Citi And Chase Named Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
For those looking for a great balance transfer credit card, the top two to consider might be a Citi Diamond Preferred card and or a Chase Slate card. Those were the top two cards named as the best in the industry recently, with a tie putting them both as best in class. The third-place winner was the BankAmericard, a card that isn’t as widely known, but which still offers good value.
The Chase Slate card is a rarity these days, because it lets consumers transfer a balance with no balance transfer fee, as long as they do it within 60 days, or about two months, of opening their account. It then gives folks 15 months to make payments on their cards without incurring any interest fees whatsoever.
Citi Diamond does charge a balance transfer fee, but at 3% or $5, whichever is higher, it isn’t too steep. And their no-interest period is longer, lasting 21 months. The Bank Americard offers an 18-month 0% APR promotion, with a lower ongoing interest rate than many other cards offer, after the zero-interest period ends. At only 11.49%, it’s a good deal, even if you haven’t paid off your entire balance before the end of the 18 months.
How to choose a great balance transfer card
When evaluating a balance transfer card, it’s important to look at three things: the transfer fee, the length of the zero-interest period, and the ongoing interest rate after the introductory period ends.
Most credit cards do charge a balance transfer fee; 3-5% is typical. Chase Slate is unusual, in that it does not charge this fee. However, if you are carrying a balance on a credit card with a high interest rate, the fee is almost always well worth paying.
The length of the no-interest period is important as well. Think about how long it may take you to pay off your balance; if it’s a small balance, then a 12-month period may be fine. But if you’re carrying many thousands of dollars of debt, you’ll want the longest possible time to chip away at it, interest-free.
Finally, the ongoing interest rate is what you’ll pay on revolving balances for the rest of the life of the card. So, the lower the better. If you’re looking for a great balance transfer credit card, there are many to choose from—and you’re in a good place to find one.