

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Would you believe me if I told you one of the easiest ways to eliminate your credit card debt is to open a new credit card account? It sounds a little crazy, but it’s true! Some companies offer a special incentive called a 0% balance transfer credit card offer. This allows new credit card holders to transfer their current credit card balance to their new account at a 0% interest rate for a set period of time (usually around 15-21 months).

best 0% balance transfer credit cardsTransferring your balance eliminates your current interest rate and can save you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars in interest payments over the duration of the zero percent balance transfer offer. But there is a catch – you must stop using your old credit card and commit to paying off your balance. Do this, and you can cut months off your journey to eliminating your credit card debt.

Let’s take a look at some of the balance transfer credit card options available on the market, who should apply for a balance transfer credit card, how to choose the best card for your needs, some pitfalls to avoid and how to maximize your value from your new card.

Featured 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards

The following list represents some of the best consumer offers for transferring your credit card balance to a 0 percent credit card. You can click on each respective card or the link for more details. We have the Citibank card rated number 1, since they offer the longest balance transfer offer in the industry, by far.

However, there is one card that currently offers a 15 month balance transfer card without a transfer fee. If you need the longer time to pay off your debt, then the Citi card is a great opportunity. If you can pay off your debt within 15 months, then the other card may be a better offer for you. All of these cards are solid options, and have no annual fees. Be sure to click through and visit the credit card issuer’s site for more details and current terms and conditions.

Discover it ® – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Discover it ® - 18 Month Balance Transfer OfferThe Discover it ® – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer is our next choice for balance transfer credit cards. This card features a slightly longer transfer offer than some other offers, and it also features a rewards program. The rewards program makes this an excellent choice for those who plan on using the card for purchases after they pay off the balance of their transferred credit card debt.

The rewards program features 5% on rotating categories & 1% on everything else. The 5% rewards rate is capped at the first $1,500 of spending per quarter (activation required). This card also features the Cashback Match™ program, in which you can earn double cash back at the end of your first year of cardmembership.*

There is no annual fee for this card, but there is a 3% balance transfer fee. There is no foreign transaction fee.

Here are some additional details on the Discover it ® – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer:

  • Earn 5% cash back in new bonus categories like gas, restaurants, Amazon and more – up to $1500 every quarter you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • FICO® Credit Scores for free on statements and online.
  • No annual fee.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card features a 0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, making this a good card for both balance transfers and purchases. There is no annual fee.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Who Should Apply for Zero Percent Offers?

You should only apply for a 0% balance transfer credit card offer if you are a responsible credit card user – meaning you pay your credit card bills on time. Remember, the 0% interest rate isn’t an excuse to stop making payments – you still have to continue making at least the minimum payment or your rates will increase (but you should pay more than the minimums if possible). You should use this as an opportunity to consolidate your credit card debt and eliminate it more quickly.

In addition, you should commit to adding no new credit card debt. The only way to get out of debt is to stop adding new debt, and to start aggressively paying off your current loans.

How to Determine if You’re Ready for a Balance Transfer Credit Card

Transferring a balance to a 0% APR credit card might be an extremely smart move, but it may not improve your finances if you don’t use this opportunity to your advantage. Simply put, transferring balances from one card to another won’t help you in the long run if you don’t attack your debt with fury. Worse, a balance transfer can even be detrimental to your finances if you use your new lower credit payment as an excuse to spend even more.

So, how do you know when you’re ready? For the most part, we suggest you meet these minimum requirements before you consider a balance transfer:

You’re serious about paying down debt.

The first step in balance transfer success is getting serious about your finances and becoming debt-free – once and for all. If you’re not ready to take your situation seriously, a balance transfer might only serve as a temporary band-aid for your problem with debt.

Before you sign up for a balance transfer card, you need to commit to keeping your living expenses low and throwing all your extra money towards your debts. A lower payment can make it tempting to spend more money elsewhere, but you have to commit to staying on track.

Always remember that transferring a balance isn’t the same thing as paying off debt. You might transfer to a new card, but you still owe the same as you did before. With that in mind, you should only pursue a balance transfer when you’re ready to make a change.

You’re living with a monthly budget.

One strategy that can help you stay on track is creating a monthly budget. With a written budget that includes all of your monthly expenses, you can plot out a plan to pay down your debts alongside your other monthly obligations and bills. Don’t see your budget as restrictive; instead, see it as a plan for your money.

