Fees For Balance Transfers
Balance transfers usually arent free.
Even those credit cards offering an introductory zero percent interest rate generally come with a cost in the form of a balance transfer fee, which will typically be charged as a percentage with a predetermined minimum.
Most credit card issuers charge between 2% and 5% of the balance as the fee for the transfer, with a minimum fee of about $5. Some card issuers waive this fee if the balance transfer is made within a certain number of days of opening a new account.
Its also worth noting that balance transfer fees usually show up separately from the transferred amount on the statement of the card you transferred the balance to.
2021s Best Credit Cards With No Balance Transfer Fees and 0% APR
Bank Of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best Unlimited Cash Back For Preferred Rewards Members
Why we picked it: Not only does this card feature an attractive 0% intro APR on purchases as well as balance transfers made within the first 60 days for 15 billing cycles , it also offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases. Existing Bank of America customers can earn an additional 25% to 75% boost to rewards earnings provided they have a savings account with $20,000 or more through the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. The reward increase will vary based on your Preferred Rewards account balance. Cardmembers can also earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.
Pros: Your cash rewards never expire as long as your account remains active. Cash rewards can be redeemed for statement credits, deposits made directly to your eligible Bank of America checking or savings account or as a credit to an eligible Merrill account.
Cons: If you carry a balance past the introductory 15 billing cycles, the amount of interest you owe could be high, particularly if the higher APR applies. Depending on your spending habits, a card that offers a high rewards rate on specific bonus categories may be a better option.
Who should apply? Anyone hoping to tackle an existing card debt or make a large purchase will benefit from this cards competitive intro APR offer, and the unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards certainly sweeten the deal.
A Bank Account That Does More Means You Will Too
Receive an annual fee waiver on select credit cards by signing up for a Preferred Package or Ultimate Package.
Offer Description and Conditions: The;Introductory 0.99% Balance Transfer Rate Offer applies only to cash advances subject to the conditions below. This introductory rate applies when the new Scotiabank Value Visa credit card account is opened by November 21, 2021 and will continue for 6 months from date of Account opening .; This Offer is subject to any available limit for Cash Advances on your Account. This Offer cannot be used to transfer a balance from another Scotiabank Account, or to make a payment or deposit to another Scotiabank account.; After the Promotional Period, the 0.99% interest rate on any promotional Cash Advances will increase to the preferred interest rate on Cash Advances . ;There is no balance transfer fee on balances transferred during the Promotional Period. If you dont pay the minimum payment on your Account by the payment due date on your statement, two times in any consecutive 12-month period, you will lose the benefit of this promotional rate Offer and the interest rates that apply on any unpaid balance will increase to the standard annual interest rates that apply to your Account . ;Offer may be changed, cancelled or extended at any time without notice and cannot be combined with any other offers.
Rates and Fees:;The current annual fee is $29 for the primary card and $0 for each additional supplementary card.;
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Things To Watch Out For
Dont make purchases with a credit card you have made a balance transfer to, as youll only add to what you already owe.
- Interest rates most balance transfers offer a better interest rate for an introductory period. When that period ends, the interest rate will go up. So its important that you know when it finishes. Check how well the final rate compares with other cards, and see if you can get a better deal elsewhere.
- Check transfer limits; check with your credit provider what limits might exist.;
- Be aware that if you spend using your balance transfer credit card, the purchases you make might not be included in the 0% rate.
Find recommended balance transfer cards on the MoneySavingExpert website
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card: Best For 2% Cash Rewards
Why we picked it: This straightforward rewards card offers an unlimited 2% cash rewards on eligible purchases. And unlike the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers 1% cash back on eligible purchases and another 1% when you pay your bill, the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card comes with an introductory bonus of $200 cash rewards after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening. Members enjoy a 0% introductory APR on purchases as well as qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening, then 14.99% to 24.99% variable APR.
Pros: The card carries no annual fee. Cash rewards never expire so long as your account remains in good standing. Besides cellphone insurance, card perks also include Visa Signature Concierge benefits at select hotel properties around the world.
Cons: While the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card beats out the Citi Double Cash card in terms of an introductory bonus, the Citi Double Cash has the longer APR intro period for balance transfers.
The intro APR on qualifying balance transfers must be made within the first 120 days as a cardholder to receive the special intro rate. Theres also a balance transfer fee of 3% if you transfer the balance within 120 days; 5% if you dont .
