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NerdWallet’s Best No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Cards of 2017

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NerdWallet's Best No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Cards, 2015

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 money 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 often also have to open a savings account to qualify for a card.
  • A 0% balance transfer APR could help you even more. If you can get both a 0% 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% 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 Chase, for example, you can’t move it to another Chase card.

NerdWallet’s top no balance transfer fee credit cards

  • Chase Slate®Most cost-effective.
  • Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®: Best for multiple transfers over time.
  • Promise: Fewest fees overall.

Most cost-effective

 Chase Slate<sup>®</sup>

Chase Slate®

Apply Now on Chase's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • 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

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 15.74% - 24.49% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 25.74%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

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

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months
  • Additional Information
    • $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

No balance transfer fee for transfers made within 60 days of account opening. 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.74% - 24.49% Variable APR. The annual fee is $0.

The  Chase Slate® has a rare combination of perks that sends it to the top of this list. It comes with an introductory $0 balance transfer fee, an annual fee of $0 and a generous 0% APR period. That means you could use this card to pay down your debt without owing a penny in interest or fees.

Like most balance transfer cards, this card doesn’t offer rewards. And after the first 60 days, the balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater. It also doesn’t let you transfer more than $15,000, regardless of your limit. But it can still help you save hundreds of dollars in interest payments while paying down your debt.

A CREDIT UNION OPTION

The Aspire Federal Credit Union Platinum Rewards MasterCard gives you six months at 0% APR on balance transfers and waives balance transfer fees in the first six months after opening your account, according to the credit union’s website. You can join Aspire by becoming a member of the American Consumer Council, which costs $8 as of this writing.

Best for multiple transfers over time

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

Apply Now on Barclaycard's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 720
    850
    Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No annual fee
    • 0% on Purchases for 15 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • No rewards
    • Needs excellent credit

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 13.74% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 13.74%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases. Plus, you'll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 13.74%

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Purchases for 15 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)
  • Additional Information
    • 0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases. Plus, you'll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 13.74%
    • No balance transfer fees
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Chip technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
    • Free online access to FICO® Credit Score

No balance transfer fees ever. 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 13.74% Variable APR. The annual fee is $0.

If you’re planning to make several balance transfers over five years or more, the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is your card. It offers a low ongoing APR and never charges balance transfer fees. The card also allows cardholders to submit and vote for suggestions for product improvements through its online community.

Keep in mind that if you’re carrying debt on this card, you’ll have to spend some money on interest charges. But in the long run, it could save you more money in fees and interest than other offers.

A CREDIT UNION OPTION

The Digital Federal Credit Visa Platinum Credit Card also never charges balance transfer fees. The ongoing APR is 8.75% - 18.00% Variable. As of this writing, it’s offering a 0% APR on balance transfers until July 2017; the offer expires on Jan. 31, 2017. You can qualify for a card by joining one of these organizations, which can cost as little as $10, and depositing at least $5 into a Digital Federal Credit Union savings account.

Fewest fees overall: Promise

No balance transfer fees ever. Introductory APR of 4.99% for 12 months on balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 8.99% - 17.99% Variable. The  annual fee is $0.

The Promise doesn’t just nix balance transfer fees. It also doesn’t charge late fees, cash advance fees, penalty APRs or foreign transaction fees, and its annual fee is $0. That makes it one of the few truly fee-free cards available. You’ll also get a decent sign-up bonus: $100 for spending $1500 in 3 months.

You’ll still owe some interest if you transfer a balance to this card. But if you want to avoid fees long-term, it’s a great pick.

Military service members, certain government employees and military family members are eligible for PenFed membership. You can also qualify by joining one of these nonprofits. You must deposit at least $5 in your PenFed savings account before getting a card.

Another option for MILITARY HOUSEHOLDS

The Navy Federal Platinum also doesn’t charge balance transfer fees, cash advance fees or foreign transaction fees, though it does charge late fees of up to $20. In the past, it has offered low-interest promotions. Membership is generally available to military service members, certain government employees and military family members. You have to deposit at least $5 in a savings account to qualify for a card.

Last updated Feb. 7, 2017.  

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