[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Balance transfer credit cards can be a fantastic way to avoid interest charges while you pay off your balance, but they do have an important catch that can trip up prospective cardholders: Most credit cards offering promotional balance transfers impose a 3% balance transfer fee on the amount transferred, which gets tacked on to the new balance. Thankfully, there are just a few credit cards that offer interest-free balance transfers or low-interest balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Here are five of them.
1. Chase Slate
- $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening
- 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
- See monthly updates to your FICO® Score and the reasons behind your score for free
- No Penalty APR – Paying late won’t raise your interest rate (APR). All other account pricing and terms apply
- $0 Annual Fee
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For a long time, the Chase Slate (reviewed here) was the only card from a major issuer that offered 0% on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. With it, new applicants receive 15 months of interest-free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers with no fee for those who transfer their balance within 60 days of account opening. After that, the balance transfer fee is 3%. Benefits include a free monthly FICO score and access to Chase’s Blueprint program. Blueprint allows cardholder to avoid interest charges by paying off some purchases in full while carrying a balance on others. It also features handy budgeting and goal-setting tools. There is no annual fee for this card and no penalty interest rate.
A big problem for many consumers looking for a balance transfer credit card is finding one that is open to people with fair credit. Capital One recently began offering interest-free balance transfers on its QuicksilverOne rewards card, with no balance transfer fee and you only need a credit score in the “fair” range to qualify. New cardholders receive interest-free financing through September 2016 on both new purchases and balance transfers. The card offers unlimited 1.5% cash-back rewards on all purchases with no limits. Also, rewards don’t expire and can be redeemed for cash back in any amount, at any time. New cardholders can receive access to a higher line of credit after making five monthly payments on time through the Credit Steps program. Other benefits include extended warranty coverage, auto rental insurance, a price protection policy and a 20% statement credit for Uber rides through April 2016. There is a $39 annual fee for this card but no foreign transaction fees.
3. Navy Federal Go Rewards Visa
The Navy Federal credit union offers its Go Rewards credit card with 0% introductory financing on balance transfers for 12 months. After that, the standard interest rate is a variable rate between 9.49% and 18%, based on the applicant’s creditworthiness. This card also features 3x points at restaurants, 2x on gas and 1x on everything else. There is no annual fee. To apply, you must join the credit union, which is open to those affiliated with the armed forces or Department of Defense, their family and household members.
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
- A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances
- No annual fee
- No balance transfer fees
- No foreign transaction fees
- Chip technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
- Free online access to FICO® Credit Score
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Although the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard doesn’t offer 0% financing, it does have one of the lowest interest rates on the market, a 10.49% Variable that applies to balance transfers, new purchases and even cash advances. Best of all, this is a standard, not introductory rate. This card is also unique in that it is managed cooperatively with its community of cardholders, who vote on changes to terms and conditions. There is no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee and the cash advance fee is a flat $3.
5. First Tennessee Platinum Premier Visa
First Tennessee’s Platinum Premier Visa offers 12 months of introductory financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with no balance transfer fee. After that, the standard interest rate is a variable rate, 8.5% to 18.75%. Cardholder benefits include auto rental insurance, emergency card replacement and a free year-end summary statement. There is no annual fee for this card.
At publishing time, Chase Slate, QuickSilver One from CapitalOne and Barclaycard Ring MasterCard are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be 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.
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.
More on Credit Cards:
- Credit.com’s Expert Credit Card Shopping Tips
- How to Get a Credit Card With Bad Credit
- An Expert Guide to Credit Cards With Rewards