The 7 Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2018

Move your balance to another card and save hundreds

You can save hundreds of dollars by moving a high-interest rate balance to a balance transfer credit card with a zero percent introductory rate. When it comes to balance transfer credit cards, the longer the introductory period, the better. That gives you more time to pay off your balance and completely avoid paying interest.

There are a few things that can make a zero percent balance transfer credit card even better – no balance transfer fee, zero percent on purchases, plus rewards. The credit cards on our list all offer additional benefits on top of the great introductory rate. As you pick the best balance transfer credit card, consider both the length of the promotional period and how you might use the credit card after the promotional period has ended.

Best for No Balance Transfer Fee: Chase Slate

Chase Slate
Courtesy of Chase

When you’re transferring a large balance, the balance transfer fee can really add up. With the Chase Slate, you won’t pay a balance transfer fee on any balance you transfer during the first 60 days of opening your account. After that, the balance fee is five percent of the amount transferred or a minimum of $5, whichever is greater. On a $10,000 balance, you’ll save $500 just by transferring your balance sooner.

Enjoy a zero percent introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening. After that, the regular APR of 15.99 to 24.74 percent applies. There’s no annual fee and no penalty APR if you miss a payment.

As a Chase cardholder, you can stay on top of your credit score with access to a free FICO score each month, as well as the five primary factors are affecting your score.  More

Longest Introductory Period: Citi Simplicity

Citi Simplicity
Courtesy of Citi

If you need more time to pay off a larger balance, Citi Simplicity is the best card for you. The zero percent introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers last for a whopping 21 months. That’s almost two years of no interest on your balance. After that, the regular APR is 15.24 to 25.24 percent, based on your creditworthiness. You will have to pay a balance transfer fee that’s the greater of $5 or three percent of each transfer amount.

The card truly keeps it simple with no late fees, no penalty rate and no annual fee. Choose your payment due date to fall at any date during the month.

As a Citi cardholder, you also get access to Citi Price Rewind, a feature that refunds you for price differences on items purchased on your card. More

Best for 5% Cash Rewards: Discover it

Discover It
Courtesy of Discover

If you want to earn rewards on your credit card after you’ve paid off your balance transfer, then the Discover it is a good choice. First, you can take advantage of the zero percent introductory APR that lasts 14 months on purchases and balance transfers. The regular APR is 11.99 to 23.99 percent. If you have a good credit history, you’ll likely receive a lower interest rate. The balance transfer fee on the Discover it is three percent.

Purchases qualify for cash back rewards. You’ll earn five percent cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in categories that rotate each quarter as long as you register online or through the mobile app. All other purchases earn one percent cash back. As a bonus for new cardholders, Discover will automatically match the cash back you’ve earned at the end of the first year.

Other perks: Freeze it on/off switch for your account to prevent unauthorized use of your credit card (or to keep yourself from using it until you pay back your balance transfer). Plus get your FICO score free on your monthly billing statement. More

Best Flat Rate Cash Back: Citi Double Cash

Citi Double Cash
Courtesy of Citi

The Citi Double Cash also has an attractively long balance transfer period. Enjoy zero percent introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the APR is 14.74 to 24.74 percent. The balance transfer fee is either $5 or three percent of the transfer amount, whichever is greater. Balance transfers must be completed within four months of opening the account to qualify for the promotional rate. You’ll want to make the balance transfer as soon as possible, so you can take full advantage of the long promotional period.

Since the promotional rate doesn’t apply to purchases, you’ll still incur interest on any purchases you make on the credit card – even if you pay the full purchases balance. It’s best to wait until you’ve paid off your balance transfer to make purchases.

Once you do start purchasing using ​the Citi Double Cash, your purchases will earn one percent cash back when you make them and one percent back when you pay them back. That’s where the “double” in Citi Double Cash comes from.

There’s no annual fee on the Citi Double Cash. More

Best Tiered Rewards: BlueCash Everyday Card from American Express

BlueCash Everyday
Courtesy of American Express

The BlueCash Everyday Card from American Express offers a zero percent introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 15 months. After that, the APR is 14.24 to 25.24 percent.

Earn $150 cash back when you spend $1,000 on your credit card in the first three months of opening your account. Unfortunately, balance transfers don’t count toward earning the spending bonus. You’ll have to make purchases if you want to earn the bonus.

Once you start using your credit card for purchases, you’ll earn three percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year; two percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and one percent cash back on everything else.

There’s no annual fee on the BlueCash Everyday Card from American Express. More

Best Airline Rewards Card: JetBlue Plus Card

JetBlue
Courtesy of JetBlue

The JetBlue Plus Card is a great combination of a balance transfer and an airline rewards credit card. The card offers a zero percent introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles (note that 12 billing cycles will be a little shorter than a full calendar year). Balances must be transferred in the first 45 days to be eligible for special pricing. The regular APR is 12.99, 20.99 or 25.99 percent depending on your creditworthiness.

You also have the opportunity to earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. Be careful – purchases don’t have a promotional rate and will incur interest if you have both a purchases balance and a balance transfer balance on your credit card.

If you use your credit card to earn rewards after you’ve paid off your balance transfer, you’ll earn six points per dollar on all JetBlue purchases; two points per dollar at restaurants and grocery stores; and one point or dollar on all other purchases. Redeem your points for any seat on JetBlue-operated flights and enjoy your first checked bag for free.

There’s a $99 annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. More

Best for Students: Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students

Bank of American Travel Rewards for Students
Courtesy of Bank of America

The Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students credit card offers a zero percent introductory interest rate on purchases for the first 12 billing cycles. After that, the regular APR is 15.99 to 23.99 percent.

Students also have the opportunity to earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Just be careful that you don’t run up a balance you can’t pay by adding purchases and balance transfer to the same credit card. If you decide to take advantage of it, the 20,000 bonus can be redeemed for a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases made on your credit card.

Purchases earn 1.5 points per dollar. You can earn a 10 percent bonus on your rewards if you have an active Bank of America checking or savings account. Bank of America also makes it easy to keep up with your credit score by making your FICO score available for free with your monthly statement.

There’s no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. More

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