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The Best Zero Transfer Fee Credit Cards

Monday, September 26th

What Are the Best Zero Balance Transfer Fee Credit Cards?

For consumers who tend to carry a lot of credit card debt, getting a lower interest rate through a 0 Balance Transfer Fee card can be a smart way to save money. Why pay interest rates over 20% when you can move your balances to a credit card with a much lower introductory rate AND no balance transfer fees?

Is a Zero Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card Right For You?

Do you usually pay off your credit card balance in full every month? If not, you're in good company: up to 85% of all Americans carry a balance on at least one credit card from month to month, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

But, the savviest consumers know that they don't have to be stuck with skyrocketing interest rates forever. The trick? Making smart use of 0 Balance Transfer Fee credit cards.

No Balance Transfer Fees? Yes, Really

Credit card companies make money every single time you swipe your plastic. They want your business, to the point of making it worth your while to move your balances over to their cards. There are two main ways they sweeten the pot, so to speak: 0 intro APR and 0 balance transfer fee. Let's take a look at how that works.

0 intro APR is the most common offer. Imagine that you're currently carrying a balance of $3000 on a credit card, and your APR is 25% (ouch!). To try and win your business, a new credit card might give you an interest rate of 0% for a certain period of time, typically from 12-15 months. Pay off that balance within that introductory period, and ta-da: you've now saved up to $600 in interest fees!

Less common but still attractive is the 0 balance transfer fee promotion. In the situation described earlier, the credit card company might charge a transfer fee of 1-5% of the total transferred balance. You'll still save money with that lower interest rate, but your total savings is less - unless the card also offers a "no balance transfer fee" incentive too. Those cards can be harder to find, but they do exist!

0 Balance Transfer Fee Cards: Plan Wisely

If you're going to try and boost your savings with a 0 Balance Transfer Fee card, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, remember that applying for any credit card can lower your credit score (temporarily). Instead of applying for many 0 Balance Transfer Fee cards, do your research and choose the one that looks like the best fit for your situation. Maybe you also want a card with no annual fee, or you like the idea of getting cash back rewards on top of saving money with lower interest rates. When you've found a credit card that looks like a good match, apply for just that card and see what happens before you apply for another card.
  • Second, pay close attention to the terms and conditions. It won't do you much good in the long run to go through the work of getting a new credit card and transfer your balance... if you wind up paying late fees, or if you go past the low intro APR period and are once again carrying a balance at the higher interest rate. Also make sure that the amount you want to transfer is allowed by the new credit card company.
  • Finally, it's a good idea to use the benefits of a 0 Balance Transfer Fee card to help you get ahead financially - and not just to be able to spend more! Some of the absolute best credit card "deals" out there are reserved for people with very high credit scores (760+), so using your new card wisely can help boost you into that upper echelon - where using your credit card actually makes you money, rather than just helping you spend less on interest and transfer fees.

TopConsumerReviews.com has partnered with Lending Tree to help you find the best Zero Balance Transfer Fee Credit Cards on the market. We hope this information will get you a great offer on a credit card that will save you money now and in the long run!

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FAQ

A zero transfer fee credit card is simple: it allows you to move a balance from a credit card with high interest rates to a card with a much lower, usually introductory, APR at no cost. These types of incentives are less common that the intro APR offers, but they're out there if you look for them!
That depends, but many zero transfer fee credit card offers come with no annual costs. Just keep in mind that applying for a new credit card will impact your credit score temporarily.
Absolutely, especially if you can get a card with a 0% APR (or at least a lower interest rate than what you're currently paying). There are lots of offers for low introductory rates, but they often have a 1-5% transfer fee that reduces the money you save. Combining a zero transfer fee offer with a no- or low-interest credit card is a huge win!
Yes! You'll find them issued by all of the major credit card companies.
That depends on your credit score and how much debt you're carrying on your current card(s). Most offers for zero transfer fee credit cards are for those who have a credit score of at least 660.
There are. Whether you want points or airline miles (or cold, hard cash), you can find a credit card with a great zero transfer fee offer and still earn rewards on your purchases.
Probably not. These cards are a good idea for anyone who tends to carry a balance regularly and for long periods of time, so that they can pay less interest going forward. If you're paying your balance in full most or all of the time, you probably won't benefit much from this type of credit card.
Approval usually happens almost instantly. Sometimes you'll be given immediate access, so that you can initiate your balance transfer right away. Your physical card may take 7-10 business days to arrive in the mail, with most credit card issuers.
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