Also remember, the lower your living expenses, the more extra cash you’ll have to throw at your debts. If you’re able to cut your spending while you focus on debt repayment, you’ll have a much better shot at getting out of debt quickly – and staying out of debt for good.

You have a repayment timeline and a strategy.

One extremely important step you should take when comparing balance transfer offers is figuring out how much time you need to pay down your debt. Let’s say you owe $10,000 across several cards and plan to consolidate them with a single credit card that offers 0% APR for 15 months but doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee.

If you took that $10,000 balance and divided it by 15 months, you would see you need to pay around $667 per month for all 15 months to become debt-free. By figuring this out ahead of time, you can choose a balance transfer card with a timeline that works for your debts.

You’re determined to stop using your credit cards during the process.

Transferring high interest credit card debt to a balance transfer credit card is a smart way to pay down debt quickly, but only if you stop using your credit cards! If you keep using your cards and adding to your balance, you may never get out of debt at all.

Commit to stop using your cards altogether, even if that means cutting them up or sticking them in a drawer for safe keeping. If you want to get out of debt, the first thing to do is to stop digging.

You have good credit.

To qualify for the best 0% APR balance transfer credit cards, you usually need good or excellent credit. For most people, that means a score of 680 or more, with higher scores leading to better results.

If your credit score isn’t quite there yet, you may be better off paying off delinquent debts and trying to improve your credit score before you apply. Applying for a credit card will result in a hard inquiry on your credit report – and that can ding your score in the short-term. Before you apply, make sure you have a reasonable expectation of getting approval for one of these cards.

5 Steps to Choose the Best Balance Transfer Credit Card for Your needs

With so many good 0% balance transfer credit cards on the market, it can be hard to find the best offer for your needs. Here are five steps to help you find the perfect card for your needs and goals:

Step #1: Figure out how much debt you have to transfer.

When you’re trying to pay down debt, the first thing you should do is figure out how much debt you have. Add up all of your balances across each credit card or debt you have, noting the bank or credit card’s name, your account number, how much you owe, and the interest rate on each. Keep that list so it’s handy when you’re ready.

Also keep in mind that you’re not limited to transferring other credit card balances to your new 0% APR card. If you have other loans with a high interest rate like car loans, furniture loans, or personal loans, you can likely transfer them to your new 0% APR card as well.

Step #2: Figure out how much you can afford to pay back each month.

Now that you know how much debt you’re in, you need to figure out how much you can reasonably pay each month. This is where a monthly budget can come in extremely handy. Get out your monthly budget and find out how much income you can set aside specifically for debt repayment. Since you were already paying the minimum balances on your cards, you should be able to set a hefty chunk aside to throw at your new 0% APR balance every month.

Step #3: Look for balance transfer credit cards with a 0% APR timeline that makes sense for your needs.

Once you know your total debt and have an idea of how much you can pay each month, you need to look at cards that might be a good fit. Let’s say you owe $5,000 on your cards and plan to transfer that balance, yet can only pay $300 per month towards your debts. You’ll want to take $5,000 and divide it by $300 to see how many months it might take to repay your loans. In this case, it’s almost 17 months. With that in mind, you’ll want to search for a balance transfer card that extends 0% APR for at least that long.

Always remember that the 0% APR introductory offer will eventually expire. And if you don’t pay off your debt in the meantime, you’ll be forced to start paying interest on your balance again. That’s never a good place to be in.

Step #4: Compare fees.

Another factor to take into account is any fees you might be charged. Most balance transfer credit cards don’t charge an annual fee, but the majority do charge a balance transfer fee. This fee can be equal to 3-5% of your balance, and is generally added to the amount you owe when you open a new balance transfer card. Obviously, this fee can make a huge difference in how your debt repayment plays out, so it’s important to assess these fees wisely. Keep in mind that fees vary. Most credit card issuers charge a minimum balance transfer fee, while some card issuers place a cap on the transfer fee. There is also at least one balance transfer credit card that doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee for transfers made in the first 60 days.

Step #5: Choose the card with the best 0% APR offer for your needs and the most reasonable fees.

Once you know how much you want to transfer and how long it might take you to pay your debts off for good, it’s time to select a credit card that makes sense for your situation. Most of the time, the balance transfer card with the longest 0% APR introductory period and the lowest balance transfer fee is the best option. When choosing a balance transfer credit card, make sure to pick one that will set you up for success!