Who should skip? This card is a great choice for day-to-day spending, but you could be missing out on potential rewards in your top spending categories.
Read the full Wells Fargo Active Cash Card review or jump back to this cards offer details.
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Discover It Balance Transfer
Our pick for:;Long-term value: 0% periods for transfers and purchases + bonus cash back
What makes the Discover it® Balance Transfer stand out from other balance-transfer cards is its ongoing cash-back rewards, which give you a great reason to keep using the card regularly even after its introductory 0% APR period ends. Read our review.
Moneygeeks Quick Guide To Understanding Balance Transfers
Paying off debt is a great feeling, which is why a balance transfer card is such a powerful tool. It can jump-start your debt payoff plan. Plus, it allows you to consolidate your credit cards into one monthly bill. Not everyone is a good fit for a balance transfer card, though. There are certain nuances to balance transfer cards that you should know before deciding to apply for a card.
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What Are The Pros Of A 0% Balance Transfer Card
You can transfer an outstanding balance from a credit card thats charging a high rate of interest, allowing you to pay off the debt with 0% interest.
;If you transfer your balance from several cards, youll only have one card to deal with, which should make setting up and keeping track of payments easier.
Choosing The Best Balance Transfer Credit Card In Canada
Carrying a credit card balance is never ideal, but it does happen!
If it does, transferring your balance to a card with a low promotional interest rate can give you a chance to catch up. Instead of putting most of your monthly payment towards interest, you can start paying down your balance. Most of the cards on our list give you 9 months or more to make payments before the regular interest rate kicks in.
The best balance transfer card for you will depend on your particular financial situation, but if youâre looking to pay down your debt fast and keep it down, the editorial team unanimously recommends the CIBC Select Visa or the MBNA True Line Mastercard. Both cards currently give you a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for at least 10 months . We prefer the CIBC Select Visa because the transfer rate is lower, but either card will help you get where you want to goâto a zero balance.
These cards also offer lower interest rates than most other cards, which can be helpful if youâre in the habit of carrying a balance. You can find other outstanding low interest rate cards in our list of the Best Low Interest Credit Cards in Canada, but these two currently have the best balance transfer promotions available.
If youâre feeling like itâs time to get your finances in order, a balance transfer offer like the ones listed here can help you take charge. Good luck!
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Bankamericard Credit Card: Best For Low Interest
Why we picked it: The BankAmericard allows you 18 billing cycles to work on paying off a balance transfer without accruing interest. After that, your interest rate could still be quite low. The regular APR is 12.99% to 22.99% variable, which is good, especially if you can secure an interest rate at the low end of that spectrum.
Pros: The 18-month 0% introductory rate also extends to purchases . There is no rewards program, but you still have access to money-saving perks with BankAmeriDeals, Bank of Americas card-linked cash back offers. You wont pay an annual fee.
Cons: Again, youll need to act fast to capitalize on the balance transfer offer, given it applies only to balances transferred in your first 60 days. Youll pay a balance transfer fee of 3% or $10 .
Who should apply? Cardholders with big balances can take advantage of the low APR intro rate but only if theyre nimble enough to get it done within the first 60 days of opening the account. For larger debts, the balance transfer fee may sting a bit at 3%
Who should skip? This card has no rewards program so if thats high on your priorities, look elsewhere.
Read the full BankAmericard credit card review or jump back to this cards offer details.
Look Into Low Interest Offers
If you anticipate that you might still have a balance after the 0% intro APR offer ends, take a look at balance transfer cards with low interest rates. Here are a couple we like.
- Alliant Visa® Platinum Credit Card regular APR is 10.24% to 22.24% variable
- BankAmericard® credit card regular APR is 12.99% to 22.99% variable
Keep in mind that the better your credit, the lower your regular APR will likely be on a card. Taking a look at the Alliant Visa, imagine you will owe $600 and you plan to pay $100 a month. If you get the APR rate of 22.24%, you will owe $43 in interest. If you get the APR rate of 10.24%, you will owe $19 in interest, more than half that of the higher interest rate. That said, its always best to pay down all of your debt before the 0% intro APR offer of a balance transfer card ends. However, if thats not possible, a card that has relatively low interest could be a life-saver.
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Bank Of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card
Our pick for:;Long-term value:;0% periods for transfers and purchases + flat-rate rewards
The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card is one of many 1.5% flat-rate cash-back cards on the market. It comes with a decent sign-up bonus, a generous intro APR period, and the potential to supercharge your earnings through Bank of America®’s Preferred Rewards program.;Read our review.
