Four leaf clovers can be difficult — but not impossible — to find; they look just like the regular variety unless you look very carefully. In the same way, it is hard to find a credit card with a balance transfer offer that has no balance transfer fee.
Balance transfers can be a great way to save money on interest rates, but most banks will impose a balance transfer fee of between 3% and 5% on the amount transferred. These fees are added to a cardholder’s new balance, and they instantly owe more money than they previously did.
Before the financial crisis of 2008, there were several credit cards on the market with 0% APR offers and no balance transfer fee. Today, there are a few remaining cards that have no balance transfer fee.
1. Chase Slate. This card features 15 months of 0% APR promotional financing on both new purchases and balance transfers. There is no balance transfer fee for any transactions conducted within 60 days of opening an account.
2. Navy Federal Credit Union. This credit union currently offers five different products that feature a 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months with no balance transfer fees. It also offers standard interest rates as low as 7.99%. To apply for these cards, you must join the Navy Federal Credit Union. Thankfully, their eligibility criteria are incredibly broad, encompassing grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings, grandchildren, children and household members of those who are active or retired from many defense-related organizations.
3. PenFed Promise and Defender. These cards offer a 4.99% promotional financing rate on balance transfers with no balance transfer fees. Interestingly, the promotional financing rate is valid until the balance is paid off. The Defender card is only available to active and honorably discharged members of the armed forces, but the Promise card is available to those who join the credit union, which is open to anyone.
4. Barclaycard Ring. This card features a standard APR of 8% on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. It is not a promotional rate, but a standard rate that applies for the life of the card.
[Related Article: The Best Credit Cards in America for Balance Transfers 2013]
5. Clear from American Express. This card is an example of one that has no balance transfer fees, but it doesn’t have a promotional financing offer. Therefore, cardholders must pay the standard APR for balance transfers, which is 17.24%, 20.24% or 22.24% depending on their credit worthiness of the cardholder. In addition, eligible balance transfers must be made within 30 days of opening an account.
6. Various Capital One cards. Currently, Capital One cards either feature a 0% APR promotional financing offer or no balance transfer fee, but not both. The standard interest rates that apply to the cards with no balance transfer fees range from 13.9% to as much as 24.8%.
It is exciting to consider transferring a balance from a card with a high APR to a product with a low interest rate, or none at all. Nevertheless, cardholders should always be aware of any balance transfer fees they might incur. By considering some of the rare cards available without a balance transfer fee, cardholders can eliminate this fee while they work to pay off their debt.
[Credit Cards: Research and compare balance transfer credit cards at Credit.com]
At publishing time, the Chase Slate and Capital One cards are offered through Credit.com product pages and Credit.com may be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.