Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards in 2019

best credit cards for balance transfer

Credit cards are, first and foremost, a convenience: You can make all your purchases without worrying about the daily ebbs and flows your checking account, and earn rewards to boot.

Sometimes, they’re helpful to pay for purchases over time, too.

If you’re not careful, however, the interest on a credit card used this way can cause your balance to grow out of control.

When this happens, there’s actually a way to “reset” and have and buy yourself time to pay down your balance without all the interest piling up.

If you need time to pay off an existing credit card balance without interest, a 0% balance transfer credit card could be the answer to your problems.

It’s possible to stop paying double-digit interest on your existing card by transferring the balance to a new card with an APR of 0% for up to 21 months.

Some cards offering a 0% introductory balance transfer even come with unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards and $200 cash rewards bonuses. Sounds sweet, doesn’t it?

Unlike many sweet deals, this one isn’t too good to be true. But there are some things you’ll want to know before you find the balance transfer credit card that’s right for you.

The Best Credit Cards for Balance Transfers

So without waiting any longer, let’s talk about the benefits of the best balance transfer credit cards in 2019:

HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card

hsbc gold mastercard credit card
Promo Period: 0% Introductory APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers in the first 18 months.

Balance Transfer Fee: $10 or 4%, whichever is greater.

Annual Fee: None

Other Perks:

  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No late fees.
  • No penalty APR for late payments.
  • Discounted and complimentary PGA golf passes and perks.

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom Credit Card
Promo Period: 0% Introductory APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers in the first 15 months.

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% in the first 60 days, then $5 or 5%, whichever is greater.

Annual Fee: None

Other Perks:

  • $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cashback on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter (must activate rewards every quarter).
  • Unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
Promo Period: 0% Introductory APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers in the first 15 months.

Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3%, whichever is greater.

Annual Fee: None

Other Perks:

  • 3% cashback on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent.
  • After that, unlimited 1.5% cashback on all purchases, with no redemption minimum.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card
Promo Period:0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% when transferred in the first 15 months

Annual Fee: None

Other Perks:

  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • $150 cash bonus after you spend the first $500 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 1.5% unlimited cash back on every purchase – and it never expires!
  • There is no limit on how much you can earn.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

US bank cash+ visa signature credit card
Promo Period: 0% Introductory APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers in the first 12 months.

Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3%, whichever is greater.

Annual Fee: None

Other Perks:

  • 5% cashback on the first $2,000 in eligible purchases.
  • After that – unlimited 2% cashback on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores.
  • Opt-in quarterly bonus categories to earn 2% cashback.
  • Unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.
  • Special Bonus: U.S. Bank is a 2019 World’s Most Ethical Company®.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

wells fargo cash wise visa credit card
Promo Period: 0% Introductory APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers in the first 15 months.

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% for the first 120 days, then 5%

Annual Fee: None

Other Perks:

  • $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases and 1.8% cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases with Apple Pay® and Google Pay™ during your first 12 months.
  • No category restrictions or opt-ins are necessary!
  • Cash rewards never expire.
  • Also – you’ll be eligible for up to $600 protection on your cell phone with a $25 deductible.

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

capital one savor cash rewards credit card
Promo Period: 0% Introductory APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers in the first 15 months.

Balance Transfer Fee: 3%

Annual Fee: None

Other Perks:

  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $150 cash bonus on your first $500 spent in the first 3 months.
  • Unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment.
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card

hsbc cash rewards mastercard credit card
Promo Period: 0% Introductory APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers in the first 12 months.

Balance Transfer Fee: $10 or 4%, whichever is greater.

Annual Fee: None

Other Perks:

  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Unlimited 3% back on all purchases in the first year (up to $10,000). Then 1.5% thereafter.
  • Annual 10% “Anniversary Bonus” on all cash rewards earned within the year.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Credit Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
Promo Period: 0% Introductory APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers in the first 12 months.

Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, within the first 120 days. After that 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of  $5.

