Updated on Nov 15, 2017

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards for 2017

Enjoy months of 0% introductory interest while you pay off balances!
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This page includes analysis of our favorite cards from The Simple Dollar’s advertisers and the marketplace. Visit our advertiser disclosure to learn more.

Balance transfer credit cards offer an easy way for cardholders to pay off outstanding credit balances while enjoying a nice, long window of interest-free bliss. The way it works is simple: transfer an outstanding credit card balance to a balance transfer credit card and pay it off. We’ve reviewed the year’s best balance transfer credit cards so take a look and apply online today.


The Simple Dollar’s best balance transfer credit cards for 2017

Best overall

Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer
Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% for 18 months
Ongoing APR 11.99% - 23.99% Variable

Balance Transfer Fee 3%
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Overview

5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when you activate. 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Signup Bonus Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
Highlights Provided by Discover Show Highlights
Card Highlights Provided by Discover:
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when 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 free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • New! Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
  • Issuer: Discover
  • Rewards Details: 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when you activate. 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99% Variable
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 6 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 0%
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: 18 months
  • Ongoing APR: 11.99% - 23.99% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

For anyone who likes a nice, long window of 0% interest on transferred balances as well earning rewards, the Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card might just be what you’re looking for. This credit card’s big feature is the year-and-a-half period of 0% interest on balance transfers. That’s longer than most cards on this list and there’s no annual fee.

How to use it
  • Transfer balances that are subject to high APRs, and pay off as much as you can during the intro period.
  • Keep the account open to monitor your FICO® Credit Score.
Consider this

If you like the rewards that you can earn with the Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer and you think it’s worth the 3% transfer fee, then this is the card for you. If, however, you aren’t as interested in earning rewards and would rather waive the transfer fee, then the Chase Slate® has a $0 intro transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open.

Why you'll love it

The Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card lives up to its name with a generous 18-month intro APR period for balance transfers. Access to a rewards program is just the cherry on top with 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Start your application now

0% interest and cash back rewards

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
See Rates & Fees
Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% for 12 months
Ongoing APR 13.99% - 24.99% Variable See Rates & Fees

Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Annual Fee $95 See Details
Signup Bonus Earn $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms apply.
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) - that means spending $60 a week at U.S. supermarkets could earn over $180 back per year.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 24.99%.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Rewards Details: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $95 See Details
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 12 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 0%
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: 12 months
  • Ongoing APR: 13.99% - 24.99% Variable See Rates & Fees
  • Penalty APR: 29.99% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

Anyone who wants a credit card for both a balance transfer and everyday use should consider the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. With the card, you’ll enjoy 0% introductory APR on both everyday purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. You’ll also enjoy 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, as well as 1% cash back on all other purchases (terms and limitations apply).

How to use it
  • Transfer balances that are subject to high interest rates; budget to pay them off during the intro APR period.
  • Keep this card after you pay off your balance to earn extra cash back at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, and select U.S. department stores.
Why you'll love it

While the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express may not have the longest 0% introductory APR, it makes up for that with high-rate rewards. Use a budget, and you could save money on interest on both your balance transfers and your cash-back earning purchases.

Start your application now

Low upfront costs

BankAmericard® Credit Card
Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days for 15 billing cycles
Ongoing APR 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Balance Transfer Fee $0 Intro balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open.  After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).
Annual Fee $0.00
Highlights Provided by Bank of America Show Highlights
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
  • $0 Intro balance transfer fee during first 60 days of account opening. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
  • Issuer: Bank of America
  • Rewards Details: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $0.00
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $0 Intro balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open.  After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).
  • Cash Advance APR: See Terms
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Introductory APR: 0% Introductory APR on purchases
  • Introductory APR Period: 15 billing cycles
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: 15 billing cycles
  • Ongoing APR: 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Penalty APR: none

Our two cents

Who should get it

Anyone who doesn’t want to deal with upfront costs should consider the BankAmericard® Credit Card. The card offers a $0 intro fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future transfers is 3% (min. $10). This makes it a great option for anyone with large or multiple balances they’d like to transfer. Additionally, you’ll enjoy 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles, no annual fee, and no penalty APR in the event of a late payment.

How to use it
  • Benefit from the $0 introductory transfer fee by transferring one or multiple balances within 60 days.

