The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers of 2017


If you’re trying to pay off debt, a 0% balance transfer credit card could save you hundreds – even thousands – of dollars in interest payments. I took advantage of multiple 0% interest offers from Citi, Chase, and Discover on my own journey to debt freedom. So I’ve learned how to spot the best balance transfer cards available.

To help you find the best balance transfer offer, below you’ll find a long list of current 0% cards. I’ve included the length of the 0% offer, the balance transfer fee, and links for more details and to apply for each card. Below the table you’ll also find more details on selection cards and some tips on how to use balance transfer credit cards.

The Best 0% Balance Transfer Offers

1. Discover it®

Discover itDiscover it® comes in several different “flavors.” The Discover it® – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer version offers the longest introductory period on balance transfers–0% APR for 18 months. The card has no annual fee. It makes our top spot due to is combination of its 0% offer and excellent cash back rewards.

  • Cash Back: The Discover it® cash back card offers 1% cash back on every purchase, plus 5% cash back on categories that rotate every 3 months. You can redeem your cash back anytime as a deposit, statement credit, or payment at Amazon.com. And if that weren’t enough, Discover will also “double all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year – only for new cardmembers.”
  • Other Benefits: If you’re trying to get out of debt and raise your credit score, this card offers free access to your current FICO® score. You’ll get score updates on your monthly statement, or you can log into your online account anytime for score updates. It also has no annual fee, and there’s no late fee for your first late payment. If you travel often, you’ll appreciate that this card has no foreign transaction fee, and it comes with a $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee.

Bottom Line: If you want to transfer a balance or finance a large purchase, the 18 months of 0% interest on balance transfers is a great deal on the Discover it® – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer. And after that, you can reap the benefits of solid cash-back rewards. This is also a great score for building credit, with its average credit score requirements.


2. Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Credit Card

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa 0% balance transferThe Wells Fargo Platinum Visa credit card offers 0% on balance transfers AND purchases for 15 months. There is no annual fee. It also offers a unique benefit that we’ve not seen from other credit cards:

  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Credit Card

Bottom Line: The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa credit card offers an excellent balance transfer offer along with an interesting perk for those looking to protect their cell phone. The no annual fee is also a big plus.


3. The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express

Amex Everyday Preferred Card Balance Transfer OfferAmerican Express is best known for its credit card rewards, not 0% offers. But with the Amex EveryDay Preferred card, they combine both a 0% balance transfer offer with some incredible credit card rewards.

  • 0% Offer: Get 0% APR on both balance transfers and purchases for 12 months, then a variable APR based on credit worthiness.
  • Everyday Rewards: 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 2x points at US gas stations; 1x points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Bonus Reward #1: Earn 15,000 Membership Reward® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Bonus Reward #2: Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.

Bottom Line: This card offers a good 0% offer on purchases and balance transfers along with excellent rewards.

Learn how to apply here.


4. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver CardCapital one also offers cards with 0% offers that combine rewards. With the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards credit card, you’ll get 0% on purchases and balance transfers for nine months. While that’s not the longest offer available, there’s another huge perk with this card, its rewards:

  • You earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • One-time $100 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months of approval

Bottom Line: The Quicksilver card offers excellent everyday cash back rewards, a chance to earn a $100 bonus, and good 0% terms.

Learn how to apply here.


More Options: See a complete list of balance transfer offers, and learn how to apply online, here.

0% Balance Transfer Tips and Tricks

How do you choose a balance transfer credit card? And how do you know which one of these deals – or another that you find online – will work best for you? Here are a few tips and tricks:

1. Look at the length of the offer. Typically, the longer the 0% offer lasts, the better. Now, if you know you can pay down the balance within 6 or 8 months, then you don’t really need that 21-month introductory offer from Citi. But in general, the longer the introductory APR, the better off you are

2. Consider balance transfer fees. Nearly all balance transfer cards charge a fee for the balance transfer. As you can see, three of the four cards listed above charge a 3% or $5 fee. Read the fine print and calculate how much it will cost you to transfer the balance. Some transfers have a high enough fee that the balance transfer isn’t even worth your while. This balance transfer calculator can help you see how much difference that fee can make.

3. Don’t use the card for spending. The point of these balance transfer offers is to more quickly reduce your overall debt. Reducing the interest rate reduces your payment – leaving you more money to pay down principle month by month. It’s tempting to spend more money once you’ve freed up space on your other credit cards. But you’ll quickly regret that – especially after your introductory APR is over.

