Updated on Feb 8, 2018

Best Balance Transfer Cards for 2018

Enjoy months of 0% introductory interest while you pay off balances!
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Ever want to make a big purchase without having to pay it all off at once? That’s where a balance transfer credit card could really come in handy, and our top picks can help. We compared the best balance transfer credit cards for 2018 in order to help you find the one that’s right for you. Take a minute to review our rundown and easily apply online within minutes.

  • Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer APPLY NOW
    Best overall Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer
    Apply Now On Discover's secure website
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    0% interest and cash back rewards Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
    Apply Now On American Express's secure website
  • BankAmericard® Credit Card APPLY NOW
    Low upfront costs BankAmericard® Credit Card
    Apply Now On Bank of America's secure website
  • Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card LEARN MORE
    Lowest signup bonus requirements Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
    Learn More On Capital One's secure website
  • Chase Slate® APPLY NOW
    $0 intro balance transfer fee Chase Slate®
    Apply Now On Chase's secure website
Apply Now On Discover's secure website

Best overall

Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer
Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% for 18 months
Ongoing APR 13.24% - 24.24% Variable

Balance Transfer Fee 3%
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Overview

1% cash back on all other purchases. 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.

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 different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs 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 free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.
  • Issuer: Discover
  • Rewards Details: 1% cash back on all other purchases. 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.24% Variable
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 6 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 0%
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: 18 months
  • Ongoing APR: 13.24% - 24.24% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

The Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card is perfect for anyone looking for a long window of introductory 0% interest on transferred balances and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% – 24.24% Variable APR. With this card, you’ll get a year-and-a-half to pay off any transferred balances without getting hit with interest. On top of that, there’s no annual fee to complicate things.

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

When it comes to the Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card, the name really says it all. With this card, you’ll have over a year to pay off a transferred balance without dealing with interest. However, you will need to pay it off within that window or else you could end up incurring interest.

Why you'll love it

Who doesn’t love 18 months of 0% interest for balance transfers (after that ongoing APR is 13.24% – 24.24% variable)? The Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer card offers this in addition to a substantial rewards program. You could earn 5% cash back up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate at gas pumps, grocery stores, and more. In addition to that, you could earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Start your application now Back to top
Partner Offer Apply Now On American Express's secure website

0% interest and cash back rewards

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% for 12 months
Ongoing APR 14.24% - 25.24% 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 14.24% to 25.24%.
  • 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.
  • 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: 26.49% 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: 14.24% - 25.24% Variable See Rates & Fees
  • Penalty APR: 29.99% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the perfect blend of everyday rewards and great intro APR. You could earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). And that’s not even covering the 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. All while enjoying a year-long window of interest-free bliss on balance transfers.

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.
Consider this

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is great for earning cash back. Just make sure you’re budgeting to pay everything off within 12 months. Otherwise you’ll have to pay the full interest rate.

Why you'll love it

While the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express may not have the longest 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 Back to top
Apply Now On Bank of America's secure website

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 13.24% - 23.24% 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 13.24% - 23.24% 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: 13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Penalty APR: none

Our two cents

Who should get it

If cards with upfront costs are a major deterrent for you, then you might like the BankAmericard® Credit Card. This card comes with a $0 intro transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. Of course, after that, there is a 3% (minimum $10) fee for any future transfers. However, there are no annual fees to worry about and, in the event of a late payment, there is no penalty APR to worry about.

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

  • 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 transfer fees for 60 days, 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 Back to top
Learn More On Capital One's secure website

Lowest signup bonus requirements

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% intro on balance transfers for For 9 Months
Ongoing APR 14.24% - 24.24% (Variable)

Balance Transfer Fee 3%
Annual Fee $0
Highlights Provided by Capital One Show Highlights
  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your Quicksilver card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; , cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 14.24%-24.24% variable APR after that
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR for 9 months; 14.24%-24.24% variable APR after that; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • Issuer: Capital One
  • Rewards Details: 1.5 % Cash Back on every purchase, every day. $150 Cash Back after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.24% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: 0% intro on purchases
  • Introductory APR Period: For 9 Months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 0% intro on balance transfers
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: For 9 Months
  • Ongoing APR: 14.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
  • Penalty APR: None

Our two cents

Who should get it

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has the lowest signup bonus requirements. If you’re looking to pay down your debt and earn some fast rewards, then this is the card for you. This card grants an introductory 0% APR for nine months, and that’s on both transfers and purchases. And, if your purchases for the first three months add up to $500, you’ll earn a $150 cash back bonus.

How to use it
  • Transfer balances or make large purchases soon after you open your account to enjoy nine months of introductory 0% APR.
  • Earn the $150 signup bonus when you spend $500 within the first three months.
  • Enjoy 1.5% fixed-rate cash back on every purchase with no limit or changing categories.
Consider this

Transfers from existing Capital One® accounts are not allowed. So, if you have balances on other Capital One® cards (includes branded cards, such as Kohl’s, Sony, GM, BuyPower Card, Union Plus, and Teamster Privilege), you won’t be able to do a balance transfer to this card.

Why you'll love it

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card may have one of the shorter introductory 0% APR periods, but it serves as a low-interest card, balance transfer card, and rewards card all in one! Plus, the signup bonus is the easiest to obtain of any card on this list.

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$0 intro balance transfer fee

Chase Slate®
Balance Transfer Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Ongoing APR 16.24% - 24.99% 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
  • See monthly updates to your FICO® Score and the reasons behind your score 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: 26.24% 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: 16.24% - 24.99% 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.

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Money360’s best balance transfer credit cards: summed up

Best for... Credit Card
Overall Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer Apply Now
0% Interest And Cash Back Rewards
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Partner Offer
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Apply Now
Low Upfront Costs BankAmericard® Credit Card Apply Now
Lowest Signup Bonus Requirements Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card Learn More
$0 Intro Balance Transfer Fee Chase Slate® Apply Now

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 your other credit card company and handle the logistics.

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

This can vary, but the general estimate is a week or more. In the case of dealing with a creditor who needs to be paid by check, this can take even longer.

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.
16.24% - 24.99% Variable
$0
0%
* (?)
18 months
3%
13.24% - 24.24% Variable
$0
0%
* (?)
15 Months
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
16.24% - 24.99% Variable
$0
0% intro on balance transfers
For 9 Months
3%
14.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
$0
0%
* (?)
12 months
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
11.24% - 18.24% Variable
$0
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).
12.15% - 27.15% (Variable)
$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 of 2018

  • Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer: Best overall
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: 0% interest and cash back rewards
  • BankAmericard® Credit Card: Low upfront costs
  • Chase Slate®: $0 intro balance transfer fee
  • Chase Freedom®: Great signup bonus

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