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Sunday, April 21, 2024

7 Easiest Balance Transfer Cards to Get (March 2024)

Easiest Balance Transfer Cards To Get
Bob Haegele

Written by: Bob Haegele

Bob Haegele
Bob Haegele

Bob Haegele is a personal finance writer who specializes in topics like credit cards, banking, and investing. After repaying his student loans and taking control of his finances, he’s made it his mission to help people get out of debt, save, and invest for a better future. His practical approach helps people simplify their finances and stop overspending. He’s been quoted or featured in media outlets such as Business Insider, Forbes Advisor, MarketWatch, TIME, and many others.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro
Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience to the CardRates team. 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 journalism instructor at the University of Florida. Today, Lillian edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Reviewed by: Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker
Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker has more than a decade of experience as a finance contributor and editor, and has specialized in the credit card industry since 2015. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among many others. 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. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University.

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Advertiser Disclosure

If you have or expect to have a large credit card balance, consider one of the easiest balance transfer cards to get. In addition to their lengthy intro periods with 0% APR, they often have signup bonuses and additional perks.

A common issue with balance transfer cards is that they can be limited to consumers with good to excellent credit. That can be a problem, especially since those with the highest balances often have less than stellar credit. Consider the cards on this list if your credit could be better.

Balance Transfer Cards With Easy Approval

Balance transfer cards allow you to transfer some or all of a credit card balance to a new card, which typically has a 0% intro balance transfer APR. While there is often a balance transfer fee, they can still save you money because often, the intro period lasts 15 months or longer. 

Here are some balance transfer cards with easy approval that can help you save some money.

Citi Double Cash® Card Review

at Citi’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, 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
19.24% – 29.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good, Fair

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

The Citi Double Cash® Card is available to people with fair credit scores, which FICO defines as a credit score between 581 and 669. You probably need to be on the higher end of that range to qualify for this card. In addition to a 0% intro APR and cash back, you also get access to thousands of events, including presale tickets and exclusive experiences, through Citi Entertainment®.

2. BankAmericard® credit card for Students

This card is currently not available.

Best Overall 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

Additional Disclosure: The information related to BankAmericard® credit card for Students has been collected by CardRates.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Another student card, the BankAmericard® credit card for Students is a great choice for those who already have established credit. Account alerts for balances and due dates help you establish healthy credit habits. You’ll also have access to financial education topics to help you budget and use your credit card more responsibly.

Discover it® Student Cash Back Review

at Discover Card’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.5

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 cash back into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 18.24% – 27.24% applies.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 6 months
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months
18.24% – 27.24% Variable APR
$0
Fair/New to Credit

The Discover it® Student Cash Back lets you maximize your cash back by aligning your spending with its quarterly bonus categories. It also protects your privacy by helping you remove your information from people-search websites that may sell your data. And its 100% U.S.-based customer service can resolve any hiccups you may encounter while using your card.

First Tech Choice Rewards World Mastercard Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★

4.4

OVERALL RATING

4.4/5.0
  • Get a 0.00% introductory Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles with no balance transfer fees when you move balances from other cards within 90 days of opening your Choice Rewards Mastercard. After the promotional period, your regular purchase rate applies.
  • Get 20,000 bonus points when you spend at least $3,000 in your first 60 days.
  • Earn 2x rewards points on gas, groceries, household goods, and more.
  • Protect your purchases from damage and theft for 90 days with Mastercard Purchase Assurance.
  • Enjoy exclusive discounts from Doordash, Hello Fresh, Lyft, Fandango, and more. Take advantage of a suite of special Mastercard Benefits, including Mastercard ID Theft Protection™, MasterRental Coverage, and Master Global Service™.
  • First Tech Federal Credit Union membership is required to apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 12 billing cycles
13.25% – 18.00%
$0
Average to Excellent

Balance transfer cards don’t always have welcome bonuses — especially balance transfer cards with easy approval. This, combined with its 0% intro APR, makes the First Tech Choice Rewards World Mastercard a great option if you have a large purchase coming up. As always, though, make sure you can pay it off during the intro period to avoid a higher APR on your purchases.

Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★

4.4

OVERALL RATING

4.4/5.0
  • You could save on interest—transfer your non-Navy Federal balances within 60 days of getting a Platinum card, and you’ll pay a 0.99% intro APR on the balance transfer for 12 months from account opening. After that, a variable APR applies.
  • Collision damage waiver and travel and emergency assistance
  • No annual, balance transfer, foreign transaction, or cash advance fees
  • Must qualify for Navy Federal Credit Union membership to apply
  • If you’re already a member, you can find out if you prequalify for a credit card before you submit an application. This won’t affect your credit score.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0.99% for 12 months
10.99% – 18.00%
$0
Average to Excellent Credit

The Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card is great for transferring balances but is also packed with additional benefits. These include credit freezes, travel and emergency assistance, and collision damage waivers. Navy Federal will also send you fraud notifications in case any suspicious activity is detected. The best credit card for balance transfers depends on your needs, but this is a solid choice.

Discover it® Student Chrome Review

at Discover Card’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★

4.0

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 cash back into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 18.24% – 27.24% applies.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 6 months
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months
18.24% – 27.24% Variable APR
$0
Fair/New to Credit

It’s not always easy to get approved for your first credit card, but the Discover it® Student Chrome can help change that. The card offers flat-rate cash back in common spending categories and has a low intro APR, especially for a starter credit card. It also reports to all three major credit bureaus to help you build credit with responsible usage.

DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★

4.0

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • DCU’s Visa Platinum Credit Card offers a rate lower than you’ll find on most other bank or store cards. With one of the lowest rates in the nation, this is the perfect starter card for anyone trying to establish credit or save on interest with no-fee balance transfers.
  • Embedded EMV chip – this tiny chip protects your information in a big way.
  • Mobile Wallet Compatible – works with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and Samsung® Pay.*
  • Optional overdraft protection – We’ll transfer the balance of any overdrafts from your DCU checking account to your DCU Visa Platinum account up to your available limit.
  • No annual fee, balance transfer fee, or cash advance fees
  • Must meet eligibility criteria to join Digital Federal Credit Union
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
As low as 13.50%
$0
Average/Good

The DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card lacks some of the bells and whistles of other cards on this list, but its lack of fees and low APR makes it worth considering. Its regular APR applies to balance transfers, but there’s no balance transfer fee to worry about. You do get fraud notifications and the ability to freeze/unfreeze your credit to keep yourself safe. You also get access to your monthly FICO® Score.

Debt Consolidation Loans May Provide an Alternative

Balance transfer cards often require a borrower to have at least good credit. This means that if you qualify for a balance transfer credit card, you may also qualify for other financial products, including a debt consolidation loan.

The benefit of a debt consolidation loan is it can simplify your debt repayment by combining several debts into a single payment. In addition, the payment on your debt consolidation loan can reduce your interest rate. 

Depending on your credit history, a debt consolidation loan can have a lower interest rate than those on balance transfer credit cards. Here are some providers of debt consolidation loans:

  • Personal loans from $500 to $35,000
  • All credit types are considered and welcome
  • Simple, no credit impact form
  • Helping consumers since 2001
  • 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot rating with 2,000+ reviews!
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.7
  • Loans from $500 to $10,000
  • All credit types accepted
  • Receive a loan decision in minutes
  • Get funds directly to your bank account
  • Use the loan for any purpose
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.7
  • Personal loans from $100 to $20,000
  • Receive an approval decision in as little as 2 minutes
  • Funds can be deposited into your account in one business day and used for any purpose
  • No hidden fees
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.6

These loans won’t reduce the amount you owe, but they can simplify your debt repayment and make it easier to manage. They also lack the benefits you may get from a balance transfer credit card, such as welcome bonuses and cash back. But they may be a better option for some borrowers.

What is a Balance Transfer Card?

A balance transfer card is a credit card that allows cardholders to transfer balances from another credit card issuer to the new balance transfer card. Typically, these cards have low or 0% APRs for an introductory period, which may last for a year or longer. Some issuers also extend the low or 0% APR to purchases during the promotional period.

This allows you to potentially save on interest payments because you can pay the card off with a low APR in effect. Balance transfer cards often charge a fee to transfer balances, typically 3% to 5% of the amount transferred, but some cards may waive or reduce the fee during the intro period. 