4. Have a plan for after the introductory rate expires. Credit card companies often lure in consumers with an introductory rate, only to hike up the rate to 20% or more after that few months. Most people will make minimum payments, leaving the balance on the card until the introductory rate expires. Try to pay off the card before the introductory rate expires. If you can’t, consider moving the balance to a new 0% introductory APR card or paying it offer with a home equity line of credit.

5. Know what your interest rate will be. The reason we highlight post-offer APRs here is that you need to know the interest rate you’ll be charged after the introductory period. Some cards have a reasonable general APR, while others have a very high adjusted rate.

6. Check the fine print for balance transfers vs. purchases. Some cards have a 0% introductory rate for purchases, but this is not the same thing as balance transfers. 0% APR on purchases is great for financing larger purchases for free, but it’s not the same thing as a balance transfer introductory rate.

7. Look for cards that also offer rewards. If you’re looking for a longer-term credit card deal, rather than just an option to pay off debt with less interest, check out cards that offer rewards later on. You may not cash in on these rewards right away, but once you get out of debt, you can use the card for everyday expenses and reap the rewards.

8. Remember that even at 0% interest, it’s still debt. When you have a credit card sitting there with a 12-month 0% interest offer, it’s easy to forget about it. You should still work to pay off credit card balances with the eventual goal of using them without carrying a balance.

“Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.”

86 Responses to “The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers of 2017”

    • There is a transfer fee on 0% balance transfer offers, even if you pay off the balance before the introductory rate. The fee gets charged at the time you authorize the transfer. Of course, you avoid interest charges by paying off the balance before the 0% transfer period ends, but there’s no way to avoid the transfer fee.

  1. In order to avoid interest, do you have to pay on or before the final closing date, or the due date for the corresponding cycle. Lets say its 0% until statement closing date of 12-15. Due date is 12-30. Which date do you need to pay by?

  2. Rick, great question. Here’s what I’ve done for all the balance transfer offers I’ve used in the past–call them. I get a representative on the phone to give me the exact date the 0% offer expires. That said, if the offer is until the statement closing date, I think you’d need to pay it off then, not by the due date. Again, though, I’d call to confirm.

      • Here’s my own situation – credit score of 760 (possibly higher). I have $10,000 on one card. I will be paying off $4,000 in December 2009 in a lump sum and another $2,000 in March 2010 in a lump sum. The card I currently have is going to 7.99% as of October 1. However, I received notification that it could be going as high as 14.99% (not by anything of my own donig – just the credit card APR increases that everyone is seeing). Would I be better off doing a transfer that charges 5% transfer fee upfront … or finding a card with 0% transfer fee but a higher APR. OR…do I leave the money where it is?

        • Karen, first, with a credit score of 760, you should be able to qualify for the top balance transfer offers. If I were in your situation, a big part of the decision would depend on whether your current card in fact raises the rate to 14.99%. But either way, I would be inclined not to transfer the $4,000 you plan to pay off in December. Since that’s just about two months away, it’s just not worth the balance transfer fees.

          • So I’ve held off on my financial situation due to some unexpected legal bills. The current rate on my card is 7.99% (so not too terribly high) and I’m looking at $6,000 to possibly transfer ($4,000 of my current $10,000 debt I can pay off around Christmas). I’ve received TWO offers in the mail – both for 0% balance transfer for 12 months with a 3% upfront fee. I’m thinking GO FOR IT … right – transfer the full $6,000 debt?

  3. I have a $4000 balance that I’m looking to transfer to a new credit card with a 0% introductory APR. It will take me a full 12 months to pay off the balance with a 0% APR. Would I be better off finding a card that has 0% for 12 months with a 5% transfer fee or a card that only offers the 0% for 6 months, then transfer the balance again to another 6 month deal?

    • Angie, from the deals I’ve seen, the 0% for 12 month deal would be better. The 6 month deals have 3% balance transfer fees, which would make the total fee 6% if you went with 2 6-month balance transfers.

  4. Hi: I have a card with 7.9 APR with a balance of $21,000. I found a card that offers 0% apr on balances transfers for 12 months and a rate between 7.24-18.24 thereafter, with a balance transaction fee of 3% which will be $630.

    Provided I get the credit limit high enough to enable me to transfer the whole balance, do you think is it worth the transfer with a fee of $630?

    Thanks!

