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Balance Transfer, Best of

Credit Scores That Get Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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If you’re someone who struggles with credit card debt and high interest rates, a balance transfer might be a way to dig yourself out of indebtedness. There are various balance transfer credit cards that offer long 0% intro APR periods that provide you with ample time to pay off your balance. Depending on your credit score, you may qualify for some of the cards we list below.

Keep in mind that the credit score ranges listed below don’t guarantee that you will be approved for a card simply because you fall within the given credit range. Lenders consider numerous factors when determining eligibility.

Excellent credit

Chase Freedom®

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The information related to Chase Freedom® has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Chase Freedom®

Intro BT APR
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Regular Purchase APR
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee
3% when you transfer during the first 60 days of account opening, with a minimum of $5
Credit required
good-credit

Excellent/Good

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

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The information related to Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Intro BT APR
0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Regular Purchase APR
13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent

Wells Fargo Platinum card

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The information related to Wells Fargo Platinum card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Wells Fargo Platinum card

Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers
Regular Purchase APR
15.49%-24.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee
3% for 120 days, then 5%
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent/Good

Excellent/Good

Good credit

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

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The information related to Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Intro BT APR
0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Regular Purchase APR
13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent

Fair credit

We recommend using LendingTree to shop for the best personal loan. You can fill out a single online form, and may receive up to five loan offers from up to five different lenders. By using LendingTree to look for a personal loan, a soft credit pull is performed, which means your credit score will not be negatively impacted. Here are options for fair credit:

Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU

Intro BT APR
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
Regular Purchase APR
8.15% - 18.00% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee
$5 or 2% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
Credit required
fair-credit

Average

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Loan Amount
up to $50,000
Term
24 to 60 Months
APR Range
As low as 3.49%
Origination Fee
Varies
Credit Required
Minimum 500 FICO®
Soft Pull
Compare offers without hurting your score.

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As of 17-May-19, LendingTree Personal Loan consumers were seeing match rates as low as 3.49% (3.49% APR) on a $10,000 loan amount for a term of three (3) years. Rates and APRs were based on a self-identified credit score of 700 or higher, zero down payment, origination fees of $0 to $100 (depending on loan amount and term selected).

New, Poor, or Bad credit

*The credit score ranges listed above are for FICO Scores and obtained from Experian.

FAQ

The amount of time your have to complete your transfer will vary by credit card. Many cards require you to complete your transfer between 30 to 60 days from account opening, but check your specific card agreement for specifics. A good rule of thumb is to complete your transfer as soon as possible; the 0% intro APR period often starts from the day your account is opened.

Many cards charge a balance transfer fee ranging from 3 to 5% of the amount you transfer. So if you transfer $1,000 to a card with a 3% fee, you will accrue a $30 fee and owe $1,030. But be advised: There are cards that have $0 intro transfer fees.

Any remaining balances will accrue interest. The rate depends on your card agreement.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Balance Transfer

How to Do a Balance Transfer With American Express

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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American Express offers a wide variety of credit cards for both consumers and businesses. From cash back to travel rewards and business credit cards, American Express is one of the largest players in the credit card space.

While widely known for its travel credit cards, business credit cards and charge cards, the issuer also offers balance transfer credit cards, which can help consumers consolidate high-interest debt from other cards for 0% APR promotions for a limited period of time.

We will walk you through how to do a balance transfer with AmEx, and factors to consider before choosing a balance transfer credit card.

What is a balance transfer?

A balance transfer is when you move existing credit card debt from one card to another with the intention of either seeking relief from high-interest charges or consolidating multiple card balances into one payment.

Balance transfer cards typically offer an extended interest-free period that allows you to focus 100% of your payments toward the principal of the debt rather than the principal plus interest charges. These cards can charge a balance transfer fee between 3% and 5% of each amount transferred, which is then added to the balance, but not all balance transfer cards do.

Know that you cannot do a balance transfer with the same issuer. For example, you cannot pay off debt on an existing American Express card with an American Express balance transfer offer.

The balance transfer is initiated by either contacting your new card provider to request the balance transfer or when you fill out the online application for the new balance transfer card and include the details of the account you want to transfer the balance from.

The advantages to utilizing a balance transfer offer from American Express or other card issuers allow you to:

  • Save on interest charges for a specified period of time
  • Consolidate debts from multiple credit cards into one bill
  • Switch to a card that may have more perks and benefits

If a balance transfer interests you, here’s how to do a balance transfer with AmEx.

