Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards in 2023

The best balance transfer cards help you save money in interest charges through intro 0% APR offers. However, keep in mind that you will need to pay balance transfer fees.

Advertising & Editorial DisclosureLast Updated: 1/30/2023
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The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

Balance transfer cards are a valuable tool for paying off credit card debt. And Americans know a thing or two about credit card debt. They accounted for $756 billion in credit card debt in 2020 -- the average credit card balance during that time was $5,315. And with the average annual percentage rate (APR) being 16.28% in Q4 2020, a credit card with a low balance transfer offer could be a good option for people who carry a credit card balance month to month. Expensive interest charges make it difficult to climb out of debt.

How Balance Transfer Cards Can Help You

MoneyGeek’s Take: Top 9 Balance Transfer Credit Cards

The duration of the intro 0% APR offers on balance transfers is not the same across all the top balance transfer cards we've selected. For instance, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card comes with a 0% Intro APR offer on balance transfers for 21 months, then a 16.74% - 27.49% variable APR whereas the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offers 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months. Selecting a card that works well for you also requires paying attention to other aspects such as welcome offers, annual fees and added benefits.

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  • Card Name
    BT Offer Length
    BT Offer
    BT Fee
  • 1.
    21 months
    0% Intro APR, then 17.74% – 28.49% variable APR thereafter
    $5 or 5%, whichever is greater
  • 2.
    21 months
    0% Intro APR, then 18.24% – 28.99% Variable APR thereafter
    $5 or 3% whichever is greater; $5 or 5% after first four months*
  • 3.
    18 billing cycles
    0% Intro APR, then 18.74% – 28.74% variable APR thereafter
    $5 or 3%, whichever is greater
  • 4.
    Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
    18 months
    0% Intro APR, then 17.24% – 29.24% variable APR thereafter
    $5 or 3% whichever is greater; $5 or 5% after first four months*
  • 5.
    18 months
    0% Intro APR, then 18.24% – 28.24% variable APR thereafter
    $5 or 3% whichever is greater; $5 or 5% after first four months*
  • 6.
    18 months
    0% Intro APR, then 19.24% – 27.99% variable APR thereafter
    $5 or 3% whichever is greater; $5 or 5% after 60 days*
  • 7.
    15 months
    0% Intro APR, then 19.24% – 27.99% variable APR thereafter
    $5 or 3% whichever is greater; $5 or 5% after 60 days*
  • 8.
    15 months
    0% Intro APR, then 19.24% – 27.99% variable APR thereafter
    $5 or 3% whichever is greater; $5 or 5% after 60 days*
  • 9.
    Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
    15 months
    0% Intro APR, then 19.24% – 29.24% variable APR thereafter
    $5 or 3% whichever is greater; $5 or 5% after first four months*
  • Introductory Fee– either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater for the first four months of account opening, after that balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% after the first four.
  • Introductory Fee- either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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Best Balance Transfer Card Offers

Below are some of the best balance transfer card offers available currently. Each listing features insights into the offer, including pros and cons and an expert editorial review of the card. Use this information to guide you when choosing the right balance transfer offer for you. Some balance transfer periods extend into 2023, which could help pay down debt easier or future budget planning.

Best Credit Cards with Longer Balance Transfer Periods

Opting for a balance transfer card with a longer introductory offer allows you time to form a plan for paying off existing credit card debt. It helps with budgeting since you have more time to make payments on the balance.

  • Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

    Best balance transfer card for immediate transfers

    • ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • 0% Intro APR on new purchasesAPR Offer
    • 12 monthsAPR Offer Duration
    • 0% Intro APR, then 17.74% – 28.49% variable APR thereafterBalance Transfer Offer
    • 17.24% – 27.99% VariableAPR

    Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

    Terms, rates and fees apply

  • Citi Simplicity® Card

    A good no annual fee card for balance transfers

    • Good–ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 18.24% – 28.99% VariableAPR
    • 12 monthsAPR Offer Duration
    • 21 monthsBalance Transfer Duration

  • U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

    An excellent balance transfer card with no annual fees and an extended intro APR offer

    • Good–ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • 0% Intro APR on new purchasesAPR Offer
    • 18 billing cyclesAPR Offer Duration
    • 0% Intro APR, then 18.74% – 28.74% variable APR thereafterBalance Transfer Offer
    • 18.74% – 28.74% VariableAPR

  • Citi® Double Cash Card

    A great no-annual-fee card that offers up to 2% cash back

    • Good–ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 2% Cash Back*Rewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Gas
    • 2xRewards Rate on Groceries

Best Balance Transfer Cards with Perks

A few balance transfer cards offer more than a break from interest charges. Some cards come with extra perks and benefits similar to those found with top rewards credit cards. Card perks may include travel benefits, purchase protections, loyalty rewards and more.

  • Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

    A good no annual fee card with a lengthy 0% APR offer

    • Good–ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 18 monthsBalance Transfer Duration
    • 18 monthsAPR Offer Duration

  • Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

    A great no annual fee cash back card with a 0% APR offer

    • Good–ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 2% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Gas
    • 2xRewards Rate on Groceries

The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards at a Glance
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Other Credit Cards to Research

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Experts at MoneyGeek use 57 data points and our unique in-house ranking methodology to arrive at the list of the best balance transfer cards. They get the information they need from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, issuer websites and our partners to ensure all information is complete, accurate and comprehensive. Then, they assign specific values to different parameters based on their importance. For example:

  • Duration of intro APR offer: 75%
  • Balance transfer APR: 10%
  • Welcome offer: 10%
  • Regular APR: 5%

How to Compare Different 0% APR Balance Transfer Offers

While they may offer other benefits, by and large, balance transfer cards are created for one thing — to help people pay off credit card balances. Here are several factors to consider as you think about which card is right for you.


Introductory offer period

The introductory 0% APR offer determines how long you have to pay off your transferred balance before you’re hit with interest charges again. Offer lengths range from six months to 20 months. If you’re transferring a large balance or are working with a tight budget, you’re better off with a longer promotional period. Some cards offer 0% APR on new purchases too. While that seems like an extra perk, adding new purchases increases your balance, possibly making it even more challenging to pay off.


Balance transfer fees

Most credit card companies charge a fee for allowing you to transfer a balance over to your newly approved credit card. Typically you’ll pay either a flat fee or a percentage of the transferred balance, whichever is greater. There may also be a minimum balance transfer fee. Always calculate how much your fee is compared to the interest charges you’re currently paying before transferring over a balance.


Balance transfer limits

In many cases, balance transfer cards have set limits to how much you can transfer over. It’s important to pay attention to the limit so that you can find a card that allows you to transfer over your entire existing balance.


Late payments

Your promotional APR rate could be affected or ended with a late payment. You could also face a late payment fee or penalty APR on your balance or future purchases. The last thing you want to do is transfer over your balance and then lose out on the purpose for signing up for the card in the first place.


Regular APR

Once the introductory period ends, your remaining balance is subject to interest charges and, possibly, fees. This is known as your regular APR. In many cases, the regular APR is the same for balance transfers and new purchases.


Other fees

The best balance transfer credit cards come with no annual fees, but there are additional fees to keep in mind when choosing a card. If you plan to use the card when traveling, you might want to find a card with no foreign transaction fees. Other fees to watch for include late fees, returned payment fees and cash advance fees.


Card benefits

A balance transfer card may come with added benefits like travel perks or purchase and fraud protection. Extra perks increase the card’s value, but they shouldn’t take priority over more important factors like the offer length and transfer fees.


Your credit score

For the most part, your credit score will determine which balance cards you qualify for. Most balance transfer cards require good or excellent credit. Only apply for cards when there’s a good chance of approval since each application requires a hard credit inquiry, which can lower your credit score.

MoneyGeek’s Quick Guide to Understanding Balance Transfers

Paying off debt is a great feeling, which is why a balance transfer card is such a powerful tool. It can jump-start your debt payoff plan. Plus, it allows you to consolidate your credit cards into one monthly bill. Not everyone is a good fit for a balance transfer card, though. There are certain nuances to balance transfer cards that you should know before deciding to apply for a card.

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Though the U.S. economy is slowly recovering from the pandemic, credit card issuers are still being cautious on how they extend credit. This is why you may see fewer balance transfer offers than you did pre-COVID. Don't fret - the MoneyGeek team was still able to find solid balance transfer cards to compare, but if you don't find what you're looking for, we recommend comparing credit cards with 0% APR intro offers.

How Balance Transfer Credit Cards Work

Balance transfer cards allow you to transfer over existing credit card balances from other credit cards to your new card. Do the math to verify that the offer is worth any fees incurred.

