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. Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard® – 0% Introductory APR for 15 months, $0 Introductory Balance Transfer FEE
This card is available if you have excellent credit. Be aware that you have 45 days to complete this transfer after opening the account.
You can also nominate and vote on charity partners to donate card profits each year and there are no foreign transaction fees if you use the card abroad.
2. Chase Slate® – 0% Introductory APR for 15 months, $0 Introductory Balance Transfer FEE
This deal is easy to find – Chase is one of the biggest banks and makes this credit card deal well known. Save with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee and get 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and $0 annual fee. Plus, receive your Monthly FICO® Score for free.
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.
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, one of the better deals with a balance transfer fee of 3%.
3. Alliant Credit Union Credit Cards – 0% 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% 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% 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% APR for 12 months, 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 30 days to complete your transfer to lock in the 0% rate. This deal expires 5/31/2017.
5. First Tech Choice Rewards – 0% 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% APR for 12 months, NO FEE
Anyone can join La Capitol Federal Credit Union by becoming a member of the Louisiana Association for Personal Financial Achievement, which costs $20. Just indicate that’s how you want to be eligible when you apply for the card – no need to join before you apply. And La Capitol accepts members from all across the country, so you don’t have to live in Louisiana to take advantage of this deal on the Prime Plus card.
7. Quorum Federal Credit Union – 0% APR for 12 months, NO FEE
Quorum is a New York based credit union anyone can join by joining the Select Savers Club during the application process – just choose ”I would like to join through an association” on the application page. All of Quorum’s credit cards offer the 0% for 12 months with no fee deal.
Just be aware the 12 months starts from when your account opens, not when you make the transfer, so if you wait a month to do the transfer, you’ll only get the zero deal for 11 months.
And the 0% deal isn’t prominent on the Quorum site, you’ll see it buried in the fine print. Look for the sentence “The introductory purchase and balance transfer APR is 0% for 12 months from account opening and applies to ALL Quorum MasterCard credit cards” at the very bottom of their page.
8. Purdue Federal Credit Union – 0% APR for 12 months, NO FEE
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 minimum credit line on the Visa Signature card offering 0% is $5,000, so if approved the $50 would be like a transfer fee of 1% or less. The good news is you can apply and get a decision before you become a member of the Alumni Association.
9. 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.
10. First Tennessee Bank Credit Card – 0% APR for 12 months, NO FEE
If you want to apply online for this deal, you’ll need to live in a state where First Tennessee has a branch though. Those states are: Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
You need to have an existing First Tennessee account to apply online, but if you don’t have one, you can print out an application and mail it into their office to get a decision. You’ll find a link to the paper application when the online form asks you whether you have an account or not.
11. Central One Credit Union – 0% APR for 6 months, NO FEE (and 2% rebate)
This is an unusual one. Not only is there no fee for the transfer, you also get a 2% cash rebate for the amount of your balance transfer, up to $500. So if you transfer $5,000, you’ll get $100 back. This applies to the first 2 transfers you make by 5/31/17.
Be aware Central One limits transfer amounts to 75% of your available credit line.
12. Andigo Credit Union – 0% APR for 6 months, NO FEE
You’ll have a choice to apply for the Andigo Visa Platinum, Platinum Rewards, or Platinum Cash Back. The Platinum without rewards has a lower ongoing APR, starting as low as 10.15%, compared to 12.15% 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.
13. Aspire Credit Union Credit Card – 0% APR for 6 months, NO FEE
You don’t have to be a member to apply and get a decision from Aspire. Once you do, Aspire is easy to join – just check that you want to join the American Consumer Council (free) while filling out your membership application online.
Make sure you apply for the regular ‘Platinum’ card, and not the ‘Platinum Rewards’ card, which doesn’t offer the introductory deal. Aspire says people with fair credit can apply for its card.
14. Elements Financial Credit Card – 0% APR for 6 months, NO FEE
To become a member and apply, you’ll just need to join TruDirection, a financial literacy organization. It costs just $5 and you can join as part of the application process.
15. Justice Federal Credit Union – 0% APR for 6 months, NO FEE
If you’re not a Department of Justice, Homeland Security, or U.S. court employee (or a few others), you need to join a law enforcement organization to be a member of Justice Federal. One of the eligible associations for membership is the National Native American Law Enforcement Association. It costs $15 to join.
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% no fee deal, 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.
16. Xcel Platinum Visa – 0% APR for 6 months, NO FEE
Anyone can join Xcel by becoming a member of the American Consumer Council, and you can apply for the card as a non-member of the credit union, but not everyone who is approved for the card will get the low intro rate. Xcel advises you contact them to get as sense of whether your income, credit history, and employment history will qualify for the intro rate.
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.