Best Credit Cards for Balance Transfers

Allison Martin
credit cards

If you want to accelerate debt-repayment efforts, a credit card with a significantly low annual percentage rate (APR) that also allows balance transfers may be worth considering. Here are some of the best balance transfer cards on the market.

Discover It

Cardholders can take advantage of zero percent APR on budget transfers and purchases in the first year. Once a year lapses, a standard variable APR between 10.99 and 22.99% applies.

In addition, cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back on select purchases each quarter, based on a rotating calculator. Other expenditures earn 1 percent. As a part of the introductory offer, this amount is doubled at the end of your first year as a cardholder. There are not restrictions on redemption dates, and any cash back accrued does not lapse.

You will also enjoy added security with the Freeze It technology, which enables you to cease activity on your card the moment it is lost or stolen. If it is recovered, you have the option to reactive the card using the application. You will also have 24/7 access to your FICO score.

Unlike other credit card providers, Discover It allows you to make a payment until midnight on the due date. The first late payment fee is also waived and remitting a payment after the due date does not automatically trigger an APR increase, notes The Simple Dollar.

Unfortunately, you will incur a 3 percent fee for each balance transfer. So if you want to transfer $1,000, the fee will be $30 plus any applicable APR once the introductory period has lapsed.

Scenarios

The following illustrates the total cost to repay debt without the balance transfer:

Balance Fixed Payment APR Time to Payoff Total Cost
$500 $20 10.99% 28 months $560
$1,000 $40 10.99% 29 months $1,160
$2,000 $80 10.99% 29 months $2,320

The following illustrates the cost-savings incurred if you transfer your balance to the Discover It Card:

Balance Balance Transfer Fee Fixed Payment

APR

Time to Payoff Cost Savings

$500

3% or $15 $20 10.99% 26 months $40

$1,000

3% or $30 $40 10.99% 26 months $120
$2,000 3% or $60 $80 10.99% 26 months $240

How to Apply

To apply for the Discover It card, complete the online application or call 1-877-587-1605.

Chase Slate

During the introductory period of 15 months, balance transfers and purchases are not subject to an APR. Subsequent interest is between 12.99 and 21.99 percent, and a penalty APR is not applied for late payments. In addition, all balance transfers initiated within the first 60 days will be exempt from the 3 percent fee. Also, cardholders are not assessed an annual fee. As Nerd Wallet puts it, " It provides a triple whammy of savings on interest, balance transfer fees and annual fees."

Chase Slate also offers an interactive credit dashboard so you can stay abreast of your credit profile through a monthly score and detailed credit analysis. It also features tools to mirror certain debt-management situations.

Scenarios

The following illustrates the total cost to repay debt without the balance transfer:

Balance Fixed Payment APR Time to Payoff Total Cost
$500 $20 12.99% 29 months $580

$1,000

$40 12.99% 29 months $1,160
$2,000 $80 12.99% 30 months $2,400

The following illustrates the cost-savings incurred if you transfer your balance to the Chase Slate Card:

Balance Balance Transfer Fee Fixed Payment APR Time to Payoff Cost Savings
$500 3% or $15

$20

12.99% 26 months $60
$1,000 3% or $30 $40 12.99% 26 months $120
$2,000 3% or $60 $80 12.99% 26 months $320

How to Apply

To apply for the Chase Slate card, complete the online application.

Capital One Quicksilver Visa Signature

Cardholders will not accrue APR on balance transfers or purchases during the first 15 months. However, a 3 percent fee is assessed for all balance transfers and the APR is between 12.9 and 21.9 percent once the introductory offer has ended.

All purchases made on the card earn 1.5 percent cash back, and there are no limits with regards to how much cash back you can accrue. This is one of the highest amongst most credit cards on the market, notes Value Penguin.

Cardholders are also able to select the due date for monthly payments and access the credit dashboard to stay abreast of their FICO score and credit report.

Scenarios

The following illustrates the total cost to repay debt without the balance transfer:

Balance Fixed Payment APR Time to Payoff Total Cost
$500 $20 12.9% 29 months $580
$1,000 $40 12.9% 29 months $1,160
$2,000 $80 12.9% 30 months $2,400

The following illustrates the cost-savings incurred if you transfer your balance to the Capital One Quicksilver Visa Signature:

Balance Balance Transfer Fee Fixed Payment APR Time to Payoff Cost Savings
$500 3% or $15 $20 12.9% 26 months $60
$1,000 3% or $30 $40 12.9% 26 months $120
$2,000 3% or $60 $80 12.9% 26 months $240

How to Apply

To apply for the Capital One Quicksilver Visa Signature card, complete the online application or call 1-800-695-5500.

Citi Simplicity

The Citi Simplicity card offers an impressive 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 21 months, which is quite extensive when compared to others on the market, says Wisebread.

If you remit a payment after the due date, you will never be assessed a late fee or penalty APR. Plus, this card also enables you to make purchases with the convenient Apple Pay option.

However, balance transfers are assessed a 3 percent fee or $5 (the greater of the two) once the introductory period has lapsed.

Scenarios

The following illustrates the total cost to repay debt without the balance transfer:

Balance Fixed Payment APR Time to Payoff Total Cost
$500

$20

12.99% 29 months $580
$1,000 $40 12.99% 29 months $1,160
$2,000 $80 12.99% 30 months $2,400

The following illustrates the cost-savings incurred if you transfer your balance to the Citi Simplicity

Balance Balance Transfer Fee Fixed Payment APR Time to Payoff Cost Savings
$500 3% or $15 $20 12.99% 26 months $60
$1,000 3% or $30 $40 12.99% 26 months $120
$2,000 3% or $60 $80 12.99% 26 months $320

How to Apply

To apply for the Citi Simplicity card, complete the online application or call 1-800-492-2127.

Compare Your Options

Compare your options with each of the above cards.

Introductory Offer APR Balance Transfer Fee Annual Fee
Discover It 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months 10.99-22.99% 3% $0
Chase Slate 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months 12.99-21.99% waived for first 60 days, then 3% $0
Capital One Platinum Prestige Card 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months 12.9-22.9% 3% $0
Citi Simplicity 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 21 months 12.99-22.99% 3% $0

How to Select a Card That's Right for You

As with any credit card, carefully review the fine print to determine if what is being offered is best for your financial situation.

Best Credit Cards for Balance Transfers