Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2022

Last updated Aug. 11, 2022 | By FinanceBuzz Editors

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Completing a balance transfer — where you transfer a credit card balance to another credit card — to a card with a low APR is a smart way to accelerate your debt repayment and save money. The best balance transfer cards will give you 12 months or more at 0% APR, so you’ll have plenty of time to pay down your debt without worrying about interest charges.

In this article

Our picks for the best balance transfer cards:

Intro Offer

Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, every day; plus unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel

Why We Like It

If you want a rewards credit card and don’t want to worry about rotating spending categories, consider the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. It’s a simple, easy-to-use card that offers a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, with no limit on how much you can earn.

The Capital One Quicksilver card also offers a competitive 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 16.49% to 26.49% variable APR. There is a  3% fee on balances transferred within the first 15 months.

The card also has a welcome bonus for new cardmembers, an unexpected perk for a card that has no annual fee.

Card Details
  • Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, every day; plus unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Intro purchase 0% APR offer: 0% for 15 months then 16.49% to 26.49% variable
  • Intro balance transfer 0% APR offer: 0% for 15 months then 16.49% to 26.49% variable

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Intro Offer

Earn $200 after spending $1,500 in the first 6 months (limited time offer)

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay for those purchases

Why We Like It

The Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer lets you earn cash back twice. Earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, just be sure to pay at least the minimum due on time.

In addition to unlimited cash back on all your purchases with no confusing categories, this card also offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months, then 16.24% to 26.24% (variable), and no annual fee.

Card Details
  • Earn $200 after spending $1,500 in the first 6 months (limited time offer)
  • up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay for those purchases
  • Intro balance transfer 0% APR offer: 0% for 18 months then 16.24% to 26.24% (variable)

Citi Simplicity® Card

Citi Simplicity® Card

Citi Simplicity® Card

Intro Offer

Long 0% APR period on purchases and balance transfers

Annual Fee

$0

Why We Like It

The Citi Simplicity® Card is a great option for anyone who is looking for a long introductory APR period. Cardholders can enjoy a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months and a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months. After that your balance will be subject to the 16.99% to 26.99% (variable) APR, based upon your creditworthiness.

Cardholders also don't need to worry about fees: There are no late fees, penalty fees, or annual fees with this no-frills, high-impact card.

Card Details
  • Long 0% APR period on purchases and balance transfers
  • Intro purchase 0% APR offer: 0% for 12 months then 16.99% to 26.99% (variable)
  • Intro balance transfer 0% APR offer: 0% for 21 months then 16.99% to 26.99% (variable)

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Intro Offer

Earn $200 cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

5% cash back in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, and then 1% cash back after that), plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases

Why We Like It

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a great option for those who want flexible cash rewards and the option to pay off existing credit card debt over time. Cardholders earn 5% cash back in their top eligible spend category each billing cycle (up to $500) and 1% cash back on everything else.  

In addition to generous cash back, the Citi Custom Cash Card offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months and no annual fee. 

Card Details
  • Earn $200 cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 5% cash back in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, and then 1% cash back after that), plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% APR offer: 0% for 15 months then 16.24% to 26.24% (variable)
  • Intro balance transfer 0% APR offer: 0% for 15 months then 16.24% to 26.24% (variable)

Intro Offer

Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for first 18 months

Annual Fee

$0

Why We Like It

The Chase Slate Edge℠ is a great card for anyone who is interested in making balance transfers and having a card with an ongoing low interest rate.

Cardholders can benefit from this card's 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for 18 months. After that intro period, you'll be automatically considered for reduction of your regular APR. You could reduce your rate by 2% if you pay on time and spend a minimum of $1,000 per card anniversary year.

You'll also be eligible for an automatic review for a credit limit increase if you pay on time and spend $500 in the first six months of being a cardholder.

Card Details
  • Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for first 18 months
  • Intro purchase 0% APR offer: 0% for 18 months then 17.24% to 25.99% (variable)
  • Intro balance transfer 0% APR offer: 0% for 18 months then 17.24% to 25.99% (variable)

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Intro Offer

Long introductory APR period for balance transfers

Annual Fee

$0

Why We Like It

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a great option if you need to finance a large purchase or have existing credit card debt and would like to pay it down over time. 

