Best 0% Intro APR and Balance Transfer Credit Card

NerdWallet assessed credit cards using two sets of criteria for two separate categories — one for 0% introductory APR periods on purchases and one for balance transfer offers. The same credit card was ultimately chosen as the winner in both of those categories.

» For introductory 0% APR on purchases

How we picked the cards to evaluate:

NerdWallet reviewed about 30 credit cards that offered an introductory 0% APR period on purchases. To be considered, a card had to be widely available, and its introductory 0% period had to be at least 12 months long. The cards we reviewed include products from NerdWallet partners, but this did not influence our selection of the winner.

How we chose the winner:

When choosing our best 0% intro APR card, we considered the following factors in descending order of importance:

  • Introductory APR periods (length).
  • Annual fees.
  • Whether the card has lasting value beyond the intro APR period (such as rewards or a low ongoing rate).
  • Ongoing APR after the promotional period.

» For balance transfers

How we picked the cards to evaluate:

NerdWallet reviewed about 20 credit cards that offered a balance transfer option. To be considered, a card had to be widely available and offer at least one of the following criteria:

  • A 0% introductory APR period of 15 months or more.
  • A $0 balance transfer fee plus a 0% APR period of at least 12 months.
  • A unique feature that could result in significant savings for a consumer (such as a balance transfer fee lower than the standard 3% to 5%, or a $0 transfer fee combined with a promotional APR that is low but not 0%).

The cards we reviewed include products from NerdWallet partners, but this did not influence our selection of the winner.

How we chose the winner:

When choosing our best balance transfer card, we considered the following factors, though their order of importance varied depending on a card’s combination of features:

  • Introductory APR periods (length and rate).
  • Annual fees.
  • Balance transfer fees.
  • Whether the card has lasting value beyond the intro APR period (such as rewards or a low ongoing rate).
  • Ongoing APR after the promotional period.

Cards' NerdWallet star ratings alone do not determine awards. Here's how our credit cards team distinguishes between star ratings and award selections:

  • Star ratings are quantitative: We assess the features of a card, score those features according to how they compare with other options on the market and assign the card a rating of 1 to 5 stars based on those features. In general, a card that rates 4.5 stars will be a better value for more people than a card that rates 4.0 stars. However, the 4.0 card might be better than the 4.5 card for an individual consumer depending on that person’s circumstances.
  • Selection for awards is both quantitative and qualitative: Selection for the awards is based on discussion among editorial team members and relies on the same criteria used for the star ratings. However, star ratings alone do not dictate awards. Rather, the awards identify the best cards for specific uses or specific types of consumers, such as those looking to finance a major purchase interest-free or pay down existing debt without interest.

How we verified our data:

NerdWallet gets credit card information from partner issuers through automated data feeds. Information about cards from nonpartner issuers is verified on the issuers’ websites.