Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards

by Sean Bryant on October 20, 2017

The amount of interest you pay each month on your credit card is one of the biggest factors contributed to why most people struggle to become debt free.  Depending on your income situation, high monthly interest payments can make it virtually impossible to pay anything on your principal balance. One of the best ways to solve this problem is to apply for a 0 percent balance transfer credit card.

To save you time in searching for the best balance transfer credit cards, I have put together a list of the six best.

Zero Percent Credit Cards for Balance Transfers

Chase Slate

Chase Slate®

Benefits: For several years the Chase Slate® card has been considered one of the best balance transfer credit cards available. With this card you will receive 15 months with a zero percent APR on all balance transfers. You will also have the ability to complete a transfer with no balance transfer fee when done within the first 60 days. In addition to being able to receive no balance transfer fees, the card also comes with no annual fee and zero percent APR on purchases for the same 15 month period.

Drawbacks: The only drawback to the Chase Slate® card is that if you don’t complete your balance transfer within 60 days you will be charged a five percent balance transfer fee.

(Read our Chase Slate review)

Sign Up For Chase Slate®

Discover It

Discover It® – 18 Month Balance Transfer Option

Benefits: If a lengthy balance transfer period is important to you, then the Discover It® might need a place in your wallet. It takes things a little further than the Chase Slate® by offering zero percent APR on all balance transfers for 18 months. Plus, it comes with no annual fee, no late payment on your first late payment, no foreign transaction fees, and there is no penalty APR.

With the Discover It® card you will also have the chance to earn rewards on purchases. Each quarter there will be rotating categories where you can earn five percent cash back on up to $1,500 worth of combined purchases. One quarter it might be gas stations and department stores, another quarter might be movie theaters and public transportation. For all other purchases you will earn one percent cash back. To make the rewards you earn even more attractive, Discover is matching all cash back earned the first 12 months. That means if you earn $400, you would actually receive $800.

Drawbacks: Unlike the Chase Slate® card, all balance transfers will incur a three percent balance transfer fee.

Sign Up For Discover It®

Citi Simplicity®

Citi Simplicity®

Benefits: The introductory APR period on the Chase Slate® and Discover It® were nice, but neither compare to the Citi Simplicity® card. Offering zero percent APR on both balance transfers and purchases for the first 21 months, makes this the longest introductory period available. This card also offers no annual fee, no late fees, and no penalty APR.

Downsides: Unfortunately, having a lengthy introductory APR is really the only upside to this card. Once you pay off your balance, there are no rewards to be earned with the card. At that point it might make more sense to move into a rewards credit card like the Starwood Preferred Guest by American Express or the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Sign Up For Citi Simplicity®

Barclaycard Ring Mastercard

Barclaycard Ring Mastercard

Benefits: When you sign up for the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard you will receive a zero percent introductory APR on purchases for the first 15 months. The balance transfer must take place within 45 days of opening your account. Where this card really shines is the fact that it charges no balance transfer fee. It doesn’t matter when you transfer your balance. It could be 10 days after opening your account or two years. You will also receive no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.

Many Barclaycard Ring cardholders love this card because they have a say in the benefits it provides. Barclaycard is calling this a crowdsourced credit card. Cardholders have a voice in the types of features they want to see implemented. There is also a reward system that closely resembles profit sharing.

Downsides: Even though the Barclaycard has what they refer to as a rewards program, you should tread lightly. The cards product manager published a blog a couple of years ago stating the program had not paid out a substantial amount in returns to their cardholder. That being said, it might be a good idea just to think of this card as a great balance transfer card and not a rewards card.

(Read our Barclaycard Ring MasterCard Review)

This card is not currently available for new signups.

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa

Benefits: The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card isn’t going to offer much excitement, but it is going to offer you great terms on balance transfers. With this card you will receive an introductory zero percent APR for 18 months on both purchases and balance transfers. There will be a three percent balance transfer fee, but there is no annual fee. This card will also offers other benefits like free access to your FICO score each month and cell phone protection. If you pay your monthly cell phone bill using the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card, you will receive $600 of coverage against damage or theft.

Downsides: Unfortunately, you will not earn any rewards with this card. Once you pay off your balance you would be better off looking toward another reward earning credit card.

Sign Up For Wells Fargo Platinum Visa

Best Balance Transfer credit cards

Chase Ink Business Cash

Benefits: If you are running a business and would like to pay down some of your current debt, the Chase Ink Business Cash is the way to go. With this card you will receive an introductory zero percent APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. When you sign up you will receive a $300 cash back bonus after spending $3,000 in purchases in three months. You will also earn five percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent each year at office supply stores and on cable, internet, and phone services. Plus, you will earn two percent back on the first $25,000 spent each year at gas stations and restaurants. All other purchases made will earn one percent back. There is no annual fee with this card.

Downsides: Business owners frequently travel to see clients or even to attend trade shows. Unfortunately, the Chase Ink Business Cash card does not reward for travel expenses. Additionally, if you spend more than $25,000 per year on any bonus category you will be limited in the rewards you can earn.

Sign Up For Chase Ink Business Cash
 

How Balance Transfer Cards Help Save Money

Are you unsure if a balance transfer credit card is the right thing for you? Consider this. Most credit cards charge an interest rate of 10 to 15 percent as a starting point. They can go all the way up to near 30 percent. If you are carrying a substantial balance and want a way to quickly pay off your debt, then one of the best balance transfer cards might be the perfect option for you.

When you use a balance transfer card you are eliminating interest for a certain number of months. Instead, each payment that you make will go toward your principal balance. This can amount to thousands of dollars in money back in your pocket if you have a substantial credit card balance.

Just remember that using a balance transfer credit card isn’t an excuse to take a break from making payments. It’s important that you construct a plan to become debt-free before the end of the introductory period. If you don’t, then you will be back in the same position all over again.

If you have debt, this is the best tool to use to become debt free. #Debt #CreditCardDebt #DebtFree #Frugality #FrugalLiving

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.
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  • Great round-up! I love Chase 🙂 Nothing but good experiences with them.

  • I got the Discover More card and love it. In addition to the balance transfers the reward point system is great. Easy to enroll and great online user interface.

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