The best balance transfer cards with intro balance transfer fee offers

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In a Nutshell

If high interest rates are preventing you from paying off your credit card debt, a balance transfer card can reduce the amount of interest you have to pay. We’ve picked our top three credit cards with intro balance transfer fee offers.
Jennifer Brozic is a personal finance writer and has written for Citi. Editorial Note: Intuit Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Information about financial products not offered on Credit Karma is collected independently. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.

This offer is no longer available on our site: Chase Slate®

Here are our picks for the best balance transfer credit cards with introductory balance transfer fee offers that can help you pay off your credit card debt.

Chase Slate®

Why we like it

Chase Slate® comes with …

  • 0% intro APR for balance transfers (and purchases) for 15 months from account opening (a variable rate of 16.74%–25.49% after that)
  • $0 intro balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open (then 5% of the amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater)
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR for late payments

Watch out for

But there are also a few factors to pay attention to.

  • 5% (minimum $5) fee (on any balance transfers you make after the first 60 days)
  • Late-payment fee (the amount of the fee varies based on your balance)
  • 3% foreign transaction fee (this may not be the card to use if you’re traveling abroad)

How to use it

To take advantage of the balance transfer offer, you should be ready to act within the first 60 days of opening your account.

You should also aim to pay off your balance in full during the intro APR period to make the most out of the interest-free window. If you don’t, any remaining balance will be subject to the regular variable APR on balance transfers.

And even though there’s no penalty APR, we recommend making your monthly payments on time and in full, since your payment history can be a key factor used to calculate credit scores.

SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card

Why we like it

The SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card offers the following benefits around balance transfers:

  • An intro $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open (after which you’ll pay 3% of the amount transferred or $10, whichever is greater)
  • An intro APR for balance transfers at the prime rate (currently a variable 5%) for three years from account opening, on balances you transfer in the first 60 days after your account opens (variable 12.99% to 22.99% APR for balance transfers after that)

The card also has …

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 1% cash back on qualifying purchases
  • $100 statement credit after you spend $500 on qualifying purchases in the first three months

And if you’re a SunTrust customer, depending on your deposit relationship, you can earn a cash deposit bonus of 10%, 25% or 50% by redeeming your cash rewards directly into a SunTrust checking, savings or money market account.

Watch out for

A balance transfer intro APR at the prime rate, currently 5% variable APR, is low compared to the average APR for many cards. But several balance transfer credit cards out there offer introductory rates of 0% (though they usually come with a shorter time frame). You may want to consider a different balance transfer card if you think you can pay off your balance in a shorter time frame, to save even more on interest charges.

You should also note that if you make a late payment, SunTrust may end your introductory balance transfer APR period early and raise your interest rate for balance transfers.

How to use it

If you decide this is a good card for you, make sure you transfer your balance within 60 days of opening your account to qualify for the intro $0 balance transfer fee offer. Then you can take advantage of the lengthy intro time frame to help pay down your debt at a lower rate than the regular rates on balance transfers available with most other credit cards.

While the card comes with a low cash back rate of 1% on qualifying purchases, other cards can earn you more. But if your main purpose for getting the card is to pay down your existing credit card debt, then this could be a good card for that.

Bottom line

Some of the best balance transfer credit cards come with an introductory $0 balance transfer fee and low or 0% introductory interest rates for balance transfers. This can give you a chance to pay off your debt without building up additional interest charges. The exact terms and conditions vary based on the card issuer, so be sure to read the fine print.

Keep in mind that using a balance transfer to pay off debt may not be right for everyone.

Megan Robinson, founder of Goodbye to Broke cautions consumers to “be realistic about your ability to pay back your debt” in the intro 0% interest period.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off your transferred balance in the intro period, “this may not be the best option for you,” she says.

About the author: Jennifer Brozic is a freelance financial services writer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in communication management from Towson University. She’s committed… Read more.