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The 5 Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards Of 2019
For those in debt, a balance transfer credit card can be a useful tool. These 0% introductory rate offers eliminate the interest you pay for a period of time, enabling you to put more of your monthly payments towards your outstanding debt.
The key is finding the best 0% balance transfer offer. In some cases that may mean a balance transfer card that doesn’t charge a fee. In other cases, it may mean finding an offer with the longest 0% introductory APR. While these deals may seem attractive, it’s still best practice not to transfer balances too often or chase these promotional periods.
To get out of debt faster, and not hurt your credit score (by, for example, applying for too many cards), execute a balance transfer and pay off your debts once and for all. The cards below each come with introductory perks that can save you money when you need those savings the most.
No Fee Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Chase Slate credit card*
This card is one of the few that offer no-fee balance transfers. For the first 60 days your account is open, Chase charges no fees for balance transfers. However, after this time period, the fee for balance transfers is 5% of the amount transferred, with a $5 minimum.
The 0% introductory APR applies to purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months after you open your account. But be warned. After 15 months, your APR jumps up to 17.24% to 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness. The good news is that Chase won’t raise your APR if you pay your credit card bill late.
It will, however, charge late payment penalty fees. These can be up to $15 if your balance is less than $100, up to $27 if your balance is $100 to less than $250 and up to $37 if your balance is more than $250.
With the Chase Slate card, there is no annual fee, though there is a 3% fee for foreign transactions. Like many other cards, it offers a free FICO score to its users, updated monthly, and based on data from Experian.
American Express EveryDay credit card
The Amex EveryDay card also offers no-fee balance transfers within 60 days of opening an account. There is a big catch with this card, though. After the 60-day period, no other balance transfers will be approved.
Like the Chase Slate card, the Amex EveryDay card doesn’t have an annual fee, and offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. Then, it changes to a variable APR of 15.24% to 26.24%. It also may apply a penalty APR of 29.99% for at least six months if you make a late payment or make a payment that is returned.
The cap on balance transfers after 60 days is unusual, but this card does have a slightly lower foreign transaction fee at 2.7%. Also, new card holders have the chance to earn 25,000 “Membership Rewards” points after using their new card to make $2,000 in purchases in their first 3 months. These points can be exchanged for gift cards or vouchers in areas such as travel, dining and retail.
With no penalty APR and no annual fee, the BankAmericard credit cardalso offers an introductory $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, balance transfer fees will be either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Even better, this card comes with a 0% introductory balance transfer APR for the first 15 statement closing dates after the opening of your account, but only for transactions made within 60 days of opening your account. The same holds true for the 0% introductory APR for purchases – it’s only active for your first 15 statement closing dates. After that, the APR jumps to 15.24% to 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
The downside? The BankAmericard credit card also comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee, a late payment fee of up to $38 and a returned payment fee of up to $27.
Balance Transfers with Extended 0% APR Offers
The following card options charge a balance transfer fee, but in exchange offer a competitive 0% introductory APR on balance transfers.
Citi Simplicity credit card
With one of the longest balance transfer introductory APRs, the Citi Simplicity card offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of the first transfer. It does stipulate that all transfers must be completed in the first four months, though.
But this card does charge a balance transfer fee — either $5 or 5% of the amount transferred, whichever is greater.
There is another perk. The card offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months from the date the account is opened. After that period, the variable APR jumps to 16.24% to 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness. There are no annual fees associated with this card, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee. Better yet, there is no penalty APR, just a returned payment fee of up to $35.
Capital One Quicksilver Rewards credit card
This card is great if you’re looking for minimal fees and a fair introductory offer. The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards credit card offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 months, and a variable APR of 15.24% to 25.24% after that. There is a balance transfer fee of 3% on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months.
Other than a late payment fee of up to $38, there aren’t many other fees associated with this card. There are no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee. It also offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, which can be redeemed for statement credit, checks or gift cards. These cash back rewards don’t expire.
New card holders are also offered a one-time $150 cash bonus if they spend $500 on purchases within 3 months of opening the account.
Before you make a decision on which card is best for you, be sure to consider these four issues:
-What will my regular APR be after the introductory period ends? The goal is to pay off the debt before the 0% expires. If that won’t be possible, you should factor in the regular APR you will be charged once the 0% introductory APR expires.
-Will I be able to make balance transfers after the promotional period ends? As mentioned above, cards like the AmEx EveryDay card only allow balance transfers for the first 60 days.
-What is the transfer fee? Be aware of the fee and consider no-fee introductory options.
-Who is the issuer? You can’t transfer a balance between two cards from the same issuer. So, for example, if your debt is on a Chase credit card, you’ll need to get a balance transfer card from a different issuer.