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Other Balance Transfer Card Features to Consider

The previous five steps are the most important when choosing a zero percent balance transfer credit card, but there are some other features you will want to consider when evaluating these credit card offers. Some important factors to consider include:

  • Interest rate after the introductory 0% offer ends. This only comes into play in two situations: if you can’t pay off your balance before the introductory period ends, or if you miss a minimum payment. The goal is to always pay your balance off in full before the intro period ends, but that doesn’t always happen. If in doubt, consider the zero percent balance transfer card with the lower APR after the introductory 0% interest offer expires.
  • Rewards and cash back. Depending on your needs, you may want to consider credit cards with sign up bonuses, rewards bonuses, cash back credit cards, points cards, or special features, such as travel rewards credit cards or gas rebates. Rewards and cash back shouldn’t be the prime consideration for your selection, because the focus should be on paying off the balance. But these can be valuable features if you want to use the credit card for new purchases after you pay off the debt.

Compare all features before applying. A longer balance transfer duration doesn’t automatically make it the best card. You should first evaluate how much debt you have, the interest rate, how much it will cost for you to transfer your balance, how much you will save with a particular card (including balance transfer fees), and an estimate of how much you will save over the duration of the balance transfer offer. Then consider additional benefits of the card, such as cash back, sign up bonuses, rewards programs, etc. As you can see, most of these cards offer some form of cash back or rewards, which makes them a nice option to use after you pay off your transferred balance.

Understanding the Transfer Offer Details

Balance transfer credit cards can save you a lot of money. But you need to make sure you play by their rules if you are going to use them. These tips will help you save money on 0% balance transfer credit card offers:

  • Most balance transfer cards have transfer fees. Many 0% balance transfer credit cards charge customers a fee to transfer a balance to their new card, usually around 0-5% of the balance. Some may charge a fixed amount, usually around $50-$75. But many people save more on their first few month’s interest than the transfer fee, so you may come out ahead very quickly.
  • Understand the terms of the balance transfer. Know when the dates start and stop, how much you can transfer, when the transfers have to be initiated and completed to be valid, etc. Most 0% balance transfer offers are only available for a short time. The most common time frame is 60 days, but some cards only offer the 0% transfer rate for the first 30 days, while some go out as long as 90 days. Read the fine print before applying!
  • Always make on time payments. Even one late payment can increase your interest rate the regular APR. In some cases, that may be over 20%.
  • Don’t make new charges on that card. Payments only go toward the 0% interest rate and you new charges will accrue interest until the remainder of your balance is paid off (this can cost you a lot of money!).
  • Set up automatic payments for your bills to prevent missing payments. This will also prevent your interest rate from spiking if you miss a payment.
  • Wait until approved before transferring money. Don’t transfer money to your new credit card until you get approved for a balance transfer and understand the terms.
  • Pay attention to balance transfer limits. Don’t transfer more money than your limits allow.

Final note: if you don’t have the discipline to manage your credit cards, then please stay away. This is a great tool , but it’s not a silver bullet for eliminating credit card debt!

Maximizing the Value from Your New Card

Congratulations – you now have an incredible opportunity to get out of debt more quickly. Take advantage of it, because the intro period will end before you know it!

To get the best bang for your buck, you should consider moving as much high-interest credit card debt to your new card as you can. Many card issuers will allow you to transfer balances from more than one card—or even from non-credit card loans—as long as you don’t exceed your available credit limit. If you have multiple credit card balances, try to transfer as much of those as you can to your new card, starting with the highest interest debt first. This ensures you reduce your interest rates and payments as much as possible.

Commit to getting out of debt. Once you get your balances transferred to your new card, you need to cut up your old cards and stop using them. Don’t cancel them, however, because that can negatively affect your credit score. Just put them somewhere safe, and no longer use them.

Keep your payments the same, or increase them. Whatever you do, try to pay more than the minimum payment each month, or you will be stuck in debt for a long time. Review your previous credit card statements and look at the payments you were making on your previous cards. Try to continue making at least that payment, even if your new minimum payment is lower. And increase that payment if at all possible.

Why is this so important? Because the clock is ticking. You only have a limited amount of time with no interest running on your outstanding balance, so you want to eliminate as much of your debt as possible while you aren’t paying interest.

A balance transfer credit card won’t magically eliminate your credit card debt. But when used properly it can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes you to get out of debt, and it will save you a ton of money in the process.

5 Things You Should Know about Credit Card Balance Transfers

Many people start a balance transfer card without knowing exactly how it works or how it can benefit you.  These five steps can help you get the most from your credit cards.

