MoneyGeek's Take

Best Credit Union Cards Credit Cards for Balance Transfer in 2022

The best credit union credit cards for balance transfers come with intro 0% or low APR offers and do away with annual fees. Some of these cards offer rewards/cash back too.

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This article is part of our larger series on Best Balance Transfer Cards

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A key difference between balance transfer cards from credit unions and those issued by traditional banks is that credit unions tend to limit their intro APR offers to 12 months. However, balance transfer credit union cards typically have lower balance transfer fees. For instance, the Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card charges no balance transfer fees, even during the 0% APR promo period.

Some of the top balance transfer credit union credit cards let you earn rewards or cash back. You can also find ones with spend-based welcome offers. The only card we’ve selected that charges an annual fee is the PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card, and the fee is waived for PenFed Honors Advantage Members. Most of these cards come with no foreign transaction fees, making them ideal to use outside of the U.S.

This article is part of our larger series on
Best Balance Transfer Cards

MoneyGeek’s Take: Top 5 Credit Union Cards for Balance Transfers

Quick Summary

The duration of a 0% or low APR offer may vary from one balance transfer card to the next, as might the balance transfer fees you need to pay. In addition, cards from this category come with varied welcome offers. We’ve accounted for these factors when selecting the top five credit union balance transfer credit cards, and we’ve also paid due attention to other aspects such as annual fees, regular APRs and added benefits. You may take a look at other good cards from this segment by scrolling further down the page.


  • Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum card

    A great no-annual-fee balance transfer card for people with average credit


    • Fair-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • 8.99% – 18.00%APR
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 0% Intro APR on balance transfersBalance Transfer Offer
    • 0%Balance Transfer Fee

    Terms, rates and fees apply

    Compare this credit card with other top-rated credit cards at CardRatings.com.

  • Gold Visa® Card

    A good low-APR balance transfer card with no annual fees


    • 11.49% – 17.99%APR
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 0% Intro APR on balance transfersBalance Transfer Offer
    • 3%Balance Transfer Fee

    Terms, rates and fees apply

    Compare this credit card with other top-rated credit cards at CardRatings.com.

  • Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

    A great no annual fee gas rewards card


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 5xRewards Rate on Gas
    • 3xRewards Rate on Groceries
    • 12 monthsBalance Transfer Duration

    Terms, rates and fees apply

  • Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

    A good no annual fee balance transfer card with cash back


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1.5% - 2% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 12 monthsBalance Transfer Duration

    Terms, rates and fees apply

  • Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card

    A good no-annual-fee credit card with an intro 0% APR offer


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • 13.24% – 25.24%APR
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 12 monthsAPR Offer Duration
    • 12 monthsBalance Transfer Duration

    Terms, rates and fees apply

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Methodology

Each month, MoneyGeek experts go through an extensive database of new and existing credit cards and select all credit union cards that might work well for balance transfers. They then narrow down on the best of the lot by comparing all available options across parameters such as duration of intro APR offers, welcome bonuses, balance transfer fees, annual fees and regular APRs.

Summary of the Best Credit Union Cards Cards for Balance Transfer

The table below breaks down how our top credit union balance transfer cards fare against each other when it comes to the credit score you need to apply, the rewards you stand to earn and the annual fee you might need to pay.

  • Credit Card
    Best For
    Avg. Reward Rate
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum card
    A great no-annual-fee balance transfer card for people with average credit
    $0
  • Gold Visa® Card
    A good low-APR balance transfer card with no annual fees
    $0
  • Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
    A great no annual fee gas rewards card
    $0
  • Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
    A good no annual fee balance transfer card with cash back
    1.5% - 2% Cash Back
    $0
  • Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card
    A good no-annual-fee credit card with an intro 0% APR offer
    $0
  • PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
    A good travel rewards card that comes with a possible annual fee waiver
    1.5- 4 points
    $95
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature cashRewards Card
    A great no annual fee cash back card for average to excellent credit
    1.5%-1.75% Cash Back
    $0
  • Navy Federal Credit Union cashRewards World Mastercard®
    A good no-annual fee cash back card for those with average credit
    1.50% - 1.75% Cash Back
    $0
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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Credit unions are an ideal place to open a credit card or bank account. They are generally nonprofit, which allows them to offer higher interest rates on deposits and lower rates and fees on credit cards and other loans to their members. -- Lee Huffman, credit card expert at BaldThoughts.com.

How to Compare Credit Union Cards Credit Cards & Intro Offers

There is no single best credit union credit card for balance transfers because all these cards come with their share of advantages and shortcomings. If you wish to make the right selection, it’s important that you take your spending patterns into account and pay attention to a few other important aspects.

1

Duration of intro balance transfer APR offer

The cards we’ve selected that currently have intro 0% balance transfer APR offers do not charge interest on balance transfers for the first 12 months. This may also be the case with the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card's intro APR, which can be as low as 0% depending on your creditworthiness and applies on balance transfers as well as purchases.

2

Balance transfer fees

Depending on the card you get, you might need to pay up to 3% of the transferred balance in fees. The Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card comes with no balance transfer fees. If you get the Gold Visa® Card, you’ll need to pay a 3% balance transfer fee. The Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card charges a 2% balance transfer fee.

3

Regular balance transfer APR

This aspect requires your attention if you end up having an outstanding balance from your balance transfer at the end of the promo period. If you think you might need more time to repay your debt, you may consider getting a credit union card that comes with a low ongoing APR on balance transfers. Cards that fit this bill include Navy Federal Credit Union’s Platinum Card, cashRewards Visa Signature Card and cashRewards World Mastercard. Bear in mind that you’ll need excellent credit to qualify for these cards’ lowest rates.

4

Welcome offer

A number of the top balance transfer credit union credit cards we’ve selected come with spend-based welcome offers. For example, the Gold Visa® Card offers a $100 bonus statement credit if you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 90 days. Both Navy Federal Credit Union cashRewards cards, on the other hand, let you earn $200 bonus cash by spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

5

Rewards/cash back

With credit union balance transfer cards that offer either cash back or reward points, the cash back/rewards rate varies by card. For example, the Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers up to 5x points on category-based spending, the Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card gives you the ability to earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases, and the Navy Federal Credit Union cashRewards Card comes with up to 1.75% cash back on all purchases.

6

Foreign transaction fee

Pay attention to this aspect if you plan to use your card outside of the U.S. While most of the top credit union balance transfer credit cards don’t charge this fee, the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card makes for a notable exception.

7

Annual fee

The only card from this segment that charges an annual fee is the PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card. However, PenFed waives this card’s $95 annual fee for existing PenFed Honors Advantage Members.

8

Added benefits

All these cards come with a $0 fraud liability policy. The PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card also offers a $100 annual domestic air ancillary travel statement credit, a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck statement credit and complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge membership.

Further Reading

About the Author


expert-profile

Rajiv Baniwal has been writing about different financial topics for over 15 years. Meticulous in his research, he makes sure he provides accurate and up-to-date information. His areas of expertise include mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, insurance and international money transfers.


*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.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings.com and CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek, CardRatings and CreditCards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.