The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

9 Best Credit Cards for Balance Transfers and Rewards

Best Credit Cards For Balance Transfers And Rewards

credit card advice

Ashley Dull

Written by: Ashley Dull

Ashley Dull

With more than a decade of experience as a content manager and marketer, Ashley has specialized in finance coverage since 2015. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media campaigns. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among others.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Advertiser Disclosure

In the following article, we’ll take a look at eight of the best credit cards for balance transfers and rewards, including 0% intro APR, cash back cards, miles, and points.

As of June 2017, the average American household with credit card debt had a total revolving debt of $10,955. If each card with a balance charges the market average 16.7% interest rate, then the typical household will pay approximately $1,830 a year in interest on their credit card debt.

Thankfully, those with good to excellent credit can take advantage of balance transfers to avoid forking over thousands in interest fees. A balance transfer does exactly what it says: it transfers your balance from one credit card to another credit card.

When you transfer your balance to a balance transfer credit card with a 0% APR introductory offer, you can carry that balance interest-free for the length of the introductory terms.

Given the variety of balance transfer card offers, selecting the best one for you may come down to the fringe benefits more than the specific intro offer. Many of the best balance transfer cards also offer rewards, and while you won’t earn rewards on your transferred balance, you can still earn cash back, points, or miles, for every qualifying purchase you make with your card.

0% Intro APR | Cash Back | Miles | Points

Best Balance Transfer Cards with 0% Intro APRs

If your primary concern is finding the best balance transfer offer, regardless of perks and rewards, you’re likely more concerned with the length of the card’s introductory period than its cash back rate. At the same time, since so many great balance transfer intro offers will also apply to new purchases (to varying extents), you may want to consider the purchasing power of your card.

Regardless of the specific nature of your card, you should look into any applicable fees before you apply. The vast majority of credit cards charge a flat-rate balance transfer fee, typically 3% to 5% of the total transferred balance. Many cards will also charge an annual fee, particularly if the card offers valuable rewards.

Our top-rated picks for balance transfer cards include a number of annual-fee-free options.

Discover it® Balance Transfer Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Every $1 you earn in cash back is $1 you can redeem.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 6 months
0% Intro APR for 18 months
14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 17.74% - 27.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR Period 12 months on Purchases
0% Intro APR Period 21 months on Balance Transfers
17.74% - 27.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good Credit

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 16.74% - 26.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.
  • With Citi Entertainment®, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% 12 months on Purchases
0% 21 months on Balance Transfers
16.74% - 26.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

+See More Balance Transfer Cards

Another thing to investigate before you apply is the default balance transfer interest rate, which is what you’ll be charged for any remaining balance after the introductory period has ended. These default rates tend to be fairly high (especially when compared to 0%) and can catch you unawares if you’re not careful to repay your transferred balance in time.

On the plus side, most non-store credit cards offer real 0% interest financing instead of charging deferred interest, which means you only accrue interest on your remaining balance after your promotional period ends.

Best Balance Transfer Cards with Cash Back

Your options for cash back programs will include cards that offer only a flat-rate cash back percentage, or programs that offer bonus cash back for purchases in specified categories. While programs with bonus categories tend to have relatively low rewards rates for non-bonus purchases, these programs can be very valuable if your spending falls into the right categories.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.99% - 26.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% Intro APR Period 18 months on Balance Transfers
16.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

5. Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

This card is currently not available.

Cash Back Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

6. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

This card is currently not available.

Cash Back Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

+See More Cash Back Cards

Another thing to keep an eye out for are lucrative signup bonuses, which can earn you hundreds in bonus cash back. Signup bonuses are the quickest way to earn a boatload of rewards from the start, especially if you have a big purchase coming up that can help you easily reach the amount needed to receive the bonus.

Remember, though, that balance transfers do not qualify for rewards or count toward your signup bonus spending threshold.

Best Balance Transfer Cards with Airline Miles

Whether you like sandy beaches or snow-capped peaks, the only thing that can really top a destination vacation — is a free destination vacation. Enter the magic of travel miles.

As with other types of credit card rewards, cards offering miles allow you to earn a specific number of miles for each dollar spent on your card. Miles are often redeemable for airline fare, hotel stays, and a variety of other travel expenses.

When comparing cards that come with travel rewards and a balance transfer offer, you will likely need to choose between having a higher balance transfer APR or paying an annual fee. The following card is one of the few miles cards offering a current balance transfer promotion.

FRONTIER Airlines World Mastercard® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★

4.5

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 5X miles on eligible purchases at flyfrontier.com, 3X miles on restaurant purchases, and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening (3% balance transfer fee applies), then a variable APR applies
  • Earn a $100 flight voucher every account anniversary after spending $2,500 or more on purchases with your card during your card membership year
  • Cardmembers enjoy Zone 2 priority boarding
  • $0 intro annual fee, then $89
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 15 billing cycles
17.49%, 21.49% or 26.49%, based on creditworthiness
$0 first year, $89 thereafter
Good

+See More Airline Miles Cards

Many cards offering travel rewards will also come with signup bonuses, which can be worth tens of thousands of points if you can meet the spending requirement. But remember not to make purchases you can’t pay off simply to earn a signup bonus, as you can quickly end up in the red once interest fees start piling up.

Best Balance Transfer Cards with Rewards Points

The best of both rewards worlds, credit cards that offer rewards points tend to have the most flexible redemption options. In many cases, points can be redeemed for cash back and gift cards, or for travel-related expenses — or for something else entirely. Most points programs provide a flat-rate point-per-dollar earnings system, though some will award bonus points for specified categories, such as gas station or restaurant purchases.

Although the per-point value of your rewards will vary by issuer, it may also vary by how you redeem your rewards. For instance, redeeming for cash or gift cards may provide more per-point value than redeeming for merchandise through the issuer’s redemption portal.

Choosing between our top picks will be a matter of deciding which points program you prefer, as both offer similar balance transfer terms and annual-fee-free card use.

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • For a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent at restaurants up to $6,000 in the first 12 months and 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent thereafter.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • The Citi Rewards+® Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR Period 15 months on Purchases and Balance Transfers
0% Intro APR Period 15 months on Purchases and Balance Transfers
16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

9. Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card

This card is currently not available.

Points & Gifts Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

+See More Rewards Points Cards

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about your rewards points is that you need to spend them to get the value out of them. While this may seem like an obvious part of the process, nearly one-third of cardholders don’t redeem their card rewards, which simply wind up back in the pockets of the issuers.

Save a Fortune with the Right Balance Transfer

No matter how well-balanced the budget, most of us can definitely use an extra $1,830 a year to put toward paying off debt or to save for retirement. So, rather than spend that money on those high-interest credit cards, qualified consumers can enjoy a year or more interest-free with the right balance transfer credit card offer.

The key to successfully using balance transfer offers to avoid interest fees is to pay off your balance before the end of your introductory period. This will ensure you aren’t stuck paying inflated interest fees when the default interest rate kicks in.

Another option is to transfer the balance to a new balance transfer credit card with a 0% APR offer. Just remember that each balance transfer will likely incur a new balance transfer fee.

 

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.