For some, getting out of credit card debt may be the most challenging personal finance task they will ever undertake. As unsecured debt that is not tax-deductible, credit card interest charges can be especially painful. Further, as credit card users try to pay down their debt, they may also be using their cards for day-to-day purchases, which increases their interest charges while pushing back the date when they will pay off their debt.
The first step to getting out of debt, of course, is to put a moratorium on credit card spending — which may involve revisiting (or establishing) your budget. Once you have that on lockdown, choosing the right credit card can actually help you get your existing debt under control. The right card can offer interest-free balance transfers, lower standard interest rates, and less punitive rates and fees. From there, it helps to come up with a plan to pay off the debt — this free calculator can help you do that.
Here are six credit cards that offer valuable tools that can help make paying off your debt more manageable:
Chase Slate is currently the only credit card that offers 0% APR promotional financing on balance transfers, with no balance transfer fee. New cardholders receive 15 months of interest-free financing on balance transfers completed within 60 days, with no fees. Customers also receive 15 months of 0% APR introductory financing on new purchases. Other tools that can help as you manage your debt include a free monthly FICO score, as well as access to Chase’s Blueprint program. Blueprint includes budgeting and goal-setting tools that empower you to control your debt by paying it off on a schedule that you create. You can also use Blueprint to avoid interest charges by paying off some purchases in full while carrying a balance on others. There is no annual fee for this card.
If you have faced setbacks because of credit card fees, you might want to check out the PenFed Promise Card — it has no fees at all, including late fees and balance transfer fees. New cardholders receive a 4.99% APR promotional rate for balance transfers that is good for 12 months, and a standard interest rate of 7.99% – 16.99% for both new purchases and balance transfers. Further this card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and no penalty interest rate. Applicants must first join the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, which you may do as an employee or family member of an employee in many different government and defense organizations. Or you can join a military support charity such as Voices for America’s Troops for a small, one-time fee. This card was the winner for Best Simple Credit Card in America.
This card offers a competitive standard interest rate and a low fee structure. With this card, you receive a standard interest rate of just 8% (variable) which applies to both new purchases and balance transfers. In addition, there are no balance transfer fees for this card, making it a good option for debt consolidation. Finally, the Barclaycard Ring is managed in part by cardholders through their online community. There is no annual fee for this card.
The Citi Simplicity Card offers new cardholders 21 months of interest-free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. This card also features friendlier policies such as no late fees, no penalty interest rate and a free credit score. There is no annual fee for this card.
This offer for the Discover it card features 18 months of interest-free financing on balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee), and six months of 0% APR on new purchases. Cardholders can benefit from Discover’s policies of waiving the first late payment fee and having no penalty interest rate (though do keep in mind that a late payment will still show up on your credit report, and may negatively affect your credit scores). Discover also provides customers with a free credit score. In addition, this card is a rewards card that offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter on purchases from select categories of merchants, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is no annual fee for this card.
BankAmericard Credit Card
The BankAmericard Credit Card offers 15 months of interest-free financing on new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. It also features a standard interest rate of as low as 10.99% for the most qualified applicants. It also features plenty of features to keep track of your account such as alerts, mobile banking and text banking. There is no annual fee for this card.
Before you apply for any credit card, checking your credit score can give you a good idea of where you stand, which can help you target your search to credit cards that are geared to your credit score range (and thus, you’re more likely to be approved for). You can get your credit scores for free many ways, including through Credit.com, where your scores are updated every month.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
At publishing time, Chase Slate, Barclaycard Ring MasterCard, Citi Simplicity Card, PenFed Promise and Discover it are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
More on Credit Cards:
- Credit.com’s Expert Credit Card Shopping Tips
- How to Get a Credit Card With Bad Credit
- How Secured Cards Can Help Build Credit