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. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express – Introductory 0% for 15 Months on balance transfers and purchases, $0 balance transfer fee.
This offer edges out competitors with the longest 0% intro period and standout perks. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has increased value with an intro 0% for 15 Months on purchases and balance transfers, then 14.99%-25.99% Variable APR and a $0 balance transfer fee. (For transfers requested within 60 days of account opening.) In addition to the great balance transfer offer, you can earn rewards — 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases.
The information related to The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
2. BankAmericard® credit card – 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles, $0 Introductory Balance Transfer Fee
When to consider a fee
While no-fee balance transfer cards are great, sometimes it may be worthwhile to consider a balance transfer card with a balance transfer fee. The fee will be a percentage — typically 3% or 5% — of the total amount you transfer, but cards that charge balance transfer fees often have longer intro periods. If you can’t afford the high monthly payments required to pay off your balance before the end of a 15-month intro period, a card offering a longer intro period — such as 18 months — can provide lower monthly payments while still allowing you to pay off your balance before the end of the intro period. Below, we provide an example that should help you decide when you should consider a fee.
For this example, we’re assuming $6,354 in credit card debt, which is the average balance Americans have, according to Experian’s 2017 State of Credit report.
By choosing the card offering an intro 0% for 18 months and a 3% transfer fee, you’ll only have to pay $364 a month to pay your debt and the balance transfer fee off in full during the intro period. That’s $60 less than the $424 monthly payment required by the card with an intro 0% for 15 months. Just beware that while you’re saving month to month, overall, you will end up paying about $190 more due to the balance transfer fee.
3. Chase Slate® – 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Purchases 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% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months and Intro $0 on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that: Either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater. You also get a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and $0 annual fee. After the intro period, the APR is currently 16.99% - 25.74% Variable. Plus, see monthly updates to your free FICO® Score and the reasons behind your score for free.’
The information related to the Chase Slate® has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
4. Edward Jones World MasterCard® – Intro 0% for 12 billing cycles on balance transfers through 10/31/2018, NO FEE
5. Choice Rewards World MasterCard® from First Tech FCU – Intro 0% for 12 months on balance transfers, 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. The intro 0% for 12 months and no transfer fee on balances transferred within first 90 days of account opening is for the Choice Rewards World MasterCard® from First Tech FCU. After the intro period, an APR of 11.99%-18.00% variable applies. You also Earn 20,000 Rewards Points when you spend $3,000 in your first two months.
6. Rewards Visa Card from La Capitol FCU – Intro 0% for 12 months on balance transfers and purchases, NO FEE
7. Visa® Signature Credit Card from Purdue FCU – Intro 0% for 12 months on balance transfers and purchases, NO FEE
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. Premier America Credit Union – 0% Intro APR for 6 months on balance transfers and purchases, NO FEE
Premier America is unique because it has the Student Mastercard® from Premier America CU that’s eligible for the intro 0% for 6 months on balance transfers, though credit limits on that card are $500 – $2,000. There is an 11.50% Variable APR after the intro period. There’s also a card for those with no credit history – the Premier First Rewards Privileges® from Premier America CU, with limits of $1,000 – $2,000 and a 19.00% Variable APR. If you’re looking for a bigger line, the Premier Privileges Rewards Mastercard® from Premier America CU is available with limits up to $50,000 and a 8.45% - 17.95% Variable APR.
Anyone can join Premier America by becoming a member of the Alliance for the Arts. You can select that option when you apply.
9. Visa Platinum Card from Money One FCU – as low as 0% intro APR for 6 months on balance transfers and purchases, 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 Visa Platinum Card from Money One FCU are as high as $25,000. After the as low as 0% intro apr for 6 months, there’s a 8.50% to 17.80% Variable APR.
Other 0% intro APR cards to consider
10. Andigo Credit Union – Intro 0% for 6 months on balance transfers and purchases, NO FEE
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.
11. ETFCU's Platinum Rewards Credit Card – Intro 0% for 6 billing cycles on balance transfers, NO FEE
12. Elements Financial Platinum Visa® Credit Card – Intro 0% for 6 months on balance transfers and purchases, NO FEE
13. Justice Federal Credit Union – Intro 0% 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 the Student VISA® Rewards Credit Card from Justice FCU is also eligible for the intro 0% for 6 months 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. The APR after the intro period ends is 16.90% fixed.
14. Platinum Visa Card from Michigan State FCU – Intro 0% for 6 months on balance transfers, 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.
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