Updated on 05.22.17

Can A Credit Card Actually Help You Save?

Boost Your Savings Using A Balance Transfer Credit Card

Most people don’t know there’s a really simple way to free up more money for savings — and it doesn’t require making huge lifestyle sacrifices. The trick is to stop throwing money away on interest payments.

Credit card companies are offering really favorable terms on balance transfers right now. Take the Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer. It gives you an 18-month 0% intro APR period — one of the longest out there.

If you have decent credit, now’s the best time to put it to work for savings. Bring your credit card interest costs down to zero when you transfer a balance to a new 0% intro APR offer. From there, each payment you make goes directly toward paying down your debt, and not monthly interest. To pay off a $10,000 balance, that would mean savings of $1,000+ in interest in just a year and a half. That’s a nice chunk of cash you can put toward savings instead.

The secret to saving more money is mostly just being smarter about how you spend your money. Cutting out interest payments is one of the easiest (and most painless!) ways to do this. To get you started saving, here’s a simple head-to-head comparison of two of the best balance transfer cards available today.

Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer

The Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer has the longest 0% intro APR of our top-ranked balance transfer cards. This card also delivers big on cash back rewards for all of the new purchases you make with the card. Earn 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories, plus 1% cashback on everything else year-round.

But that’s not all. Discover also doubles the cash back you earn during your first year as a cardholder. That means if you earn $200 in cashback, you’ll get another $200 on top of that — that’s $400 total cash back in one year. The more cash back you earn in your first year, the bigger your year-end cash back bonus.

Pros: You get an extra-long 0% Intro APR that lasts 18 months, plus earn 5% cash back on new purchases in rotating categories.

Con: You must pay a balance transfer fee of 3% of your transfer amount or $5, whichever is greater.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0% for 18 months
Balance Transfer Fee
3%
Regular APR
11.74% – 23.74% Variable
Highlights Card Highlights Provided by Discover:
  • You could turn $200 into $400 with Cashback Match™. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.

Chase Slate®

Want to avoid the fees associated with a balance transfer? Go with the Chase Slate®. With this card, you can cut out interest payments and transfer your balance for FREE (as long as you do it within the first 60 days of opening the card). The Chase Slate® also has an extended 0% intro APR of 15 months, which means no interest payments until Fall 2018.

Pros: Pay no balance transfer fee (if made within 60 days of account opening), plus get 0% Intro APR for 15 months.

Con: You can’t transfer a balance from another Chase card. Additionally, this card doesn’t include access to a rewards program. If you already have a rewards credit card, we recommend making new purchases on that card — and using the Chase Slate® solely as a debt-elimination tool!

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0% for 15 months
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Regular APR
15.74% - 24.49% Variable
Highlights
  • $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening
  • Chase Slate named "Best Credit Card for Balance Transfers" four years in a row by Money Magazine
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard for free
  • No Penalty APR – Paying late won't raise your interest rate (APR). All other account pricing and terms apply
  • $0 Annual Fee

One thing to keep in mind is that most card issuers won’t allow you to transfer a balance from one of their cards to another (from Chase Freedom® to Chase Slate®, for example). That’s why it pays to know what the best offers are. You’ll maximize your balance transfer savings this way and figure out which card will actually work best for your personal situation.

The Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer has the best deal with its extra-long 0% intro APR period, and the Chase Slate® lets you transfer your balances for free during the first 60 days–a huge benefit for savings. You can also check out our full list of the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards for 2017 to compare other great offers — and find the one that fits your needs best.