    • Tonie, I think it depends on the interest rate you get on the new card. I’m assuming you won’t have the $21k paid off in 12 months. Obviously if you do pay it off in 12 months, the 3% transfer fee would be better than your current 7.9%. However, the new card carries an 18.24% rate and it takes you several years to pay off the balance, you could end up being worse off than just sticking with your current card. You may want to apply for a balance transfer offer, wait and see what terms you get, and than decide on how much you want to transfer to the new card. You will need to make sure you can take advantage of the transfer offer AFTER you qualify for the card.

  5. I have a Bank of America card with a 30% interest rate (nothing of my doing, went from 21-30% last year). I recently contacted Experian and had a previous collection removed, so my Experian credit score is now 645. What is your best advice for cutting my interest cost on this card? Allready contacted BOA several times to no avail for lowering %. Ideas? Thanks

    • Keith, the first thing is to keep improving your credit score. As your score goes up, BOA will be more likely to lower your interest rate. And if they don’t, you can always look to other cards to transfer the balance. Here’s an article on how to improve your score: How to Improve Your Credit Score | 11 Simple Steps. And at 645, you may be able to qualify for balance transfers at lower rates, but your goal should be to get your score at least into the 700s.

  6. The big news in March 2010 is that the Citi Platinum Select MasterCard has moved to a 0% balance transfer of up to 15 months. And the 0% offer also applies to purchases AND Citi kept its balance transfer fee at 3%. This is unquestionably the best 0% bt offer currently available.

    • sylvia, generally I think 0% cards are a good way to pay off debt. As long as your debt is at interest rates higher than the balance transfer fee, using a balance transfer offer will help you pay down your debt for less money and in less time. I estimate that we saved over $2,000 in interest payments with 0% balance transfer offers.

      I suppose one argument against using 0% deals is the risk that you’ll go into more debt when you transfer one credit card balance to a new card. Of course, this is totally in our own control.

  7. question about 0% balance transfers and the balance transfer transaction fee. does that mean you get charged say 4% at the time of transfer and then no monthly interest?

    • KB, that’s correct. The transfer fee gets added to the card along with the balance transfer. You have to make a minimum payment each month, all of which goes to pay down the principal, and there’s no interest until the 0% offer expires.

  8. Nina Kunzler

    Hi, I have a question. I am wanting to transfer a current balance that we have on our current credit card to a card that offer 0% APR for at least a year. I haven’t ever transfered a balance before so I want to get this right. If I transfer our current balance to a card with 0% APR hopefully on both balance transfers and purchases, does that mean for however long the 0% is available (i.e 12 months or so) we don’t pay any interest on however much our balance when transfered at the time? Or does it mean that we don’t pay any interest on purchases made after the balance which we don’t plan on doing, we just want to start paying off our balance and not purchase anything. I hope that makes sense, sorry if it doesn’t. I just want to make sure I understand all of this.

    • Nina, if the card offers 0% on both purchases and balance transfers say for 12 months, then you wouldn’t pay any interest on either the balance transfer or the purchases for that time period. Any balance left on the card, whether as a result of a balance transfer, purchases, or both, after 12 months would start accruing interest. I hope this helps and good luck.

  9. Nina Kunzler

    Thank you so much, that information was very helpful! So, when you transfer your balance to the new card, is there a limit depending on what card you transfer to? How do you know what your new credit card limit will be once you transfer because what if you transfer 10,000, does it just cap at that or does it just depend on your credit history?

    • Nina, your credit limit will depend on a number of factors, including credit history, income, and so on. The way most balance transfers work is that you list the credit cards and amounts for what you want to transfer in the online application. If the credit limit you are ultimately given is not enough to transfer the total balances, the new card will just transfer a portion up to your balance transfer credit limit.

  10. I have been with Capitol One Bank for 7 years and paying a 10.9 % on my Master Credit Card with them. I have never missed or been late with a payment. I can’t belive when I recevided my May 18th 2010 bill, they raised my intrest rate to 17.9 % I am livid. After calling them and being thanked for being a valued customer for 7 years, I said so this is how you treat a valued customer, raised my May payment to $ 171 dollars and $ 101 of the $171 I sent you was applied to intrest . Wells it the econmy and we need more cash flow to lend more money out! And I said at my enexpense! If I wasen’t also effected by the economy I wouldn’t need a credit card. I said Im cutting up the card, looking for a balance transfer Then I’m going to close the account.

    • Barb, it always amazes me that credit card companies raise interest rates on good customers. The good news is that there are plenty of 0% balance transfer offers to choose from. As you’ll see from the list above, Citi has 18 month and 15 month offers, and there are several very good 12-month offers. Good luck!

  11. The balance transfer I am considering says you can not use it toward their companies card, however you can have a check made out to you. If you have the check made out to you and then apply a portion or all of it to that companies’ card could there be an issue?