Annual Fee: None

Other Perks:

  • No foreign currency conversion fee.
  • 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – a $300 cash value.
  • Earn 3X points on restaurants and food delivery, travel, transportation, and streaming services.

How to Do a Balance Transfer in Just a Few Easy Steps

Balance transfers are just plain math. All you need to do is:

  1. Know your current interest rate, your outstanding balance, and how much you’ll pay in interest over the year
    • To do this, multiply your balance by whatever your interest rate is.
    • Example: 27% interest on a $2500 balance is 2500 x .27 = $675 in one year.
  2. Shop for a Balance Transfer Card that gives you the most time to pay off your debt
    • Common introductory periods are 12 months, 15 months, and 18 months.
    • Sometimes, you can find a balance transfer credit card with a 21-month introductory period. These are sweet!
    • You can also compare the APR after the introductory rate is over, and factor that into your decision as well.
  3. Check the balance transfer fee and calculator your savings
    • Almost every balance transfer card charges a one-time fee (usually between 3 and 5% of the balance you transfer).
    • This fee is rolled into your balance.
    • Subtract this fee from the annual interest you pay on your existing card to see how much you’ll save by transferring your balance in the first year.
    • In almost every scenario, you can still save a ton even after paying the balance transfer fee.
  4. Look for additional perks
    • Believe it or not, many balance transfer cards come with even more sweet perks like cash back on purchases
  5. Read the fine print
    • Understanding the terms and conditions of your new balance transfer credit card is going to help you out in the long run.
    • Find out if there are, first and foremost, any restrictions on balance transfers.
      • For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers points on balance transfers, but only spending is eligible for unlimited 1.5% cashback.
      • You’ll need to know these distinctions and others like whether you can transfer balances from cards by the same company.
      • For example, if you’re thinking about the Citi® Double Cash Card, here’s something to know:
        • With this card, you won’t be able to transfer balances from any existing Citibank cards you already have. So, be sure to read the fine print and do your research.

Now that you have done your homework and found the best balance transfer credit card to meet your needs, its time to get to work!

Apply For The Balance Transfer Credit Card

But remember, hard inquiries show up on your credit report, so we recommend checking your likelihood of approval through Credit Sesame first.

Initiate The Balance Transfer

You’ll do this by either logging into your new credit card account and filling out an online form, or you can make a transfer request over the phone.

Do a Happy Dance and Pay Off Your Debt

It will feel as fresh as a new haircut to let go of all that potential interest.

But keep your eye on the prize – calculate your new monthly payment by dividing up your balance by the number of months in your promotional period.

Going back to our example, a $2500 balance over 21 months would make your monthly debt-payoff payment $119.05 per month. Not bad, and totally doable!

Should You Get a Balance Transfer Credit Card?

Since doing a balance transfer successfully is all about maximizing the use of free money, you’re going to want to shop around to find the best offer you can find.

There is usually a small fee when you do a balance transfer, about 3% of the total amount transferred.

Let’s Look at an Example:

For a balance transfer of $2500, you’d pay a one-time fee of $75. But if you’re smart, you’ll transfer your balance from a card with a high-interest rate to one with a low, or even 0%, rate.

This will save you in the long run. How?

Let’s say that $2500 was originally on a card with 27% APR. That means in one year, you’ll pay $675 in interest only, without even touching the balance!

Paying that one-time fee of $75 will save you, in one year’s time, $600.

As you can see, balance transfers are worth it if you can get a minimum of 12 months with 0% interest.

But wait – we mentioned comparing. While a 12-month balance transfer incentive is great, some cards offer up to 18 months or even 21 months.

That’s almost double the time you can take advantage of zero interest, giving you more time to pay off your balance if you need it.

David Weliver

David Weliver

David Weliver is the Credit Cards Editor at Millennial Money. He is the Founder of Money Under 30 and is widely regarded as one of the top credit card rewards experts in the world. David has been writing about personal finance and credit cards since 2006 and been featured in The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and many others.
David Weliver

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