1. Credit Issuers Have to Wait 10 Days to Process Your Request

You might be annoyed at the slow progress made by your new credit issuer when it comes to balance transfers, but there’s a reason for it: The law. One of the results of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is that credit issuers need to provide consumers time to reconsider the account terms and cancel the balance transfer request. This means that the issuer must wait 10 days after approving your credit card account to actually go through the balance transfer.

2. Some Credit Issuers Process Partial Balance Transfers

What happens if your balance transfer request exceeds your new credit limit? It depends on the credit issuer. According to the report, some credit issuers will reject the balance transfer request altogether, while Bank of America, Barclaycard, Chase, Citi, Discover, and Wells Fargo will process the transfer up to your credit limit. So you at least get some of your high rate balance moved over.

If you are concerned about this issue, check with the credit card issuer to find out what the procedure is. You don’t want to miss out on a partial balance transfer that might help you.

3. You Might Be Able to Transfer All Sorts of Debt

In many cases, we think of balance transfers as being limited to credit card balances. However, the reality is that some issuers will actually let you transfer other types of debt to your 0% APR card, allowing you to save money by moving some of it around. Find out what types of debt you can move using your new credit card. You might be able to transfer payday loans, auto loans, student loans, medical debt/expenses, small business loans, and even mortgages.

However, you need to be careful. Some of this debt is rather large, and if you are still paying on it when the 0% APR runs out, it could be more expensive in the long run — especially if you factor in balance transfer fee that most credit card issuers charge.

4. You Can’t Always Hop from 0% Card to 0% Card

One of the ways that some consumers stave off the inevitable rate increase at the end of the introductory period is to move to another card, transferring the balance. However, that might not be an option. In some cases, you might start being denied if issuers run your credit report and see a pattern. Another issue is that you might not always qualify for 0% APR offers. Plus, as the report points out, following the financial crisis these offers all but disappeared. That could happen in the future as well. Plan out how you will repay your balance transfer before pulling the trigger.

5. Don’t Expect Rewards on Your Balance Transfer

While some credit card issuers will give rewards on balance transfers, many of them don’t. The report from Card Hub indicates that only three major credit card issues occasionally offer rewards on balances. So, if you transfer, you can’t expect your transfer to be treated as a purchase for rewards purposes or cash bonus purchases.

The Ultimate Guide to Paying Off Debt with a Balance Transfer Credit Card

Now that you know all about the various balance transfer credit cards available, it’s time to formulate a plan that will help you get out of debt – and stay out. Digging your way out may not be easy, but with a balance transfer credit card, you’ll be able to get out of debt faster and save money along the way.

Here are the steps you need to take right now:

Figure out exactly how much debt you owe – and to whom.

When you’re trying to get out of debt – and especially credit card debt – you should start by figuring out “where you’re at.” The first step you should take involves getting out all of your credit card statements and bills out and tallying them up.

This is also a good time to figure out what your interest rates look like with your current credit cards and loans. How much interest are you paying already? And how much might you save when you transfer those balances to a balance transfer credit card? You’ll never know until you break out all of your financial statements and figure it out for yourself.

Find out your credit score.

If you’re deep in debt, your credit score may not look that great. However, you’ll never know where you stand unless you check your credit score. If you’re interested in seeing your credit report, you can get a free copy from each of the credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax – once per year on If you want to see an estimate of your credit score, you can do so by signing up for a free account on or

Some balance transfer credit cards also offer a free FICO score on your monthly statement. While this may not seem important when you apply, being able to track your progress for free is a huge boon if your credit score needs some help. We suggest getting a free credit score on Credit Karma or Credit Sesame to get a general idea of your credit health, then considering a balance transfer credit card that offers your actual FICO score for free every month.

Look for the best card for your needs.

We have already shared plenty of details on how to find the right card for your situation, but now is the time to execute those ideas. As you browse balance transfer cards, you should look for an option that offers 0% APR for as long as you can get away with while charging minimal fees.

Once you find a card that might work, sign up through the company’s secure online interface. After a few weeks, you’ll get your card in the mail.

Consolidate loans and credit card balances onto one card.

When you apply for your balance transfer credit card, you may be asked to offer details on which balances you plan to transfer right away. This is another reason it’s helpful to compile your credit card balances in one place before you begin this process.

Most of the time, it makes sense to transfer all of your credit card balances and loans to a 0% card. If you can’t transfer them all, transfer as many as you can. The money you save on interest during your card’s 0% APR introductory period can help you pay off debt much faster, and the more debt you can transfer over, the better off you’ll be.