    (ex: Have check made out to you via a Chase transfer offer and in turn right a check out of your own personal account to pay off a Chase credit card.)

  12. Godfrey

    I am a college student who in need of money for the tuition. i am wondering how they charge the interest?? They charge you the interest right after the balance approved or after the introductory percent expires? In another word, do they charge the interest by the next payment after the approval of the balance or they will wait for a years before charging me interest…

    • Godfrey, on both 0% balance transfer offers and 0% on purchases, the credit card companies start charging interest once the 0% intro APR period expires. So in the case of a 12 month balance transfer offer, for example, you wouldn’t be charged any interest until the 12-month period expired. I hope this helps, and as always, be sure to confirm your understanding of the card’s terms with the credit card agreement you’ll see online when you apply for the card.

  13. I am considering 0% APR balance transfer offers (for a 6-9 month period, then up to approx 12%) from Chase & Discover but noticed that they both state “We will begin charging interest on these transactions on the transaction date.” Ok….you’re still charging me 0.00% during that promotional period, right??? I just want to be sure that it is a true 0% during the promotional period & that they won’t charge me a whopping 6-9 month 12% compounded interest if I don’t pay the entire balance by the end of the promtional period. Can I trust that the banks will charge 0% during that 6-9 month period? Is this type of statement simply a new requirement that banks must include now? Thank you!

  14. I have $5600 on an AMEX with an 11% interest rate. I also have a loan and a line of credit from my bank (both at 13% with a combined sum of $7800). Is it better to transfer to a 0% card and tackle the AMEX or should I transfer to the 0% and focus more on the loan and line of credit?

    • Mary, it generally best to transfer your highest interest rate date to a card with a 0% balance transfer offer. In this case, however, the difference isn’t huge (2%), and it will probably be much easier to transfer credit card debt to a 0% card than it will to transfer a loan and line of credit.

  15. Matt Sutliff

    I need to transfer a $6500 balance of $7500 of total credit to avoid capitalization of accrued interest on $1500 of balance that had a 0% interest for one year and is subject to interest charges on Jan. 1 and reduce interest on the remaining $5000. I understand that I will save money by avoiding the capitalization and by paying off overall balance over the next 6 mos. to 1 year at 0%, but I am also looking to refinance a 1 year old mortgage of $178,000 from 5.25% to the current lower rates at about 4.25% or so. How long will it take my credit score to rebound from the balance transfer/credit inquiry and improve from the lower debt/credit ratio? Currently myFICO score is about 720. Thank you.

    • Matt, it’s difficult to know because so many factors go into how much your score will take a hit. That said, I would put the refinance of the mortgage well ahead of refinancing a $6,500 debt.

  16. Hi, I have about a $9K balance on an Amex w a 14% APR. My credit limit just got reduced by a lot, so now not only am I getting slammed by interest, I’m using a huge amount of my available credit (almost 100%). I just got a new Citicard w the 0% APR on balance transfers for 24 mos, and new purchases for 12 mos. The only problem is, the new card only has a $4k credit limit. Should I transfer a full $4k of the $9k I’m currently carrying to the new card — thereby maxing it out — or should transfer less, use the new card for purchases and pay it off every month? My concern is: is it worse to carry a large credit-to-debt ratio on one card, or a so-so one on two cards? Side question — should I open a third card and try to distribute the $9K between them all? (I only have 2 credit cards currently). Thank you!

    • Michael

      Hi Kate

      Your debt to credit ratio is looked at as a whole and not on individual cards. So in terms of your question, transferring the full balance and maxing out the Citi card is no different than transferring half of the $4,000 and leaving both cards with $2,000 free.

      Now, getting to your next question, if you have the credit to obtain another great balance transfer offer (Discover More Card would be my suggestion), the you should absolutely get a third card. Transfer as much of the balance as you can off of the AMEX card onto your other two cards, making sure you have room for the balance transfer fees.

      At 14%, you’re looking at more than $1,000 in interest each year if you can only make the minimum payments, so paying a $250-$300 fee up front to transfer the entire balance elsewhere is the smart move. Plus, your new credit should reduce your debt to credit ratio, keeping your score above average once the small inquiry “hit” is applied to your credit score.

  17. Brijendra Dharampuria

    I have Citi Platinum and Capital One but I do not use it as zero balance transfer. I have a query that “No annual fee” of Capital One is only for 2011 or it will continue till 2012?

