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NerdWallet’s Best No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Cards of 2018

Aug. 28, 2018
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Finding a balance transfer credit card with a low promotional annual percentage rate is easy — but getting one that won’t charge you a 3% to 5% fee for moving your debt over can be a real challenge. If you’re trying to pay down credit card debt, a fee-free card can help you do it faster.

Before we get to our recommendations, there are a few things you should know:

  • Credit unions offer many good fee-free cards, but they require membership. After meeting a credit union’s eligibility requirements, you typically have to open a savings account to qualify for a card, as well.
  • A 0% intro balance transfer APR could help you even more. If you can get both a 0% introductory balance transfer APR and no balance transfer fees, great. But if you have to choose one or the other, a card with a long 0% intro APR period might ultimately save you more money, especially if you need a year or more to pay down your debt. For more recommendations, check out our best balance transfer credit cards.
  • Most credit card companies don’t allow same-issuer transfers. That is, if your debt is with American Express, for example, you can’t move it to another American Express card.

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

Balance transfer fee of: $0. Terms apply. Comes with an intro 0% APR offer: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 25.74% Variable APR. The annual fee is $0.

Benefits of The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express:

  • Comes with ongoing rewards and a welcome offer, which is unusual for good balance transfer cards. The offer: Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.
  • Features a generous introductory 0% APR offer.
  • No balance transfer fees; however, transfers must be requested within 60 days of account opening.
  • Annual fee of $0.

Drawbacks of The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express:

  • The ongoing rewards are mediocre. While it’s nice that this card offers rewards at all, it’s worth keeping in mind that it only offers a modest 2 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, and 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.

Bottom line:

For cost-conscious folks paying off debt, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is a clear winner. Aside from offering features that allow cardholders to pay off debt interest-free and fee-free within the promotional time period, it also comes with rewards and a welcome offer, a rarity among top-notch balance transfer cards.

BankAmericard® credit card

Balance transfer fee of: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. If you apply directly through Bank of America®, the balance transfer fee is $0 for the first 60 days your account is open. Comes with an intro 0% APR offer: 0% 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 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR. The annual fee is $0.

Benefits of the BankAmericard® credit card:

  • Comes with a long introductory 0% APR offer.
  • No balance transfer fees for the first 60 days of account opening, if you apply directly through the Bank of America® website (rather than through NerdWallet or other third-party sites).
  • Annual fee of $0.

Drawbacks of the BankAmericard® credit card:

  • Doesn’t offer rewards.

Bottom line:

While the BankAmericard® credit card doesn’t offer rewards, its many debt-busting features still make it a strong choice. To take advantage of the version without the balance transfer fee, be sure to apply directly through the Bank of America® website. The version offered through NerdWallet offers different terms.

PenFed Promise Visa® Card

No balance transfer fees. Creditworthy applicants can qualify for 4.99% promotional balance transfer rate for 12 Months on transfers made between May 1, 2018 - September 30, 2018, and then the ongoing APR of 11.49% - 17.99% Variable. The annual fee is $0.

Benefits of the PenFed Promise Visa® Card:

  • Features a low promotional rate for balance transfers for creditworthy applicants.
  • Comes with a sign-up bonus: $100 Statement Creditƚ when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.
  • No balance transfer fees.
  • Annual fee of $0.

Drawbacks of the PenFed Promise Visa® Card:

  • Doesn’t offer an introductory 0% APR period.
  • Doesn’t offer rewards (aside from sign-up bonus).

Bottom line:

For those looking to sidestep fees, the PenFed Promise Visa® Card is your card. It doesn’t charge balance transfer fees, late fees, cash advance fees or foreign transaction fees — and its annual fee is $0. You can qualify for PenFed Credit Union membership if you’re active or retired U.S. military and uniformed services, employed by a qualifying organization, or related to other members, among other ways. 

Navy Federal Platinum

No balance transfer fees. Comes with 0% for 12 months on balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 7.74% - 18.00% Variable. The annual fee is $0.

Benefits of the Navy Federal Platinum:

  • Comes with a solid introductory 0% APR period.
  • No balance transfer fees.
  • Annual fee of $0.

Drawbacks of the Navy Federal Platinum:

  • Doesn’t offer rewards.

Bottom line:

The introductory 0% APR period on the Navy Federal Platinum, combined with its lack of balance transfer and annual fees, make it a standout for paying off debt. Membership is generally available to military service members, civilian Department of Defense government employees and family members of those who are eligible.

SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card

No balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance within the first 60 days of account opening. After that, the fee is 3% of the balance transferred or $10, whichever is greater. Comes with three-year introductory APR at prime rate, which is 5% variable APR as of this writing, subject to credit approval. See card details for ongoing APR rate. The annual fee is $0.

Benefits of the SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card:

  • Features a low promotional rate that lasts for three years (subject to credit approval).
  • Comes with a rewards rate of 1% cash back on everything.
  • No balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance within the first 60 days of account opening.
  • Annual fee of $0.

Drawbacks of the SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card:

  • Doesn’t offer an introductory 0% APR period.
  • Ongoing rewards are mediocre. To be sure, it’s rare to see rewards at all on good balance transfer cards — so in this regard, its still has an advantage over some other cards.

Bottom line:

The SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card’s low-interest introductory promotion is the longest we’ve seen. For folks who need plenty of breathing room to pay down balances, it’s a solid deal — even though it lacks an introductory 0% APR period.

Information related to the BankAmericard® credit card and the SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of these cards.