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 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 any time 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 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.
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. Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a relatively new offer from Chase. It combines a 0% APR introductory offer with excellent cash back rewards, all with no annual fee and a $150 new cardmember bonus offer.
0% Offer: The 0% APR introductory offer is for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers.
Cash Back: The cash back offer is as simple as it is rewarding–1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Other Benefits: You can also earn a $150 cash bonus when you charge $500 to the card in the first 3 months from account opening.
Bottom Line: The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is simply one of the best balance transfer & cash back combination cards available today.
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. 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.
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® Diamond Preferred® Card
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers the longest balance transfer deal currently available–21 months. You get a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for 21 months. There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, but no annual fee.
Bottom Line: With free access to your FICO® score and 24/7 concierge service, this 0% balance transfer offers is an excellent deal. Get more details on this card here.
5. Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever
With an 21-month introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, the Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever is great for paying down bigger debts. The card has no annual fee. 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 Deals, and Citi Price Rewind, which searches for a lower price on certain types of purchases. It also offers a $0 liability guarantee.
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. Get more details on this card here.
6. Citi® Double Cash Card
This is the card my wife and I use everyday. The Citi® Double Cash Card offers an excellent 0% APR deal. The 0% APR introductory rate is good for 15 months on both balance transfers and purchases. There is no annual fee.
Other Benefits: This is where the card really shines. You’ll earn 1% on purchases AND 1% as you pay for those purchases. That’s one of the big reasons it’s the card in my wallet.
Bottom Line: An excellent no fee card with a good 0% APR introductory offer and, in my opinion, some of the best cash back rewards available today. Get more details on this card 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.
Compare these and other 0% balance transfer credit cards at CardRatings.com.