Switch to a cash-only budget.

Once you have all of your old credit and loan balances transferred to your new balance transfer credit card, it is imperative that you stop using credit cards altogether. If you keep using credit, you are setting yourself up for more debt and even bigger problems down the line. If you want to get out of debt, you have to stop digging!

Switching to a cash-only budget is one way to stop the bleeding when it comes to your budget. With this strategy, you’ll withdraw only the amount of cash you need to cover your expenses each month. Then you will pay your bills as normal. When you run out of cash, you are out of money until you get paid again.

Cut your expenses while you get out of debt.

If you are struggling with debt, it’s safe to say you are likely spending more money than you can truly afford. If that’s the case, you’ll need to take a closer look at your spending priorities if you truly want to get out of debt. Most of the time, you’ll find some low-hanging fruit to cut that can minimize your monthly bills without reducing your quality of life.

If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at your grocery and entertainment spending first. If you’re eating at restaurants often or spending a lot of money on cable television or entertainment, those are easy places to cut that can make a big impact. And if you get depressed at the thought of toning down your lifestyle, try to remember these changes may only be temporary. If you want, you can add these “splurges” back into your budget once you’re out of debt.

Throw all of your extra cash at your debts.

Once you have transferred your balances to a 0% APR card and cut your expenses, you should have a lot more money left over each month. Not only are you avoiding interest payments on your transferred debts for the time being, but you have hopefully freed up some cash from cutting your expenses, too.

If you truly want to get out of debt, you’ll use your new balance transfer credit card’s 0% APR introductory offer to the fullest. Take all of your extra cash and throw it at your new card’s balance each month, and try not to justify spending it elsewhere.

Depending on the length of your card’s 0% APR introductory offer, you may have plenty of time to get out of debt completely without paying interest. Obviously, the more money you pay towards your debts at 0% APR, the faster you can put it all behind you.

Final Thoughts

If you’re in debt and struggling to get out, a balance transfer card might be the answer you’re looking for. Since many offer 0% APR – as in, no interest – for anywhere from 12 – 21 months, you can use the card to pay down debt much faster than you might otherwise.

Then again, using a balance transfer to get out of debt may not help that much if you don’t change your spending habits. Before you transfer a balance, ask yourself how you got in debt in the first place, and what you can do to make sure you never repeat the same mistake.

A 0% APR balance transfer card can help you save tons of money on interest and even help you get out of debt faster, but only if you change your spending habits and learn to stop using credit as an extension of your budget. Only buy what you can truly afford, and never charge a purchase unless you have the money to pay it off right away.

Glossary of Terms

  • 0% APR – A credit card that charges 0% APR won’t charge any interest on your revolving balance.
  • Annual Fee – An annual fee is a fee assessed by certain credit cards who make their users pay for membership privileges. Most balance transfer credit cards don’t charge an annual fee, but it’s still worth watching out for them.
  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – Your annual percentage rate is the interest rate charged on your credit card balance every year.
  • Balance Transfer – A balance transfer is the act of transferring a debt or debts to a new loan in order to secure a lower interest rate or better terms.
  • Balance Transfer Fee – A balance transfer fee is a fee assessed on your balance when you transfer it from one card to another. Most balance transfer fees fall somewhere between 3 – 5 percent, although some cards don’t charge a balance transfer fee at all.
  • Credit Score – Your credit score is the three-digit manifestation of your credit health. Using the FICO scoring method, your credit score will fall between 300 and 850, with a higher score showing better credit.
  • Due Date –Your due date is the calendar date the minimum payment on your credit card must be received by. If you don’t pay your bill on time, you will likely be charged a late payment fee.
  • Grace period – Grace period is a term used to describe the time you have to pay your bill after your statement closes. Due to changes in the Credit CARD Act of 2009, card issuers who offer a grace period must make them at least 21 days long.
  • Introductory Offer – An introductory offer is generally only extended for a limited time. With a balance transfer, for example, the introductory offer usually comes with 0% APR for somewhere between 12 and 21 months.
  • Late Payment – A late payment is a credit card payment that your card issuer receives after your due date.
  • Late Payment Fee – A late payment fee is generally assessed when you do not pay your credit card bill on time. Late payment fees generally fall between $20 and $40.
  • Minimum Payment – The minimum payment on your credit card is the least amount you can pay each month while keeping your account in good standing.
  • Terms and Conditions –The terms and conditions shared by your card issuer include an array of details pertaining to your balance transfer card. Most terms and conditions include details like your annual percentage rate, fees associated with your card, and balance transfer details.

