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.
Below, you’ll find our editor’s picks, including the Discover it® card, which offers 0% APR for the first 18 months. Keep checking this page, as we regularly update it with the latest 0% APR balance transfer offers.
1. Discover it®
The Discover it® card comes in several different “flavors.” Different options offer different cash back and points deals. The regular cash back card offers 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 14 months after opening. There’s a 3% balance transfer fee. After the 14 months, a 10.99% to 22.99% variable interest rate will apply. The card has no annual fee.
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 any time as a deposit, statement credit, or payment at Amazon.com.
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 any time 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.
Credit Needed: For this card, the average approved credit score is 674, with a typical low of 610 and a typical high of 740.
Bottom Line: If you want to transfer a balance or finance a large purchase, the 14 months of 0% interest is a great deal on this card. 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. U.S. Bank Perks+ Visa Signature Card®
The U.S. Bank Perks+ Visa Signature Card® is card offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles. After that, the APR raises to a relatively low 9.99% to 20.99% variable rate. The card has a 3% or $5 minimum balance transfer fee, with no annual fee.
Other Benefits: Earn 2x points on gas and groceries for the first 12 months. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.
Bottom Line: This is a solid card that combines both a 0% introductory offer with up to 2x reward points.
3. Chase Slate® Card
Worried about balance transfer fees? With Chase Slate®, you don’t have to be. This card offers no balance transfer fees within the first 60 days of account opening. Plus, you’ll get an introductory 0% APR on both balance transfers and purchases for the first 15 months. Then, there’s a variable APR of 12.99% to 22.99%. This card has no annual fee.
Other Benefits: With this card, you can use the Chase Blueprint® program. Basically, you can have more control over which balances and purchases to pay down in what order. And you can also take control of your budget with spending trends. You can add authorized users, as well, to consolidate all of your household spending into one online program.
Credit Needed: The average credit score approved for this card is 681, with a low of 625 and a high of 755.
Bottom Line: This card is an excellent option if you’re looking for a very cheap balance transfer with a long introductory offer. Most other cards will have a balance transfer fee, at least, so this one could save you some serious cash.
4. Citi Simplicity® Card
With an 21-month introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, this card is great for paying down bigger debts. After the 21 months, your APR will be 12.99% to 22.99%, based on creditworthiness. The card has no annual fee, but does have a balance transfer fee of the greater of $5 or 3% of the balance. It doesn’t charge late fees or penalty rates, either.
Other Benefits: This is a pretty basic credit card. It gives you access to Citi Easy DealsSM, and Citi® Price Rewind, which searches for a lower price on certain types of purchases. It also offers a $0 liability guarantee.
Credit Needed: The typical credit approved for this card is 715, with a low of 645 and a high of 790.
Bottom Line: If you need to pay off a big chunk of credit card debt or are planning a big purchase you need to finance, you won’t find a better deal than a 21-month introductory APR. This is a great card for longer-term finance and debt payoff options.
5. USAA Wounded Warriors Military Affiliate Card
The USAA Wounded Warriors Military Affiliate Card offers a 12-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers. A convenient feature is that one can also get the balance transfer via convenience checks, which makes paying off debts on than credit cards a snap. After the introductory rate interest rates range from 10.90% to 25.90% variable APR depending on credit worthiness.
Other Benefits: This card can be acquired either as a rewards MasterCard or an American Express card. With both cards there is no annual fee. With the American Express version of the card, earn 2x points on gas and grocery purchases.
Bottom Line: A good option for those looking to support the Wounded Warriors foundation. Remember that you must be able to join the USAA to get this card (generally, current and former members of the military and their families).
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 t’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.
* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. Discover is a paid advertiser of this site.