7 Longest 0% APR Credit Cards for Balance Transfers

CREDIT CARDS - BALANCE TRANSFER CREDIT CARDS
These balance transfer cards give you the longest time to pay down debt interest free.
Updated June 11, 2024
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Balance transfers can be a big help in managing credit card debt. You can transfer your high-interest debt from an older credit card to a credit card with a 0% intro APR for balance transfers.

Then you make payments during the introductory period to reduce or pay off the debt, potentially saving thousands of dollars in interest over many years of payments. Even if you can’t pay off the whole balance in the allotted 0% intro APR timeframe, your savings can still be huge.

We recommend cards with the longest introductory APR periods, which include the Citi Simplicity® Card, Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, and Wells Fargo Reflect® Card(Rates and fees).

Here is how balance transfers work and seven credit cards with the longest balance transfer introductory APR period.

In this article

Longest balance transfer credit cards

Best 0% intro APR for 21 months

Best 0% intro APR for 18 months

Best 0% intro APR for 21 months
Card name Intro APR on balance transfers Balance transfer fee
Citi Simplicity® Card
Citi Simplicity® Card

4.5
 
0% for 21 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable) 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 4 month intro period ends
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

4.4
 
0% for 21 months, then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable) 5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum)
Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

4.9
 
0% on qualifying balance transfers for 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, then 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% Variable 5%, min: $5
Best 0% intro APR for 18 months
Card name Intro APR on balance transfers Balance transfer fee
Citi Double Cash® Card
Citi Double Cash® Card

4.8
   
0% for 18 months, then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 4 month intro period ends
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
4.9
0% intro APR on qualifying balance transfers for 18 billing cycles (then 18.74% - 29.74% (Variable)) 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 60 days of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 60 day intro period ends
U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card
U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card
0% intro APR on qualifying balance transfers for 18 billing cycles (then 17.24% to 26.24% (Variable)) $5 or 3%, whichever is greater
BankAmericard® credit card
BankAmericard® credit card
4.9
0% on qualifying balance transfers for 18 billing cycles for any qualifying balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 16.24% - 26.24% Variable 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%

Citi Simplicity® Card

Pros
  • 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers (then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable))
  • $0 annual fee
Cons
  • Does not earn rewards

At a whopping 21 months, the Citi Simplicity® Card has a very long 0% introductory APR on balance transfers (then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable)).

Why we like it: Its generous introductory APR period for balance transfers is one of the longest periods of interest-free payoff available.

What we don’t like: You don’t earn any rewards with this card, and there’s a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Intro APR offers include:

  • Intro APR on purchases: 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable))
  • Intro APR on qualifying balance transfers: 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers (then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable)) with a 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 4 month intro period ends balance transfer fee

Apply now for the Citi Simplicity® Card(Rates and fees)

For more information, read our full Citi Simplicity Card review.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Pros
  • 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers (then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable))
  • $0 annual fee
  • Access to events and concerts
Cons
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Does not earn rewards

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is similar to the Citi Simplicity in that it has a lengthy balance transfer 0% intro APR period of 21 months (then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable)). The balance transfer fee is 5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum).

What sets this card apart is its access to Citi Entertainment with access to tickets, VIP packages, and events, along with access to Citi Concierge service.

Why we like it: The intro APR offers are helpful, and you can enjoy protection against unauthorized credit card charges and special access to events and concerts through Citi Entertainment.

What we don’t like: There’s a 3% foreign transaction fee, and you don’t earn any rewards.

Intro APR offers include:

  • Intro APR on purchases: 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable))
  • Intro APR on qualifying balance transfers: 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers (then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable)) with a 5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) balance transfer fee

Apply now for the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card(Rates and fees)

For more details, check out our Citi Diamond Preferred review.

Perspectives
Allison Weston
Allison Weston
Writer and Editor

Allie is a writer who focuses on personal financial topics.

WHY I LIKE THIS CARD

I had an upcoming surgery that cost $8,000 out of pocket. After researching, I decided the Citi Diamond Preferred would be the best option to pay for the surgery over time. Thanks to the long introductory APR on new purchases, I was able to easily break the total into monthly autopayments over 12 months.