Advertising Disclosure: This page contains advertisements. This page does not include all available credit card offers from all advertisers (that would be literally hundreds, if not thousands of credit cards). This credit card review was not reviewed by, endorsed, paid for, or approved by Citi or any other credit card issuer. All opinions, reviews, and recommendations reflect the author’s honest opinions, beliefs, and experiences. We receive compensation from our advertisers. Compensation impacts how and where products appear on this site (including for example, the order in which they appear). Back to Top.

Published or updated February 2, 2017.
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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 john

you need to show the card(s) with a cap on transfer fees


2 Ryan

Caps on balance transfer fees are becoming very rare nowadays.


3 Joel

The Discover More card is a great card of balance transfers. Of course, balance transfer card offers can change often so always be sure to read the fine print before applying.


4 Norma Jones

i am interested in zero percent financing


5 ph

If I already used Citi and Discover’s 0% offer, can I still apply for another 0% balance transfer with one of them? Are there other cards available? Or would it be better for me to apply for a 0% transfer card from Chase or Capital One or someone else?


6 Ryan

Hello ph, yes, you can apply if you already have other balance transfer cards and you may get approved as long as your credit score supports adding another line of credit. This varies from person to person, so I can’t tell you if you will be approved or not. You can also check out the Chase Freedom® card, which has great benefits and frequently offers a bonus after making your first purchase. The Chase Slate card is also usually a good balance transfer card.


7 Michael Price

A while back American Express Clear offered 3.9% balance transfer for the life of the trasfered balance. This was perfect for me to pay off my 10k plus in other credit card debt. The only downside I’ve seen is that they will not allow you any additional balance transfer options on any of their cards until you pay off the current loan. Unfortunately I didn’t learn the first time and need a new balance transfer option for a Chase Visa that has jumped from 17.99 percent to 39.9 percent in the last 12 months and there are very few companies these days making any comparable offers. Those that are look very carefully at your history and often times closing accounts with an existing balance like I’ve had to do looks horrible. It took my credit score from a 720 down to a 600 flat. To add insult to injury many companies are lowering credit limits to match your current balance just to keep themselves protected. This also looks bad as it appears you’ve extended or at least closed in on your max credit limit for all cards. A double whammy if you will. Not sure the answer but I hope with this legislation new oversight all americans will begin to tell these companies where to go and begin to operate on cash only. THats the only thing we can truely do to begin to hurt these companies who pray off the consumer.


8 myfinancialobjectives

Wow that’s a great deal, 0% on transfers too is huge in my opinion. It’s rather ironic that you posted this topic, I just posted a topic about the exact opposite: Negative new policies and terms Credit Card companies are doing due to the Credit CARD Act. Nonetheless, this is still this is great news! Hopefully more companies follow!


9 Ryan

MFO, There are a lot of card companies that are using variable terms and other unfavorable conditions for new card holders. However, I only linked to cards in this article that are upfront about the conditions. When you apply you know more or less what you will be getting, and how much it will cost in terms of fees. For example, the card featured in this article has a 3% balance transfer fee, but no annual fees.


10 Gerald

Hi Michael, very interesting story. Could you do a story for people in Canada, as I can’t apply for US credit cards mentioned in your story.
TIA (thanks in advance).


11 Ryan

Gerald, I don’t know much about the credit card companies or offers in Canada. I recommend reading some of the Canadian personal finance blogs out there, such as Million Dollar Journey, Canadian Money Advisor, Canadian Capitalist, or visiting the Canadian Money Forum for more information about Canadian credit card offers.


12 sun

When some banks did not charge for a balance transfer (now 3% to 5% with a max), a friend of mine would transfer her balance to the new card instead of paying it off. With the cash, she would set up CD to mature before the 0% APR expired. When the CD matured, she’d pay off the credit card balance. Now that there is a balance transfer fee and interest rates low as they are, it ends up being a wash.


13 Ryan

They call it credit card arbitrage. It was very easy to do a few years ago, but many banks were losing money from it, so they added the minimum transfer fees. Now interest rates are so low, it’s not worth the time and will usually end up as a losing enterprise.


14 Scott

Be careful with these balance transfer cards – if you make new purchases on your card then you will be paying 0% interest on your previous balance while the juice is running on your new charges. You will continue to accrue interest on the higher interest rate while all of your payments are going to your old balances at 0%. If you get one of these 5% balance transfer cards then be sure not to use it again until you pay off the balance.


