Best Cards with 0% APR and No Balance Transfer Fee

March 15, 2019

By Sherry Keyles

Balance transfer cards with a no-interest introductory period can help you pay down your credit card debt faster and save you money. However, while the interest is free, many balance transfer credit cards charge a balance transfer fee, which adds to your debt amount.

Most people don’t even notice the balance transfer fees or consider the fee to be incidental considering the money saved in interest.

However, there are situations where paying a balance transfer fee could offset the amount saved, cancelling out any benefit from the balance transfer. In those cases, you may want to consider a balance transfer card with introductory offers for both 0% APR and $0 balance transfer fees.

Why Balance Transfer Fees Matter

Balance transfer fees are generally 3% to 5% of transferred amount. If you were to move a balance of $5,000 to a card with a 3% balance transfer fee, it will cost $150. Certain cards charge 5%, in which case, you’d pay a $250 balance transfer fee.

1. Increases your indebtedness

The fee amount may not seem high considering the amount of interest you will save but if you are transferring balances from more than one card, it will make more of a difference. 

If you are consolidating several cards with a total balance of $10,000 with a 5% balance transfer fee, you will pay $500 as a balance transfer fee. Now you will owe $10,500. You have now added more to your debt by having to pay $500 upfront when your goal was to pay down your debt

If you don’t have to pay a balance transfer fee, you can pay down your debt much faster than if you have to pay the fee.

2. Pay a high fee to move money from one account to another

By paying a balance transfer fee on the transferred debt, you are paying a very high fee for a single money transfer.

3. Partially negates 0% APR introductory rate offers

Paying a balance transfer fee essentially means you are not paying a 0% APR for the specified time period. If the balance transfer offer is 0% for 12 months and your balance transfer fee is 5%, you are paying 5% on the transferred balance. Your 0% APR is actually 5%.

When to Consider a Balance Transfer Fee

While no-fee balance transfer cards are great, sometimes paying a balance transfer fee is more advantageous. If you can’t afford the high monthly payments required to pay off your balance before the end of a 15-month 0% APR introductory period, a card offering a longer no-interest period — such as 18 months — can provide lower monthly payments while still allowing you to pay off your balance and save interest.

The Top 3 Cards with No Balance Transfer Fee

The answer is yes. While there aren’t as many, you can find no-interest cards offer lengthy 0% offers and waive the balance transfer fee for the first 45-60 days from card approval. Here are the three best 0% APR cards not charging a balance transfer fee:

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

  • Introductory 0% APR for 15 Months on balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening.
  • $0 balance transfer fee (for transfers requested within 60 days of account opening).
  • Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases.
  • Variable APR on balance transfers and purchases after introductory period: 14.74% - 2574%
  • No annual fee.
  • Signup bonus: EARN 25,000 MEMBERSHIP REWARDS® POINTS after you use your new ard to make $2,000 on purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Rewards: 2x points at U.S. Supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases.

BankAmericard® Credit Card 

  • Introductory 0% APR for 15 billing cycles for balances transfers made within 60 days of account opening.
  • $0 Introductory Balance Transfer Fee for transfers within 60 days of account opening; 3% (minimum $10) after introductory period ends.
  • Introductory 0% APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases.
  • Variable APR after introductory period for balance transfers and purchases: 14.99% to 24.99%.
  • $0 balance transfer fee offer only available through Bank of America. Applications through third-parties are not eligible for this offer.
  • No penalty APR – paying late won’t automatically raise your interest rate.
  • No annual fee.

Chase Slate

  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 60 days from account opening
  • $0 Introductory Balance Transfer Fee for transfers made within 60 days of account opening; after 5% of amount transferred or $5 (whichever is greater)
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 15 months
  • Variable APR after introductory period for purchases and balance transfers: 16.99% - 25.74%
  • No penalty APR – paying late won’t automatically raise your interest rate.

Summary

When deciding on a balance transfer to reduce your debt, make sure you are aware how balance transfer fees can impact the money you are hoping to save. The best option might be to find an introductory balance transfer offer with both 0% APR and no balance transfer fee.


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