I also took advantage of the 0% on balance transfers for 21 months (then 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable)), and transferred existing debt from another high-interest credit card. Ultimately, both of these benefits saved me thousands of dollars and allowed me to pay down debt much faster.

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

Pros
  • 0% intro APR for 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers (then 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% Variable)
  • $0 annual fee
  • Offers cell phone protection
Cons
  • No rewards

The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card comes with a $0 annual fee, cell phone protection, and roadside dispatch benefits.

Why we like it: This card offers additional benefits such as cell phone protection and roadside dispatch.

What we don’t like: There’s a 3% foreign transaction fee, and you don’t earn any rewards.

Intro APR offers include:

Intro APR on purchases: 0% intro APR for 21 months from account opening on purchases (then 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% Variable)

Intro APR on qualifying balance transfers: 0% intro APR for 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers (then 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% Variable) with a 5%, min: $5 balance transfer fee

Apply now for the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

For more information, read our full Wells Fargo Reflect Card review.

Citi Double Cash® Card

Pros
  • 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable))
  • $0 annual fee
  • Cashback rewards
Cons
  • 3% foreign transaction fee

The Citi Double Cash® Card has a lot going for it if you’re looking for a balance transfer option.

Welcome offer: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Rewards rate: Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.

Why we like it: We like the simple cashback program and special access to events and concerts with Citi Entertainment.

What we don’t like: There’s a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Intro APR offers include:

Intro APR on qualifying balance transfers: 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)). There is a balance transfer fee of 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 4 month intro period ends.

Apply now for the Citi Double Cash® Card(Rates and fees)

For more details, check out our Citi Double Cash review.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Pros
  • 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on balance transfers (then 18.74% - 29.74% (Variable))
  • Cell phone protection
Cons
  • No rewards

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card doesn’t come with points or cash back.

Why we like it: We like the cell phone protection coverage and access to ID Navigator powered by NortonLifeLock.

What we don’t like: This card doesn’t offer any rewards.

Intro APR offers include:

Intro APR on purchases: 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases (then 18.74% - 29.74% (Variable))

Intro APR on qualifying balance transfers: 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on balance transfers (then 18.74% - 29.74% (Variable)) with a balance transfer fee of 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 60 days of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 60 day intro period ends 

For more information, read our full U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card review.

Perspectives
Becca Borawski Jenkins
Becca Borawski Jenkins
Senior Director of Content Strategy

Becca Borawski Jenkins is the Senior Director of Content Strategy for FinanceBuzz. Her journey into finance was facilitated by her passions for minimalism, travel, and geographic arbitrage. She loves to write about saving money, planning for retirement, and credit cards.

WHY I LIKE THIS CARD

At one point, due to job changes and moving, my husband and I had built up a decent amount of credit card debt. We were ready to start paying it off, but the interest on our credit cards was making it a challenge. We were very excited to get approved for the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum so we could transfer our balances to it. The long intro APR period was exactly what we needed to make our debt go away and get our finances back in order.

U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card

Pros
  • 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on balance transfers, then 17.24% to 26.24% (Variable)
  • Business card
Cons
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Does not earn rewards

The U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card offers long intro APR periods for a business credit card.

Why we like it: We like the $0 annual fee, Visa card benefits, and free employee cards.

What we don’t like: This card doesn’t offer any rewards.

Intro APR offers include:

Intro APR on purchases: 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases, then 17.24% to 26.24% (Variable)

Intro APR on qualifying balance transfers: 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on balance transfers, then 17.24% to 26.24% (Variable) with a $5 or 3%, whichever is greater balance transfer fee

For more information, read our full U.S. Bank Visa Business Platinum Card review.

BankAmericard® credit card

Pros
  • 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any qualifying balance transfers made in the first 60 days on qualifying balance transfers (then 16.24% - 26.24% Variable)
  • $0 annual fee
Cons
  • No rewards

The BankAmericard® credit card card has an annual fee of $0 and offers free admission to select U.S. museums on certain dates.