  18. Gordon Watkins

    I recently had a Lowe’s charge card that due to some home improvements had increased to nearly $5000. Paying the minimum payment would have taken 8 years and at least a couple thousand in interest. I transferred the balance to Discover More at 0% for 15 months. Minimum payment is $114.00 per month and we consistently pay $300. We will have the balance paid off within 15 to 17 months thereby saving a bundle. We DO NOT use this card for ANY purchases, only to pay off this credit. Also, we pay online as soon as the bill arrives, giving plenty of time before the due date. This really can result in huge savings but only if you have the discipline to not use the card for additional credit or purchases.

    • Michael

      Gordon

      Quick math would suggest that with a standard APR, you will save more than $1,000 by taking advantage of the balance transfer.

      Once you’ve finished, you may want to consider using your Discover More Card for everyday purchases. The cashback rate is very strong and the opportunity to earn 5% cash back throughout the year is a great feature. Just make sure to pay your balance in full every month!

  19. I will give you my experience with Discover and their 24 month or 18 month deals. I talked to a rep when I signed up (didn’t trust online for something this important) and he double confirmed that I would have 0% interest for 24 months. 12 months rolls around and I get a huge interest fee. I call to complain and of course they say they NEVER offered a 24mo deal, not even an 18mo one. Discover appears to have the best deal, but since they flat out lie about it, they can make any claim they want!

    • I forgot to mention that they told me I had to have some paperwork telling the details of my 24mo offer before they would honor it. They didn’t care that it came from the “horse’s mouth”!

      I would also like to add that the Cashback program is a joke. Every 3 months, the types of purchases that grant 5% change. You have to go on their website and “opt in” to that quarter’s offers. If you forget to opt in, no 5% cash back. Half of the year they are for categories I do not purchase from (Hotels in the fall?) and they never cover purchases such as a Walmart shopping trip. When I first signed up, you had to accumulate $20 of cashback “cash” to gain access to that $20. Then it raised to $40, now it sits at $50! Also, the “1% on all other purchases” is a lie. Due to the convoluted formula, you have to spend something like $1500 before it actually begins granting a full 1%. Keep away from Discover. There are (probably) better companies out there.

      • John E, the 24 month 0% balance transfer offer is a new deal that came out last month. Twelve months ago Discover did not offer a 24 month balance transfer (in fact nobody did back then). As for the cash back offer, agreed that it’s a pain to opt in, although it takes just a few seconds.

  20. Stupid spending during college - guy

    Hi. Currently I want to transfer 30k in total from three cards to one that has a lower apr rate (0% for 16 months, with 18% apr thereafter) than the average of my 3 cards. I’m hoping that by paying just one credit versus 3, I can end up saving money in the end. My question is, is it possible with such a high transfer amount? Will the minimum monthly payment for the 1st 16 months be worth it on the balance transfer? And do you think I will be able to qualify? My FICO score is 727, I have never had a delinquent payment, and I have over 7 years of credit history. Please advise

    • I definitely think it’s worth transferring the debt over to a 0% card. And with a FICO score of 727, you should qualify. The question will be whether you will qualify for a credit limit of $30k. That will be tough, although you can always apply for more than one card with a balance transfer offer. Also, at the end of the 16 months, you can roll over the remaining debt to a new balance transfer card. That’s what we did until all of our credit card debt was paid off.

  21. شات مصري

    Hi: I have a card with 7.9 APR with a balance of $21,000. I found a card that offers 0% apr on balances transfers for 12 months and a rate between 7.24-18.24 thereafter, with a balance transaction fee of 3% which will be $630.

    Provided I get the credit limit high enough to enable me to transfer the whole balance, do you think is it worth the transfer with a fee of $630?

    Thanks!

  22. When you give the overview of the cards, it would be very very very helpful to include any balance transfer fee. If there is interest after knowing that detail, then it’s worth reading the description and complete details of the card.

    Thanks.

  23. Very useful information and thank you for responding all queries. I wish I will also get timely response.

    I have credit record of 800 range. never missed any payment and never paid any interest. I also have never used 0% offer but currently seriously thinking to leverage. I have mortgage of 4.5% in $400K range. I pay $300 extra against principal every month. Question is, should I use 0% offer for 12 months, get $3600 ($300*12), pay 3% transaction fee ($108) and pay that $3600 against mortgage principal. After that keep paying $300 extra payment to credit card company instead mortgage principal. Does this make sense? Will this worth exercise or just keep paying $300 every month against principal.

    Waiting for your response.