How to do a balance transfer with AmEx

First, identify a card that fits your needs. The best way to do this is analyze your financial circumstances, and determine what your needs are. Do you need a balance transfer to consolidate existing credit card debt? Or do you need a card with an introductory APR offer on purchases? Once you determine your need, you can accurately choose a card that works best for you.

Not all balance transfer cards are the same. They differ in the length of the balance transfer offer, balance transfer fee and spending rewards. So be sure to select a balance transfer credit card that best adheres to your financial situation.

If you are stuck on which card to select, American Express offers a prequalification tool. This can help narrow down your choices by showing you which cards that you prequalify for, but know that even if you prequalify, you’re not 100% guaranteed approval.

Once you select the right card for you, apply for the card. Once approved, you can move forward with processing the balance transfer with Amex. You can follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to your account on americanexpress.com.
  2. Click “account services.”
  3. Click “payment and credit options.”
  4. Click “transfer balances.”
  5. Your limit will be shown below the offer.
  6. Select the American Express balance transfer offer you’ve been approved for.
  7. Input the amount you want to transfer and the credit card number that you want to transfer from.
  8. Click “next” to review.
  9. Accept the terms and conditions.
  10. Confirm and submit your balance transfer request.

Keep in mind that the entire balance transfer process can take several weeks. So if your offer states that the introductory APR is valid for the first 60 days of card membership, it is important to start the balance transfer process promptly. And continue to make payments on the old card until it shows a $0 balance.

Balance transfer best practices

Along with beginning the balance transfer process quickly, there are a few best practices to ensure the process goes smoothly and you maximize the benefit.

  1. Review the terms and conditions. Each offer is unique, so it is important to carefully read the terms of the offer.
  2. Consider balance transfer fees. Many balance transfer credit cards charge a fee ranging from 3%-5% of each balance transfer amount. So when considering a balance transfer, be sure to take note of any applicable fees. Even with the fee, the balance transfer can make sense. But do the math first by using our balance transfer calculator.
  3. Pay on time, every time. Because introductory balance transfer offers are considered promotional, they can be taken away if minimum payments aren’t made. It is best to set up automatic payments to avoid this from happening.
  4. Continue making payments on your previous card. Since the balance transfer process can take several weeks, it is likely you will have at least one bill payment due on your old card. Be sure to continue paying your previous servicer until the balance fully moves to your new card.
  5. Minimize your spending. The purpose of balance transfers is to help you consolidate and get out of debt faster. If you add to the balance on your new card with new purchases, it will be that much harder to eliminate your credit card debt.

American Express balance transfer offers

American Express balance transfer offers are quite competitive against the other large card issuers. Many balance transfer credit cards have very few to no benefits, such as earning rewards or having travel protections like car insurance. However, American Express balance transfer cards offer notable benefits like the ability to earn points on purchases.

Here are a few American Express balance transfer offers:

CardIntroductory Balance transfer offerWelcome offerAnnual feeBalance transfer fee
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express$0 balance transfer fee. 0% for 15 months. After, a 12.99%- 23.99% variable APR applies. Must be requested within 60 days of account opening.10,000 membership rewards® points after you use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.$0$0 balance transfer fee.
American Express Cash Magnet® Card – $150 Welcome Offer0% on balance transfers for 15 months. After, a 12.99%-23.99% variable APR applies. Must be requested within 60 days of account opening.$150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership$0Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express0% on balance transfers for 15 months. After, a 12.99%-23.99% variable APR applies. Must be requested within 60 days of account opening.$150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.$0Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express0% for 15 months. After, a 12.99%- 22.99% variable APR applies. Must be requested within 60 days of account opening.10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.$95Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

To see rates & fees for American Express Cash Magnet® Card – $150 Welcome Offer, please click here.
To see rates & fees for Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

These American Express balance transfer cards are great options because of the benefits they offer outside of the balance transfer, including cash back or travel rewards programs.

Balance transfer credit cards, such as the Chase Slate®, are designed specifically for balance transfers, and not for daily use or long-term utilization. However, when considering a balance transfer card, debt payoff should be your initial focus as adding new purchases to a transferred balance will only make it that much harder to achieve your debt payoff goal.

The information related to these cards Chase Slate®, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express and The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express have been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Balance Transfer, Best of, Pay Down My Debt

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards: Intro 0% APRs up to 21 Months

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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If you’re carrying a balance on your credit card, you’re not alone. Fifty-nine percent of Americans carry a balance month-to-month, with the average balance $6,354 per cardholder, according to a study by CompareCards. Carrying a balance from one month to the next is never ideal, but it can happen to the best of us.

If your balance is incurring high interest charges, you should consider transferring your debt to a balance transfer card. These cards offer no or low interest and can save you a substantial amount of money. There’s often a 3%-5% balance transfer fee, but it can be worthwhile — just do the math to make sure by using this balance transfer calculator.