Why we like it: It doesn’t charge a penalty APR if you have late payments and comes with extended warranty coverage.

What we don’t like: This card doesn’t offer any rewards.

Intro APR offers include:

Intro APR on purchases: 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases (then 16.24% - 26.24% Variable)

Intro APR on qualifying balance transfers: 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any qualifying balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then 16.24% - 26.24% Variable) with a 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4% balance transfer fee

For more details, check out our BankAmericard review.

How do balance transfers work?

With a balance transfer, you open a credit card account that offers a long introductory period at 0% intro APR. Then, you work with the issuer to use your available credit to pay off other high-interest debts you may have.

Once the existing credit card debts are paid with your new card, you make monthly payments aimed at reducing that total amount by the time the introductory period is over. If there is still a balance, you can do the same thing all over again with a new 0% intro APR balance transfer card if you qualify for one.

What this does is buy you some time to ensure every monthly payment you make is applied to the balance of the card rather than interest. When you have a balance on a credit card that charges you any amount of interest, as little as 1% of your monthly minimum payment could be applied to your balance, and the rest pays for the interest accrued for that month. Depending on your interest rate, that can make it difficult to make progress on your credit card debt. 

By taking high interest rates out of the equation, you’re able to continue to make the same payments — or higher ones if you can swing it — and see a much greater and faster reduction of your debt. This can save you many years of paying interest charges that are more than the amount you originally charged.

Common mistakes to avoid

While using an intro APR balance transfer strategy can be very powerful for reducing debt, there are a few things to watch out for.

The first is avoiding adding new purchase charges to your balance transfer card. If you read the terms and conditions that come with your balance transfer card, you may find that your monthly payments get applied first to purchases you make before being applied to the balance you’re trying to pay off. This can undermine your intentions of paying off the balance before the introductory period ends.

Balance transfer fees

You should also consider balance transfer fees. Credit card issuers typically charge between 3% and 5% of the amount you transfer as a fee. This amount is added to the total amount you will owe and lowers the total amount you can transfer from the existing card. Most credit cards will not allow a transfer amount higher than your credit limit, and they will apply the balance transfer fee first.

For example, if your limit is $5,000 and you have a 5% balance transfer fee, you wouldn’t be able to pay off a full $5,000 worth of other debts as a $250 fee would be added to your balance, putting you over the limit.

Making charges on the card you've paid off

You also don’t want to fall into the trap of making charges on the cards you’ve just paid off. Your goal is to lower your overall debt and usage of revolving credit. When you transfer a balance from an existing card to a new card, you increase the amount of credit available to you and reduce the ratio of how much is being used. 

Both of these are substantial factors in calculating your credit score. If you add charges to the cards you’ve just cleared, you increase your credit utilization ratio and overall debt, which will reduce the positive impact you’re trying to make.

Not paying off your card before the intro period ends

Finally, be aware of how long you have to pay off your balance without accruing interest. It’s easy to let the months go by without realizing you’re not as far along paying off your balance as you want to be. 

Keep on top of where you are in the repayment process and figure out how much you need to pay monthly to get down to a $0 balance. Even if you can’t, the amount of interest you pay on the new amount will still be less than you were paying before the transfer. But the goal should be a complete balance payoff.

Choosing the best balance transfer credit card

As you consider balance transfer offers, there are several factors to consider:

  • Fees: Does the card offer no annual fee? Does it have foreign transaction fees or late fees?
  • Perks: Does the card offer any perks such as cashback rewards, a higher rewards rate for certain bonus categories, or a statement credit toward travel? 
  • Credit needed: Do you have the FICO score to qualify? You typically need good credit, and often excellent credit, to qualify. 
  • Promotional period: How long does the promotional period last? Could you realistically pay off the card balance before the introductory offer ends? 

Once you choose a credit card offer, apply, and are approved, be sure to pay attention to how long you have to transfer the balance. You may need to transfer the balance within 60 days of account opening, for example. From there, you can take advantage of the lower interest rate and make progress on your credit card debt. 