    • RC, that’s a great question. The first thing to keep in mind is that the 4.5% in mortgage interest may be tax deductible, while the 3% balance transfer fee is not. As a result, the costs may be much closer than they initially appear. You should also consider how adding to your credit card debt may affect your credit score. For me, I probably wouldn’t go to the trouble of a transfer for such a small savings.

  24. Is there any way to determine what amount you will get approved for on the card you are applying to so you can decide if it is worth adding a new card?

    For example if you have $10K on a card at say 18% interest and you want to transfer it to a 0% card but you apply and only get a $5K credit limit then is it worth adding a new card and new credit inquiry on your credit report since you will still have to keep $5K on the high interest card?

    • Bob, that’s a great question. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure how much credit you’ll get until you apply for the card. If you know your credit score and credit utilization, you can make an educated guess. Obviously the higher the score and lower the credit utilization the better. But sometimes you have to apply for more than one card in order to cover your existing debt.

  25. I have about $24K on a credit card and it has a high interest rate around 29%. I have been keeping it current. My credit score is about 730, however, with other accounts and auto loan when I try to transfer I get over extended as a response. I have tried Home Equity loan but have gotten nowhere due to housing market and federal regulations. I have not missed a payment on any of my accounts. Anything you can suggest?

    • Michael

      Hi Jeff

      With a credit score of 730, you probably have two options in terms of a balance transfer. The first should be the Citi Platinum Select MasterCard, which offers a 21 month 0% BT offer with a low 3% fee. The second is the the Discover More Card – Long Duration Balance Transfer which offers a 24 month 0% BT with a higher 5% fee.

      Because you have such a large amount of credit card debt to transfer, there’s a good chance neither card will provide you a limit high enough to transfer your entire balance to one card. I would recommend applying for each card at the same time (meaning the same day) and split the balance transfer between both cards. Obviously, you’ll want to transfer more to the Citi card, as the fee is less, but remember to leave some room so when the fee is applied, you don’t go over your credit limit.

      You’ll end up with an additional $900 or so in debt after the balance transfer, but considering the 29% interest rate you have now, you’ll be saving more than $5,000 annually in interest. All in all, if you’re able to pay off the entire balance by making $1,050 payments each month for the next 24 months, you’ll have saved more than $10,000 with this move.

      Best of luck!

        • Jeff, in terms of bankruptcy, that’s a question you should ask of a bankruptcy lawyer. As for balance transfer offers, if you weren’t able to qualify for the Citi Platinum Select or the Discover More card, you probably won’t qualify for most BT cards. Of course, you could always apply and see what happens.

  26. Camellia

    Thanks for this informative site! So I have about $10,000 in credit card debt on one card, Bank of America Visa Card with a purchase interest rate of 4.99%. Is it worth it to chip away at this debt or look to transfer this to a 0% card? I’m thinking of splitting it up into two different cards offering 0% APR Balance Transfer. Thanks so much for your help!

    • Camellia, is your interest rate really 4.99%? I’m guessing you meant 14.99%, as no card that I know of charges under about 7 or 8%. Any way, I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago, and I did exactly what your suggesting–transferred my balance to two cards. With the Discover More 24 month deal and Citi Platinum Select 21 month 0% deal, you should be able to save a lot in interest. If you current rate really is 4.99%, however, I’d probably stick with that given the balance transfer fees you’d have to pay. Best of luck!

  27. Claudia

    What’s the better deal:

    0% interest for 21 months, then going to 14%, or
    0% interest for 12 months, then going to 10%?

    Balance transfer fees are the same at 3%.
    I want to pay off $6,000 currently at 12%.
    Thank you.

    • Michael

      Claudia

      Without question, the better deal is the first you mention. 0% APR for 21 months will allow you 9 additional months a 0%, which should give you enough time to pay your $6,000 balance off in full (or very close to it). By the time the intro period has expired, the additional 4% APR you’ll be paying in interest going forward should be of little consequence on a small balance.

      Just remember not to carry a balance on your new card going forward. You don’t want to saddle yourself up with the same problem down the road!

  28. bek harper

    I have two zero interest promo offers from Citicards, at 2.99%: an older promo for the life of the loan with a mid-July balance is $6661, and a newer promo expiring Sept 1, 2011 with a mid-July balance of $9871. I plan to pay the newer promo in full at or near the expiration date of Sept 1. My problem is ensuring that my large payment goes to the expiring promo and NOT the life-of-loan promo, which I want to keep going. I will call Citi and try to get a confirmation of how to do this, but my guess is that since this situation is a bit complicated, I won’t be able to rely with certainty on any answer they give me over the phone. Someone suggested that I pay my minimum payment as usual before the due date of September 1, and then pay the full amount of the expiring promo–the $9871–a few days later. The reasoning is that credit card companies are required to apply your payment to the higher-interest balance first, and if I wait and let the new higher interest rate kick in, I can be assured of my payment going to the correct promo. (FYI, until last month, my entire minimum payment (except interest) was applied to the older life-of-loan promo). Any tips on how to best deal with this? Thank you very much, incredibly helpful website!

