Best balance transfer credit card offers
What is a balance transfer card?
A balance transfer is the process of moving a credit card debt from a high interest card to a card with low regular interest rate or 0% introductory rate. This means that you are saving money to pay off your debt quickly since the introductory interest rate is low.
What should I look for in a balance transfer card?
Credit transfer introductory rate and period
Many balance transfer credit cards have a 0% introductory rate for a period ranging from 6 months to 18 months. When the introductory period is long, it means that you have a longer period to pay off your balance with no interest. Therefore, you should either go for:
- Zero introductory rates for six months or less or Low interest rates such as 2% for 12 month or more.
The purchase and regular annual percentage rates
These normal rates apply after the introductory period is over. Choose a card that has a manageable regular and purchase rate. This will help you continue to save money even after the promotional period is over. Otherwise, you will end up working against your efforts to save money.
The balance transfer fee
Balance transfer fee ranges from two to 5% when you transfer a minimum amount of $5. The fee increases as the amount of transferred balance increases. Although the balance transfer fee does not affect your savings directly, it will be uneconomical to transfer a balance to a card that has a high fee. After all, your main intention is to save money.
The existing transfer timeframe
Some balance transfer cards have a specific time limit within which you should finish your balance transfer. Processing a balance transfer takes an average of seven days depending on the provider while the transfer time limit may range from two to four months. This means you can make as many balance transfers as you wish as long as you pay the transfer fee and the minimum payment.
The credit issuer and qualifications
A number of transfer credit cards send pre approval offers to users who meet their criteria. This means that if you apply without a pre approval offer, you will go through a deeper scrutiny, especially if your scores are fair. Additionally, you cannot transfer balances from two cards belonging to the same issuer even if they have different rates.
Best balance transfer cards
Citi Diamond Preferred Card
This card is popular for balance transfers due to its long introductory period of 18 months from the date of opening. However, balances must be completed within the first four months after opening the account. The regular APR varies depending on credit worthiness: lying within 14% to 24%. The balance transfer fee can be either $5 or 3% of the amount during each transfer. In addition to this, you have access to your fico scores and special access for tickets, sporting events, concerts, and restaurants.
Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card
This card is popular for flexible cash back rewards with no annual fee. It offers a 0% introductory balance transfer for 12 billing cycles. That is, the number of days between the current and the last statement dates. After the introductory period, you pay a regular balance transfer rate of 13.99% to 23.99%, which varies with the change in prime rates. The balance transfer fee is fair, as it offers an accommodative minimum of $10 at 3%. Moreover, you can earn cash back rewards of 3% in any category of your choice and 2% on groceries.
Citi Rewards Card
This card is ideal for smaller purchases since it makes an automatic round up to the nearest 10 points for every purchase that you make. It has an introductory balance transfer of 0% for a period of 15 months. After that, the regular rates will vary depending on your credit score. However, they will range from 13 to 23% with a balance transfer rate of 3% for $5 minimum. It also has a number of reward points at gas stations and other purchases.
Other balance transfer cards include:
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Citi Double Cash Card
- BankAmericard Credit Card