Best Balance Transfer Card with Bad Credit – Top 7 Picks

If you have a bad credit card and would like to transfer your balance, it is difficult, though possible, to transfer your balance especially if you have an unsecured credit card for bad credit. However, if you have a secured credit card, your issue may allow you to transfer your balance so that you can pay off your balance with ease. In short, balance transfer cards for bad credit are almost impossible to get.

When you have bad credit, you have a bad reputation in matters concerning finances, and banks as well as other financial institutions are not certain that you can repay your dues as required even when given a balance transfer credit card. You, therefore, have to work hard to improve your scores to a good-excellent range to have a chance to apply for a good balance transfer credit card.

There are a lot of benefits associated with good credit cards. The most notable ones are that you will have a higher credit limit and also you will have low-interest rates. Good credit owners also benefit from 0% interest credit cards with no balance transfer fee when they want to transfer their balances to a new credit card to pay their debt fast and easily.

How do balance transfers work?

balance transfer card with bad credit

Balance transfers help you to transfer your debts to a low-interest card to be able to pay off your debt easily and faster. Cards that have promotions to allow the balance transfers from other issuers normally do so to attract more consumers. The promotion period may last within a year or more depending on the concerned company.

Balance transfers happen by you noticing a promotion by another card issuer advertising low-interest rates. You then apply for the balance transfer of your current card balances to the new card. This may take between 2-21 days depending on the bank. However, the transfer process must be over within two months.

Once your transfer is successful, you are supposed to pay your balance within the promotional time to realize the benefit. Also, you have to commit to the monthly payments. Furthermore, while some cards charge zero transfer fees, others may charge a transfer fee of up to 5%. You should thus do your maths well to see whether the whole transfer will be beneficial.

How to get a credit card with bad credit

Getting a credit card with bad credit can be stressful as many financial institutions may not be willing to offer you a card due to the high risks. However, you can still get a credit card and use it to buy goods and services, send money to others or even transfer money from the credit card to a prepaid card online for your school child or any other relevant recipient.

Bad credit cards can either be secured or unsecured. Unsecured credit cards have high-interest rates and low limits and are most useful when it comes to building your credit scores. Secured credit cards require you to pay a security deposit before getting the card and then borrow against it. The interest rates for secured credit cards are friendly.

When you want to get a credit card with bad credit, you need to consider the following tips to improve your chances of approval.

i) Catch up on late payments

The reason why you are in a bad credit state may be due to late payments. It should be an obligation to make timely payments for your credit card debts. Try your best to pay your dues for the current card in good time to increase trust with other card issuers. If you have defaulted on your loan for any reason, you should clear it as soon as possible. Very few companies will give you a credit card if you have a defaulted loan.

ii) Compare credit card fees

You have come across several credit cards that you can apply for? Do not choose a card randomly but do a comparison of various fees such as annual fees, monthly fees, interest rates, late payment fees, and foreign transaction fees among others. This way, you will be able to identify the most useful card that will be easy to maintain and eventually see the card benefits.

iii) Focus on secured cards for high approval odds and low fees

When getting a credit card for bad credit, your aim to improve your credit scores. It means that you should focus on a card that will not drain you in the process. A secured credit card is the best for building your credit. Furthermore, it is easy to get approval for a secured credit card if you pay the security deposit. Remember that your deposit is refundable and there should be no worry about it.

iv) Don’t assume secured means guaranteed approval

Take note that a credit card requires you to have a checking account with the issuer. If for example, your details are in the ChexSytems for misuse of accounts, some banks may decline to offer you the secured credit card even when you have the required amount of money to pay for security. Luckily, you may get a second chance credit card with no security deposit at all although it is a rare case.

Best balance transfer cards for bad credit

If you are looking for the best balance transfer cards today, then I have researched several of them. Some of them include the following.

1) Secured Mastercard® from Capital One

The card has no annual fee. It has a 26.99% Variable APR and accepts even the poorest credit score holders. The card reports to the three credit bureaus which are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can be sure that you will be able to build your scores when you use the card responsibly. Also, the card is acceptable countrywide. Unfortunately, the card has no rewards.

With the card, you will have an automatic consideration of a credit line increase within six months. Also, the card issuer allows 24/7 access to your card account. The card can be very suitable for personal expenses. You can still get a secured credit card for a business checking account online with no ChexSystems.


  • No annual fees
  • Accepts poor credit
  • Accepted countrywide
  • Reports to credit bureaus


  • No rewards

2) Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit

Prequalification of this card is easy and does not affect your credit scores. Choose your favorite card design from the multiple designs available. Once you get the card, you will have 24/7 access to the services offered. Furthermore, the site is mobile friendly and you can easily access your online account with your mobile phone.

Interestingly, the card has Chip technology to secure the card from fraud. The card issuer reports your card usage to the credit bureaus and thus will be able to increase your scores. Above all, the card is unsecured and thus no required security deposit. The card has no rewards.  See more


  • Easy prequalification
  • Secure from fraud no security deposit
  • Reports to credit bureaus
  • 24/7 access to your account
  • Mobile friendly


  • No rewards

3) Milestone® Mastercard® – Less Than Perfect Credit Considered

The credit card accepts even the poorest credit scores ever. There is no security deposit with this card and pre-qualification is easy. Furthermore, prequalification does not affect your credit scores. The card is very secure due to the chip technology that prevents fraud. You will access the card account 24/7.

