Top Balance Transfer Credit Cards for 2016
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Balance transfer credit card offers have been flooding the market for some time, giving consumers with an excellent credit score the opportunity to save some money. Issuers are offering cards with a 0% APR for 15-21 months on the amount you transfer from one card to another. In some cases, you may even receive 0% APR on your purchases for that time period.
Transferring a balance from one credit card issuer to another can be beneficial. Cardholders have the chance to consolidate their debt and possibly save a substantial amount in interest penalties.
But balance transfers do come with some risks:
- It usually costs money to transfer a balance from one card to another. Typically, you’ll pay a 3% balance transfer fee but some issuers charge 5%. Before applying for a balance transfer, you need to do the math to compare your current interest costs to the combined cost of the new card’s APR and the balance transfer fee (which is charged up front). There are some cards that do not have a balance transfer fee which we highlight below.
- Pay attention to the ongoing interest rate you will pay after the introductory rate expires, especially if you don’t think you can pay off the entire balance during this introductory period.
- If you do not have a good credit score, chances are you may not get the advertised introductory offer. You may receive a higher ongoing APR, a shorter introductory period, or the issuer may not allow you to transfer your total balance.
- It is crucial to pay your credit card bill on time every month. If you are late on a payment, your introductory period is likely to end immediately and you’ll be paying the ongoing APR on the balance that you transferred.
- The 0% introductory APR may only apply to the transferred amount, not future purchases. Check the terms and conditions of the card to see if the introductory offer includes new purchases. If not, any purchase made with the new card will be at the ongoing interest rate.
Top 5 Balance Transfer Cards For 2016
Here are LowCards’ top 5 balance transfer credit cards for 2016:
One of the best balance transfer cards on the market today is the Chase Slate card. It offers 0% APR for 15 months on balance transfers as well as purchases, and then has an ongoing interest rate between 13.24% and 23.24% depending on your credit worthiness. But what makes this card so attractive is that there is no balance transfer fee if you make the transfer during the first 60 days of being a cardholder. Otherwise, there is a 5% balance transfer fee. Cardholders receive their monthly FICO score for free online, as well as a summary of your credit report information. There is no annual fee on the Chase Slate card.
This card has one of the industry’s best introductory offers in terms of APR. The Citi Simplicity card has a 0% introductory APR for 21 months on both purchases and balance transfers. Then, an ongoing variable APR between 13.24% and 23.24%. There is a 3% balance transfer fee. This card is rather unique in the industry in that it has no annual fee, no late fee and no penalty rate.
The BankAmericard® Credit Card offers new cardholders 18 billing cycles of 0% APR promotional financing on balance transfers that are completed within 60 days of an account opening. There is a balance transfer free of 3%. After the promotional rate expires, the remaining unpaid balance will be subject to a variable APR of 11.24% to 21.24% depending on your credit worthiness. These interest rates make it one of the more attractive low interest credit cards. This card has no annual fee.
The Citi Double Cash card is is one of the best cash back cards on the market, but also one of the more attractive balance transfer cards. New cardholders receive 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers. Then the variable APR will be 13.24% to 23.24% based on your creditworthiness. There is a 3% balance transfer fee. Cardholders earn some significant cash back on their purchases with this card: 1% cash back when you buy, and an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases, for a total of up to 2%. Please note that balance transfers do not earn cash back rewards. There is no annual fee on this card.
The Barclaycard Ring MasterCard does not come with an introductory APR, but it is one of the few cards that does not have a balance transfer fee. The APR is 8.25% on the amount your transfer and what you purchase. This is also the ongoing APR. The card does not have an annual fee. You have to have excellent credit to qualify. Cardholders will have access to their free FICO scores from their Barclaycard online account. There is no annual fee on this card.