    • bek harper

      Correction: I did not mean to say “zero interest”–the two offers were both 2.99% interest promos, one with no expiration date and one expiring Sept 1, 2011.

  29. Bek, waiting until the higher rate kicks in is an interesting idea. One benefit is that you take full advantage of the lower rate until it expires. If I were in your situation, I would definitely call Citi and get the name of the person you speak to. You could also mail in your payment and include a short letter making clear where you want to apply the payment. Best of luck!

    • bek harper

      Update in case anyone case use this info: The credit card act requires any payment above the minimum to be applied to the higher interest rate balance transfer (or purchase or whatever). In my case, I had two BT’s both with 2.99%, one never expiring, another expiring Sept 1, 2011. So I called Citi and got the balance on the expiring BT, and sent a payment for the balance plus the minimum payment (just in case). All went well. The payment was applied first to the expiring BT, with the small excess to the other BT. Also, within 24 hours (as the rep had told me would happen), my credit available on the card went up by the amount of my payment. So I was able to almost immediately request (online) another balance transfer. This time I got 0% interest until Nov. 2012 with a 3% fee. So in effect, a 3% loan for about a year. Citi mailed me the check almost immediately and it is now in transit to my bank account. I am very satisfied (if not amazed) at the smooth transaction, including the fact that I had almost no wait time in calling Citi. Hope this helps someone else with any questions they may have and thanks for this website.

  30. I have a Navy Federal Rewards Visa credit card with a 14.99% APR and a $905.00 balance. $300 in cash withdrawal and the rest in purchases. My fico score is 630. I need a credit card with 0% on BT’s and Purchases for 18 to 21 mos to transfer the balance to give myself time to pay it off.

    • Anthony, your best bet in my opinion is the Citi Platinum Select MC. I’m not sure a credit score of 630 will get you the card, but of all the balance transfer offers out there, the Platinum Select is probably your best shot.

  31. Citi bank is offering me a cash check for twelve thousand on my simpicity card with no interest for 21 months and there knocking the three percent fee down to fifty bucks. If i pay off the balance before the o interest date comes to an end is there any other thing they charge me?

  32. What am I missing here? Back in 2007 I accepted a balance transfer offer from Capital One for $16000 with no fee, and get this- no time limit. At the time I thought it was too good to be true and that the Cap One rep I was speaking with on the phone was inexperienced and provided my with false information. Well, almost five years later and I’m still paying just over the minimum payment every month and have yet to pay a dime in interest charges or any fees. Now when I log into my account online, I see the same offer again online- Balnce transfer offer- 0%, no fee, Promotional period ends- N/A. What’s the catch? Are the hoping that I will be late on a payment so that the balance will revert to 21.9%, or what? Should I attempt to take the new offer, or just pay off my remaining balance and count my blessings?

  33. Making my New Years Resolution Stick this Year

    Hi there,

    I have been on a crusade to pay off my debt for the past year. My credit score is 720 and have never had a delinquent payment or defaulted on anything. I am using 48% of my credit which seems to be the only mark against my score, and maybe my time with credit, which is ten years… I have a 7,800 debt spread over three cards. Up until today, I have been paying the minimum payment on the lowest interest rates and paying well over the the minimum on the highest interest rate. This has been working for me, for I started out with 4 cards with 11,500 in debt but now want to try to move this along even quicker. Today, I pay 80$ a month in interest and know that paying no interest for a while would really help. What are the chances that I could get a great balance transfer offer for the whole amount? And if I don’t, would I be able to apply for a few different offers to cover the whole amount? And which do you recommend? I have a Discover card already; does that hurt my chances of transferring that balance over?

    Thanks for the advice,
    Katie

    • Rob Berger

      Katie, first off, congrats on making progress on your debt. It sounds like you are on the right track.

      In terms of balance transfer offers, I’d start with the Citi Platinum Select MasterCard if it were me. Whether your limit will cover the full $7,800 is hard to know until you apply. But at 0% for 21 months, it’s a great deal. However, I believe they will be lowering the balance transfer period to 18 months effective February 1, 2012. Still a great deal, but why not get the extra 3 months if you can.