Cardholders can enjoy a 0% intro purchase APR for 12 months from date of account opening and a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from the date of first transfer. After that, the 15.99% to 25.99% (variable) APR will apply.

In addition to its introductory APR, this card also has no annual fee, making it a solid, inexpensive option.

Card Details
  • Long introductory APR period for balance transfers
  • Intro purchase 0% APR offer: 0% for 12 months then 15.99% to 25.99% (variable)
  • Intro balance transfer 0% APR offer: 0% for 21 months then 15.99% to 25.99% (variable)

Citi Rewards+® Card

Citi Rewards+® Card

Citi Rewards+® Card

Intro Offer

Earn 20,000 points after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 3 months (plus, earn 5X points on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months, then 1X points thereafter)

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

2X points at supermarkets and gas stations on the first $6,000 in purchases per year (and then 1X points thereafter), and 1X points on all other purchases

Why We Like It

The Citi Rewards+® Card is a great option for those who enjoy earning rewards on their everyday purchases.

Cardmembers earn 2X ThankYou points per dollar spent at supermarkets and gas stations on the first $6,000 in purchases per year. Currently, new cardmembers can also earn 5X points on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months.

This card is good for smaller purchases because every purchase rounds up to the nearest 10 points. So both a $1 item and a $9 item will earn you 10 points. 

Citi Rewards+ cardmembers can also enjoy a 0% introductory offer on new purchases and balance transfers, a valuable welcome offer, and no annual fee.

Card Details
  • Earn 20,000 points after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 3 months (plus, earn 5X points on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months, then 1X points thereafter)
  • 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations on the first $6,000 in purchases per year (and then 1X points thereafter), and 1X points on all other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% APR offer: 0% for 15 months then 15.74% to 25.74% (variable)
  • Intro balance transfer 0% APR offer: 0% for 15 months then 15.74% to 25.74% (variable)

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Intro Offer

Long 0% APR period on purchases and balance transfers

Annual Fee

$0

Why We Like It

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is a great option for individuals looking for a card with a lengthy 0% introductory APR offer period.

Cardholders enjoy a 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on new purchases and balance transfers. And while it doesn't earn rewards, it does offer no annual fee, making it an inexpensive option.

Card Details
  • Long 0% APR period on purchases and balance transfers
  • Intro purchase 0% APR offer: 0% for 20 billing cycles then 16.74% to 26.74% (variable)
  • Intro balance transfer 0% APR offer: 0% for 20 billing cycles then 16.74% to 26.74% (variable)

>> See more balance transfer cards

How to pick the right card for you

Many credit cards are advertised as balance transfer cards, but they vary widely in terms of their promotional periods, fees, and regular APR. When evaluating credit card offers, consider these factors:

  • Length of promotional balance transfer offer: If you have a substantial amount of debt, you want the longest promotional APR offer possible to give you more time to pay off your debt without paying interest charges. Ideally, you want to choose a card that offers a 0% intro APR period of 12 to 18 months so you have over a year to pay down your balances.
  • Regular APR: Once the promotional APR period ends, the APR will revert to its regular fixed or variable APR. The normal interest rate on credit cards can be quite high. If you tend to carry a balance, it’s worth shopping around for a card that has a lower regular APR to reduce interest charges.
  • Annual fee: While some balance transfer cards charge an annual fee, not all do. To keep your costs low, look for a card that has a low annual fee or no fee at all.
  • Balance transfer fees: When you transfer debt from a high-interest card to one that offers a 0% introductory period, most card issuers charge a balance transfer fee, which is often between 3-5% of the amount of each transfer. To put that in perspective, if you transferred over $3,000 to a card with a 5% balance transfer fee, you'd pay $150. Look for a card that has a lower fee, or for cards that will waive the fee for the first few months after opening an account.
  • Issuers: In most cases, you can’t transfer the balance from a card to another card with the same issuer. For example, if you have the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you can’t transfer your balance to another Chase card. Instead, you’d have to transfer the balance to a card from another company.
  • Rewards programs: First, does the card offer a rewards program? That may not be the thing that matters to you most in a balance transfer credit card, but for some it might be a consideration. You’ll want to review the program and consider what’s best for your lifestyle. Does the card offer bonus categories that you spend on often? Are the rewards simple and easy to understand, or will you need to dedicate time and effort to maximize earnings? Review which card offers you the greatest opportunity for rewards — that way, you can earn cash back or travel rewards while saving money on interest.

