Advertiser Disclosure

Move high-interest debt to a balance transfer credit card, and you’ll have ample time to pay it off interest-free — as long as 21 months, in some cases. That could save you hundreds of dollars, depending on the length of the 0% balance transfer APR period, the balance transfer fee, the ongoing APR and other factors. NerdWallet ranked balance transfer and 0% interest credit cards according to those criteria to find the best offers.

Nerdwallet’s best balance transfer cards

Best for $0 intro transfer fee

Chase Slate®

Apply Now on Chase's secure website

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • $0 Intro on balance transfer fees made within 60 days of Account Opening
  • Long 0% Intro APR Period

Cons

  • No Rewards
  • Can't transfer debt from another Chase account

Bonus Offer

Save with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee, 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and $0 annual fee. Plus, receive your Monthly FICO® Score for free.

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

APR

  • APR: 15.49% - 24.24% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.49%, Variable

Card Details

  • $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard for free
  • No Penalty APR - Paying late won't raise your interest rate (APR). All other account pricing and terms apply
  • $0 Annual Fee

$0 fee for transfers made within the first 60 days. $0 annual fee. 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 24.24% Variable APR.

Benefits of the Chase Slate®

  • An introductory 0% balance transfer APR offer, a $0 annual fee and a $0 balance transfer fee on transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening. (After that, it’s $5 or 5% of the amount transferred, whichever’s greater.)
  • Requires only average credit.
  • No penalty APR.
  • Access to Chase’s Blueprint program, which lets you customize your own debt payoff plan and view your FICO credit score.

Drawbacks of the  Chase Slate®

  • No rewards.
  • Doesn’t allow transfers totaling more than $15,000, regardless of your credit limit.
  • Doesn’t allow you to transfer balances from Chase.

Bottom line

The Chase Slate® keeps balance transfer costs to a minimum, which is all that really matters when you’re trying to get out of credit card debt. It should be a first stop for those looking to move a balance.

Longest 0% APR period

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Apply Now on Citibank's secure website

Pros

  • No late fee
  • No annual fee
  • 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months

Cons

  • No rewards

Bonus Offer

0% on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months

APR

  • APR: 13.49% - 23.49% Variable APR

Card Details

  • The ONLY card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… EVER.
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% - 23.49% based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period.
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say “representative”
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month.

$0 annual fee. Intro APR of 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49% - 23.49% Variable APR.

Benefits of the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

  • One of the longest 0% balance transfer APR periods on NerdWallet.
  • No late fees or penalty APR.
  • Annual fee of $0.
  • Free FICO score.

Drawbacks of the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

  • Balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater.
  • No rewards.
  • Requires good credit (generally defined as a score of 690 or higher).
  • Doesn’t allow you to transfer balances from other Citi accounts.

Bottom line

The lengthy 0% APR period on the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever makes this forgiving card a top pick in our book. It’s a go-to if you need extra time to pay off your debt. Also, if you tend to be forgetful about bills, this card could save you a small fortune in late fees. (Even so, make it a priority to pay on time, as late payments can hurt your credit score.)

Best for multiple balance transfers over time

Barclaycard Ring MasterCard®

Apply Now on Barclaycard's secure website

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • No rewards
  • Needs excellent credit

Bonus Offer

A low variable APR on balance transfers and purchases

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

N/A

APR

  • APR: 8.5%* Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 8.50%, Variable

Card Details

  • A low, variable APR on balance transfers and purchases
  • No Annual Fee
  • No balance transfer fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Share in the community profits through our Giveback™ program
  • Vote on product changes and share your ideas in Barclaycard Ring's community
  • Free online access to FICO® Credit Score lets you keep an eye on your credit and get alerts when we learn that your score has changed

No balance transfer fee ever. $0 annual fee. The ongoing APR is 8.5% Variable APR.

Benefits of the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard®

  • Offers low ongoing APRs for purchases and balance transfers.
  • Doesn’t ever charge balance transfer fees.
  • Doesn’t charge penalty APR.
  • Has an annual fee of $0.
  • Provides a free FICO credit score.

Drawbacks of the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard®

  • Offers limited rewards.
  • Doesn’t have a 0% APR period.
  • Requires excellent credit (generally defined as a score of 720 or higher).
  • Doesn’t allow balance transfers from other Barclaycards.

Bottom line

If you expect to make multiple balance transfers over about five years, the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard® might be your best option, as you’ll never pay a transfer fee and the ongoing interest rate is low. Stick to a debt pay-down plan to minimize the interest you do pay.

Best for rewards

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Apply Now on Discover's secure website

Pros

  • Cash back match at the end of your first year
  • Bonus cash back categories
  • No annual fee
  • 0% on purchases for 14 months and 0% on balance transfers for 14 months

Cons

  • Slightly less merchant acceptance for Discover in US - acceptance outside of US can be an issue
  • No sign-up bonus
  • If you value simplicity, a flat rate cash back card may be better

Bonus Offer

Cashback Match™ - We’ll automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. New cardmembers only.

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

APR

  • APR: 11.49% - 23.49% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.49%, Variable

Card Details

  • Cashback Match™ - We’ll automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. New cardmembers only.
  • Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements and online.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.

Earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases in quarterly purchases after you activate, and 1% back on everything else. New cardmember bonus. The annual fee is $0. Introductory APR of 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.49% - 23.49% Variable APR.

Benefits of the Discover it® - Cashback Match™

  • Offers ongoing rewards, plus a bonus: Cashback Match™ - We’ll automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. New cardmembers only.
  • Has a long 0% APR promotion for purchases and balance transfers.
  • Has an annual fee of $0.
  • Doesn’t charge penalty APR.

Drawbacks of the Discover it® - Cashback Match™

  • Charges a balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount transferred.
  • Requires opting in to new bonus categories online every three months.
  • Requires good credit (generally defined as a score of 690 or higher).

Bottom line

This card is a good match if you’re a one-credit-card kind of person. It rewards you for spending — especially in the first year — and lets you pay down your transferred debts interest-free.

If you want to maximize rewards, it’s actually a better option than its companion card, the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer. That card offers a longer 0% APR period for balance transfers but a shorter one for purchases. Such a mismatch can create a problem if you’re still carrying a transferred balance after the 0% period on purchases ends. In that case, you won’t have a grace period, so your purchases will start accruing interest the day you make them, which can wipe out much of the value of your rewards. With the Discover it® - Cashback Match™, both 0% APR periods are the same length, so this isn’t an issue.

Top balance transfer cards from each major issuer

NerdWallet identified the best balance transfer credit card offered by each of these 10 issuers. The cards were ranked according to the length of 0% balance transfer APR, the balance transfer fee cost, the interest and fees someone would pay after holding the card for two years, and other factors.

Best balance transfer cardAPRBalance transfer fee**Annual fee
**Minimum fee is typically $5
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49% - 23.49% Variable APR3%$0
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®0% on Balance Transfers for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening), and then the ongoing APR of 16.49%, 20.49% or 23.49% Variable APR3%$0 for the first year, then $89
BankAmericard® Credit Card0% on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 11.49% - 21.49% Variable APR3%$0
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 9 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49% - 23.49% Variable APR3%$0
Chase Slate®0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 24.24% Variable APRNone for 60 days, then 5%$0
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49% - 23.49% Variable APR3%$0
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer0% on Purchases for 6 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.49% - 23.49% Variable APR3%$0
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 10.24% - 21.24% Variable3%$0*
Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49% - 22.49% Variable APR3%$0 for the first year, then $45

Methodology

NerdWallet’s credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.

Last updated Dec. 31, 2016.

Claire Tsosie is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: claire@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ideclaire7.