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Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2023

Consolidate your debt with these top balance transfer cards
  • Discover why balance transfer rates matter
  • Find out how to do a balance transfer
  • See why a balance transfer card might be good for you
  • Get advice from our credit experts on what balance transfer card to choose
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Holly D. Johnson - Contributor Updated: 1 February 2023 6 Min Read
Reviewed By Bestcovery - Editorial Team
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The best balance transfer credit cards come with 0% intro APR offers that can help you save money as you consolidate and pay down debt. However, different creditors offer cards with unique features and perks, and each balance transfer offer varies in length and scope. There are also balance transfer fees and fine print to be aware of, so you’ll want to do your homework before you choose a card.

Fortunately, balance transfer offers can be well worth the trouble — even after accounting for fees. When you are able to avoid credit card interest on credit card debt for up to 21 months, you have the potential to save thousands of dollars in interest.

Still, you should make sure you understand each balance offer and how it works before you choose a new card. To help in that respect, we compiled our list of the top balance transfer cards available today based on their intro APR offers, ongoing interest rate, fees, and third-party benefits.

Our picks for the best balance transfer credit cards

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

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Citi Simplicity® Card

Best for No Late Fees

Why we like it

The Citi Simplicity® Card can be a money-saving option if you need to consolidate debt but you’re worried about paying your bill late. This card offers 0% APR on purchases for 12 months and balance transfers for 21 months, yet you don’t have to pay an annual fee or any late fees.

With that being said, the Citi Simplicity® Card is a no-frills balance transfer credit card that is extremely light on benefits. For the most part, this card was built for people with high interest debt they desperately need to pay off with lower interest.

Citi Simplicity® Card

PROS

  • Lengthy zero-percent interest offer for balance transfers
  • No interest on new purchases for 12 months
  • No annual fee

CONS

  • 5% balance transfer fee (minimum $5) required
  • Charges 3% in foreign transaction fees
  • No rewards on new purchases

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Best for Large Balance Transfers

Why we like it

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is an excellent balance transfer credit card to consider if you want to become debt-free over the long-term. This card gives you 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 full billing cycles. Plus, you can pay a reasonable 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $5) instead of the 5% fees some competing cards with similar balance transfer offers charge.

This balance transfer card also makes paying your bill convenient since you can choose your own due date.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

PROS

  • Lengthy introductory 0% rate for purchases and balance transfers
  • 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $5)
  • Cell phone protection included

CONS

  • No rewards on new purchases
  • Charges 3% in foreign transaction fees
  • High purchase APR after intro APR offer ends

Citi® Double Cash Card

Best for Flat-Rate Rewards

Why we like it

The Citi® Double Cash Card makes it easy to earn rewards on spending, yet it’s also an excellent balance transfer credit card. On the debt consolidation front, cardholders can benefit from 0% interest on balance transfers for 18 months, followed by an interest rate of 13.99% to 23.99% which will vary based on your credit score.

If you decide to use the credit card for spending instead, on the other hand, you’ll earn 2% back for each dollar you spend — 1% as you make purchases and another 1% as you pay them off. This rewards rate is higher than most other cash back credit cards that only offer 1% to 1.5% back on regular purchases. 

Also be aware that rewards are redeemable for cash, statement credits, or transfers to the Citi Rewards program. Finally, note that you can qualify for a 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $5) on balances transferred in the first 120 days of account opening.

Citi® Double Cash Card

PROS

  • Lengthy intro APR offer for balance transfers
  • Excellent 2% rewards rate for all purchases
  • No annual fee

CONS

  • No introductory APR period for purchases
  • Charges 3% in foreign transaction fees

Compare the Best Balance Transfer Cards

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How do balance transfer credit cards work?

A balance transfer credit card works by offers an introductory rate when you transfer a balance from other credit cards and loans.

Each card issuer sets the term of a balance transfer offer, so that’s why they vary so much.

Who can qualify? By and large, credit card issuers offer increased approval odds for individuals with good or excellent credit. With that in mind, the best balance transfer cards are often more difficult to get approved for than other low-interest or lower-interest credit cards.

Either way, balance transfer cards can help you save money on interest, pay off debt faster, or both.

They do this by letting you move the balance of other debts to a new credit card with better rates and terms. If you take advantage of the introductory balance transfer APR your card offers and pay off your credit card balance as quickly as you can, you’ll save money on interest.

However, it’s worth noting that balance transfer fees apply, and these fees can eat away at your savings. There are additional pitfalls to be aware of with balance transfers, and we’ll go over those in more detail below.

Reasons to get a balance transfer card

There are many reasons to pick up a balance transfer credit card, and these factors can vary from person to person.