Once you’re approved for your balance transfer card, you are ready to transfer a credit card balance. Here’s how the process works:


Request a transfer

Contact your new credit card issuer to request to transfer over an existing balance from another card. You can do that by calling the customer service number on the back of your card. Your card issuer may allow you to request transfers online or through its mobile app too. You will be asked for specific information about the debt you are transferring, like the account number and balance amount. Depending on card limits, you could get approved for transferring all or a portion of the existing balance.


Continue making payments on the old card

Balance transfers take time to be approved and processed. The process can potentially take weeks to be finalized. Continue to make minimum payments on your old card until the balance has been moved to the new card. Failure to make payments on the old card before that time could result in costly late payments.


Plan your debt payoff

Once the balance is moved over to the new card, make a plan to pay it off within the introductory period. Divide the total transferred balance by the promotional period’s length to determine how much you need to pay each month. If you make purchases on the new card during that time, you’ll need to factor them into your calculations too. You can also make extra payments to pay off the debt even faster.

Depending on the card issuer, you may be able to transfer over other debt balances besides credit cards, like auto loans, student loans and personal loans. Check with the card issuer or read through the card’s terms and conditions to determine what types of debt they allow to be transferred to a credit card. Most card issuers only allow you to move over balances on cards issued by other credit card companies.

Who Should Consider a Balance Transfer

Balance transfers are best for individuals with high-interest debt who have good enough credit to qualify for a 0% interest balance transfer card. They are also great for those who need extended time to pay off their balance.

A balance transfer might not be the best option for individuals with low balances on existing cards or those with poor credit. Avoid balance transfers if you have no intention of paying off your balance.

Credit Card Balance Transfer Best Practices

Transferring a balance can save you money and help you pay off debt quicker. There are steps you can take to ensure a balance transfer accomplishes its intended goal.

balanceTransfer icon
  1. Pay attention to the card details: Always read through the terms and conditions before applying for a new credit card. Pay attention to things like the fee structure, what happens after the introductory period ends and more.
  2. Create a plan to pay off the balance: Determine how much money you need to pay each month to pay off the entire balance before the end of the promotional period. This may require paying more than the minimum payment.
  3. Avoid late fees: Do whatever is necessary to keep from making payments late. Try paying your monthly bill early to ensure your payment goes through correctly.
  4. Avoid new purchases: The goal of the balance transfer card is to pay down debt. Each time you make new purchases, it extends the time and money necessary to pay the total balance.

Alternatives to Balance Transfers

Balance transfers can help you pay down debt quickly, but they aren’t suitable for everyone. If they’re not an option for you, there are other ways to handle debt payoff.

  • Personal loan: You may qualify for a personal loan with a lower interest rate than your credit card, saving you money in interest charges. Also, personal loans typically offer longer payment terms than an introductory period.
  • Debt payoff plan: You could keep your balance on the existing card and develop a plan to pay off your debt. One method for paying off debt is called the debt avalanche method. With a debt avalanche, you find the card with the highest interest rate and work like crazy to pay it off, making minimum payments on all other cards. Once it's paid off, move on to the card with the next highest interest.

FAQs About Transferring Credit Card Balances

There are important details you should know if you’re thinking about transferring an existing credit card balance.

Balance transfer credit cards help you pay off existing debt without the burden of monthly interest fees. Research whether it makes sense to transfer the balance or not. If so, take the time to compare the best balance transfer credit cards to determine the right card for you.

Next Steps

Now that you know what to expect from the best balance transfer cards, consider your specific requirements before making a selection. In addition, don't forget to pay attention to aspects such as the duration of the intro APR offer, annual fees, balance transfer fees, regular APRs and added perks.

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Expert Advice: Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

  1. How can balance transfers impact your credit score short and long term?
  2. What are one or two common mental mistakes people make when they do a balance transfer, and what can you do to avoid them?
Kathryn Kelley, CFP®, CLTC®
Kathryn Kelley, CFP®, CLTC®

Financial Advisor at Sale Financial Group

Samira Hussein
Samira Hussein

Professor of Business Administration at Johnson County Community College

Dr. Rashiqa Kamal, Ph.D.
Dr. Rashiqa Kamal, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

David A. Frantsvog
David A. Frantsvog

Assistant Professor

About the Author

Kevin Payne headshot

Kevin Payne is a personal finance writer specializing in credit cards, banking, and student loans. He is a regular contributor to Forbes Advisor, The Ascent, Investing Answers, and Student Loan Planner. Kevin is the budget and family travel expert behind

*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. Learn more aboutour editorial policies andexpert editorial team.
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