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Best Balance Transfer Cards of October 2022

Our Top Picks for Long Balance Transfer Promotions and Reduced Fees

We recommend the best products through an independent review process, and advertisers do not influence our picks. We may receive compensation if you visit partners we recommend. Read our advertiser disclosure for more info.

The best balance transfer credit cards have extended interest-free promotions and may even reduce or eliminate transfer fees. If you’re paying off high-interest debt, using a balance transfer card that offers an introductory APR of 0% for at least a year can save you money and time. We’ve reviewed the latest offers and these are the best options available. Just keep in mind you can't transfer a balance between cards from the same financial institution.

Best Balance Transfer Cards of October 2022

Best Overall and Longest Intro 0% Period : U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card


Our Rating Among Balance Transfer Cards
4.7
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.74% - 26.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 20 Billing Cycles
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros and Cons
  • Highlights
Why We Chose This Card

If you’re looking for the most time to spread out debt repayment, this is your card. It advertises one of the longest 0% balance transfer APR deals on the market right now, which lasts 20 months—almost two years. Just be sure to act quickly, since you’ll only have the first 60 days after signing up to grab the offer. You’ll get the same 20-month 0% intro deal on purchases, too. Like many other cards on this list, the Platinum is pretty bare-bones (and it actually has a higher average APR, so be careful), but it has all you need in the area that matters most for a balance-transfer card: an opportunity to pay down credit balances. 

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Very long 0% APR offer

  • Cell phone insurance perks add some long-term value

Cons
  • Few perks or bonuses

  • Ongoing APR may be above average, depending on your credit

Highlights
  • Low intro APR for 20 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers
  • $0 annual fee

Runner-Up Best Overall Longest Time To Complete a Transfer : Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card


Our Rating Among Balance Transfer Cards
4.9
Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 27.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Introductory fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater, for 120 days from account opening. After that, up to 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 21 Months
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros and Cons
  • Highlights
Why We Chose This Card

The Wells Fargo Reflect Card has a lengthy 18-month 0% APR period on balance transfers, but with good payment behavior, you can earn yourself an additional three months—21 months altogether. All you have to do is make your minimum payments on time during the introductory and extension periods. New cardholders have 120 days to qualify for the intro rate—which is longer than competitor cards that offer just two or three months. If you’re looking for one more reason to apply, the card offers $600 of cell phone protection—always a valuable perk to have.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • No annual fee

  • Offers 21 months to pay off balance transfers at 0% APR

  • 120 days to initiate a balance transfer

Cons
  • Ongoing APR may be quite high compared to the competition

  • Foreign transaction fee makes using the card abroad more costly

Highlights
  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible).
  • Through My Wells Fargo Deals, you can get access to personalized deals from a variety of merchants.

Best for Earning Rewards : Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card


Our Rating Among Balance Transfer Cards
4.5
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn $200 after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.24% - 25.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate, Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining including takeout and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros and Cons
  • Highlights
Why We Chose This Card

With credit cards, you usually have to figure out which feature is most important to you—for instance, a great balance transfer offer or the ability to earn rewards. But the Chase Freedom Flex card is strong on both accounts. You’ll get 15 months of 0% APR on transfers, and if you do it within the first 60 days, you’ll pay a 3% fee instead of the 5% that kicks in afterward. All the while, you’ll earn 5% cash back in quarterly categories, 3% on dining and at drugstores, and 1% on everything else. And you’ll get a solid sign-up bonus, which many balance transfer cards don’t have—$200 plus 5% cash back on gas purchases for the first year.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Good intro 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers

  • High rewards-earning rate in popular categories

  • No annual fee

Cons
  • Rotating rewards categories require quarterly activation

Highlights
  • Earn 5% cash back on different categories like gas stations, grocery stores (excluding Target® and Walmart®) and select online merchants on up to $1,500 in total combined purchases each quarter you activate.
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open. And there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Additional ways to earn cash back: Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Earn 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services. Earn 3% on drugstore purchases. Earn 1% on all other purchases.

Best With a Low Ongoing APR : Simmons Visa®


Our Rating Among Balance Transfer Cards
3.8
Simmons Visa®
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.25% - 21.25% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee First 60 days after account opening: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater. After the first 60 days: $0.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 12 Months
Intro Balance Transfer Fee $10.00 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros and Cons
  • Highlights
Why We Chose This Card

You’ll get a year to pay off a balance transfer without interest costs, but the APR advantages of this card don’t stop there. Once the promotional period ends, this card has a variable APR of 13.25%-21.25%. That means if you don’t pay off your transferred debt by the end of the promotional period—or make another transfer later on—your interest costs might still be more reasonable than what you paid with your previous card.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • One of the best ongoing APRs offered by a low APR card

  • Pay no balance transfer fee within the first 60 days after account opening

Cons
  • You’ll likely need excellent credit to qualify

  • No rewards program or new cardholder bonus

Highlights
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 12 Months
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • 13.25%–21.25% APR
  • Created for those with excellent credit

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Balance Transfer?

A balance transfer involves moving credit card debt from one account to a new credit card. Generally, people do this because they can transfer the debt to a card offering to charge no interest on transferred balances for a limited time, such as 15 months with 0% APR.

How Do Balance Transfers Work?

When you apply for a new card with a balance transfer offer, the new card company generally asks you which credit cards you’d like to transfer debt from, the account numbers of those cards, and the amount you’d like to transfer. The amount can’t be higher than the credit limit you have, and sometimes the balance transfer limit is lower than the new card’s total credit limit. For instance, a credit card issuer may approve you for a credit limit of $15,000 with a balance transfer limit of $10,000. 

