There are a lot of 0% APR credit card deals in your mailbox and online, but most of them slap you with a 3 to 4% fee just to make a transfer, and that can seriously eat into your savings.
At MagnifyMoney we like to find deals no one else is showing, and we’ve searched hundreds of balance transfer credit card offers to find the banks and credit unions that ANYONE CAN JOIN which offer great 0% interest credit card deals AND no balance transfer fees. We’ve hand-picked them here.
If one 0% APR credit card doesn’t give you a big enough credit line you can try another bank or credit union for the rest of your debt. With several no fee options it’s not hard to avoid transfer fees even if you have a large balance to deal with.
1. Chase Slate® – 0% Introductory APR for 15 months, $0 Introductory Balance Transfer FEE
You can get this offer if you complete the balance transfer within 60 days of opening the account. So it’s worth a shot to see how big of a credit line you get. If it’s not enough, move on to the other options below.
2. BankAmericard® Credit Card – 0% Introductory APR for 15 months, $0 Introductory Balance Transfer FEE
Bank of America has just recently launched a balance transfer with no intro balance transfer fee. Credit card debt on an existing Bank of America credit card is not eligible for this offer.
Tip: The remaining no fee cards on this list are deals for 12 months or less. You might be better off paying a standard 3% balance transfer fee for a longer deal, like 0% for 18 months from the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer, one of the better deals with a balance transfer fee of 3%. If you’re trying to transfer from Chase, consider a deal from Bank of America with $0 transfer terms.
3. Alliant Credit Union Credit Cards – 0% Introductory APR for 12 months, NO FEE
Alliant is an easy credit union to work with because you don’t have to be a member to apply and find out if you qualify for the 0% Introductory APR deal.
Just choose ‘not a member’ when you apply and if you are approved you’ll then be able to become a member of the credit union to finish opening your account.
Anyone can become a member of Alliant by making a $10 donation to Foster Care to Success.
If your credit isn’t great, you might not get a 0% intro rate – rates for transfers are as high as 5.99%, so make sure you double check the rate you receive before opening the account, and they might ask for additional documents like your pay stubs to verify the information on your application.
4. Edward Jones World MasterCard – 0% Intro APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers, NO FEE
You’ll need to go to an Edward Jones branch to open up an account first if you want this deal. Edward Jones is an investment advisory company, so they’ll want to have a conversation about your retirement needs.But you don’t need to have money in stocks to be a customer of Edward Jones and try to get this card. Just beware that you only have 60 days to complete your transfer to lock in the 0% introductory rate. This deal expires 11/30/2017.
5. First Tech Choice Rewards – 0% Balance Transfer Intro APR for 12 months, NO FEE
Anyone can join First Tech Federal Credit Union by becoming a member of the Financial Fitness Association for $8, or the Computer History Museum for $15. You can apply for the card without joining first. This introductory 0% for 12 months on balance transfers with no fee deal is for the First Tech Choice Rewards World MasterCard, and you also get 10,000 points after you spend $2,000 on the card in your first 3 months. The points don’t expire as long as you have the card, and 6,000 points is enough for $50 cash back, while 11,000 points is enough for $100 cash back, which can help you pay down your card.
6. La Capitol Federal Credit Union – 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 12 months, NO FEE
7. Purdue Federal Credit Union – 0% Intro APR for 12 months, NO FEE
This deal is only for their Visa Signature card – other cards have a higher intro rate. The Purdue Federal Credit Union doesn’t have open membership, but one way to be eligible for credit union membership is to join the Purdue University Alumni Association as a Friend of the University.
Anyone can join the association, but it costs $50. The good news is you can apply and get a decision before you become a member of the Alumni Association.
8. Logix Credit Union Credit Card – 0% APR for 12 months , NO FEE
If you live in AZ, CA, DC, MA, MD, ME, NH, NV, or VA you can join Logix Credit Union and apply for this deal. Some applicants have reported credit lines of $15,000 or more for balance transfers, so if you have excellent credit, good income, but a large amount to pay off (like a home equity line), this could be a good option.
9. Premier America Credit Union – 0% Intro APR for 6 months, NO FEE
Premier America is unique because it has a Student Mastercard® that’s eligible for the balance transfer deal, though limits on that card are $500 – $2,000. There’s also a card for those with no credit history – the Premier First Rewards Privileges®, with limits of $1,000 – $2,000. If you’re looking for a bigger line, the Premier Privileges Rewards Mastercard® is available with limits up to $50,000.