Tip
Check your credit report and score to know what cards you're likely to qualify for.

Alternatives to balance transfer cards

If you're tired of dealing with a variable APR, you could look into an alternative such as a personal loan or home equity loan. These options typically have a fixed interest rate, and you can consolidate debt from multiple high-interest credit cards. You can find these loans with online lenders as well as local ones such as credit unions. 

If you own a home and don't mind a variable rate, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) could also be a good way to consolidate debt. Keep in mind that a home equity loan or line of credit is secured by your home, so if you stop paying, you could lose your home. 

FAQs about balance transfers

Do balance transfers hurt your credit score?

Though your credit score may take a hit when you’re applying for a balance transfer card as a result of one or more hard inquiries to your reports, overall, transferring a balance from one card to another could be a good thing for your score.

First, the new credit card increases the amount of revolving credit you can access while keeping your total debt owed the same. This is a powerful factor in boosting your score. 

Second, as long as you make on-time payments in amounts aimed at reducing the balance on your new 0% introductory APR card, you are making good progress in lowering your total debt. This, too, will have a positive effect on your credit score.

It’s important to remember not to increase your debt during this period, even though it may be tempting when you have a $0 balance on one or more cards. This will hamper the efforts you’re making by paying down your balance transfers.

How long does it take to transfer a balance from one credit card to another?

Generally, the period of time you can expect to have some or all of your balance transfers completed is between 3 to 21 business days after initiating the request. This is because you’re not so much actually transferring a balance from one card to another as you are paying off the debt from one card with your new one.

How long this can take depends on how your lender is making the payment(s). They may send the funds electronically to the accounts you’re paying off, by physical check, direct deposit to your checking account, or even sending you checks to use to pay your creditors. Electronic transactions usually take place sooner than those that are paper-based.

How much does a balance transfer cost?

Balance transfer fees usually range between 3% and 5% of the amount you’re paying off.

Can I transfer a credit card balance twice?

If you reach the end of the introductory period on your 0% intro APR credit card and you haven’t paid off the amount you transferred, you can search for a new card to transfer the balance to before the regular APR starts. 

Generally, you won’t be able to do this if you open a new card account with the same bank that issues the card with the balance you want to transfer. You’ll need to look for a different bank. You'll also need the creditworthiness to qualify for a new 0% intro APR offer. 

Are there any 0% intro APR credit cards for 36 months?

There are no cards that offer a 0% intro APR for 36 months. The longest you can typically find is 21 months. 

Bottom line on balance transfer cards

Now that you know how to use balance transfer credit cards for debt consolidation and to boost your credit score, it’s time to go shopping. We’ve given you our choices for the best balance transfer cards to help get you started. 

As you continue your research, make sure to look at the longest balance transfer credit card you can find, intro balance transfer fees, how long you have to make transfers at 0% intro APR, and the terms and conditions for paying on the new balance transfer card. Consider whether the card has a rewards program or other perks for new cardholders. 

Once you transfer debt and take the balance transfer plunge, watch out for the pitfalls discussed earlier, such as making charges on cards that have been paid off and not paying off the balance before the introductory period is over. Keep all of this in mind, and you’ll be on a strong path to making some major improvements to your overall personal finance picture.

Methodology

The companies we chose for our longest balance transfer credit card list may be current or past FinanceBuzz partners. We did not review all companies in the market. When evaluating these companies, we considered factors such as the length of the 0% intro APR period and the overall benefits of the card.

Extra Long Intro APR on Purchases & Qualifying Balance Transfers

4.9

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

Current Offer

Benefit from a long introductory APR period on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Robin Kavanagh Robin is a freelance writer who lives on the South Carolina beach. She has spent the last 20 years writing about all kinds of topics for publications such as The New York Times, Yes! Magazine, Next Tribe, Parenting, and various trade magazines. On FinanceBuzz.com, you’ll find her mostly writing about smart ways to use credit cards, navigating personal loans, how to save when traveling, and ways to improve your financial health.