Again, like any other credit card, this card will help you increase your credit scores since it reports to credit bureaus. The annual fee is $35 – $99.  See more


  • 24/7 access to your account
  • Fraud protection
  • Accepts even the poorest scores
  • No security deposit
  • Easy prequalification


  • Annual fees

4) Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

The card has no annual fees. Also, it has a 0% intro APR for 12 billing cycles on all purchases as well as on balance transfers that you make within 60 days of opening your account. Again, it has a 13.99% – 23.99% Variable APR. The card requires good-excellent credit scores.

Also, the card gives you 3% cash back in any category of your choice, 2% cash back at wholesale clubs, grocery stores, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter).

You also get a $200 bonus when you spend $1,000 in purchases for the first 90 days. Use the card to transfer money to someone else’s bank account, pay for goods and services, and so on. See more


  • Intro bonus
  • Rewards
  • 0% intro APR
  • No annual fees


  • Low rewards

5) Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card

The card has an average of $0-$99 in fees + $36 in cash back rewards for roughly spending $3,600 in a year. The card does not require any security deposit and the starting credit limit is $300. You will have an automatic account review every six months to increase your credit limit.

The APR is 17.99%-23.99% (variable) while the annual fee ranges between $0-$95 for the first year and $0-$99 for each additional year. The minimum interest fee is $1 while the cash advance fee is 8%. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. With this card, get 1% cash back on all eligible purchases such as gas, groceries, and phone services. See more


  • Cashback
  • No security deposit
  • A low foreign transaction fee
  • Credit limit review


  • Annual fee

6) Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card

If you have bad credit, then this card suits you. It accepts bad-fair credit scores. It has an annual fee of $48. The card charges a fixed interest rate of 9.99%. It has a foreign transaction fee of 3%. The cash advance fee is $5 or 5% of the amount, whichever is greater. Use the card anywhere as it can work anywhere in the world.

Also, you will be able to build your credit scores since the issuer reports to the credit bureaus. Since it is secured, there is a security deposit. Such a credit card will help you when it comes to shopping, paying bills, and sending money. You can even transfer money using the routing number and account number from the card account to another card account of another bank or even to a prepaid card. See more


  • Helps to increase credit scores
  • Low foreign transaction fees
  • Global acceptance
  • Good for bad credit


  • Annual fee
  • Security deposit

7) OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

The card requires a security deposit of $200-$3,000. The initial credit limit is $200-$3,000, which is equal to your deposit. The annual fee is $35 while the inactive fee is $10 after 12 months of inactivity. The late payment fee is up to up to $38 while the cash advance fee is 5%.

The card has no rewards. Fortunately, it features a 0 fraud liability and auto rental insurance. If your card is stolen and used illegally, you are not liable to pay anything. Above all, you do not need any credit check. See more


  • Zero fraud liability
  • Auto rental insurance
  • Credit limit equals your deposit
  • No credit check


  • No rewards

Five tips for doing a balance transfer with bad credit

As I had mentioned earlier, it is still possible to transfer your balance to a low-interest credit card to be able to pay your debts fast. The easiest option is to transfer your balance to a secured credit card. A secured credit card has a low-interest rate as compared to an unsecured credit card.

The following tips will help you to do a balance transfer if you have bad credit.

1. Review your credit report and score first

Some credit cards cannot accept balance transfers for people with poor credit scores. You, therefore, have to know your credit scores first to know which cards are suitable for your case. Also, it is important to ensure that all the details in the report are correct.

Sometimes you may have a flawed report that has details of someone else. If you discover errors, ensure that you solve them with the credit bureau and your bank as well.

2. Consider balance transfer secured cards

As I said earlier, secured credit cards have low interstate rates. Choosing to transfer your balance to a secured credit card may be one of the best things you can do. Most banks will allow balance transfers for bad credit to a secured credit card.

Remember that balance transfers to a secured credit card have a higher chance of approval as compared to an unsecured credit card.

3. Balance transfer secured cards for bad credit

You may even transfer your balance from one secured credit card to another if the other card has lower interest rates as compared to the current one. You want to pay off your debts and save as much money as possible.

4. Pros and cons of transferring a balance with bad credit

Also, when transferring your balance while you have bad credit, you should check on the advantages and disadvantages involved.

The advantage of transferring your balance is getting low-interest rates that make the debt manageable. However, when transferring to a secured credit card, you will have to pay a deposit to the secured credit card before transferring your balance.

Moreover, you are likely going to pay a large balance transfer fee since it is not possible to get a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for your card. Even for a business credit card for bad credit, you will not get a business credit card with 0 balance transfers.

Bottom line

You can get a balance transfer card even when you have bad credit but not that easy. The most convenient card you can get for your balance transfer is the secured credit card. Irrespective of which secured credit card you are transferring your balance to, it is important to check on the card with the lowest interest among other things. Above all, you can never get a 0% introductory APR on bad credit balance transfers.