The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of March 2023

Balance transfer credit cards have the power to drastically cut your payments with 0% APR. But there’s a cost, and rules to follow.

A zero percent sign.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rates checked as of March 1, 2023.

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If you have high-rate credit card debt, consider refinancing it with a balance transfer credit card. Especially as interest rates tick up, carrying a balance on a credit card becomes more burdensome. Average annual percentage rates on credit cards run from about 15% to 20%, and some cards have rates of nearly 30%. 

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While you may be tempted by cash back or other offers made by some of the best rewards credit cards, it is better to stay focused on paying off your debt first.

With a balance transfer card, you can take advantage of a 0% APR interest rate for as long as the first 21 months. That could shave hundreds or even thousands of dollars from your interest payments, enough to offset the balance transfer fee of 3% to 5% of the amount transferred and still save you money.

But to make the most of a balance transfer – and to make your investment in that transfer fee pay off – you need to pay off the debt before the 0% window expires. After the 0% period ends, the APR on the remaining balance typically jumps into the double digits.

We’ve rounded up the best credit cards for balance transfers. All of them feature extended 0% introductory windows, and they charge reasonable balance-transfer fees of 3%. (With some cards, you must promptly make the balance transfer after opening the card to capture the 0% rate or the 3% fee–otherwise, you pay a higher APR or fee.) If you’re looking for a great rewards credit card instead, see The Best Cash Back Credit Cards and The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards, along with The Best Reward Cards for Students

We select balance transfer cards with 0% introductory windows and balance-transfer fees of 3%. (With some cards, you must promptly make the balance transfer after opening the card to capture the 0% rate or the 3% fee–otherwise, you pay a higher APR or fee.) Interest rates, fees, rewards and other terms listed in this article are subject to change. Before you apply for a credit card, check its current terms and conditions with the issuer. 

0% APR for 21 Months

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BankAmericard credit card (opens in new tab) 

This no-frills Mastercard offers a generous 21-month period of 0% interest, and is the best option for those who might run the risk of making a late payment.

  • Interest rate: 0% for 21 months as long as the transfer is made within 60 days of opening your account; after 21 months, you pay the standard variable rate—recently, it was 16.49% - 26.49%
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the amount transferred ($10 minimum)
  • Annual fee: None
  • Penalty APR: None; paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR)
  • Late payment fee: Up to $40
  • Perks: Free FICO score

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Wells Fargo Reflect® Card (opens in new tab) 

Enjoy up to 21 months of 0% interest if you pay your credit card bill on time. If you pay your wireless bill with the card, you qualify for up to $600 worth of protection for loss or damage on your cell phone.

  • Interest rate: 0% APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, plus up to three additional months interest-free if you pay at least the minimum due on time during the introductory and extension periods, for a total 21 months of 0% interest (request the transfer within 120 days of opening the card to get the introductory rate); then 17.49% to 29.49% variable APR
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% ($5 minimum); after 120 days of opening the account, it is 5% with a $5 minimum
  • Annual fee: None
  • Penalty APR: If you make a late payment during the introductory period you may lose the 0% interest rate
  • Late payment fee: Up to $40
  • Perks: Up to $600 per claim of protection for your cell phone against damage or theft if you pay your monthly wireless bill with the card; you pay a $25 deductible, and you get up to two paid claims per 12 months

18 Months 0% APR

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Citi® Double Cash Card (opens in new tab)

Have your cake and eat it too with this 0% interest introductory offer and generous cash back card. Just make sure you pay your credit card bill on time to avoid a hefty interest rate increase.

  • Interest rate: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months; after that, the variable APR will be 18.74% - 28.74%, based on your creditworthiness
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% ($5 minimum) within the first 4 months of account opening, then 5% ($5 minimum)
  • Annual fee: None
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99% if you pay your bill late
  • Late payment fee: Up to $41; returned payments may also be charged up to this amount
  • Perks: total 2% cash back on every purchase - 1% at the time of purchase and 1% when you pay for those purchases.

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U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card (opens in new tab)  

18 billing cycles of 0% APR with cell phone protection.

  • Interest rate: 0% for 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, then 18.99% to 28.99% variable
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% ($5 minimum)
  • Annual fee: None
  • Penalty APR: None
  • Late payment fee: Up to $41
  • Perks: Like the Wells Fargo Reflect Visa, this card offers up to $600 reimbursement if your cell phone is stolen or damaged and you use the card to pay your wireless bill; the deductible is $25, and you get up to two claims paid per 12 months

As an independent publication dedicated to helping you make the most of your money, the article above is our view of the best deals and is not the opinion of any entity mentioned such as a card issuer, hotel, airline etc. Similarly, the content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of those entities.

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Lisa Gerstner
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Lisa has spent more than15 years with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and heads up the magazine’s annual rankings of the best banks, best rewards credit cards, and financial-services firms with the best customer service. She reports on a variety of other topics, too, from retirement to health care to money concerns for millennials. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.

With contributions from