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The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards In 2018

With the holidays behind us, now comes something less festive–debt. The Black Friday deals may have been bargains, but for many those bargains resulted in high interest credit card debt. It’s no surprise that January is the biggest month of the year for balance transfer credit cards.

Credit card companies send billions of offers to U.S. consumers each year. But reading the small print is important, especially on pitches for balance transfers, where hidden fees can make borrowing cost twice as much as some expect.

For that reason, I’ve assembled everything you need to know about transferring high interest debt to a 0% card. I’ll start with my list of the best balance transfer credit cards. After that I’ll share some tips to consider before selecting a card or transferring a balance. (Note: None of these card issuers listed below is an advertiser on my finance sites. I can be compensated indirectly, however, through advertising relationships with other credit card sites.)

Longest Balance Transfer Offer

The longest balance transfer offer belongs to the Sphere Credit Card by Santander bank. It offers a 0% APR on balance transfers for a full two years. You must initiate the transfer within 90 days of opening your account. And there is a 4% balance transfer fee, which is one of the highest in the industry (3% is standard). The card charges no annual fee.

 Citibank is also well known for its long balance transfer offers. Both the Citi Simplicity Card and the Citi Diamond Preferred Card offer a 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 21 months. Neither card charges an annual fee, but they do charge a 3% balance transfer fee.

Note, however, that while the above cards excel at balance transfers, they don’t offer much in the way of rewards.

No Fee Balance Transfer Offer

 No fee balance transfer cards were once ubiquitous. But like an endangered animal, today there’s just one. It comes from the Chase Slate card. This card offers a 0% on balance transfers for 15 months. To avoid the balance transfer fee, you must initiate the transfer within 60 days of opening the account.

Other Good Options

There are many other good options when it comes to transferring a balance. And many of the 0% offers are from cards that offer signup bonuses and excellent cash back rewards. Here are my favorites:

Citi Double Cash: I’ve banked with Citibank for over 20 years and use this card daily. It’s one of the best cash back credit cards available today (2% cash back) and charges no annual fee. It also offers 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months, with a 3% balance transfer fee.

Discover it: Discover offers a couple versions of its main card, called Discover it. One version offers a 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months, with a 3% balance transfer fee. Discover also offers cash back rewards of up to 5% on categories that change every quarter. Discover will also match your cash back at the end of the first year. There is no annual fee for the card.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: The Quicksilver card offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase. It’s an ideal rewards card if you don’t want to fuss with rotating categories. As for balance transfers, you get 0% APR for nine months. The card also offers a $150 cash bonus when you spend $500 on the card in the first three months.

Chase Freedom: This card offers up to 5% cash back on rotating categories, similar to the Discover it. It too offers a $150 cash bonus when you spend $500 or more on the card in the first three months. As for transferring balances, you get a 0% APR for 15 months. The downside, however, is that this card charges a balance transfer fee of 5%. That’s one reason the Chase Slate is a more popular balance transfer card if you want to go with Chase.

 Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card: This Wells Fargo offer provides a 0% balance transfer for 18 months, with a transfer fee of 3% to 5%.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Amex is not best known for balance transfer offers. But if you want an American Express card, this one has a competitive offer. You’ll get 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months. You’ll also earn up to 6% cash back and a $150 statement credit when you spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months.

Factors to Consider

  1. Credit card offers change frequently. While I believe the above terms are accurate as of the date of this article, you should always verify the terms directly with the credit card issuer. You can also check out the balance transfer card page we update regularly at Doughroller.net.
  2. The balance transfer fee is an important consideration. Three percent of the amount transferred is standard. As note above, however, the Chase Slate charges no fee, while some other options charge as much as 5%.
  3. There are limits on what you can transfer. The most important is that you cannot transfer a balance between two cards issued from the same bank. If you have a balance on a Bank of America credit card, for example, you’ll need to get a balance transfer card from an issuer other than BofA.
  4. Finally, it’s important to have a plan. While these balance transfer deals last up to 24 months, that time goes by faster than you think. Unless you know you’ll have the balance paid in full before the offer expires, know the interest rate the card will charge you and how you’ll handle those payments when the 0% offer expires.