If you’ve checked your FICO credit score recently and haven’t been happy with the results, one of the factors that could be bringing your credit score down is your used to available credit percentage. When creditors see that your credit cards have been maxed out, it implies that you’re in need of more credit and that you’re having trouble meeting your financial needs. One way to alleviate the burden is to apply for a 0% balance transfer credit card, and reduce the amount in interest being paid every month.
Choosing which 0% balance transfer credit card best suits your needs can be tricky. Some offer a low balance transfer fee while others have extended 0% intro offers beyond 12 months. Whether it’s a long balance transfer term or cash up front to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the best 0% balance transfer credit cards. They come from a variety of issuers and if you have any experience with these cards, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.
PT’s Pick for Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card
Citi Simplicity® Visa Card – In my opinion, the best balance transfer credit card continues to be the Citi Simplicity Visa Card as it has the longest intro offer of 0% intro APR during the first 18 months, after that the variable APR will be 12.99%-21.99%. The balance transfer fee for this card is at 3% ($5 minimum). That’s just straight up awesome for anyone new to credit who needs almost two years to make interest free payments! Unfortunately, the rewards program on this card is almost non-existent (as it only provides discounts on special purchases) but the Citi Simplicity Visa Card has no late fees or over limit fees, and does not carry an annual fee.
Discover it Card – A very close second, the Discover it Card includes a wide ranging amount of benefits the Citi Simplicity does not. The Discover it Card opens up with a 0% into APR on balance transfers for 18 months, (and on purchases for six months) and also includes 5% cash back on rotating categories each year. The standard cash back rate on all other purchases is 1% and a recently new perk added; every monthly statement will include a free FICO credit score. You must make at least 1 purchase each month to receive a statement (and your FICO credit score) and if you take Discover up on it’s balance transfer offer; the fee is 3%. There is no annual fee on the Discover it Card, as well as no late fees or over-limit fees.
Barlcaycard® Rewards MasterCard® – Excellent Credit – Card members of the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard will receive an intro 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 12 months in addition to a $100 cash bonus in the form of 10,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. 2 points are earned for every dollar spent on utilities, at grocery stores and on gasoline and one rewards point is earned on all other purchases. The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard has a regular interest rate of 14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% depending on the applicants credit history and has no annual fee.
Slate from Chase – If you’re looking for the cheapest balance transfer method available, then the Slate from Chase is your go to credit card. For a limited time, new cardholders will be given a 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, with NO balance transfer fee. Imagine you had $10,000 to transfer … you would end up paying an additional $300 immediately by using any of the other cards on this list. However with the Slate from Chase, the balance transferred would only be the initial $10,000 and 15 months would be given to pay it down (interest free). The standard APR after the intro period expires is 12.99%, 17.99% or 22.99% variable and there is no annual fee. However, just like the Citi Simplicity Visa Card above, there is no rewards package included, so the card should be used for balance transfers or emergencies only.
Citi Diamond Preferred Card – Another excellent balance transfer option from Citi is the Citi Diamond Preferred Card. All new cardholders will receive a 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 18 months (after that, the ongoing APR is 11.99% – 21.99% variable). The balance transfers fee is the standard 3% and this card has no annual fee. An added benefit of the Citi Diamond Preferred Card is the Citi Private Pass program, which gives cardholders special access to select events, pre-sale tickets, preferred seating on flights and a variety of other “concierge” benefits. Oddly enough, the reason some cardholders choose this over the Citi Simplicity Visa is because of the black card design. Go figure.
Capital One Platinum Prestige – The Capital One Platinum Prestige includes a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (3% BT fee) until May 2015 (15 months). When the intro rate expires, the ongoing APR becomes 10.9% – 18.9% variable, which is the lowest on our list. Perhaps the largest benefit of owning a Capital One credit card is that no fee is charged on foreign transactions, thus purchases can be made internationally without the foreign transaction fee. For a word traveler, there is no better brand of credit card to own than Capital One so if you’re in need of a balance transfer and love to travel abroad … this is definitely the card for you.