How To Choose The Best Balance Transfer Credit Card - Make Lemonade

How To Choose The Best Balance Transfer Credit Card

By Make Lemonade Staff | Updated September 11, 2019

Balance transfer credit cards help you transfer all or part of your existing credit card debt from one credit card to another credit card. The goal of the best balance transfer cards is to help you save money on interest payments, particularly for high interest credit card debt.

With the best balance transfer credit cards, you can save money by transferring your existing credit card balance to a new balance transfer credit card with a 0% introductory balance transfer rate. Then, you can pay 0% interest on your credit card balance and new purchases for up to almost 2 years. Zero percent balance transfer cards are a type of balance transfer credit cards that offer zero percent interest on credit card balances for an initial term. These are some of the best balance transfer cards to save you interest costs and help you repay credit card debt faster.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards: Here are the best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2019

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

BankAmericard® credit card

Discover it® Balance Transfer

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Citi Simplicity® Card

The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards – Review

Here are the best 0% APR credit cards of 2019:

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Current Bonus: $150
Annual Fee: $0
0% APR Period: 15 months
Great Benefits: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card has great benefits, including:

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on both purchase and balance transfers. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred.
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase – it’s automatic.
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠.
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Current Bonus: N/A
Annual Fee: $0
0% APR Period: 18 billing cycles
Great Benefits: The BankAmericard® credit card has great benefits, including:

  • 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases.
  • 0% Introductory APR for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days.
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app.
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won’t automatically raise your interest rate (APR).
Discover it® Miles

Current Bonus: Discover matches all cash earned back at end of first year.
Annual Fee: $0
0% APR Period: 18 months
Great Benefits: The Discover it® Balance Transfer credit card has great benefits, including:

  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts—Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
American Express® Business Gold Card

Annual Fee: $0
0% APR Period: 18 months
Great Benefits: The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card has great benefits, including:

  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply for transfers).
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Credit Card.
  • Easy access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®.
  • Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions.
  • Convenient tools to help create a budget and manage your spending with My Money Map.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Annual Fee: $0
0% APR Period: 20 billing cycles
Great Benefits: The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card has great benefits, including:

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles.
  • Flexibility to choose a payment due date that fits your schedule.
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card.
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Current Bonus: $150
Annual Fee: $0
0% APR Period: 15 months
Great Benefits: The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has great benefits, including:

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
  • 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers. 3% balance transfer fee.
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards.
  • Cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

Current Bonus: $150
Annual Fee: $0
0% APR Period: 15 months
Great Benefits: The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express credit card has great benefits, including:

  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
  • Redeem cash back as statement credit, merchandise or gift cards.
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Annual Fee: $0
0% APR Purchase Period: 12 months
0% APR Balance Transfer Period: 21 months
Great Benefits: The Citi Simplicity® Card has great benefits, including:

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. Balance transfer fee of 5%.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening.

How to get the best balance transfer credit card

If you want to choose the best balance transfer credit card, you should focus on three factors:

  1. Balance transfer fee
  2. The credit card issuer
  3. Introductory APR period

Balance transfer fee. Some of the best balance transfer credit cards charge a transfer fee, which may be up to 3% of the credit card balance.

Credit card issuer. When you transfer a credit card balance from one credit card to a balance transfer credit card, make sure that the credit cards are from different credit card issuers. Generally, you can’t transfer a credit card balance from one credit to another credit card that are both from the same credit card issuer.

The best balance transfer credit card will give you an introductory APR period to pay off your credit card balance with no interest. A 0% APR introductory period is a great way to save money and give you time to pay off a credit card balance with a balance transfer credit card.

When it comes to the best balance transfer cards, you will need to have a good to excellent credit score. You can get approved for the best balance transfer cards with a strong credit profile. With the balance transfer credit cards, bank want to approve customers with a history of financial responsibility who repay their credit card balance.

Best balance transfer card: How much is the balance transfer fee?

The best balance transfer cards have fees. The typical fees for balance transfer credit cards can be 3% to make a balance transfer fee. Some of the best balance transfer credit cards charge 5% fees. The good news is that most of the best balance transfer credit cards won’t make you pay the balance transfer fee upfront. Instead, the balance transfer fee simply gets added to your credit card balance on your new balance transfer credit card.

Some of the best balance transfer cards have zero percent fees for a certain period so that you can get organized. That’s why a 0% introductory APR on a balance transfer credit card can be a good option for you. If you pay at least your minimum monthly payment with your balance transfer credit cards, you can avoid late fees on a balance transfer credit card.