FAQs about balance transfer cards

Do balance transfers affect your credit score?

While a balance transfer could help with debt consolidation, it might negatively impact your FICO score. When you apply for a new card, even when it’s for the purpose of completing a balance transfer, the issuer will perform a hard credit check. Too many hard credit inquiries on your credit report can cause your score to drop. If you’re approved for the card, the age of your credit accounts will decrease as well, which can damage your credit score slightly.

You can minimize the effect on your credit score by not closing any current accounts. Also, if your goal is to build good credit, make sure you make your monthly payments by their due date. Your payment history is the single biggest factor used in determining your credit score. Late payments could result in penalty APRs and bad credit over time.

While applying for a new balance transfer card can negatively impact your credit score, if you're able to pay off your balance in full by the end of the 0% introductory period, your overall credit utilization ratio may improve, which could result in a boost to your credit score in the long run.

How long do balance transfers take?

The length of time it takes for a qualifying balance transfer to be completed varies by issuer. In general, you should expect your balance to transfer over to the new card within a week. However, it can take as long as 21 days.

What is the best credit card for balance transfers?

There’s no one best balance transfer credit card for everyone. When evaluating potential cards, consider your current credit score, the length of the promotional APR periods, the regular APR on each card, balance transfer fees, and other factors like late fees and if the card has a penalty APR.

How much can you transfer on a balance transfer credit card?

How much you can transfer onto a new credit card is dependent on your credit limit. For example, if you have $10,000 in credit card debt and the new 0% APR credit card has a credit limit of $6,000, you won’t be able to transfer over the full balance.  You also need to calculate in the balance transfer fee. Your transfer amount plus the balance transfer fee must be less than the total credit line available on your new balance transfer card.

Can you make multiple balance transfers?

While you can complete multiple balance transfers — as long as you transfer to a card from a different issuer — having to do multiple transfers is a sign there are bigger issues with your debt. While completing a balance transfer can make you feel like you’re better managing your debt, doing it more than once signals that you may have a spending or cash flow problem.

Before doing another balance transfer, take a hard look at your credit card statements and identify areas where you can cut back. It’s also a good idea to create a budget for yourself and find ways to boost your income so you can regain control of your money.

Are balance transfers worth it?

Transferring a balance from a high-interest credit card to a card with a lower interest rate can make sense. Having a lengthy period of time with no interest could help you pay down your credit card debt. If you're considering a card with an intro balance transfer APR, take a good look at the card details before you apply. 

And if you're interested in perks beyond a 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers, many cards also offer introductory offers on new purchases, cashback rewards, bonus points on certain purchases, flexible rewards programs, or benefits like lucrative sign-up bonuses, no foreign transaction fees, or extended warranty coverage.

What happens if you don’t pay off a balance transfer?

If you don’t pay off the balance on your new credit card by the time the introductory period is over, your remaining balance will become subject to the regular APR. Because you’ll be accruing interest, this will begin to increase the amount you owe. You won’t reduce your debt by completing a balance transfer unless you also budget to put money toward your debt each month to pay it off.

How we chose these cards (methodology)

To select the best balance transfer cards, we looked for cards from our partners that offer no annual fees and lengthy promotional 0% APR offers. With the chosen cards, you can get up to 18 months at a 0% APR introductory rate, giving you over a year to repay your entire balance without worrying about costly interest payments. 

We also looked for cards from multiple credit card issuers, as you typically can’t transfer your balance to a card from the same issuer. We did not evaluate all available credit cards in the market.

The final word on the best balance transfer cards

If you’re struggling with high-interest debt, an introductory balance transfer offer could help you save money and pay off your balances faster. The best balance transfer cards give you over a year to pay down your debt interest-free, making them an effective personal finance tool for managing debt. 

Unlimited Cash Back

Intro Offer

Earn an extra 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, on up to $20,000, in the first year

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Bonus rewards on travel, dining, and drugstores
  • No annual fee
  • intro APR on purchases and balance transfers

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
Card Details
  • Earn an extra 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, on up to $20,000, in the first year
  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% APR offer: 0% for 15 months then 16.49% to 25.24% (variable)
  • Intro balance transfer 0% APR offer: 0% for 15 months then 16.49% to 25.24% (variable)