Most balance transfer cards require good or excellent credit, so you may not qualify depending on your credit score. It’s a good idea to check your credit score before you apply for a card, so you know which cards provide you with the best approval odds. LendingTree, our parent company, lets you view your credit score for free and provides insight into what affects your score and outlines steps you can take to improve it. If your score prevents you from qualifying for a balance transfer card, you can explore taking out a personal loan instead.

We’ve selected the best balance transfer cards from our database of over 3,000 credit cards, so you can find the card that best fits your needs — whether it’s a card with a long intro 0% APR period, no balance transfer fee, or a low promo APR for several years.

Longest balance transfer offers

When you’re looking to transfer a large balance, it may be in your best interest to choose a balance transfer card with a long intro period. Most balance transfer cards have intro periods of 12 or 15 months, but that may not be enough time to pay off your debt. Consider cards offering no interest for 18 or 21 months.

Here are some of the best cards:

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

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Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Intro Purchase APR
0% for 12 months on Purchases
Intro BT APR
0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good
The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever offers the longest balance transfer period: intro 0% for 21 months on balance transfers. This provides you with nearly two years to pay off transferred balances without incurring any interest charges. In addition, this card comes with an intro 0% for 12 months on purchases, which is helpful if you plan to use this card for more than just a balance transfer. After the balance transfer and purchase intro periods end, there’s a 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable) APR). Just know, this card has a higher balance transfer fee than most cards at 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

The Discover it® Balance Transfer stands out from other balance transfer cards by offering a rewards program: 5% cash back on everyday purchases at
different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. While this is a great benefit, don’t let this distract you from your primary goal — getting out of debt, not earning rewards, so it’s best not to rack up new charges on a balance transfer card.

Wells Fargo Platinum card

The information related to Wells Fargo Platinum card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Wells Fargo Platinum card

Regular Purchase APR
15.49%-24.99% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 18 months
Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers
Annual fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
3% for 120 days, then 5%
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent/Good

Excellent/Good
The Wells Fargo Platinum card also offers an intro 0% for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers, but this applies to new purchases as well. After the intro period ends, a 15.49%-24.99% (Variable) APR for purchases and balance transfers applies. The balance transfer fee is 3% for 120 days, then 5%. While this card has no rewards, you can receive cell phone protection up to $600 (subject to a $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when your monthly cell phone bill is paid with your card.

No balance transfer fee cards

If you want to maximize savings with a balance transfer, you should consider cards that don’t charge a balance transfer fee. These cards can save you the typical 3%-5% fee most balance transfer cards charge. Just know, cards with no balance transfer fees often have shorter intro periods of 15 months or less. You can read our roundup for an extensive list of no balance transfer fee cards.

Here are some of the best cards:

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is a well-rounded card that offers an intro 0% for 15 months on balance transfers and purchases (after, 12.99% - 23.99% variable APR). In addition to the intro periods, you can benefit from a rewards program tailored to U.S. supermarket spenders where you earn 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases.

The intro offers, coupled with the rewards program make The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express the frontrunner among balance transfer cards. This card presents cardholders with the unique opportunity to transfer a balance and make a large purchase during the intro period without incurring interest, and earn rewards on new purchases.

Chase Slate®

The Chase Slate® offers the same 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months and 0% intro apr on purchases for 15 months as the previous two cards. After the intro period ends, there’s a 16.74% - 25.49% Variable APR. This is a no-frills card that won’t earn you rewards or noteworthy benefits, but can help you get out of debt.

Low rate balance transfer cards

If you think it will take longer than 21 months to pay off your credit card debt, you might want to consider a low rate balance transfer card. Rather than pay a balance transfer fee and receive a promotional 0% APR, these cards offer a low interest rate for three years or more. The longest offer can give you a low rate that only goes up if the prime rate goes up. If you can’t get that offer, there is another good option offering a low rate for three years.

Variable Rate Credit Visa®Card from UNIFY Financial CU

Variable Rate Credit Visa®Card from UNIFY Financial CU

Regular Purchase APR
8.99%-17.49% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Intro BT APR
N/A
Balance Transfer Fee
$0
If you need a long time to pay off debt at a reasonable rate, and have great credit, it’s hard to beat this deal from Unify Financial Credit Union. The Variable Rate Credit Visa®Card from UNIFY Financial CU offers an ongoing 8.99%-17.49% Variable APR. Plus, there’s no balance transfer fee.