Best balance transfer card: What is the introductory APR?

One of the best reasons to get a balance transfer credit card is the 0% APR. The 0% APR balance transfer credit card is what will save you money with your credit card balance transfer. When you want to know how to get the best balance transfer credit card, focus on the 0% APR. The longer the introductory APR period, the better for you. Why? You will have more time to pay off your credit card balance and will not owe interest during this period.

Once the introductory or promotional APR on your balance transfer credit card ends, the APR will increase. So, make sure you know the date when your introductory APR expires. This way, you won’t be caught off guard. Remember, the best balance transfer credit card is a tool to help you pay off debt. However, it is not simply a credit card to leave your credit card balance forever.

What are the pros and cons of the best balance transfer card?

When people ask, “What is the best balance transfer cards?” it is important to understand the pros and cons of the best balance transfer credit cards.

Pros of Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

The best balance transfer cards have several advantages:

  1. Balance transfer credit cards are a great way to stop high interest charges on your credit card balance.
  2. The best balance transfer credit cards help you repay debt faster.
  3. The best balance transfer credit cards often have no annual fee, or a minimum annual fee.
  4. Some of the best balance transfer cards may include 0% APR for the first 6-15 months, and potentially longer.

Cons of Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

The best balance transfer cards have several considerations:

  1. The best balance transfer credit cards typically do not give you credit card rewards. So, if your goal is to get the best rewards cards or the best cash back cards, then perhaps those credit cards make more sense. The best balance transfer credit cards are really for helping you manage credit card debt, rather than for rewards.
  2. Credit card balance transfer offers will have a balance transfer fee, which is typical.
  3. The low interest or 0 percent APR may only last for a certain time period, so be sure to have a debt repayment action plan in place.

How to do a balance transfer with the best balance transfer card

Once you know how to get the balance transfer credit card, you also need to know how to make a balance transfer with a balance transfer credit card.

The process to transfer a credit card balance with balance transfer credit cards is simple. Once you are approved for the best balance transfer cards, call customer service of the balance transfer credit card issuer. Ask customer service to help you with the balance transfer process, which involves paying off your existing credit card debt with your new balance transfer credit card.

Here are 5 steps how to do a balance transfer with a balance transfer credit card:

1. Use balance transfer cards from a different bank

When it comes to credit card balance transfer offers, make sure to choose balance transfer credit cards from a credit card issuer different than your current credit card issuer. The reason is that you can’t simply lower your credit card interest rate with balance transfer credit cards at the same bank. The reason you get the lower interest rate with the best balance transfer cards is that the new bank wants your business. Therefore, the new bank is willing to offer you low interest to have you as a customer with their balance transfer credit cards.

2. The best balance transfer cards are not really for spending

Remember, the goal of balance transfer cards is to transfer your existing credit card balance to a new credit card with a lower interest rate. Therefore, credit card balance transfer offers should be used for transferring credit card balances, not new spending. So, don’t use balance transfer credit cards for new purchases.

3. Make the balance transfer with your balance transfer credit cards as soon as possible

Once you are approved for the best balance transfer cards, make sure to make your balance transfer as soon as possible. You don’t want to lose the promotional period with balance transfer credit cards.

4. Use balance transfer credit cards to repay debt

Another goal of the best balance transfer cards is debt repayment. Therefore, make sure to have an action plan to repay credit card debt once you are approved. When the promotional period ends with even the best balance transfer cards, you should be prepared with your debt repayment plan.

5. Always make the minimum payment with the best balance transfer cards

Balance transfer credit cards want to help you repay credit card debt promptly. Therefore, be sure to pay at least the minimum payment each month. This strategy not only help you save interest costs, but also helps you protect your credit score and avoid late fees.

How long does it take to transfer a credit card balance?

When customers ask “how to transfer credit card balance,” they will find that it typically takes only 1-2 weeks. Your new bank will pay off your old bank, and your credit card balance is transferred to your new balance transfer credit card.

Once your credit card balance has been transferred to your new balance transfer credit card, make sure that you:

  1. Make sure your old credit card has been paid off in full with your new balance transfer credit card
  2. Know when your introductory APR ends.
  3. Have a credit card debt repayment strategy
  4. Always pay the minimum monthly payment on your balance transfer credit card

What are the best balance transfer credit cards?

You can check out all the best balance transfer cards and many other credit cards below.

Best Credit Cards For 2019

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