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Best Credit Cards With No Balance Transfer Fees for October 2022

You can save about 3% in transaction costs if you skip the balance transfer fee, but your introductory APR period will be shorter.

Shifting your credit card balance from an account with a high interest rate to one with a long intro 0% APR period could help you pay down debt without racking up more interest. Before you pick a card to transfer that debt, however, make sure you check the balance transfer fees. Most credit card issuers charge a fee (usually 3% to 5%) to accept balance transfers into the new account. If you're transferring $10,000 in debt, that's an extra $300 to $500 you'll have to cover. 

Some credit cards offer $0 balance transfer fees to encourage cardholders to apply and transfer a balance. The 0% introductory APR on balance transfers on these cards don't last as long as the best balance transfer cards that charge balance transfer fees. Still, if you'll be able to pay off the balance in full by the end of the introductory APR period, using a card with no balance transfer fees can save you a good chunk of change.

Read more: Best Secured Credit Cards

Longest intro APR with a $0 introductory transfer fee

7.25/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR9.99% to 21.49% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months that your account is open.
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good Credit
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months that your account is open.
Balance Transfer APR9.99% to 21.49% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater.
Late Payment Fee Up to $37
Foreign Transaction Fees 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.
Penalty APR None

Our Take

The Union Bank® Platinum™ Visa® Credit Card offers 15 months of 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers, with $0 in balance transfer fees if you complete your first balance transfer within the first 60 days of account opening (after that, 3% of each transfer with a minimum of $10). After the promotional APR period ends, you'll be subject to a variable APR of 9.99% to 21.49% -- the lower end of this range is very competitive compared to most balance transfer credit cards. There is also no annual fee, making this a safe card to transfer your balance to without any extra costs if you're diligent.

A mid-range intro APR offer

5.5/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR8.15% – 18.00% variable APR
Intro Purchase APR0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases
Recommended Credit N/A
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on BTs
Balance Transfer APR8.15% – 18.00% variable APR
Balance Transfer Fee None
Foreign Transaction Fees None

Our Take

Wings Financial Credit Union is based in Minnesota, but you can join by making a $5 donation to the Wings Financial Foundation. After that, you can apply for the Wings Visa Platinum Credit Card*, which charges no annual or balance transfer fees and offers 12 months of 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases (8.15% to 18.00% variable APR thereafter).

The credit union route

6.25/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR6.99% to 18.00% (Variable) when you open your account, based on your credit worthiness
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit N/A
Reward RatesN/A
Annual FeeNone
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APRIntroductory 0.00% APR balance transfer for 12 billing cycles
Balance Transfer APR6.99% to 18.00% (Variable) when you open your account, based on your credit worthiness
Balance Transfer Fee None
Foreign Transaction Fees None

Our Take

First Tech Federal Credit Union is based out of San Jose, California, and catered initially to employees of tech companies in the Pacific Northwest. Today, you can become a member if you work for one of their partner companies or become a member of the Computer History Museum ($15 for an annual membership) or the Financial Fitness Association ($8 for an annual membership).

The First Tech Platinum Mastercard* credit card also offers 12 billing cycles of 0% introductory APR on balance transfers (6.99% to 18.00% variable APR thereafter) with no credit card balance transfer fees. 

For service members and their families

6/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR6.74% - 18.00% Variable
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit N/A
Reward RatesN/A
Annual FeeNone
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers
Balance Transfer APR6.74% - 18.00% Variable
Foreign Transaction Fees None
Penalty APR 18.00%

Our Take

The Navy Federal Credit Union is for members of the armed forces, veterans and their immediate family members. If you qualify for this card, you can enjoy 12 months of 0% introductory APR on balance transfers with a 6.74% to 18% variable APR thereafter -- along with no balance transfer fees. But you'll have to initiate the balance transfer within 60 days of opening your account in order to take advantage of this offer. 

FAQs

How do balance transfer credit cards work?

When used correctly, balance transfer credit cards function as a debt-financing tool. They can help you pay down existing high-interest credit card debt faster and for less.

When you transfer a balance, you move debt from one credit card to another. The best balance transfer cards offer low or no interest for a set introductory period, allowing you to pay down your debt without worrying about high accruing interest. This introductory APR period generally lasts between 12 months and 21 months, giving you a significant period of time to pay off your balance before the interest rate increases. 

While a few credit cards offer no-fee transfers, most balance transfer cards charge you between 3% and 5% of the balance transferred. Typically, the longer the introductory 0% APR period, the higher the fee, and vice versa. So cards without a balance transfer fee have shorter introductory APR periods, and those with transfer fees have longer introductory APR periods.

Where can I find credit cards with no balance transfer fee?

We think the Wings Visa Platinum and First Tech Platinum cards are two of the best credit cards with no balance transfer fee. While both offer introductory APR offers, you will have to pay between $5 to $15 to become a member. This fee is relatively small compared to typical balance transfer rates, though. To compare, let's say you're transferring $5,000 in credit card debt -- a card with a 3% fee would charge you $150 to do so, while the Wings Visa Platinum and First Tech Platinum cards would only require a membership fee under $20.

That said, if you're already a member of a credit union, it may be worth asking if it offers a balance transfer card with a 0% introductory APR period and no balance transfer fee.

What are the benefits of a credit card with no balance transfer fee?

A credit card with no balance transfer fee lets you transfer a balance from one account to another without paying an upfront transfer fee, generally between 3% and 5%. The trade-off is a shorter introductory APR period for balance transfers.

A credit card with no balance transfer fee and a 0% APR offers a way to pay off high-interest credit card debt without paying a dime in interest or fees, but only if you can pay it off within one year. If you need more time, it might be better to consider a card with a balance transfer fee that has a longer no-interest or low intro APR period. 

How do I decide if a credit card with no balance transfer fee is right for me?

The first step is to understand how large of a monthly payment you can afford each month. Then, calculate how much you'll pay in interest and fees with two or three different balance transfer credit cards. 

Generally speaking, if you can pay off your debt in around 12 to 15 months, the 3% you save with a credit card with no balance transfer fee will be worth it. If it's going to take you 17 to 18 months or longer, a card like the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card may save you more money in interest payments, despite the 3% transfer fee ($5 minimum). If you need more than two years to pay down your balance, the SunTrust Mastercard Prime Rewards may be your best option. Don't discount personal loans either -- if you owe a significant amount and need a few years to repay your debt, you may be able to lock in a personal loan for a lower interest rate than the SunTrust Mastercard Prime's introductory 3.25% variable APR on balance transfers (11.24% to 21.24% variable APR thereafter).

Our methodology

CNET reviews credit cards by exhaustively comparing them across set criteria developed for each major category, including cash-back, welcome bonus, travel rewards and balance transfer. We take into consideration the typical spending behavior of a range of consumer profiles -- with the understanding that everyone's financial situation is different -- and the designated function of a card. 

For cash-back credit cards, for example, key factors include the annual fee, the "welcome bonus" and the cash-back rate (or rates, if they differ by spending category). For rewards and miles cards, we calculate and weigh the net monetary value of a card's respective perks. And with balance transfer credit cards, we analyze specs such as the duration of the introductory 0% APR period and the balance transfer fee, while acknowledging secondary factors such as the standard APR and the length of time you have to make a balance transfer after you open the account.

More credit card recommendations

*All information about the Wings Visa Platinum Credit Card, First Tech Platinum Mastercard, and the SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.