Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

If you are managing debt, a balance transfer credit card could help you pay down debt faster by transferring an existing balance to a new card with lower interest. We analyzed hundreds of balance transfer cards to find the most favorable introductory offers with low interest and low fees. Compare our picks for the best balance transfer credit cards from our partners and see how much each card could help you save.

If you are managing debt, a balance transfer credit card could help you pay down debt faster by transferring an existing balance to a new card with lower interest. We analyzed hundreds of balance transfer cards to find the most favorable introductory offers with low interest and low fees. Compare our picks for the best balance transfer credit cards from our partners and see how much each card could help you save.

By: Laura Mohammad

|

December 28, 2020

Here are the best balance transfer credit cards of January 2021:

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

hfyhpf120.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Estimated Balance Transfer Savings

$248
Savings based on a transfer amount of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations
Estimated Savings is a hfyhpf120.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos., with the Intro Balance Transfer Period at the Intro Balance Transfer APR rate, plus any remaining months at the Regular APR.

At A Glance

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0%
Intro Balance Transfer Period
12 billing cycles for BTs made in the first 60 days
Regular Balance Transfer APR
13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Citi® Double Cash Card

Excellent

Credit Recommended (740-850)

hfyhpf120.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Estimated Balance Transfer Savings

$440
Savings based on a transfer amount of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations
Estimated Savings is a hfyhpf120.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos., with the Intro Balance Transfer Period at the Intro Balance Transfer APR rate, plus any remaining months at the Regular APR.

At A Glance

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0%
Intro Balance Transfer Period
18 months
Regular Balance Transfer APR
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

hfyhpf120.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Estimated Balance Transfer Savings

$293
Savings based on a transfer amount of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations
Estimated Savings is a hfyhpf120.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos., with the Intro Balance Transfer Period at the Intro Balance Transfer APR rate, plus any remaining months at the Regular APR.

At A Glance

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0%
Intro Balance Transfer Period
12 months
Regular Balance Transfer APR
13.24% - 23.24% variable
Citi Rewards+℠ Card

Excellent

Credit Recommended (740-850)

hfyhpf120.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Estimated Balance Transfer Savings

$357
Savings based on a transfer amount of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations
Estimated Savings is a hfyhpf120.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos., with the Intro Balance Transfer Period at the Intro Balance Transfer APR rate, plus any remaining months at the Regular APR.

At A Glance

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0%
Intro Balance Transfer Period
15 months
Regular Balance Transfer APR
13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)
Alliant Visa® Platinum Credit Card

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

hfyhpf120.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Estimated Balance Transfer Savings

$330
Savings based on a transfer amount of $2,500 at a current APR of 15%
Learn more about our calculations
Estimated Savings is a hfyhpf120.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Estimated savings are based on the following amounts: Transfer Amount: $2,500, Current APR: 15.00%, Monthly Repayment: $56.25, Savings Period: 24 mos., with the Intro Balance Transfer Period at the Intro Balance Transfer APR rate, plus any remaining months at the Regular APR.

At A Glance

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0%
Intro Balance Transfer Period
12 months
Regular Balance Transfer APR
10.24% - 22.24% variable

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by hfyhpf120.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank's website for the most current information.

All information about Citi Simplicity® Card, U.S. Bank Visa Platinum, Wells Fargo Platinum card and Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card has been collected independently by hfyhpf120.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.


best balance transfer credit cards of 2021

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card: Best for balance transfers

This card’s very long balance transfer offer and relatively low ongoing APR earn it a top spot on our list of the best balance transfer cards: 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for 18 months (the APR is 14.74%-24.74% variable after that). One pitfall is that it comes with no rewards program, so its long-term value will be limited. It also charges a balance transfer fee of 3% (or $5, whichever is higher), which could end up costing you more than a few extra months’ worth of interest.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card: Best for everyday spending

The Bank of America Cash Rewards card offers a solid 3% cash back on a category of your choice and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%). The 0% introductory APR period for balance transfers is good, but you’ll have to act fast. Only balance transfers made within the first 60 days of opening an account qualify for 0% intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles (then 13.99%-23.99% variable).

Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card: Best for rewards

Cardholders earn 2X points on all purchases, a rarity for flat-rate cash back credit cards, especially those with no annual fee. Also, earn 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then it’s 13.24%-23.24% variable. The balance transfer fee is 2% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5. Although the ongoing rewards are strong, the sign-up bonus could be better, just 5,000 points after a $500 spend within the first 90 days of card membership. consolidate your debt with a personal loan.

Does a balance transfer hurt your credit score?

While a balance transfer can negatively impact your credit score in the short term, in the long run you will be better off if you use it correctly. Here is how your credit score can be impacted:

  • When you apply for the balance transfer card, your score takes a temporary hit of about 5-10 points, but it will recover within a couple of months.
  • Don’t cancel your old card, because that will lower your overall ratio, thereby impacting your score. Also, if it’s an older card, you lose that card’s length of history, another factor in your score.
  • Your score factors in cards’ ratios of what you owe to your available credit; this is called your credit utilization ratio. Say you have a $10,000 credit limit on your new balance transfer card, and you transfer $5,000. That means the ratio for that card is 50%, which is considered quite high and could negatively impact your score. That’s one reason why you want to pay down the debt as soon as possible.
  • Finally, and this is less of an issue if you have older cards, but when you take out a new card, that can impact your score somewhat because it lowers your overall length of history.

If you take out a balance transfer card, work to pay off the balance before the intro offer ends and keep the old card without incurring more debt, your score will get a boost in the long run.

Who can qualify for a balance transfer credit card?

Most cards that feature introductory APR offers require you to have good or excellent credit in order to qualify. While it’s possible to do a balance transfer with bad credit, whether it’s wise will depend on which cards you can qualify for and what your new APR will be. A balance transfer could also hurt your credit score, as it could both increase your single-card credit utilization and lower your length of credit history. You may be better off taking out a debt consolidation loan or focusing on paying down your balances as much as possible before you apply to improve your credit score.

How to perform a balance transfer

If you’re considering a balance transfer card, you may be wondering how much work goes into moving the balance from one card to another. Overall, the process is relatively simple on the end of the cardholder. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Apply for a balance transfer card – Before choosing a card, check out our balance transfer calculator, which factors in fees and interest rates to determine how much you’ll save by transferring your existing balance to a different card. Once you find the balance transfer card that best suits you, complete the card application.
  2. Get approved – Typically balance transfer and 0% intro APR cards require good or excellent credit. Only apply for a card if you have the requisite credit, and don’t apply for multiple cards at once, because it can make you look desperate.
  3. Check the rules – Pay attention to the rules, because some cards require the transfer to be made within 60 days of approval.
  4. Collect your information – Next, gather the account details for the card that has the debt – referred to as the “transfer from” card – including the account number and card balance.
  5. Contact customer service – After receiving your balance transfer card, call customer service and inform them that you want to transfer a balance onto your new card. Once you provide them with the necessary information, they will reach out to the old card company and move the requested amount onto your new card. Many cards also allow you to make balance transfers through your online account, but we advise that you wait until you receive the physical card to initiate a balance transfer. That way, once you receive the card, you can ask for a higher line of credit if the approved amount is below the old balance.
  6. Keep paying the minimum – We recommend that you pay the minimum amount on your old card until the transfer closes to avoid late fees and other penalties.
  7. Avoid new, unplanned charges – While you might have a card that offers 0% APR on new purchases for a limited time, make sure you have a plan before you use it. That way, you don’t go into further debt.

How long does a credit card balance transfer take?

A balance transfer can take a few days or several weeks, depending on the card issuer. And yes, the transfer itself can vary by issuer, too. So, we’ve scooped up some links and details that should help you through the process:

Card issuerHow long does a balance transfer take?How to balance a transfer
American ExpressUp to 6 weeks to close a balance transferTransferring to an American Express card
Bank of AmericaUp to 14 days to close a balance transferTransferring to a Bank of America card
Capital One3-14 days depending on whether your request is electronic or by mailTransferring to a Capital One card
ChaseMost transfers take about a week, but it can be up to 21 daysTransferring to a Chase card
CitiFrom 2 to 21 daysTransferring to a Citi card
Discover7 days unless requesting new account, then 14 daysTransferring to a Discover card
HSBCUp to 14 daysTransferring to an HSBC card
Wells FargoAt least 10 daysTransferring to a Wells Fargo card