  • Take advantage of 0% introductory APR by paying off your balance within 15 billing cycles.

  • Keep an eye on your credit score with FICO® credit score reporting (free of charge) through online banking or your mobile banking app.
Consider this

While the BankAmericard® Credit Card is great for decreasing upfront costs, especially when you transfer large or multiple balances, it doesn’t offer a rewards program. If you’re interested in an option that offers lower fees with rewards, consider the Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer.

Why you'll love it

The BankAmericard® Credit Card is a useful tool for paying down debt. You’ll have peace of mind while paying off your debt thanks to introductory $0 fees for 60 days, introductory 0% APR for 15 billing cycles, no penalty APR, no annual fee, and free credit score reporting. All of these features make the BankAmericard® Credit Card a great choice.

Start your application now

$0 intro balance transfer fee

Chase Slate®
Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Ongoing APR 15.99% - 24.74%Variable

Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Annual Fee $0
Highlights Provided by Chase Show Highlights
  • $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening
  • 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
  • Issuer: Chase
  • Rewards Details: Save with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee and get 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and $0 annual fee. Plus, receive your monthly FICO Score for free.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 15 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 0%
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: 15 months
  • Ongoing APR: 15.99% - 24.74%Variable
  • Penalty APR: See Terms

Our two cents

Who should get it

One of the biggest fears of using a balance transfer credit card is the fee that can sometimes accompany it. For that reason, the Chase Slate® card is highly recommended. Within the first 60 days of becoming a cardmember, you won’t have to worry about transfer fees. That’s a pretty good deal when you consider the fact that most of these credit cards tend to charge 3-5%.

How to use it
  • Make your transfer(s) within 60 days of opening your account to qualify for the $0 intro fee.
  • Pay off as much of the balance as possible during the intro APR period to take full advantage of the 0% intro APR.
Consider this

You won’t be able to transfer a balance to the Chase Slate® from another Chase account. If you would like to transfer a balance from an existing Chase account, we recommend the Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer. (The Chase Slate® also doesn’t include access to a rewards program — but the Discover does.)

Why you'll love it

For consumers carrying a large balance or multiple balances on their credit cards, the Chase Slate® offers a break from high APR and fees so you can pay off the balance you’ve transferred quickly — and become debt-free sooner.

Start your application now

Great signup bonus

Chase Freedom®
Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% for 15 Months
Ongoing APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable

Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Annual Fee $0
Highlights Provided by Chase Show Highlights
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants and drugstores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
  • Issuer: Chase
  • Rewards Details: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Sign Up Bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 15 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 0%
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: 15 Months
  • Ongoing APR: 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
  • Penalty APR: None

Our two cents

Who should get it

Of all the credit cards we’ve covered on this list, the Chase Freedom® card reigns supreme for having the best signup bonus. When you spend $500 in purchases with this card (within the first 3 months of opening the account) you’ll earn a substantial $150 bonus. The Chase Freedom® card also comes with an intro 15 months of 0% interest on your transfer, which gives you over a year to trim away at that outstanding debt.

How to use it
  • Transfer your balances from cards with high APRs. Plan to pay them off within the 15- month intro APR period.
  • Keep this account open to continue earning cash back. (Watch the 5% bonus categories to maximize your rewards!)
Consider this

The Chase Freedom® card offers the highest signup bonus. A word of caution: it also features a transfer fee of 5% or $5 (whichever is greater) – one of the higher fees on this list. If you would like a lower transfer fee, then consider the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

Why you'll love it

With the Chase Freedom® card, you can enjoy freedom from annual fees and from narrow introductory APR periods. In fact, when you sign up for this card, you’ll receive a sizable signup bonus plus 15 months of 0% introductory APR. You also have the freedom to use those cash back rewards whenever you want as they will never expire so long as your account remains active.

Start your application now

The Simple Dollar’s best balance transfer credit cards: summed up

What is a zero balance transfer credit card?

The term “zero balance transfer credit card” refers to a balance transfer card with 0% introductory APR. You generally want to stick with cards that offer these windows of 0% interest as they allow you time to pay off the transferred balance without incurring interest. The Chase Slate® card is a good example of a 0% balance transfer credit card and, as we’ve covered, it grants the cardholder a 15-month window of interest-free bliss.

What is the balance transfer fee on a credit card?

