Credit Cards

Why Aren’t Credit Cards Offering Balance Transfers

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 9 minute read

You have a number of options if you’re wanting to cut back on and eventually pay off high-interest credit card debt. By completely avoiding the use of credit cards or diligently paying off your bills in full each month, you can significantly limit your exposure to interest rates. 

It is possible to look for credit cards with low APRs that don’t charge you a lot to carry balances from month to month. Alternatively, search for credit cards with alluring balance transfer specials or low standard balance transfer APRs.

Many of the finest debt transfer credit cards offer large introductory 0% APR periods that last for longer than 12 months. Many of them provide tempting regular balance transfer APRs that are still considerably lower than those offered by rival cards and, often, below their own purchase APRs. The balance transfer costs for some are also minimal or nonexistent.

Top Credit Cards for Balance Transfers

These are currently the top balance transfer credit cards available. Everyone excels in at least one particular task, whether it is providing 0% APR on balance transfers for well over a year or combining a fantastic balance transfer deal with large cash-back incentives.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card is the best overall.

Beyond its unusually lengthy introductory APR deal, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card has a lot going for it, making it our top selection overall.

For 15 months, that initial promotion’s offer of 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers stands (billing cycles). Following that, a variable regular APR (currently ranging from 17.24% to 25.99%, depending on your creditworthiness) is applicable.

Additional characteristics:

  • On qualifying Chase Travel purchases, earn 5% cash back.
  • On qualifying restaurant and pharmacy purchases, get 3% cashback.
  • On all other eligible purchases, you can get 1.5% cashback.
  • Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases during the first year your account is open (up to the first $20,000 spent). This equates to 6.5% cash back on all travel, gift cards, and other purchases made using Chase Ultimate Rewards; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases; 3% cash back on all other purchases (up to $20,000 in first-year spending); and 4.5% cash back on dining out, including takeout and eligible delivery services; and 6.5% cash back on travel.
  • No annual charge.
  • On automobile rentals paid for in full using your card, benefit from free secondary coverage and extended warranty protection.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card: The Best for Purchases and Balance Transfers

A simple credit card with a great debt transfer offer, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers 0% APR for the first 20 months of card membership for a constrained period of time. Transfers must be done within 60 days of account opening to be eligible.

The matching 0% APR purchase incentive is what distinguishes this card from others. Its 20-month period is unusual in the world of low APRs.

After the 0% interest-free periods expire, a variable regular APR (currently ranging from 17.49% to 27.49% depending on your creditworthiness and market rates) will apply to both purchases and balance transfers.

Added characteristics:

  • No annual charge.
  • Transfer fees are $5 or 3%, whichever is higher.
  • When you use your U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card to pay for the entirety of your rental car, you will receive free auto insurance.
  • According to how the transaction is valued, foreign transaction fees might range from 2% to 3%.
  • Benefit from up to $600 in cell phone protection per event (minus a $25 deductible).

Ideal for Business Owners: World Elite Mastercard® from U.S. Bank Business offers triple cash rewards.

There aren’t many credit cards for small businesses with introductory balance transfer offers. The U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard® is one of the few products that stand out in this category.

This offer is sufficient to compete with some of the most generous consumer rewards credit cards available. For the first 15 billing cycles that your account is open, you can make purchases and debt transfers at 0% APR. After that, a variable regular APR, which ranges from 16.99% to 25.99%, applies.

Added characteristics:

  • Earn $500 additional cash back for a limited period after making $4,500 in qualifying purchases with the account owner’s card in the first 150 days of your account’s existence.
  • Enjoy 3% cash back on qualifying net purchases at eateries, gas stations, EV charging stations, and retailers selling office supplies, as well as cell phone or service providers.
  • For regular software subscription costs for programs like FreshBooks or QuickBooks, receive an annual $100 statement credit.
  • There are neither yearly nor extra fees for employee cards.
  • Conditions & Terms Apply: Visit rates & costs.

Top Credit Card: Chase Freedom FlexSM for Rotating Cash Back

The 0% APR discount on purchases and debt transfers is available for 15 months starting from the account opening date on the Chase Freedom FlexSM Credit Card. It’s one of the greatest rewards credit cards, along with Freedom Unlimited, for reducing high-interest credit card debt.

In the event that the 0% APR period expires, the variable regular APR (currently ranging from 17.24% to 25.99%, depending on your creditworthiness) will be applied to both purchases and debt transfers.

The rewards scheme of Freedom Unlimited is also comparable to Freedom Flex’s. A 5% cash-back category that rotates every three months is the largest difference.

In that category, the maximum cash-back rewards are $75 or $1,500 in total quarterly category spending. Freedom Flex is the top balance transfer card for rotating cash back thanks to that, but, which is still sufficient.

Other characteristics

  • When you make eligible purchases totaling at least $500 within three months of starting your account, you’ll receive a $200 bonus cash-back credit.
  • Earn 1% cash back on qualifying purchases that aren’t part of the 5% or 3% categories.
  • No yearly charge.
  • Enjoy free secondary coverage and an extended warranty on all car rentals paid for in full with your card.

Citi® Double Cash Card is the Best Option for Flat-Rate Cash Back.

With 0% APR for 18 months on all balance transfers made within four months (120 days) of account opening, the Citi® Double Cash Card is a cash-back credit card with a good balance transfer deal. Based on your creditworthiness and the length of the promotional period, the variable APR ranges from 16.99% to 26.99%.

A flat-rate cash-back program that operates as follows is the Citi Double Cash Card’s most notable feature.

