If the present credit card is straining you in terms of the debt payment, then the best option would be to pay your existing debt with a new credit card that has a lower interest rate. However, the debt owed will remain the same although it will be easy to repay your debt. While some institutions charge fees for balance transfers, you can still get a credit card for a balance transfer at no fee especially if you have a good-excellent credit score.
When choosing a card to transfer your balance to, you should ensure that you read all the terms and conditions to ensure that you understand various features of the concerned card. One of the most important features is the period of low interest on the new card. If it is short, then it might not be useful at all. Most promotions range from 1-2 years. If you get a credit card offering a promotion of two years, the better.
When you transfer your balance, you can retain your current card to later come back to it or do away with it. If you love it, then you can keep it but do not use it as you repay your balance with the other card. And another tip is, though you can use the balance transfer card to buy goods and services, transfer money to someone else’s bank account, and so on, you should avoid using it until you pay off your balance.
What are no-fee balance transfer credit cards?
The balance transfer fee is the amount of money that a financial institution charges you when transferring your debt. No fee balance transfer credit cards are the ones that do not charge you anything when moving your debt to a balance transfer card. Most cards charge a balance transfer fee of up to 5% of the amount of debt you are transferring.
A balance transfer fee is done by the financial institution where you are transferring the debt. When there is no fee on the balance transfer, then you save some substantial amount of money and especially when transferring huge balances.
How do no-fee balance transfer cards work?
First of all, no fee balance transfers happen mostly under promotions by financial institutions who want to attract more consumers to their side. Once you notice that there is a card offering a balance transfer at no fee, you open a checking account with them and then initiate an application for a balance in another card to move to the new card. The process may take several days even up to 21 days, but it should not last for more than two months.
For you to transfer your card debt to another card, most credit companies require that you have used your card for at least six months. Upon moving the balance to the new card, you can then pay off your debt within the promotional period. The no-fee balance transfer cards help you to pay your debt fast and cheaply since they have a lower interest rate as compared to your previous card.
How to find a no-fee balance transfer credit card
Finding a no-fee balance transfer card is easy especially if you have a smartphone and know how to use the internet. Doing a simple Google search on ‘no-fee balance transfer cards’ will bring you numerous results of the available cards and the issuers.
Also, you can come across advertisements in newspapers about the cards that are offering zero-fee balance transfers. Another technique that credit companies use to advertise their offers on credit cards is by sending emails to subscribers. If you happen to subscribe to alerts by a certain bank, then you are likely going to receive useful information on such credit cards.
Alternatively, you can hear it from your friends who are looking to help you to clear your dues on time. As well, credit companies put notices on billboards and you can be lucky to spot one. Another way you can find a no-fee balance transfer card is by visiting various financial institutions and asking about the cards.
The 7 Best Balance transfer credit cards
If you are looking for the most efficient balance transfer card, then any of the following cards can be of great use.
1) Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
You will get $100 when you spend $1,000 in the first 6 months of account opening. Also, the card will always give you a 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets when you spend up to $6,000 in a year on purchases, then 1% on the next purchases. You will also get 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and specific U.S. stores as well as a 1% cash back on general purchases.
Interestingly, you will be able to earn a 20% back on purchases at Amazon on the card in the first 6 months of the account opening up to $200 cash back. The card however has no annual bonus. The annual fee is zero. See more
2) Discover it® Cash Back
Get this card and earn 5% cash back on purchases you make every day at different shopping places each quarter such as Amazon.com, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations as well as when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum on activating your card.
Also, automatically earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases you make. The rewards never expire. The card has 0% balance transfers Intro APR for 14 months, 0% purchases Intro APR for 14 months, and an 11.99% – 22.99% variable Regular APR. The card has no annual fee. See more
3) Chase Freedom Unlimited®
With this card, you will earn a $200 bonus when you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. You will also earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases excluding Target® and Walmart® on up to $12,000 you spent in the first year.
Also, you will earn 5% on travel you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Also, earn 3% on drugstore purchases. You will also earn 1.5% on all other purchases.
Interestingly, the card has a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening and thereafter a variable APR of 14.99%–23.74%. Also, the card has no annual fee. See more
4) Citi® Double Cash Card
The card has a 0% Introductory Period of up to 18 months. It has a Regular APR of 13.99%-23.99% (variable). Furthermore, it has no annual fees at all. The card also has cash backs if you utilize it as per terms and conditions. You will also benefit from 24/7 customer care whereby you can chat online.
Unfortunately, the card has no Introductory Purchase APR. It charges a transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is higher. You need to earn a minimum of $25 to redeem. The redemption is not automatic and thus you have to put a request on it. See more
5) Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit Card
Get the card and earn 20,000 miles if you spend $500 in the first 3 months of account opening. The annual fee is zero but there is no annual bonus. The card has an APR of 15.49-25.49% (variable). There is no minimum of miles required to redeem.
Note that, the card allows you to earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase they make with the card. The card has no foreign transaction fees. Also, the card allows you to generate virtual numbers for each merchant to protect your information. See more
6) Citi Rewards℠ Card
Enjoy a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers on getting this card. It has a 13.49% – 23.49% Variable APR and no annual fee at all. The balance transfer fee is either 5% or $3 of the amount whichever is greater.
Also, you will be able to earn 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of opening your account. You can redeem the points for $150 in gift cards at thankyou. The card requires excellent scores. See more
7) Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
The card has no annual fee. It charges a 3% or $5 balance transfer fee whichever is higher. The foreign transaction fee is 3% of the amount to transfer. You will also pay a 5% or $10 fee for cash advance fee whichever is higher.
Also, note that the card charges $40 as a late payment fee and up to 29.99% penalty APR. You will also benefit from the 24/7 customer care service with online chat support. The card has no rewards program. See more
What are the advantages of a no-fee balance transfer credit card?
There are various advantages associated with a no-fee balance transfer credit card. These include;
- It helps to consolidate your balance. It is possible to bring debts of various credit cards into one card, thus making it easy to manage the debt effectively.
- You can save money on a low-interest credit card. Most balance transfer credit cards have low-interest rates.
- Also, the ability to transfer your balance helps you to leave a credit card with difficult terms and conditions for a more flexible one.
What are the disadvantages of a no-fee balance transfer credit card?
The no-fee balance transfer credit cards come with their disadvantages. These include;
- Balance transfer fee. The company giving you the new card may charge you a transfer fee. If you have bad credit, the fee is high.
- You may even load yourself with more debts. If you decide to have the two cards together, you may spend more thus adding more debts on your side.
- Mostly, balance transfers require good credit and if you have a poor one, you may not qualify.
- May lower your scores. If the new credit card has a lower limit, this may affect your scores negatively.
Getting the right credit card for a balance transfer is the best thing you can do. Transferring your balance from one credit card to the other helps you to pay off your debts with low-interest rates. You should do adequate research to get the best credit card. You should know that balance transfer credit cards have their advantages and disadvantages as well.