If there isn’t an introductory APR, you’ll pay the card’s regular interest rate the entire time you are paying off the balance. In either case, you’ll also usually have to pay a fee to the new credit card company to transfer the money, often about 3% of the total balance, or a minimum of $5.

Who Is a Balance Transfer Right For?

You could benefit from a balance transfer if:

  • You can repay the balance quickly. If you pay off the balance before the introductory APR expires, you’ll save money on interest charges. 
  • You have good credit. You’ll likely qualify for the best balance transfer cards.

A balance transfer may not be for you if:

  • You want to continue adding charges to your card. Balance transfer offers don’t work at reducing debt levels if you are going to instantly recharge the balance. Make sure you are only transferring an amount you can afford to pay off without incurring new debt.
  • You won’t realize savings. Do the math before transferring a balance. If you want to pay off the debt quickly, make sure the cost of the balance transfer fee doesn’t outweigh how much you’ll pay in interest. Whether or not you’ll save money depends on your current card’s APR, how much debt you have, the new card’s balance transfer fee, and how quickly you plan to pay off the debt.
  • You want more time to get out of debt. Even with the longest balance-transfer periods, you have less than two years to pay your balance down to $0. If you can qualify for a personal loan at a better rate than what your current card has, you could pay off your debt in even installments over the course of a few years.

How Much Can You Save With a Balance Transfer Card?

It depends on how much debt you have and what interest rates you’re currently paying, but figuring out how much you can save requires two calculations: How much it would cost to transfer your balance and pay it off before the end of the introductory APR, and how much it would cost to pay down the balance on your existing card in the same time frame.

Here’s an example of a savings opportunity:

Say you want to transfer a $10,000 credit card balance with a 0% APR balance transfer offer for 12 months. The balance transfer carries a 3% fee, and on your current card, that balance has an 18% APR.

If you didn’t transfer the balance but paid off your debt within 12 months, you’d pay a total of $10,926—$10,000 of principal and $926 of compound interest you accrue while you’re paying down the balance.

If you transferred the balance, you’d incur a $300 fee (3% of $10,000). But, if you pay the whole debt off by the end of that 12-month 0% APR period, your total cost would remain $10,300.

Transferring the balance and paying off the entire debt allows you to save $626.

If the new card will have a higher interest rate than your original card after the balance transfer offer expires, only transfer the amount you know you can pay off during the introductory period.

How Does a Balance Transfer Impact Credit Score?

A balance transfer can cause your credit score to drop if you close the previous card or you transfer the balance to a card with a lower credit limit (or both). Closing a credit card can not only reduce the amount of available credit you have, but it could also affect the length of your credit history

If you don’t have other cards with a long credit history, consider keeping the older card open if it doesn’t have an annual fee. 

And if you transfer a balance that’s close to the card’s limit, your score may suffer for a while. But if you pay down your debt, you’ll eventually have a better credit utilization rate, which can help your credit score.

How Should You Choose a Balance Transfer Card?

Choose a balance transfer offer based on both the rate you will receive now and the rate you will receive later. Just in case you don’t pay off the balance before the end of the 0% APR period, you should know how much the regular APR will cost.

Follow these steps:

  1. Look at your budget and your debt: Figure out how long you need to completely pay off your balance.
  2. Do the math: Determine if you will save money by transferring your balance or balances.
  3. Explore your options: Seek out cards that allow you to prequalify for an offer. It’s not a guarantee of approval, but it’s better than applying blindly.
  4. Choose the card: Apply for the card that gives you the best combination of time to pay off debt while accruing zero interest, low fees, and other features important to you, like customer service tools or rewards.

Warning

You cannot transfer balances within banks. So if you have debt on one Chase credit card, you cannot transfer the balance to the Chase Slate.

How Should You Do a Balance Transfer?

Balance transfers are pretty simple. If you don’t request the balance transfer when you apply for the card, you generally can initiate balance transfers for a set amount of time from another card or loan. You’ll do so online or by phone. You’ll provide basic information such as account numbers and amounts for the transfer.

How We Chose the Best Balance Transfer Cards

We collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances. We do this because it's our mission to give you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews.

Our reviews are always impartial. No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive.

About This List

Dozens of credit cards in our database have introductory periods of 0% APR on balance transfers, and we consider all of them for this round-up. Cards with the best combination of long zero-interest periods, low fees, and rewards receive the highest ratings.

What We Score

Each credit card feature receives a score from 0 to 5, which we weight depending on how important it is to have on a credit card used for paying off debt. Those weighted scores produce the star ratings you see above.

Interest

From our database of hundreds of cards, we identify the ones with an introductory period of 0% APR on balance transfers, and we evaluate the length of that intro period (the longer, the better). But we also evaluate a credit card's ongoing APR. While the point of a 0% APR period on balance transfers is to avoid accruing interest on a credit card balance while paying it off, things don't always go as planned. So, our scoring model favors cards with relatively low average APRs.

Fees

A card's balance transfer fee is among the most important factor we evaluate for this list of cards. How much you pay in balance transfer fees has a significant effect on your overall savings when moving a balance from one card to another. In some cases, fees could outweigh the potential interest savings.

We also believe you shouldn't pay an annual fee when getting out of debt. In general, the annual fee is one of the most important factors in credit card decisions. Cards with fewer overall fees tend to score higher in our system.

Credit Score

After the balance transfer length and associated fees, we look at a card's minimum recommended credit score. We do this because having a lot of credit card debt could mean you have less-than-perfect credit, and we want to show cards that more people have a chance of getting.

That means cards that state they accept applicants with lower credit scores receive higher scores. We also give credit cards a higher score if they allow people to prequalify for a card, meaning a person can see if they have a good chance of getting approved before filling out an application that could have a negative effect on their credit score.

For more information about how The Balance analyzes credit cards, see our full credit card review methodology.

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