Anyone can join Premier America by becoming a member of the Alliance for the Arts. You can select that option when you apply.
10. Money One Credit Union – 0% APR for 6 months, NO FEE
Anyone can join Money One Federal by making a $20 donation to Gifts of Easter Seals. And you can apply without being a member. You’ll see a drop down option during the application process that lets you select Gifts of Easter Seals as the way you plan to become a member of the credit union. Credit lines for the Platinum card are as high as $25,000.
11. Andigo Credit Union – 0% APR Intro for 6 months, NO FEE
You’ll have a choice to apply for the Andigo Visa Platinum or Visa Platinum Rewards. The Platinum Cash Back card doesn’t have this deal. The Platinum without rewards has a lower ongoing APR, starting as low as 10.65%, compared to 12.65% for the Platinum Rewards card, so if you’re not sure you’ll pay it all off in 6 months the Platinum without rewards is a better bet.
Anyone can join Andigo by making a donation to Connect Vets for $15, and you can submit an application for the card without being a member yet.
12. Evansville Teachers Credit Union – 0% APR on Balance Transfers for first 6 months, NO FEE
13. Elements Financial Credit Card – 0% Intro APR for 6 months on Purchases and Balance Transfers, NO FEE
14. Justice Federal Credit Union – 0% Intro APR for 6 months on Purchases, Balance Transfers, and Cash Advances, NO FEE
You can apply as a non-member online to get a decision before joining. And Justice is unique in that its Student credit card is also eligible for the 0% introductory rate on purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances, so if your credit history is limited and you’re trying to deal with a balance on your very first card, this could be an option.
15. Xcel Platinum Visa – 0% Introductory APR for 6 months, NO FEE
16. Michigan State University Federal Platinum Visa – 0% APR for 6 months, NO FEE
Are these the best deals for you?
If you can pay off your debt within the 0% period, then yes, a no fee 0% balance transfer credit card is your absolute best bet. And if you can’t, you can hope that other 0% deals will be around to switch again.
But if you’re unsure, you might want to consider…
- A deal that has a longer period before the rate goes up. In that case, a balance transfer fee could be worth it to lock in a 0% rate for longer.
- Or, a card with a rate a little above 0% that could lock you into a low rate even longer.
The good news is we can figure it out for you.
Our handy, free balance transfer tool lets you input how much debt you have, and how much of a monthly payment you can afford. It will run the numbers to show you which offers will save you the most for the longest period of time.
The savings from just one balance transfer can be substantial.
Let’s say you have $5,000 in credit card debt, you’re paying 18% in interest, and can afford to pay $200 a month on it. Here’s what you can save with a 0% deal:
- 18%: It will take 32 months to pay off, with $1,312 in interest paid.
- 0% for 12 months: You’ll pay it off in 28 months, with just $502 in interest, saving you $810 in cash. That even assumes your rate goes back up to 18% after 12 months!
But your rate doesn’t have to go up after 12 months. If you pay everything on time and maintain good credit, there’s a great chance you’ll be able to shop around and find another bank willing to offer you 0% interest again, letting you pay it off even faster.
Before you do any balance transfer though, make sure you follow these 6 golden rules of balance transfer success:
- Never use the card for spending. You are only ready to do a balance transfer once you’ve gotten your budget in order and are no longer spending more than you earn. This card should never be used for new purchases, as it’s possible you’ll get charged a higher rate on those purchases.
- Have a plan for the end of the promotional period. Make sure you set a reminder on your phone calendar about a month or so before your promotional period ends so you can shop around for a low rate from another bank.
- Don’t try to transfer debt between two cards of the same bank. It won’t work. Balance transfer deals are meant to ‘steal’ your balance from a competing bank, not lower your rate from the same bank. So if you have a Chase Freedom with a high rate, don’t apply for another Chase card like a Chase Slate and expect you can transfer the balance. Apply for one from another bank.
- Get that transfer done within 60 days. Otherwise your promotional deal may expire unused.
- Never use a card at an ATM. You should never use the card for spending, and getting cash is incredibly expensive. Just don’t do it with this or any credit card.
- Always pay on time. If you pay more than 30 days late your credit will be hurt, your rate may go up, and you may find it harder to find good deals in the future. Only do balance transfers if you’re ready to pay at least the minimum due on time, every time.