Note: Membership to Unify Financial Credit Union is required to open this card, but anyone can join through one of their affiliate partners, the Surfrider Foundation or Friends of Hobbs, at no additional charge.

Prime Rewards Credit Card from SunTrust Bank

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Prime Rewards Credit Card from SunTrust Bank

Regular Purchase APR
12.74%–22.74% Variable
Intro BT APR
3 year introductory offer at Prime Rate (currently 4.75% variable APR) on balance transfers made in the first 60 days after account opening.
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 1% Unlimited Cash Back on all qualifying purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee
None for all balances transferred within 60 days of account opening, then $10.00 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater
The Prime Rewards Credit Card from SunTrust Bank offers a 3 year introductory offer at Prime Rate (currently 4.75% variable APR) on balance transfers made in the first 60 days after account opening. After, 12.74%–22.74% Variable APR. There’s also an intro balance transfer fee: None for all balances transferred within 60 days of account opening, then $10.00 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater. Beware, the low variable APR doesn’t apply to new purchases, and new transactions will incur a 12.74%–22.74% Variable APR.

Balance transfer card for fair credit

Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU

Regular Purchase APR
8.15% - 18.00% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 6 months
Intro BT APR
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
Annual fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
$5 or 2% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
Credit required
fair-credit

Average

If your have fair credit, you may qualify for the Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU. On their site, Aspire states a “fair to good credit score [is] required.” This is good news for people with less than stellar credit. However, the balance transfer offer is significantly lower than cards for good or excellent credit — 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months (after, 8.15% - 18.00% Variable APR). Regardless, six months is better than nothing. And, with careful planning, you can pay off transferred balances during the intro period.

Note: This is a credit union card, so membership is required. Anyone can become a member of the Aspire Federal Credit Union by joining the American Consumer Council at no additional cost.

Learn more

Checklist before you transfer

Never use a credit card at an ATM

If you use your credit card at an ATM, it will be treated as a cash advance. Most credit cards charge an upfront cash advance fee, which is typically about 5%. There is usually a much higher “cash advance” interest rate, which is typically above 20%. And there is no grace period, so interest starts to accrue right away. A cash advance is expensive, so beware.

Always pay on time

If you do not make your payment on time, most credit cards will immediately hit you with a steep late fee. Once you are 30 days late, you will likely be reported to the credit bureau. Late payments can have a big, negative impact on your score. Once you are 60 days late, you can end up losing your low balance transfer rate and be charged a high penalty interest rate, which is usually close to 30%. Just automate your payments so you never have to worry about these fees.

Get the transfer done within 60 days

Most balance transfer offers are from the date you open your account, not the date you complete the transfer. It is in your interest to complete the balance transfer right away, so that you can benefit from the low interest rate as soon as possible. With most credit card companies, you will actually lose the promotional balance transfer offer if you do not complete the transfer within 60 or 90 days. Just get it done!

Don’t spend on the card

Your goal with a balance transfer should be to get out of debt. If you start spending on the credit card, there is a real risk that you will end up in more debt. Additionally, you could end up being charged interest on your purchase balances. If your credit card has a 0% balance transfer rate but does not have a 0% promotional rate on purchases, you would end up being charged interest on your purchases right away, until your entire balance (including the balance transfer) is paid in full. In other words, you lose the grace period on your purchases so long as you have a balance transfer in place.

Don’t try to transfer between two cards of the same bank

Credit card companies make balance transfer offers because they want to steal business from their competitors. So, it makes sense that the banks will not let you transfer balances between two credit cards offered by the same bank. If you have an airline credit card or a store credit card, just make sure you know which bank issues the card before you apply for a balance transfer.

Comparison tools

Savings calculator – which card is best?

If you’re still unsure about which cards offer you the best deal for your situation, try our calculator. You get to input the amount of debt you’re trying to get a lower rate on, your current rate, and the monthly payment you can afford. The calculator will show you which cards offer you the most savings on interest payments.

Balance transfer or a loan?

A balance transfer at 0% will get you the absolute lowest rate. But you might feel more comfortable with a single fixed monthly payment, and a single real date your loan will be paid off. A lot of new companies are offering great rates on loans you can pay off over 2, 3, 4, or 5 years. You can find the best personal loans listed on our site here.

And you might find even though their rates aren’t 0%, you could afford the payment and get a plan that takes care of your debt for good at once.

Use our calculator to see how your payments and savings will compare.

Questions and Answers

It depends, some credit card companies may allow you to transfer debt from any credit card, regardless of who owns it. Though, they may require you to first add that person as an authorized user to transfer the debt. Just remember that once the debt is transferred, it becomes your legal liability. You can call the credit card company prior to applying for a card to check if you’re able to transfer debt from an account where you are not the primary account holder.