These cards often have many of the same features as other credit cards, including:

  • Cash back/points
  • Signup bonuses
  • Fraud protection/credit freezes
  • Access to FICO scores
  • Travel/purchase protection

One thing to keep in mind about balance transfer cards is that the regular APR kicks in after the intro period ends, and this rate can sometimes be higher than the regular APR on non-balance transfer cards. In addition, some balance transfer cards charge deferred interest. This means that, if you don’t pay off the entire balance during the intro period, you must pay all the accrued interest based on the original transferred balance.

How Do I Get Approved For a Balance Transfer Card?

Getting approved for a balance transfer card shouldn’t be too different from getting approved for any other kind of card. But because balance transfer cards sometimes require at least good credit, getting approval for a balance transfer card may take some extra effort. 

If you have bad credit, these steps may help you increase your approval odds.

  1. Check your credit: The first step is to check your credit report, which you can do at AnnualCreditReport.com once per year for free. (These reports are currently free once per week). Other companies, including Credit Karma and Discover, let you check your credit score on-demand for free. If you have poor credit, address the next two steps before you apply for a balance transfer card.
  1. Pay on time: If you have other debts (credit cards, personal loans, student loans, etc.), you should establish a healthy payment history before you apply for a balance transfer card. This is because payment history is the most important credit scoring factor.
  1. Reduce your balances: The second-most important credit scoring factor is how much you owe, and this is where your credit utilization lives. If you are using more than 30% of your available credit, try to lower your utilization below 30% before you apply for a balance transfer card.
  1. Get preapproved: In some cases, the credit card company offering balance transfers will give you the option to prequalify. This lets you see if you’re likely to be approved without affecting your credit score.
  1. Apply: If you have worked to raise your credit score to at least “good,” and you’ve been preapproved, you are safe to apply for your balance transfer card. Most card issuers let you do this online, and they’ll often give you an approval decision within minutes.

How Do Balance Transfers Affect Credit Scores?

Balance transfers can impact your credit score in many positive and negative ways. Here are some ways balance transfers affect credit scores:

  • Credit utilization: A balance transfer can cause the credit utilization to be high on the balance transfer credit card, at least until you start paying it down. This can negatively impact your credit score. But adding another credit card will also increase your overall credit limit and reduce your credit utilization ratio, which could offset any negative impacts on your credit scores.
  • Credit inquiry: When you ultimately apply for your balance transfer card, it will lead to a hard inquiry. This may reduce your credit score slightly, though the effect fades over time.
  • Credit age: Opening a new balance transfer card can reduce your credit age, which may decrease your credit score.
  • Debt repayment: If the balance transfer card helps you manage and repay your debt more quickly, it can boost your credit score.

These are just a few ways a balance transfer card may affect your credit score. The overall impact will vary from person to person.

Are Balance Transfers a Good Idea?

A credit card balance transfer can be a good idea in the right situation, but this isn’t a given. Generally, it’s a good idea to pay off the balance on the balance transfer card relatively quickly. Balance transfer cards usually come with low or 0% APR during their intro period and can simplify your debt repayment.

But these cards also have risks:

  • High post-intro APRs: The regular purchase APR on balance transfer cards is often high when the intro period ends. And if they have deferred interest, there is a risk your overall credit card debt could increase after the intro period.
  • Balance transfer fees: Many balance transfer cards have a balance transfer fee of 3% to 5%. This could mean $100 or more in fees depending on the transferred amount.
  • Potential for increased debt: Balance transfer cards mostly work like other credit cards, which means you could increase your total debt if you aren’t careful. This is especially true for those with a 0% intro APR on purchases, which can entice you to spend even more.

While balance transfer cards can save you money, they require careful planning and discipline to ensure you don’t end up further in debt.

Try Your Local Credit Union For More Options

Balance transfer credit cards can be a great way to reduce your credit card debt. Their main benefits are the potential to reduce your interest charges and simplify your debt repayment. Some balance transfer cards have additional perks, such as cash back and purchase protection.

But balance transfer cards have risks as well. They often have a high interest rate after the intro period, and they have the potential to increase your debt if you aren’t careful. Also, a balance transfer fee, which can be significant, typically applies.

Another option for obtaining a balance transfer card or debt consolidation loan with easy approval is to check out your local credit union. Credit unions often have better terms and friendlier approvals for those who qualify. Credit unions typically offer a variety of financial products that may suit your needs. 

To find a credit union near you, try the NCUA credit union locator tool.

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.