Consider the following reasons you may want to pick a card with an intro APR for balance transfers over other options.

You have significant credit card debt

If you have thousands of dollars in credit card debt that you can’t seem to pay off, a balance transfer card can help. Not only do you get the chance to consolidate the balance of all your debts on one new credit card, but you can save money on interest with a low-rate card.

Many students with college debt choose to get balance transfer cards for the low interest rates and 0% introductory APR, saving them money when paying off their debt.

You’re currently paying high interest rates

The average credit card interest rate is currently over 16%, but many of the best credit cards charge significantly higher rates than that. If you’re carrying a balance on a card with a high APR, qualifying for a 0% APR offer will inevitably save you money.

You want to simplify your financial life

Not only do balance transfer credit cards help you save money on interest, but they let you go from multiple payments down to one each month. After you consolidate the balance of your debts, keeping track of your progress becomes much easier.

You hope to pay off credit card debt faster

Finally, it’s worth noting that balance transfer credit cards can help you pay down debt faster. This is because 0% APR offers let you pay more toward the principal of your credit card balance each month. No interest is being charged for a limited time, so every cent you pay goes toward your debt.

Pros and cons of balance transfer cards

There are many reasons to consider a balance transfer card, but there are also some drawbacks. Be sure to carefully consider both sides before selecting a balance transfer card.

Pros

Cons

As you look over balance transfer credit cards, you have probably noticed that the vast majority charge balance transfer fees. While paying a balance transfer fee is never ideal, you should note that these fees can be well worth paying when you consider the savings you can get in return. To determine if it is a good idea for you, you first need to understand how credit card interest works and weigh how much you will pay in interest on your current debt against the balance transfer fee.

Consider this example:

Imagine you have a $4,000 balance on a credit card with a 19% APR, and you’re currently paying $225 toward your debt each month. On your current trajectory, it would take you 22 months to pay off all your debt. You would also fork over $735 in interest payments over that timeline.

Now let’s say you transferred your debts to a balance transfer card that requires a 3% balance transfer fee within the first 120 days. This means you would start the process owing $4,120 but at 0% APR for 21 months, provided you pay your bill on time each month. In this case, you could become debt-free in 19 months with no interest charges applied. Your only cost would be the $120 balance transfer fee.

However, this example really underscores why you should strive for the lowest balance transfer fee you can get. If you picked a credit card with a balance transfer fee of 5%, you would have to start the process owing $4,200 in this example scenario. That’s another $80 you don’t have to spend, so make sure to compare balance transfer fees and look for the lowest one.

How to do a balance transfer: Step-by-step

If you’re wondering how to do a balance transfer, the first step you’ll want to take is checking your FICO score. Generally speaking, the best balance transfer credit cards are only available to individuals with good or excellent credit scores (FICO scores of 670 to 850). By taking a look at your FICO score, you can gauge your approval odds and overall creditworthiness.

Once you check your approval odds and apply for a balance transfer card, here are the next steps in the process:

1

Get approved

Get approved for a balance transfer card and find out your new credit

2

Transfer your balances

Move forward to transfer your balances to your new credit card, whether you execute this step through the credit card issuers portal or over the phone.

3

Confirm with your new creditor

Confirm with your new creditor that all your old balances transferred successfully

4

Pay off as much as you can

Pay off as much of your credit card balance as you can during your card’s introductory balance transfer APR period.

How we selected our top balance transfer credit cards

To find the best balance transfer cards, we looked at factors such as introductory interest rates, the length of intro APR offers in terms of months or billing cycles, balance transfer fees, transaction fees, and rewards.

We also looked at credit limit minimums, creditor rules and fine print, third-party cardholder perks like travel insurance, credit card balance requirements, and other factors. Ultimately, we chose cards that offer the most comprehensive value for consumers.

Best balance transfer credit cards FAQ

Holly D. Johnson
Holly D. Johnson Contributor

Holly D. Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer who covers topics like insurance, investing, credit and family finance. As a leading voice in the travel and loyalty space, Johnson has traveled with her family to more than 50 countries over the last decade. 

The author has also written extensively on the power of household budgeting, and she even co-authored a book on the topic. Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love was originally published in 2017, and it teaches families how to use zero-sum budgeting to reach their financial goals. She is also the co-owner and founder of the family finance and travel website, ClubThrifty.com.

Johnson’s 10+ years of writing have focused on helping families make important financial decisions at each stage of their lives. The author also applies the financial principles she teaches to her own life, and she is currently on track to retire in her late 40’s with her partner. She currently lives in Central Indiana with her husband and children, and she is a regular contributor for Bankrate, CNN, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report Travel and many other notable publications.