Credit card debt is never fun, and developing a plan to get yourself out of the debt can be exhausting. Credit cards commonly charge interest rates of 20% or more, and if you miss a few payments the default rate can be even worse. Fortunately, if your credit is still decent, there is a way to make payments on your credit card without paying any interest. That’s through a solid 0% balance transfer offer provided by a new credit card.
0% APR balance transfer offers are commonly provided by credit card issuers to attract new customers. Credit card issuers rightfully assume that if they can attract you to their product by offering to house your debt for 0% interest, you’re likely to generate new debt after you’ve paid off the old debt. The trick in taking advantage of a balance transfer offer is to pay off the entire debt during the 0% introductory offer, then pledging never again to get deep into credit card debt. It’s easier said than done for many.
Many top credit cards offers now have balance transfer fees, but even with a fee, you could save thousands of dollars of interest charges by taking advantage of 0% APR balance transfer offers. Below you will find the best credit cards available for balance transfers as of June 2013. If you have a favorite balance transfer offer not included on this list, let me know and I’ll add it.
Slate® from Chase. If you have good to excellent credit, the Slate from Chase offers a 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers for fifteen months, and as an introductory offer there is no balance transfer fee on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. All other transfers will be charged 3% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5. After the introductory period, purchase and balance transfer APR’s will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate and APR is currently between 11.99% to 21.99% variable, depending on your credit history.
You’ll avoid the 3% surcharge when making a balance transfer within 60 days of account opening, so if you can pay off your credit card balance in the fifteen month time-frame, the total cost of fees and interest is zero. The Slate from Chase also has the benefit of being annual-fee free, so depending on your needs, this card could represent the highest amount of savings.
For diligent credit card users, balance transfer cards can be efficient tools for keeping your bank account balance intact, making better use of your cash than spending your own money for a large purchase. In great economic environments, you could earn interest on your money while paying off your expenses with a 0% interest rate. The proliferation of balance transfer fees makes this type of arbitrage more difficult, but with a few fee-free offers being available today, you might be able to earn interest on your card issuer’s money if you don’t fall into any traps.
Updated June 2, 2013 and originally published March 15, 2012. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.