Yes, you can. Most banks will enable store card debt to be transferred. Just make sure the store card is not issued by the same bank as the balance transfer credit card.

As a general rule, if you can pay off your debt in six months or less, it usually doesn’t make sense to do a balance transfer.

Here is a simple test. (This is not 100% accurate mathematically, but it is an easy test). Divide your credit card interest rate by 12. (Imagine a credit card with a 12% interest rate. 12%/12 = 1%). In this example, you are paying about 1% interest per month. If the fee on your balance transfer is 3%, you will break even in month 3, and will be saving money thereafter. You can use that simplified math to get a good guide on whether or not you will be saving money.

And if you want the math done for you, use our tool to calculate how much each balance transfer will save you.

With all balance transfers recommended at MagnifyMoney, you would not be hit with a big, retroactive interest charge. You would be charged the purchase interest rate on the remaining balance on a go-forward basis. (Warning: not all balance transfers waive the interest. But all balance transfers recommended by MagnifyMoney do.)

Many companies offer very good deals in the first year to win new customers. These are often called “switching incentives.” For example, your mobile phone company could offer 50% off its normal rate for the first 12 months. Or your cable company could offer a big discount on the first year if you buy the bundle package. Credit card companies are no different. These companies want your debt, and are willing to give you a big discount in the first year to get you to transfer.

If you transfer your debt and use your card responsibly to pay off your balance before the intro period ends, then there is no trap associated with the 0% APR period. But, if you neglect making payments and end up with a balance post-intro period, you can easily fall into a trap of high debt — similar to the one you left when you transferred the balance. As a rule of thumb, use the intro 0% APR period to your advantage and pay off ALL your debt before it ends, otherwise you’ll start to accumulate high interest charges.

Balance transfers can be easily completed online or over the phone. After logging in to your account, you can navigate to your balance transfer and submit the request. If you rather speak to a representative, simply call the number on the back of your card. For both options, you will need to have the account number of the card with the debt and the amount you wish to transfer ready.

You will be charged a late fee by missing a payment and may put your introductory interest rate in jeopardy. Many issuers state in the terms and conditions that defaulting on your account may cause you to lose out on the promotional APR associated with the balance transfer offer. To avoid this, set up autopay for at least the minimum amount due.

No, you can’t. Balances can only be transferred between cards from different banks. That includes co-branded cards, so be sure to check which issuer your card is before applying for a balance transfer card — since you don’t want to find out after you’ve been approved that both cards are backed by the same issuer.

Many credit card issuers will allow you to transfer money to your checking account. Or, they will offer you checks that you can write to yourself or a third party. Check online, because many credit card issuers will let you transfer money directly to your bank account from your credit card. Otherwise, call your issuer and ask what deals they have available for “convenience checks.”

In most cases, you cannot. However, if you transfer a balance when you open a card, you may be able to. Some issuers state in their terms and conditions that balance transfers on new accounts will be processed at a slower rate compared with those of old accounts. You may be able to cancel your transfer during this time.

Yes, it is possible to transfer the same debt multiple times. Just remember, if there is a balance transfer fee, you could be charged that fee every time you transfer the debt. Also, don’t keep on transferring your debt without making payments because you won’t accomplish much.

You can call the bank and ask them to increase your credit limit. However, even if the bank does not increase your limit, you should still take advantage of the savings available with the limit you are given. Transferring a portion of your debt is more beneficial than transferring none.

Yes, you decide how much you want to transfer to each credit card. For example, if you have $3,000 in debt, you can transfer $2,000 to Card A and $1,000 to Card B.

No, balance transfers are excluded from earning any form of rewards whether it’s points, miles or cash back.

No, there is no penalty. You can pay off your debt whenever you want without a penalty. It’s key to pay off your balance as soon as possible and within the intro period to avoid carrying a balance post-intro period.

Mathematically, the best balance transfer credit cards are no fee, 0% intro APR offers. You literally pay nothing to transfer your balance and can save hundreds of dollars in interest had you left your balance on a high APR card. Check out our list of the best no-fee balance transfer cards here. However, those cards tend to have shorter intro periods of 15 months or less, so you may need more time to pay off your balance.

If you are running out of time on your intro APR and you still have a balance, don’t sweat it. At least two months before your existing intro period ends, start looking for a new balance transfer offer from a different issuer. Transfer any remaining balance to the card with the new 0% intro offer. This can provide you with the additional time needed to pay off your balance. Ideally, look for a card that has a 0% intro APR and also no balance transfer fee.

The information related to The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express and Chase Slate® has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

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