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If you’re trying to pay down a large credit card balance and you feel like you’re getting nowhere, one potential solution is to move your debts to a balance transfer card. Balance transfer cards often offer introductory periods of 0% interest, giving you time to pay down your balance without accruing additional debt.
If you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card, you should be examine the introductory period, transfer fees and any additional benefits the cards provide to help you decide which one is right for you. To help you get started, check out these cards, which all offer solid intro periods for you to pay down your balances interest-free. Paying your debt down means you’ll be on the path to improving your credit utilization and, in turn, your credit scores. You can see two of your scores free on Credit.com.
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card
- 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 17.74%-27.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
- Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Credit Card
- Easy access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®
- Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions
- Convenient tools to help create a budget and manage your spending with My Money Map
- $0 Annual Fee
- Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions
Card Details +
APR: 0% intro for 18 months for purchases and balance transfers then an ongoing APR of 17.74% - 27.24% (Variable)
Annual Fee: $0
Why We Picked It: The introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers, combined with no annual fee makes this a great card.
Benefits: 0% intro for 18 months for purchases and balance transfers then an ongoing APR of 17.74% - 27.24% (Variable) and $0 annual fee.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to make your balance transfers within 120 days of opening the account to get the introductory rate.
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®
- Enjoy a 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 14.24% APR will apply
- Low 14.24% variable APR on purchases and cash advances
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- International Chip and PIN
Card Details +
APR: Intro: 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 14.24% APR will apply.
Annual Fee: None
Why We Picked It: This card has a low APR compared to other cards.
Benefits: Cardholders get a low ongoing interest rate.
Drawbacks: The card’s Giveback rewards program is a profit-sharing feature that offers cardholders little control.
APR: 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months, 0% intro on purchases for 15 months on purchases and an ongoing APR of 15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Annual Fee: $0
Why We Picked It: Not only does it offer a great interest rate on balance transfers, it offers the change to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase along with a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
Benefits: Great introductory interest rates and cash-back rewards.
Drawbacks: The ongoing interest rate, while standard, is, just that, standard.
Choosing and Using a Balance Transfer Card
Assuming you intend to use your balance transfer card to pay down large balances, there are some things you should know about selecting and using these cards.
Before you apply for any card, you’ll want to check the APR that kicks in after the 0% intro period. If it’s higher than the APR on your current cards, think twice about applying. If you don’t manage to pay off your balance transfers before the intro period runs out, a card with a higher APR will slap you with a worse interest rate than you currently have.
The balance transfer fee also requires close attention. Some balance transfer cards won’t charge a fee on transfers, while others will charge $5 or 3% to 5% of the transfer amount. Depending on your current balances, this could wind up costing hundreds of dollars.
When you open a card, transferring your balances immediately will pay off. That’s because you’ll get the full intro period to pay down your balance interest-free. Also, if your card only offers free balance transfers for a limited time, you’ll want to take advantage while you can.
Finally, you’ll want to use the card in the most fiscally responsible way. Paying off your entire balance within the intro period will save you the most money, so you may want to figure out the minimum monthly payment required to accomplish that. Using the card for everyday spending will add to that balance, and if your focus is reducing debt, you’ll probably want to limit or completely avoid using the card for purchases until the balance reaches zero.
At publishing time, the Wells Fargo, Capital One and BarClaycard Ring credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
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.