How Does A Balance
When you apply for any credit card, you receive a hard credit inquiry that can temporarily bring your credit score down a few points. This includes balance transfer cards. However, this is not a reason to avoid applying.;
If youre looking into a balance-transfer credit card, its likely because youve got some outstanding credit card debt. Moving that debt in order to reduce it will have a positive, lasting impact on your credit score in the medium to long term.;
The way this works is that the lower interest rates mean more of your money goes to paying down the balance, so you can reduce your debt load faster. A smaller debt load can improve your credit score because it lowers your credit utilizationa major credit score factor which measures the ratio between the balance and total credit limit.
When you consider everything, the damage your debt load does to your credit score far outweighs the small and temporary effect on your credit score caused by an application. When it comes to debt, always look for the longer term solution.
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Best Balance Transfer And 0% Apr Credit Cards Of September 2021
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list ofour partnersandhere’s how we make money.
ALSO CONSIDER:;Best credit cards of 2021 ||;Best 0% credit cards;||;Best rewards credit cards;||;Best cash back credit cards;
Transferring a high-interest balance to a credit card with a 0% introductory rate;can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest, money you can apply toward getting out of debt sooner. With balance transfer cards, the more zeroes the better: Look for a $0 annual fee and a 0% period of 15 months or more. Some cards even charge a $0 balance transfer fee .
Some of our selections for the best 0% balance transfer credit cards can be applied for through NerdWallet, and some cannot. Below, you’ll find application links for;the credit cards from our partners;that are available through NerdWallet, followed by the full list of our picks.
ALSO CONSIDER:;Best credit cards of 2021 ||;Best 0% credit cards;||;Best rewards credit cards;||;Best cash back credit cards;
Use A Credit Card Interest Calculator
If you arent eligible for a balance transfer card or you dont want to apply for a new line of credit, it may make sense to calculate various repayment scenarios using a credit card interest calculator. This may help you feel more in control of your financial situation and can help you prioritize your spending.
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Figure Out Where The Balance Is Going
First, you need to know where youre transferring the balance. Some options may include:
Looking for a new credit card with a balance transfer offer? See our favorites here.
Is A Balance Transfer A Good Idea
A balance transfer can be an excellent way to tackle credit card debt, especially if you can commit to paying off the debt within an introductory period.;
But a balance transfer can also go sideways. If you can pay off your debt in just a few months, you might wind up paying more in fees than you would in interest on your current card. In this case, it’s best to just pay off your balance as soon as possible rather than transferring it.
You should also steer clear of balance transfer cards if you’re easily tempted by credit cards. Opening a new credit card and freeing up credit on your existing ones may only encourage you to spend more.
Additionally, a balance transfer probably won’t work for you if you have poor credit. The best balance transfer deals are generally only available to those with good credit, and if you don’t qualify for a low introductory APR, you likely won’t save enough money to warrant the hassle.
Lastly, you might need to consider a longer-term solution if you have substantial credit card debt, like a debt consolidation loan. Otherwise, you run the risk of paying too much in transfer fees and interest down the line.
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How Much Debt Can You Transfer
The exact amount youre able to transfer depends on your card and the credit limit you receive. Credit card providers typically determine the amount of debt you can move in relation to your credit limit.
Many issuers are generous, giving cardholders the ability to transfer their full credit limit, but in some cases, your transfer limit may be capped at 75 percent of your overall credit limit. Some card issuers also have internal rules for balance transfers. Chase, for example, lets cardholders transfer only up to $15,000 to their cards within a 30-day period.
Its important to note that the balance transfer fee is often considered a part of your transferable balance, making your true limit slightly lower than you may have expected. Be sure to read through your credit card agreement or talk to your issuer to determine if and how the balance transfer fee affects your limit.
What Is The Cards Long
Does the card have features that make it worth keeping after youve used the balance transfer offer to pay off debt? Credit card rewards shouldnt be the main motivation behind getting a balance transfer card, but cash back or points can increase a cards long-term value.
A balance transfer card offers a lot of advantages for managing debt and getting a temporary break from interest. The keys are choosing the right card with the right offer and then paying the balance down to zero before the introductory offer ends.
Still unsure? Read the full story: Is a balance transfer a good idea?
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