What are the Best Balance Transfer Cards?
A balance transfer is a debt consolidation method. With this type of card, you can consolidate all of your loans and debts into a single credit card.
But which credit card is right for you?
In this article, we’ll round out the best balance transfer cards so you can make an informed decision.
What is a Balance Transfer?
A balance transfer card typically made to a credit card with a zero or low interest rate for a set time. This time is called the introductory period. Ideally, you would want to apply for a 0% interest balance transfer card, meaning the card charges no interest rate for the first 12-15 months. Often, there is also a small fee of around 3% to complete the transfer.
The “interest-free” window is what makes these cards so appealing for balance transfers. It gives you a financial break so you can catch up and pay off as much of your debt as possible.
Pros and Cons of Balance Transfer Cards
The biggest benefit? A 0% balance transfer card can lower your total amount payable by hundreds of dollars by eliminating interest charges.
Doing a credit card transfer also helps you better manage your debt. You no longer need to juggle different loans or credit cards with numerous balances and due dates. By consolidating your debts into one account, you are much more likely to stick with your budget, pay on time, and eliminate your debt.
However, balance transfer cards aren’t for everyone. You need good-to-excellent credit to get approved and must satisfy any additional requirements.
Plus, a balance transfer does not magically erase your debt since you still are required to pay the amount you owe. Instead, balance transfers merely make it easier to manage.
A common problem many face is the inability to afford regular payments, even if they’re using a balance transfer card. However, minimizing interest rates to 0% reduces the monthly amount due. This allows payments to be more feasible and increases the likelihood of becoming debt-free.
The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
When looking for the best balance transfer cards, consider cards with low introductory APRs that last for at least a year. Low to zero balance transfer fees and less strict credit score requirements are also desirable. That said, here are some of the best balance transfer credits cards:
● Citi Double Cash Card
Citi’s cash back card also doubles as a fantastic 0% APR balance transfer card, thanks to its long introductory period (up to 18 months) and $0 annual fee. The APR after the introductory period is moderately reasonable, ranging from 13.99% – 23.99% depending on your creditworthiness.
As for the drawbacks, there is a balance transfer fee of 3%, and you need an excellent credit score to qualify for this card.
● PenFeld Gold Visa Card
The PenFeld Gold Visa credit card offers 0% APR at a modest 12-month period. However, the regular APR is better than most at just 7.49% – 17.99%. Overall, this can be an excellent card to manage your debts if you project that it will take you more than a year to pay everything off.
● US Bank Visa Platinum
This US Bank credit card offers a good 0% APR for 20 months, one of the most extended introductory periods ever! There’s also a $0 annual fee.
However, the perks come at a cost. The card has a balance transfer fee of 3%, and there are no rewards or cashback programs. Nevertheless, if you are looking for the best interest free balance transfer credit card, this Visa Platinum card delivers.
● Aspire FCU Platinum Mastercard
If you do not qualify or are disapproved for the other cards, the Aspire FCU Platinum Mastercard can be a lifesaver. You can get approved, even with just a fair credit score (650 – 699).
The catch is that the card has a shorter 0% APR period and there are no rewards programs either. But the good news is that the regular APR is pretty reasonable at just 8.15% – 18%.
● Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa
This card is great for digital wallet users as you earn 20% bonuses for every digital wallet transaction e.g. Apple Pay, Paypal, and Samsung Pay. There is also a 0% APR and $0 annual fees. Plus, there are many more perks, including a cash bonus for signing up for the card.
Of course, there is some give and take. The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa has fairly strict qualifications and a high APR.
● HSBC Gold Mastercard
Recognized as one of the best cards for balance transfers, the HSBC Gold Mastercard features a long 0% APR period, with no APR penalties and annual fees. There are also no foreign transaction fees with this card.
The only downside is the relatively high balance transfer fee (4%) and the lack of a rewards program.
Balance Transfer Alternatives
Balance transfer cards can be incredibly helpful for paying off debt, but they’re not for every situation.
Sometimes a different approach, like debt relief, can be much more effective. To understand the best way to reduce debt and to shine a light on your financial future, complete our online form and a Debt Consultant from our team will be in touch.