      In terms of a second balance transfer card, I did that when I was paying off my debt. I’d start with one card, however, and see how much credit you get. From there you can make a decision. If you decided to get a second card, I’d try the Chase Slate with no balance transfer fee and a 0% intro offer that lasts 12 months.

      Best of luck!

  34. I have a question…I have been working very hard to get all my credit cards paid off. Im not to two and in Oct i will have one left. I have maybe 4 other cards that have been paid off and that i dont use. Im not sure if i should of cancelled them or keep them. I am guessing if i do cancell them my credit report will be dinged grrr..Just not sure what to do..
    thanks

  35. I have a question…I have been working very hard to get all my credit cards paid off. Im down to two and in Oct i will have one left. I have maybe 4 other cards that have been paid off and that i dont use. Im not sure if i should of cancelled them or keep them. I am guessing if i do cancell them my credit report will be dinged grrr..Just not sure what to do..Do i keep them or close them???
    thanks

  36. I am also named Katie and also commencing “Operating No Debt” like the Katie above. I have a great credit score and I have never paid a car payment, loan payment, or credit card payment late. However, I had a series of recent medical issues and had to put them on my Gold Amex because (as we all know, Gold and Platinum Amex cards have no spending limit since they’re charge cards but the interest is a nightmare). Well, my time of the 0% APR grace period has ended and I am paying $200-300 in interest alone each month. My medical and travel costs have my balance sitting pretty at 20K. This is my only card that is not at a zero balance and my car will be paid off in 10 months (Extra $600/month!). Thankfully, I have a good job and I am picking up extra work whenever I can, I am on a super strict budget, and I have even started advertising on local forums to babysit and tutor.

    BUT, I think I need to transfer to a 0% APR card to save my life before this interest buries me and I have no clue how to do this or which card is best? I am currently paying $2000-2500 per month in payments, but with the interest the hole is just getting deeper and I’m afraid if I go on like this I will be drowning in my debt. If I had 0% APR, I could get rid of this in a year. Which card should I choose and how do I go about doing this transfer? Your advice, wisdom, and insight are greatly appreciated!

    • Rob Berger

      Katie, it wasn’t too long ago that I was in a similar situation. My approach was the following. First, start with 0% balance transfer cards that charge no transfer fee. Right now the option is limited to the Chase Slate card, which is listed above. When you apply for the card, you can enter the credit cards you have and balances, and Chase will process the balance transfer for you.

      Based on how much credit you get, you may or may not be able to cover all of your existing credit card debt on one card. If you can’t, I’d then choose the cards with the longest 0% offer. You’ll pay a 3% transfer fee, but it’s still a lot better then paying interest. The longest offers available today are for 18 months, and they are also listed above.

      Good luck!

  37. Daniel Wise

    About 6 months ago Bank of America Visa notified me that they were canceling my Visa card. When I talked to them, they said they where canceling it because I transferred to another card that offered the 0% interest for 12 months.

    So for those that are playing the card game, I suggest that you be careful as to whom you are playing with. By the way, I had been a BOA Visa card holder for 14 years and had a limit over $14000. Never missed a payment and always paid more then the minimum balance.

  38. Thanks a lot for the great site. This has lot of valuable informatioin. I have a question on balance transfer fee. If I plan not to make any purchase with the credit card whose 0% intro rate on blance transfer has expired , do I still have to pay some balance transfer fee? What will be the negative impact of this?. Sorry the questions looks foolish but need to be sure.

  39. I recently got the Discover It card and am a little disappointed about a few things. I was laid off last year and hoped to use the balance transfer to pay a hefty tax bill without dipping too far into savings and incurring another high tax bill for 2013. I found out that with this card, the only way to do a BT is by calling in — not a big deal, but annoying, since I’d rather do it myself online or with a check — and it can only be used to pay off another credit card or a specific (non-government) bill. What I really want is to be able to write a BT check to the IRS, which I can’t do. I don’t keep credit card balances unless they are at 0% interest, so the only way I can do this is to charge my tax bill on another credit card (for a fee) and then do a BT from Discover to pay it off. I’m not really happy with this option. Also, I was only approved for $5000, which will help, but not enough. The super friendly rep I spoke with (they all seem to be) offered to give me a temporary cash advance for $2500 (the maximum), then said he would convert it to a BT and reverse the cash advance fee. Way too complicated! So I’m not sure what I’ll do, but this is not the solution I’d hoped for. Suggestions welcome!

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