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Here are the best balance transfer credit cards:

Best for cost-effectiveness

BankAmericard® Credit Card
Apply Now on Bank of America's secure site

BankAmericard® Credit Card

Apply Now on Bank of America's secure site

Best for long 0% intro APR period

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
Apply Now on Citibank's secure site

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Apply Now on Citibank's secure site

Best for long-term value

Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer
Apply Now on Discover's secure site

Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Apply Now on Discover's secure site

Best for average credit

Chase Slate®
Apply Now on Chase's secure site

Chase Slate®

Apply Now on Chase's secure site
Our pick for

Cost effectiveness



Who it’s good for

Someone with good credit looking to pay off debt without interest or fees.

Benefits

This card comes with a trio of debt-busting features: a $0 annual fee and, for balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening, a $0 introductory transfer fee and a long 0% intro APR period. (After 60 days, the transfer fee is 3% or $10, whichever is greater.) That means you can pay down your debt without paying a penny in interest or fees. It also gives you access to your FICO score for free.

This card doesn’t earn rewards. Like other cards, it doesn’t allow same-issuer transfers. That means you can’t transfer debt from another Bank of America® product to this card. Its 0% intro APR period also isn’t the longest available.
The BankAmericard® credit card makes it easy to get out of debt without extra charges to slow your progress. If you’re looking to move your high-interest balances and you have good credit, it’s an excellent pick.
Our pick for

Longest 0% Intro APR period



Who it’s good for

Someone who needs more than 18 months to pay down debt interest-free.

Benefits

This card rises to the top with its ultra-long 0% balance transfer APR, $0 annual fee and free FICO score. Unlike most cards, it doesn’t charge a late fee or a penalty APR, although you should still pay on time every month. Citi allows you to transfer any kind of debt to your card, including student loans and auto loans, as long as the account number is at least five digits long and doesn’t include any letters.

The card charges a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater. You also can’t transfer balances from other Citi accounts, and you won’t earn rewards.
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 some extra time to pay off your debt.
Our pick for

Long-term value



Who it’s good for

Someone who prefers to use one card for everything.

Benefits

Most balance-transfer cards don’t give you much of a reason to keep using them after the 0% period expires. The Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer is different because of its rewards program. It pays 5% cash back in rotating categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter, and 1% on everything else. In recent years, those categories have included such common merchants as gas stations, restaurants and Amazon.com. There’s also a new-cardholder bonus that gets bigger the more you use the card.

The 0% period on purchases is considerably shorter than that for balance transfers. That means that if you’re still carrying a balance when the 0% purchase APR runs out, you’ll have to pay interest on your purchases starting from the date of each transaction. That could add up quickly. (Learn more about how grace periods work.) The card also comes with a 3% balance transfer fee, and you can’t transfer balances from other Discover cards. Finally, having to activate the categories each quarter can be a hassle.
Get it for the long 0% APR period. Keep it for the rewards. However, if you plan to put a lot of purchases on the card while paying down your transferred balance, consider the alternative Discover card in the link below; it has matching 0% APR periods for purchases and transfers.
Our pick for

Average credit



Who it’s good for

Those with average credit who want a cost-effective just-for-debt card.

Benefits

This card wins the balance-transfer triple crown. It offers a long 0% balance transfer APR, it has a $0 introductory fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening, and it has an annual fee of $0. It comes with the Chase Slate Credit Dashboard, which lets you track your FICO score for free.

You can’t earn rewards on this card, nor can you transfer balances from other Chase cards or non-credit-card debt. You can’t transfer more than $15,000 in total, regardless of your limit. Its APR period, while good, isn’t the longest available.
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.

 

Best balance transfer cards from major issuers

 APRBalance 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 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR3%$0
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®0% on Purchases for 15 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening), and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% Variable APRNone$0
BankAmericard® Credit Card0% on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APRNone for 60 days, then 3%$0
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 9 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR3%$0
Chase Slate®0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 24.74% 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 14.99% - 24.99% 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 11.99% - 23.99% Variable APR3%$0
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card0% for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 10.99% - 22.99% Variable3%$0*
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.15% - 25.99% Variable APR3% intro for 18 months, then 5% $0

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 Sept. 20, 2017.

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