Best Credit Cards with No Balance Transfer Fee [2024]

CREDIT CARDS - BALANCE TRANSFER CREDIT CARDS
You don’t have to pay a balance transfer fee with these cards.
Updated March 27, 2024
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We recommend the BECU Low Rate Credit Card if you want to avoid balance transfer fees while taking advantage of intro APR offers on balance transfers.

There are relatively few cards that don’t charge a balance transfer fee. Most credit cards that don’t charge balance transfer fees come from credit unions that are also credit card issuers. You typically have to be a member of a credit union to take advantage of its products and benefits.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • It could be worth applying for a credit card with no balance transfer fee if the card also has an intro APR on balance transfers. If there’s no intro APR offer, any savings you gain from not paying a balance transfer fee could be lost on the potential credit card interest you have to pay.
  • We like the BECU Low Rate Credit Card because you don’t have to pay a balance transfer fee, but you also get to use intro APR offers on balance transfers. It’s important to find a card with both of these benefits to have more opportunities for savings.

The 4 best credit cards with no balance transfer fee

Compare the best credit cards with no balance transfer fee

Credit card Balance transfer APR Balance transfer fee Annual fee
Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card

Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card

0.99% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers (then 11.24% to 18.00% (variable)) $0 $0
BECU Low Rate Credit Card

BECU Low Rate Credit Card

0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers (then 13.24% to 25.24% (variable)) None $0
First Tech Choice Rewards World Mastercard®

First Tech Choice Rewards World Mastercard®

13.50% to 18.00% (variable) None $0
DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card

DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card

13.75% to 18.00% (variable) None None
Pros
  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 balance transfer fee
  • Intro APR offer on balance transfers
Cons
  • Must belong to Navy Federal Credit Union

The Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card makes sense if you want to do a balance transfer and are eligible to join Navy Federal Credit Union.

Why we like it

It has a $0 annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and a $0 balance transfer fee. For its intro APR offer on balance transfers, you can receive 0.99% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers (then 11.24% to 18.00% (variable)).

What we don’t like

You have to be a member of Navy Federal Credit Union to apply for Navy Federal credit cards. You’re eligible to join if you’re a service member, a veteran of any branch of the armed forces, or a Department of Defense employee. Immediate family and household members are also eligible.

Visit Navy Federal Credit Union

BECU Low Rate Credit Card

Pros
  • $0 annual fee
  • No balance transfer fee
  • Intro APR offer on balance transfers
Cons
  • Must belong to Boeing Employees’ Credit Union

The BECU Low Rate Credit Card lives up to its name with a low standard APR and multiple intro APR offers.

Why we like it

It has a $0 annual fee, no balance transfer fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no cash advance fees.

New cardholders can take advantage of these intro APR offers on balance transfers and purchases:

  • Intro APR on balance transfers: 0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers that are completed within the first 90 days of account opening (then 13.24% to 25.24% (variable))
  • Intro APR on purchases: 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases made within the first year of account opening (then 13.24% to 25.24% (variable))

What we don’t like

You have to be a member of the Boeing Employees’ Credit Union to apply for a BECU Visa credit card. Membership is free, but you have to comply with one of these requirements to be eligible to join:

  • Live in Washington state or a select county in Oregon or Idaho
  • Work for BECU, Boeing, or a credit union
  • Have an association with one of multiple organizations, such as the BECU Foundation
  • Meet business eligibility criteria

Visit BECU

First Tech Choice Rewards World Mastercard®

Pros
  • $0 annual fee
  • No balance transfer fee
  • Simple rewards program
Cons
  • No intro APR balance transfer offer
  • Must belong to First Tech Federal Credit Union

The First Tech Choice Rewards World Mastercard provides excellent rewards and no balance transfer fees.

Why we like it

It has a $0 annual fee, no balance transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no cash advance fees. And you can earn 2X points on gas, groceries, and household goods. 1X points on everything else.

You can earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days.

What we don’t like

The First Tech Choice Rewards World Mastercard doesn’t charge balance transfer fees, but it also doesn’t have an intro APR offer on balance transfers.

You also have to be a First Tech Federal Credit Union member to take advantage of its products, including the First Tech Choice Rewards World Mastercard. You’re eligible to join if you meet any of the following requirements:

  • Work for one of over 900 partner companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Intel
  • Work for the State of Oregon
  • Live or work in Lane County, Oregon
  • Belong to the Computer History Museum
  • Belong to the Financial Fitness Association
  • Have a family or household member who is already a First Tech member

Visit First Tech

DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card

Pros
  • None annual fee
  • No balance transfer fee
Cons
  • No intro APR balance transfer offer
  • Must belong to Digital Federal Credit Union

The DCU Visa Platinum Credit Card makes sense if you want a low-fee card.

