Credit card issuers are in such fierce competition these days to attract new customers that most have started offering sweetheart deals to win you over, like ultra-long 0% introductory APR interest periods. By transferring your balance onto one of these cards, you immediately stop all interest charges during the introductory period.
For example, the Chase Slate offers 15 months at 0% APR, so during that entire 15 month intro period, you pay nothing in interest on any balance transferred. That could literally result in thousands of dollars in savings, and is simply a no brainer. With these offers out there, it just makes absolutely no sense to continue to pay credit card interest on your current balances.
Well, without further ado, here are the cards offering great balance transfer specials...
The Ultra-Long 0% APR Card
The BankAmericard® Credit Card is tied as our highest rated balance transfer card, featuring an unbelievable 15 billing cycles (months) 0% APR intro period. This means that if you were to roll your balance over onto the card today, you wouldn't have to pay interest until well into 2018. The card does charge a 3% balance transfer fee (or $10, whichever is greater), but if you’re looking to avoid paying any interest on your credit card balances for as long as possible, the BankAmericard could be your card.
The Verdict: Getting a loan this cheaply for this long is pretty amazing. If you're carrying a balance, and realistically you know you will have to carry that balance for a while, this card becomes a no-brainer. As an example, assume you have a $10,000 balance on your current cards at a 18% rate. Over the 15 billing cycle (month) term, you would have paid $3,098 in interest.* Switching to this card would cost $300 in fees, but then nothing the rest of the way, for a net savings of $2,798. Not bad, you could do a lot with that extra cash.
Most Appropriate For: Those who have large balances and want as much interest-free time as possible to pay the principle down.
Least Appropriate For: Those who pay off their balances every month or every few months.
Credit Required: Good to Excellent
The Verdict: Needless to say, between the cash back program that pays up to 10% and the long 18 -month 0% intro APR term, we're very impressed with this card.
Most Appropriate For: Those who want a no-fee way to stop paying interest, AND also could see themselves using the card to make new purchases. This way you'll get a full 18 months of 0% intro APR and the high cash back rate.
Least Appropriate For: If you don't plan on using your new card to make any new purchases, then the cash back program isn't as important. In that case, you'll want to carefully evaluate whether you need the extra 6 months of 0% interest (and are willing to pay the 3% fee in order to get them) the Discover it offers compared to the Chase Slate.
Credit Required: Good/Excellent
The Balance-Transfer Card with 1.5% Cash Back
Pros: Chase's new Freedom Unlimited card is essentially an improved version of the old Freedom. They bumped the base cash back rate all the way up to an industry leading 1.5%, and pay that full 1.5% on all spend, with no limit or spend category restrictions. Unlike most other high paying cash back cards, you don't have to worry about categories or have to activate anything. You'll receive the full 1.5% back as you make your spend, on all spend, automatically. In addition, Chase is temporarily offering a cash bonus to new card-members. If you charge $500 on it in the first 3 months, you'll earn a $150 cash bonus. Finally, Chase is also offering new card-members 15 months of 0% Intro APR on Purchases interest for the first 15 months of using the card to make new purchases. So during that period, you can use the card without paying any interest on balances you tally, while still earning cash back. The card requires good, not excellent credit, making it easier to get in.
Cons: Charges a 5% balance transfer fee. This is on the high side, so we recommend looking at the BankAmericard if your goal is to transfer a balance. The Freedom Unlimited should be viewed as a cash back card.
The Verdict: One of the strongest cards available to those with good (but not perfect) credit. The card combines industry leading cash back rates (1.5% on everything) with a strong 15 months of 0% Intro APR on Purchases interest on new purchases combined with a $150 cash bonus when you use the card to make $500 in spend in the first 3 months.
Most Appropriate For: Those with good credit seeking a daily-use card offering great cash back rewards and 0% Intro APR on Purchases intro APR. Best for new charges.
Least Appropriate For: Balance transfers, as it charges the 5% fee.
Credit Required: Good to Excellent
With so many issuers competing to offer such great introductory incentives, it seems smart to make use of them in the right way! We hope our reviews of these cards was helpful, and if you have any comments, please don't hesitate to let us at the LendingTree Credit Card Review Team know!