Sign up for your free Credit.com account    Sign Up Now
From the Experts at Credit.com

The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards in America

Advertiser Disclosure

The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards in America

There is no question, Americans have a habit of spending too much on their credit cards, especially over the holidays. So January seems to be the perfect time to consider a balance transfer credit card, one that allows you to enjoy 0% APR promotional financing on balance transfers.

What to Look for in a Balance Transfer Credit Card

The two most important factors in promotional a balance transfer offer are the length of the promotional financing, and any balance transfer fee. By law, these promotional financing offers must last at least six months, but the best offers currently last as long as 21 months. You can receive interest-free financing on your balance during this period, and the standard interest rate will only apply to the remaining balance after the promotional rate expires.

The next most important factor is the balance transfer fee. Nearly all credit cards with 0% APR promotional financing offers impose a 3% fee on the amount transferred, but there are currently a few exceptions.

Other factors to consider include the standard interest rate, which will ultimately apply to any remaining balance you haven’t paid during the promotional period in addition to any new purchases. Many credit cards offer a range of standard interest rates, with the rate you receive being based on your creditworthiness at the time you applied. (You can check your credit scores for free on Credit.com to see where you stand.) You can also consider any rewards that the credit card offers, but just keep in mind that rewards credit cards will invariably have higher standard interest rates than similar cards that don’t offer rewards.

Finally, it’s always worth considering the various fees that can be imposed. You should be aware of a card’s annual fee, any foreign transaction fees and any cash-advance fees.

How to Use a Balance Transfer Credit Card

Just transferring your balance won’t automatically lead to your debt being paid off. What’s important about a balance transfer is what you do after the transfer is complete. Cardholders should create a plan to pay their debt off before their promotional financing offer expires and the standard interest rate begins to apply. And when 100% of your payments goes to the principal, with no interest charges, the balance will fall quickly with each payment. You can use this nifty credit card payoff calculator to help you create a debt payoff plan and to see how much you’ll save in interest charges.

And — drumroll please! — onto the winners of this year’s Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards in America.

The Winner: Chase SlateChase Slate - BCCA Best Balance Transfer

Why It Won: New cardholders receive 15 months of interest-free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with no fees imposed on transfers completed within 60 days of account opening. After those first 60 days, a 3% balance transfer fee will apply. The standard interest rate of a variable 12.99% – 22.99% will apply (rate depends on creditworthiness), and there is no penalty interest rate. (You can read a full review of the Chase Slate card here.)

Other Features: Slate cardholders can use Chase’s Blueprint program, which allows you to avoid interest charges by paying off some purchases in full while carrying a balance on others. Slate also offers cardholders a free FICO credit score each month.

The Costs: There is no annual fee for this card, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all charges processed outside of the U.S.

1st Runner-Up: Capital One QuicksilverOneCapital One QuicksilverOne - BCCA Best Balance Transfer

The Balance Transfer Offer: This card recently joined the Chase Slate as the only cards from major issuers to offer 0% APR financing for balance transfers with no fee. This card offers 10 months of 0% APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with no fee. After that, the standard interest rate will be a variable 22.99% APR.

Other Features: This card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no limit. This card is even available to applicants with fair credit and it offers a higher credit limit after new account holders make their first five monthly payments on time.

The Costs: There is a $39 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.

2nd Runner-Up: Citi SimplicityCiti Simplicity - BCCA Best Balance Transfer

The Balance Transfer Offer: The Citi Simplicity (read a full review of the card here) offers an industry leading 21 months of interest-free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is greater). When the promotional financing offer expires, the standard rate will be a variable 13.24% – 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, as well as Chase & Capital One, advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)

Other Features: This card has no late fee or penalty interest rate and features benefits such as extended warranty coverage and Citi’s Price Rewind price protection program.

The Costs: There is no annual fee for this card, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all charges processed outside of the U.S.

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

At publishing time, Chase Slate, Capital One QuicksilverOne, and Citi Simplicity are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.


Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.


Sign up for your free Credit.com account. Learn More

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.