15 Phil

Scott, that was true under the old credit card rules, but the Credit CARD ACT created a new law that makes credit card payments pay off the higher balances first. But it’s still a good idea to avoid using your new credit card until you pay off the balance. And even then you should only use it if you can pay off the balance in full. You should only use these balance transfer credit cards as a tool – you shouldn’t use them as an excuse to rack up more high interest credit card debt.


16 Alan

I have several cards with balances. One is at 15.99% and two are at 19.99 and 21.99%. can you transfer the balances from more than one card? I have over $15000 in credit card balances and want to start over at 0% credit card interest with a new credit card. Please help with information.


17 Ben

Hi Alan,

The answer to your question is yes, you can transfer from more than 1 card. If you get the 0% interest Citi card, they give you the option of sending checks to your other credit cards. You just have to watch your credit limit. For us, we have a $25k credit limit with Citi, which Citi is probably the easiest credit card to ask for increases on your limits. Ive never been turned down, every 6 months I ask for an increase and have always gotten it.

Be sure to watch out for the transaction fees. I think its 3%, but that’s normal on every card. I haven’t seen a credit card transfer option that didn’t have at least 3% fee attached to it. You also need pretty good credit to get these 0% balance transfer options. If you have decent credit you could probably get at least 6 months or 12 months no interest. The better your credit score the better the deals they will give you.

I’d also watch out and not max my limits on any of my cards. Any balance over 30% of the total credit limit will cause your credit score to drop some. The higher the balance the more it will affect your score. (ie. – you have a $10k credit limit, anything over $3k charged on that card will start to affect your score).


18 Ben

We just took advantage of the Citi deal of 21 months no interest! That’s the best deal on the market right now. It’s helping us to pay down our debts while not paying interest on them. Back with the credit card crunch, they raised our interest rate to 29.99% even though we have 760+ credit scores. So be careful if you use their cards, watch out for their interest rates.


19 Anna

I need to find a card with a higher transfer amount. I need to transfer 9000.o0 do you know any card like that with a longer period say 21 months. It is a Chase card that I need to transfer.


20 Ryan

Anna, there is a 21 month balance transfer card from Citi. You can transfer a credit card balance from a different company – in fact, one of the primary reasons the credit card companies offer these deals is to attract new customers. And if they come from competitors, then all the better in the eyes of the gaining company. So far as I know, the 21 month offer from Citi is currently the longest on the market out of the major card issuers.


21 eharrast

I saw one card – I think from Citi – which was “0” % interest on transfers for 18 months with the 3% transfer fee, but it had no late fees or penalties. I have never had a late pay or a penalty, but I feel uncomfortable enuf to give up 21 months for 18 months if there is no chance one of my checks will arrive late or a statement fails to arrive and results in a late payment and causes my interest rate to go from 0% to 12-20% for the remaining balance. Am I understanding this benefit correctly?


22 lola

just received a credit card with a 5.99% FIXED until balance paid off from First National bank of Omaha. suzie orman says THERE ARE NO FIXED FOR LIFE OF BALANCE cards – it’s a marketing ploy. is she right?


23 Ryan Guina

The card you mention says fixed for the life of the balance, so that probably only applies to the balance you transfer over, not new purchases. I recommend reading the fine print, but FNBO is a reputable bank, so it is quite possible the card is as advertised.


24 Tim


I have six credit cards and about 15k on them. My credit rating was 725, but is now below 700. Real estate business is slow. What options do I have?

I got a call from a credit card processing center stating the could do a balance transfer with a 3.9 fixed rate that also would be applied to my existing credit cards.

Any thoughts?



25 Ryan Guina

Tim, I don’t trust non-solicited phone calls pitching financial products or services. You can find anything they are offering at your bank or somewhere else online, and you have the benefit of being able to research the product or service and read the fine print.

Transferring your balances seems like a good idea because it can save you a lot of money each month on interest rates, and it consolidates your payments, which will reduce the number of payments you make each month, and it should also lower the total payment since your won’t be paying as much interest each month. The caveat is that you need to commit to no longer using those credit cards if you can help it.

As far as a fixed rate 3.9% interest rate, that is fairly good if your current credit cards all have a balance at a higher interest rate. But I would first try to get a 0% interest rate if possible. It will save you a lot more money in the long run.