A balance transfer fee is usually a percentage you need to pay when you transfer a balance. This percentage is applied to the transferred credit card balance although some cards will also require a flat rate. For example, the Chase Freedom® card has a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer (whichever is greater).

How do you transfer a balance from one credit card to another?

Once you’ve done your research and been approved, gather account information for each card, call the customer service center for your balance transfer credit card and request a transfer. They’ll contact your other credit card company and handle the logistics.

How long does it take to do a balance transfer on a credit card?

It varies. Generally, it can take a week or more. If the creditor you are transferring debt from needs to be paid by check, it can take longer. Once your transfer is complete, you’ll want to take these five steps immediately:

  • Make sure old credit cards and loans have a zero balance.
  • Put your credit card use on pause.
  • Create a monthly budget and put it in writing.
  • Decide how much you can pay each month toward your debt.
  • Establish a contingency plan for any outstanding debt after the 0% introductory APR.

Is a balance transfer worth it?

If you’re carrying a large amount of debt on a high-interest credit card, or have multiple debts that you want to pay with a single bill without consolidating debt, it may well be worth it. Transferring a balance to a 0% intro card may even save you money! For instance, on a high-interest 18% APR credit card, paying $350 a month for 15 months on a $5,000 balance would cost you $664 in interest. To calculate your interest and potential savings, check out our debt payoff calculator.

Do balance transfers affect your credit?

Yes. When you open a new credit card, you’ll probably see a short-term minimal drop in your score for a new hard inquiry on your credit report. Where a balance transfer credit card can help your score is credit utilization, which accounts for about one-third of your credit score. The more you can reduce your credit utilization rate, the better the outcome for your credit score.

What’s the difference between a balance transfer and low-interest credit card?

There’s a lot of overlap between the best balance transfer credit cards and the best low-interest credit cards, but, in general, it comes down to whether or not the introductory 0% APR is also extended to purchases. Typically, balance transfer credit cards are going to extend their best introductory rates to transfers specifically for up to 18 months. They may offer super-low or 0% introductory APR on purchases, but usually for a shortened period of time, such as six to 12 months. The best low-interest credit cards extend introductory 0% APR to both transfers and purchases, giving you a year or more in some cases, to enjoy interest-free payments. This makes them a great option for large purchases, such as a new refrigerator, not just transfers.

The bottom line

Balance transfers are a great way to enjoy a nice, long window of introductory 0% APR. With the right balance transfer credit card and an understanding of what is a balance transfer, you could save on interest! The best cards will offer extremely low or 0% interest rates, no balance transfer fees, and an extra-long period to pay off debt.

Research more balance transfer credit cards

We designed our directory to highlight only the most important features. Those are the ones that would best help the cardholder get out from under credit card debt. There are other key factors we consider, as well, including rates, introductory APR, and more.

Sort By
Card Name
Rewards Tier Level
Common Filters
Great Signup Bonus
Great Ongoing Rewards
Balance Transfer Fee 3% or lower
Intro Balance Transfer APR 0% 12+ Months
Only Fair Credit Score Needed
Search
Credit Card
Annual Fee
Introductory Balance Transfer APR
Introductory Balance Transfer Period
Balance Transfer Fee
Ongoing APR
Apply Online
Credit Card
Annual Fee
Introductory Balance Transfer APR
Introductory Balance Transfer Period
Balance Transfer Fee
Ongoing APR
Apply Online
$0
0%
* (?)
15 months
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
15.99% - 24.74%Variable
$0
0%
* (?)
18 months
3%
11.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
0%
* (?)
15 Months
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
15.99% - 24.74% Variable
$0
0% intro on balance transfers
For 9 Months
3%
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
$0
0%
* (?)
12 months
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
11.24% - 18.24% Variable
$0
0%
* (?)
12 months
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
11.24% - 18.24% Variable
$0
N/A
N/A
3% of the amount of each transfer (maximum fee per transfer $200).
11.90% to 29.90%
$0
0%
* (?)
12 months
$10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater (maximum fee:$250).
13.24% - 20.24% Variable
$0
0%
* (?)
12 months
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
9.24% - 12.24% Variable
$0
0%
* (?)
12 months
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
11.24% - 18.24% Variable

Here are the best balance transfer credit cards for 2017

Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our rankings and recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.