Best Credit Cards for Balance Transfers

Compare 0% intro APR credit cards to find the right card for your balance transfer—so you can save on interest and pay down your existing debt faster.

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What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer is when you move an existing high-interest credit card balance to a lower-interest card. The idea is that the lower rate will save you money on interest. The best balance transfer credit cards usually come with no annual fee and a 0% intro APR, which means you won’t have to pay any interest for an introductory period (typically 12-21 months).

0% APR credit cards

By saving money on interest with 0% intro APR, you’re able to pay off your credit card debt faster. Ideally, you’ll be able to pay off your debt within the 0% APR introductory period to avoid paying interest on your balance transfer card.

Pros and cons of balance transfer credit cards

Obviously, 0% intro APR is a huge advantage. However, most balance transfer credit cards involve a balance transfer fee—usually 3-5% of your transferred balance amount. The best balance transfer offers may waive this fee but won’t offer enticing rewards.

Besides helping you pay off your debt more quickly, balance transfer cards also help consolidate your debt, effectively simplifying your finances into one monthly payment instead of several.

Aside from potential balance transfer fees, some disadvantages include transfer limits and credit score requirements. If your credit score is fair or poor, you might have trouble getting approved for a balance transfer card.

How to transfer your credit card balance

If your credit is good or excellent, you should be able to apply for a balance transfer credit card—usually with a different issuer than your current account. Once approved, you’ll want to execute the transfer within the 0% intro APR period, if available.

Provide your account number and the amount you want to transfer to the card issuer via phone or online. Your transfer may take anywhere from a week to a month to go through. In the meantime, continue making payments on your old card—at least the minimum payment is fine.

Once your balance is transferred, it’s best to keep your old account open as long as it doesn’t have an annual fee. An open, inactive account helps lower your credit utilization ratio, in turn boosting your credit score.