Why we like it

It has a None annual fee, no balance transfer fees, no cash advance fees, and no foreign transaction fees.

What we don’t like

There’s no intro APR offer on balance transfers and you have to be a member of the Digital Federal Credit Union. You’re eligible to join if you meet one of these requirements:

  • You have a family member who is a current DCU member
  • You currently work for or are retired from a partner company
  • You have a non-member family member who currently works for or is retired from a partner company or organization
  • You currently belong to an organization whose members DCU serves
  • You have a non-member family member who belongs to an organization whose members DCU serves
  • You live, work, worship, or attend school in a participating community

Visit DCU

When it’s worth it to pay a balance transfer fee

It’s worth it to pay a balance transfer fee if:

  • A balance transfer helps you pay off your debt.
  • The money you save on interest is more than the balance transfer fee.

In general, we think it’s better to have your debt paid off than to still have debt. If you can use a balance transfer to help pay off your credit card debt, then that’s a resource you should consider.

But a balance transfer typically only makes sense if it’s saving you more money on interest than what you’re paying in transfer fees.

Most balance transfer cards provide a 0% intro APR offer that gives you time to pay off your balance without worrying about interest charges. So, in most cases, it makes sense to completely pay off your debt before the introductory period ends and interest starts accruing again.

Check out our recommendations for the best balance transfer credit cards.

How to make the most of a balance transfer

  1. Consider whether a balance transfer makes sense: Balance transfers typically make sense if you’re able to qualify for a 0% intro APR balance transfer credit card and pay off your debt before the intro APR period ends.
  2. Compare balance transfer credit cards: Compare balance transfer fees and intro APR offers between cards to find the right option for you. Check out the longest 0% intro APR balance transfer cards.
  3. Don’t rack up more debt: After you’ve transferred a balance, don’t make a lot of new purchases on your old card or your new balance transfer card. Now’s the time to focus on paying off your debt.
  4. Create a repayment plan: Intro APR offers have terms and conditions you need to follow, which could include not missing any payments. Make sure you have a plan in place so you can keep making on-time payments and keep your introductory APR offer.
  5. Pay the balance off before the intro APR period ends: To help save money on paying interest, pay off your transferred balance before the intro APR period ends and the regular APR returns.
  6. Don’t close other cards unless you have to: Closing out old credit accounts could negatively impact your credit score if a closure causes the average age of your credit accounts to go down significantly.

FAQ

Does making a balance transfer hurt your credit score?

In some cases, balance transfers hurt your credit score for these reasons:

  • You receive a credit inquiry for opening a new credit card.
  • Opening a new credit card could lower the average overall age of your credit accounts.
  • Closing an old credit account could lower the average overall age of your credit accounts.

However, a balance transfer could improve your credit score for these reasons:

  • Consolidating your debt could decrease your credit utilization on other accounts.
  • Paying down your debt could decrease your credit utilization.
  • Opening a new credit account and having more available credit could increase your credit utilization.

Is a 3% balance transfer fee worth it?

It could be worth it if the balance transfer helps you get out of debt. You also have to consider whether doing a balance transfer will save you enough money on interest to make the balance transfer fee worth it.

For example, if you have to pay a $300 balance transfer fee, but doing a balance transfer will save you $900 in interest, it likely makes sense to do the balance transfer.

What are the downsides of a balance transfer?

Some of the downsides of a balance transfer include:

  • Balance transfer fee: You typically have to pay a 3% to 5% balance transfer fee.
  • Possible credit impact: You might see a negative impact to your credit score for opening a new credit card or closing an old credit card.
  • Return of regular APR: All intro APR offers have an end date, after which you have to pay your card’s standard APR again.

Best credit cards with no balance transfer fee: bottom line

We think the BECU Low Rate Credit Card is one of the best credit cards with no balance transfer fee. That’s because it provides intro APR offers on balance transfers, so you don’t have to worry about interest charges during the intro APR periods.

Use our curated lists to compare credit cards and find the best card to reach your personal finance goals.

Methodology

To select the best credit cards with no balance transfer fees, we considered the benefits, rewards, and fees of various cards that don’t charge balance transfer fees. We selected a range of credit cards that don’t have balance transfer fees and could cater to different needs and preferences. We didn’t include all available options.

Great for Paying Off Large Purchases Over Time

Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card
3.3

Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card

Current Offer

Low intro APR on balance transfers

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is a Senior Credit Cards Writer at FinanceBuzz. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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