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

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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

  • BankAmericard® credit card and Chase Slate®: Most cost-effective.
  • Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®: Best for multiple transfers over time.
  • PenFed Promise Visa® Card: Fewest fees overall.

Most cost-effective (tie): BankAmericard® credit card

No balance transfer fee for transfers made within 60 days of account opening. 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 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR. The annual fee is $0.

BankAmericard® Credit Card

BankAmericard® Credit Card

Apply Now on Bank of America's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No annual fee
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and qualifying balance transfers
    • $0 intro balance transfer fee for first 60 days. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10)

    Cons

    • No rewards

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: See Terms

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • 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
  • Additional Information
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
    • $0 Intro balance transfer fee during first 60 days of account opening. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).
    • No annual fee
    • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.
    • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app

Most cost-effective (tie): Chase Slate®

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 15.99% - 24.74% Variable APR. The annual fee is $0.

Both of these cards have a rare combination of perks that sends them to the top of this list: an introductory $0 balance transfer fee, an annual fee of $0 and a generous 0% APR period. That means you could use either card to pay down your debt without owing a penny in interest or fees.

Like most balance transfer cards, these cards don’t offer rewards. And after the first 60 days, a balance transfer fee applies (for the BankAmericard® credit card, 3% of the amount transferred or $10, whichever is greater; for the Chase Slate®, 5% or $5, whichever’s greater). But they 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®

Offer is no longer available through our site

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 13.99% 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: PenFed Promise Visa® Card

PenFed Promise Visa® Card

PenFed Promise Visa® Card

Apply Now on Pentagon Federal Credit Union's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No late fee
    • No annual fee
    • 4.99% promotional balance transfer rate for 12 Months on transfers made between July 1, 2017 - September 30, 2017.
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • No rewards

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • Min APR: 9.49%, Variable
    • Max APR: 17.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 17.99%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    $100 Statement Creditƚ when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.

    Intro APR

    • Purchase: None
    • Transfer: 4.99% for 12 mos
  • Additional Information
    • $100 Statement Creditƚ when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.
    • No annual fee, No foreign transaction fee, No balance transfer fee, No cash advance fee, No late fee
    • Low APR on purchases
    • EMV chip-enabled for added security

No balance transfer fees ever. Introductory APR of 4.99% promotional balance transfer rate for 12 Months on transfers made between July 1, 2017 - September 30, 2017., and then the ongoing APR of 9.49% - 17.99% Variable. The  annual fee is $0.

The PenFed Promise Visa® Card 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 Statement Creditƚ when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days..

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 Sept. 20, 2017.  

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