Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

The Fastest Way To Pay Off $10,000 In Credit Card Debt

What's the best way to pay down a credit card balance as quickly as possible, while paying the least amount in interest, and without hurting your credit score? Personal finance experts agree that our two-step method works. It's extremely effective, completely legal, and leverages programs created by credit card issuers to your advantage. Here's what you need to know:

Step 1: Use An Expert Trick To Immediately Stop Paying Interest On Your Balance

If you want to get rid of your credit card debt quickly, you need to stop paying so much money toward interest every month and start making progress on your balance. There's a simple way to do this, and it's brilliance is that it uses the banks' marketing offers to your advantage: find a card offering a long "0% intro APR baance transfer," and transfer your balance to it.

These cards offer new customers up to 18 months during which there is no interest charged on balance transfers. We constantly track all the cards in the marketplace in order to find the ones currently offering the longest 0% intro periods, and some of our favorite cards are listed below.

Need more motivation? Just think of this: on a $10,000 balance, $150 of a $200 monthly payment automatically goes toward interest. Ouch! That means only $50 from your payment actually reduces your balance, the rest vanishing into bank pockets. But when you use the cards below to take advantage of no-interest periods with low or no fees, you can start to eliminate your debt and move on to step two.

Step 2: Pay Down Your Balance During The 0% Period

Once you've transferred your balances and put a stop to the interest charges, it's time to capitalize on the interest-free period to really break free of the debt. The best part? All you have to do is keep making the same payments you were on your previous card. Using the example above, if you transferred your $10,000 balance onto a card like the Chase Slate (which offers 15 months interest-free on balance transfers) and maintained the same $200 monthly payment, you'll pay off $2,150 more during the promotional period than you would using your old card.
 

As you can see, without using the 0% card, the same $200 monthly payments barely make a dent. It's like swimming upstream, or taking one step back for every two steps forward. That's no way to swim or walk, and attempting to pay off your cards while paying high card interest rates is no way to manage your finances. Move your balances onto one of the cards below, stop getting crushed by interest, and start making real progress toward getting rid of your debt.

The 4 Best 0% Intro APR Balance Transfer Cards


The No Transfer-Fee Card

The Chase Slate® is tied as our highest-rated balance transfer card, and for good reason. It charges no fee for transferring your balance to it in the first two months, no annual fee, and no interest on balances transferred for a full 15-month 0% intro APR period. This makes it a phenomenal tool to gain control of your credit card debt, as you can make a costless balance transfer, then use the 15-month interest grace period to pay down your balance.

The Verdict: If you don't need the entire 18 months offered by the BankAmericard, this can be efficient since it doesn't have a balance transfer fee. No transfer fee and no annual fee, combined with the 0% intro APR means that this is really free money for the 15 month term, no catches.

Most Appropriate For: Those who want a no-fee way to stop paying interest, and possibly pay off the cards during that breather. Those with good rather than excellent credit.

Least Appropriate For: Those who pay off their balances every month would be better served getting a card paying high rewards. Note that the 0% transfer fee is an introductory offer, so be sure to transfer your balance in the first 60 days, or there will be a fee.

Recommended credit:  Just Good. The Chase card has the most lenient credit requirements of our top balance transfer cards.

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The Ultra-Long 0% Card

The BankAmericard® Credit Card is tied as our highest rated balance transfer card, featuring an unbelievable 18 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 18 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

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The Cards Which Not Only Don't Charge, But Actually PAY you.

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 Slate or 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 while offering no more free term than the Slate (which has no transfer fee).

Credit Required: Good to Excellent

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Pros: Capital One's Quicksilver card makes things simple: you earn 1.5% cash back on all your purchases, with no limit and no category restrictions or games. We included the card in our balance transfer list because it offers 0% intro APR 9 months  on all balances transferred.

Cons: Does charge a 3% balance transfer fee. Requires good credit to get in.

The Verdict: If you're looking to transfer a balance and make some purchases, you can use this card to avoid paying interest during the intro period AND earn cash rewards.

Most Appropriate For: Anyone who might make some large purchases in the near future, or regularly charges a lot on their cards. Making the charges on the Quicksilver  would earn cash back but not require any interest during the intro period.

Credit Required: Good to Excellent

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Summary

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!

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 



*Savings calculation: Credit Card Balance * (1+Average Card Rate/365)^639 days – Balance Transfer Fee - Average Household Credit Card Balance
 
                                                                                                                                           
Card Name Purchase APR Annual Fee Balance Transfer APR Credit Needed Features Our Rating & Bottom Line  
BankAmericard® Credit Card
11.24% - 21.24% Variable $0 0% Intro APR on balance transfers made in the first 60 days for 18 billing cycles.
3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
Good/Excellent 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made in first 60 days, then a variable APR between 11.24% - 21.24% on Purchases and Balance Transfers Our Rating:
4.7 out of 5

The perfect card for those seeking a simple yet convenient-to-use credit card
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Chase Slate ®
  0% for first 15 months, then 13.24% - 23.24% (variable) $0 0% for first 15 months, no transfer fee Good/Excellent $0 introductory balance transfer fee during first 60 days your account is open; 0% intro APR on purchases and transfers Our Rating:  
5 out of 5
A great card for less than excellent credit, while offering solid features like $0 transfer fee & 15 months 0% APR
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Chase Freedom UnlimitedSM
 0% Intro APR on Purchases for the first 15 months, then 14.24%-23.24% Variable$00% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
            fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Good/Excellent$150 bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months; 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limits or category restrictionsOur Rating:
4 out of 5
Excellent combination of cash back rewards and 0% intro APR; $150 bonus opportunity
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Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Card
0% intro APR 9 months, then 13.24%-23.24% (variable) $0 0% intro 9 months, then 13.24%-23.24% (variable)
fee of 3% of the amount of each transfer
Good/Excellent 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limits or category restrictions Our Rating:
4 out of 5
This is a great card for making purchases. Simple cash rewards program comes out among tops in industry
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