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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).
- 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 2019
Here are some of the top balance transfer credit cards for 2019:
The Citi Simplicity® card has one of the industry’s best introductory offers in terms of APR. The Citi Simplicity card has a 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases, and for 21 months on balance transfers that are made in the first four months of being a cardholder. Subsequently, there will be an ongoing APR between 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable). There is a 5% 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.
New cardholders of the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® will enjoy 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months after opening their account. No interest for 18 months makes this card a good option for those considering a balance transfer from a credit card with a higher interest rate or if you have a major upcoming purchase. After the introductory period, interest will increase to 17.74%-27.24% (Variable), depending on the cardholder’s creditworthiness. The Platinum card also includes cell phone protection. As long as you pay your cell phone bill with your Platinum card, Wells Fargo will reimburse you up to $600 if your phone is lost, damaged or stolen.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® card offers a very attractive 15 month introductory offer where cardholders receive 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers. In addition, the card has some other features that make it one to seriously consider. You receive 1.5% back on all transactions with no limit and no annual fee. Like all Capital One cards, there are no foreign transaction fees. There is a 3% balance transfer fee. You also receive a $150 bonus once you spend $500 during the first three months of being a cardholder. The ongoing APR is 15.74% - 25.74% (Variable). Applicants need only good credit, not excellent credit.
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 APR will be 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable) 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 2%. Please note that balance transfers do not earn cash back rewards. There is no annual fee on this card.
The BankAmericard® Credit Card offers new cardholders 18 billing cycles of 0% APR promotional financing on purchases as well as balance transfers that are completed within 60 days of opening your account. There will be a 3% balance transfer fee. When the promotional rate expires, the remaining unpaid balance will be subject to the standard APR of 14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR on purchases. The card has no annual fee. The card does not have a rewards program, and there is a 3% foreign transaction fee on all charges processed outside of the United States. The card does not have a penalty APR, so paying late won’t automatically raise your interest rate. Cardholders can access their FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or Mobile Banking app.