  • Earn an unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase you make.
  • If you make at least the minimum payment on time each month, you can earn an additional 1% cash back on all payments.

When you combine those two, you get an unlimited 2% cash-back rate.

Additional characteristics

  • For a limited time, get $200 cash back after spending $1,500 in the first six months of opening your account on purchases.
  • You can redeem cash back by statement credit, paper check, or gift card once you meet the $25 redemption threshold.
  • No yearly charge.
    a foreign transaction fee of 3%
  • The balance transfer cost is $5 or 3%, whichever is higher.
  • Double Cash offers Private Pass advantages, much like other Citi cards (exclusive event and experience access).

Citi Simplicity® Card: Top for No Late Fees

It’s simple to use the Citi Simplicity® Card. It doesn’t provide a sign-up bonus or cash-back benefits, but it does have one of the greatest balance transfer offers in the industry; From the time the account is opened, there is 0% APR.

Within four months (120 days) of the account establishment, the introductory rate is applied to all transferred balances. Following that, a variable regular APR — currently ranging from 17.74% to 27.74% — is applied, based on current interest rates and your creditworthiness.

But the subtle fact that Citi Simplicity never imposes late fees makes it stand out from the competition. If you are having financial difficulties or your planned payment is late due to no fault of your own, that is vitally essential information.

Other characteristics

  • Enjoy 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening, then variable regular APR applies.
  • No annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • The balance transfer fee is greater than $5 or 3%.
  • Additional value-adds include 24/7 customer service and the ability to choose your payment due date.

Citi Custom CashSM Card Offers The Best Sign-Up Bonus.

The Citi Custom CashSM Card is a no-fee cash-back credit card that offers a very alluring 15-month 0% APR balance transfer deal after account opening.

Along with this promotion, there is a long buy APR promotion. After that, a variable regular APR (currently ranging from 16.99% to 26.99%) is applicable, depending on your creditworthiness and market rates.

The significant, simple-to-earn sign-up bonus offered by Citi Custom Cash stands out above and beyond the balance transfer and purchase promotions; Spend $1,500 on eligible purchases during the first six months that your account is open, and you’ll receive a $200 bonus cash payment (20,000 ThankYou points).

It’s not the largest amount of money you’ll find on a credit card sign-up bonus, but it’s quite simple to get. Most people can afford to pay that much.

Additional characteristics

  • On the first $500 in monthly qualified purchases in the top spending category, get 5% cashback.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases above $500 in monthly spending above the $500 spending restriction.
  • Restaurants, gas stations, certain transportation, specific streaming services, live entertainment, home improvement stores, and pharmacies are some of the purchase categories that qualify for the incentive.
  • No yearly charge.
  • 3% of the transaction amount is the cost of foreign transactions.

How We Select the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards, Using Our Methodology

When comparing debt transfer credit cards, we consider a number of important variables before directing our readers to the top choices.

The promotional interest rate, the duration of the promotional period, any associated fees, and similar items are the factors that have the most impact on balance transfers themselves. In addition, we search for additional significant value additions like offers of prizes and bonus points for new cardholders.

Advertisement Interest Rate

The promotional interest rate is crucial because our list of the best balance transfer credit cards includes it. For the duration of their promotional durations, each card on this list completely waives interest, offering a 0% APR.

Length of Promotional Period

The better, the promotional period should be extended. We favor credit cards with balance transfer deals with 0% APR that lasts for 12 months or more; 15 months or longer is preferable. The greatest lasted for almost 20 months.

Fees for Balance Transfers

A decision Few credit cards completely waive balance transfer costs, although the majority levies them in the range of 3% to 5% of the total transfer. That’s acceptable, although lower is preferable in this case as well.

Purchase Promotion with Low APR

Credit cards that offer simultaneous balance transfer and purchase incentives, ideally with 0% APR on both, are a huge favorite of ours. You’ll see that a large number of the credit cards on our list fit that description, and we’re continually seeking more.

Credit Card Rewards

There are more options today than in the past for balance transfer credit cards, even though these cards aren’t known for having fantastic rewards programs. We seek out cards that give the best of both worlds whenever possible: extended 0% APR balance transfer deals along with sizable cash-back or travel rewards programs.

Welcome Offer for New Cardholders (Sign-up Bonus)

An excellent sign-up incentive is loved by everyone. That’s for sure. As a result, we choose balance transfer credit cards that also provide strong bonuses for new cardholders who successfully meet a minimum spending requirement within the first few months of card membership.

Card Fees

The annual fee is the fee that matters most in this instance, excluding the balance transfer fee. Thankfully, the majority of credit cards for balance transfers don’t impose annual fees, and we distrust the ones that do.

How to Choose the Best Credit Card for Balance Transfers

You’re getting ready to apply for a balance transfer credit card, but are you carefully considering your options? Consider your goals for using your card after taking a step back. 

Consider:

  • What the annual charge is for the card
  • Whether the card earns points and how generously its rewards program is if it does
  • Any sign-up incentives or additional offers made in conjunction with the balance transfer promotion
  • Whether the card offers a 0% APR introductory period for purchases
  • Additional advantages or benefits of card membership

Next, evaluate the offers themselves for balance transfers. Pay close attention to

  • The duration of the promotional interest periods for these cards (if applicable)
    after the promotional period ended, the APR
  • Any conditions or limitations that reduce their allure

After completing all of this, you will likely be closer to making a choice than before. Choose the card that best meets your needs after weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

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