I also recommend looking into the transfer fee. Some banks charge a flat rate, such as 3% of the balance to transfer it over, while other credit card issuers may not charge a balance transfer fee. (There are several of each in this article). It’s important to consider any fees to make sure you are comparing similar products and total savings.


26 Jane

Great information! I have excellent credit (850) and should easily qualify for any of these cards. In the past, zero balance transfer accounts have been happy to make a deposit into my personal checking account so I could make the payoff to the other account myself. Recently, though, a friend told me that her latest offer would not allow her to have the deposit made to personal checking and would only allow for a direct balance transfer. Her FICO is fair, though, and I’m wondering if it’s the reason for that limitation. How can I discern which cards will allow a deposit to personal checking?


27 Tom

I use a credit card from citi cards. They offered zero percent balance transfer, which I utilized. However, they are charging me 50 cents “minimal charge” because I have a recurring charge that I pay off in FULL even before the grace period ends on that particular recurring charge. They tell me that the reason for that is because of the balance on the account from the 0% balance transfer? How is that legal?


28 T

I really want to transfer my multiple credit cards to one low % or 0% for a certain given time, but here is my concern. If you have less than perfect credit, say 600, and you inquire for a card which doesnt accept you, then apply for a different one, etc… each time a company inquires on your credit it leaves a negative mark. How can you avoid this? Also, if you do find a co,pamy that accepts you and you transfer your balances, what should be done about the old cards? If canceling gives you negative marks?


29 Dave

Do I have to close the card that I transfer from or can I simply transfer a large majority of the balance and keep both cards? I’ve had my existing card for many years and I know that looks good on my credit rating (which is excellent). Thanks for your help on this.


30 Ryan Guina

Great question, Dave. No, you do not have to cancel your old card, so this shouldn’t hurt your credit score in that regard. If you are transferring a balance, you may as well transfer all of it if you can. That way you get the lower interest rate. You can still leave your old card open without a balance on it. If you are concerned about the old card going dormant, just put a small charge on it each month and pay it in full, and the card will remain active. You can do this with a small recurring payment, or by remembering to use it for lunch or something like that.


31 TF

Which Chase card is the one you said had zero fees for transferring a balance to?



32 Ryan Guina

Look for the Chase Slate card, which currently has a nice offer.


33 sarah

April 2014 I canceled my Citi Simplicity card that I had for over a year. Can I apply for it again now and get the 0% introductory APR again? I prefer the Citi Simplicity card over other 0% cards because of no late fees and the 0% offer is for 21 months.


34 Adam N.

Do you know the banks determine how much they will let you transfer? I want to combine some debts and make only one payment and reduce my interests paid. But I have over $11,700 I need to transfer. If the credit card only let’s me do $5,000 dollars, can I open another account with another company? Maybe apply for 2 credit cards at once from different companies? I don’t know if that would make my credit score bad or if I can get approved for one card if another company will also let me get their card too. I don’t want to buy more stuff. Just to combine my debts so I don’t have to make more then one or 2 payments and also pay less interest over time. Should I apply for the longest offer or should I just apply for the card that seems to be easiest for approvals?


35 Yevgeny

The chase slate look good because it has no fee for to transfer credit card balance. Should that be best card for to get? Or is better to get other card that has good benefit like cash back on purchase? I do want to buy things and pay off my credit card both. Is good to get just one card or to get two card? Maybe apply both on same day is better for credit and chance to approve cards?


36 Ryan Guina

Yevgeny, I’d say it depends on your goals, the amount you are transferring, and other factors. If you have a large balance and a very good credit score, then I’d probably apply for the Chase Slate® card. This might save you the most money since there is no transfer fee if you transfer your balance within 60 days. Then focus on paying off the balance as quickly as you can. I wouldn’t add any new charges to the card until you pay off the balance, otherwise you will start having to pay interest on the new charges.

Applying for two credit cards in one day is an interesting idea and it may give you the best of both worlds. If approved for two cards you would be able to get a great balance transfer card and possibly a cash back or other rewards card. In your case, I’d probably apply for the balance transfer card first to ensure you are able to transfer your balance and reduce your interest rate. If you already have another card, then you can use that for new purchases. But be sure to pay the balance in full each month to avoid having to pay interest and avoid the need for another balance transfer in the future. Remember, this isn’t a get out of jail free card. This is a tool to help you manage your debt at a lower interest rate. If you stick to that and try to pay off the balance as fast as you can, you can make a lot of headway on your debt and hopefully pay off the entire balance before the intro period ends. Good luck!


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