Credit Cards

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card: The Best Balance Transfer Card on the Market

With the Fed raising interest rates, you can transfer your high-interest debt to this card to pay off your balance with less stress.

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. For partner offers, we get a commission. Advertiser Disclosure

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is the best balance transfer credit card on the market. Though the 0% introductory APR offer may not be the longest out there, it has the best cost-to-length ratio available.

Here's how it breaks down: You get 20 billing cycles of 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers (after that, the variable APR is 15.24% to 25.24%). Typically, intro APRs range from 12 to 18 months. And while some credit cards with lengthier promotions have higher-than-average balance transfer fees, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum maintains the industry standard with a 3% transfer fee ($5 minimum) -- and it also has no annual fee.

We'll review the details below so you can take advantage of the intro APR. Keep in mind, you'll need good to excellent credit to qualify for this card, so if your credit score is below 670, you might want to check out our top picks for average credit or bad credit.

In this article

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

See Rates and Fees
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Recommended Credit Good/Excellent
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APR0% for 20 billing cycles on purchases
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% for 20 billing cycles on balance transfers
Balance Transfer Fee Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater
Balance Transfer APR15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Foreign Transaction Fees 2% of each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction in U.S. Dollars. 3% of each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction in a Foreign Currency

Introductory APR

Whether you want to finance a large purchase or transfer a balance from a high-interest credit card, you will enjoy 20 billing cycles of introductory interest-free financing as long as you make your minimum payments on time throughout the promotion. After that, both transaction types will be subject to a 15.24% to 25.24% variable APR. 

For purchases, the clock starts ticking as soon as you open the account. We recommend paying off any large purchases you make in full before the promotion ends -- that way you won't accrue interest on your purchases after the 20 billing cycles ends.

The same goes for transferred balances. You get a 60-day grace period within which you can transfer a balance from another account and take advantage of the introductory APR. If you transfer a balance beyond that, the balance will be subject to the regular balance transfer APR of 15.24% to 25.24% variable APR. A balance transfer fee will apply -- 3% of the transaction, with a $5 minimum -- which is typical. Alternatively, cards exist with no balance transfer fee, but they offer shorter introductory APR periods.

Other features

Like most balance transfer cards, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum doesn't offer many extras like a rewards program or welcome bonus, but it does have a few minor additional features.

You'll get cell phone protection if you pay your monthly bill with the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card -- up to $600 if your phone is damaged, stolen or accidentally left behind. You'll also have the flexibility of choosing your payment due date, and constant access to your credit score through the mobile app or online banking.

Comparable cards

Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card

The Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card offers a base of 18 months from account opening of 0% introductory APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers -- with the ability to earn up to an additional three months. You must make all your minimum payments on time during the intro and extension periods to qualify. After the promotional period ends, your APR jumps up to 13.74% to 25.74% variable.

While the regular balance transfer fee is higher at up to 5% ($5 minimum), the Reflect offers an introductory balance transfer fee. If you request your balance transfer within 120 days of account opening, you qualify for a 3% balance transfer fee with a $5 minimum.

Check out our full review for more details about transferring a balance to the Wells Fargo Reflect Card.

Chase Slate Edge℠

The Chase Slate Edge℠ offers a slightly shorter introductory APR period, but it also offers an opportunity to lower your regular APR by up to 2% per year.

The introductory APR lasts for 18 months for both purchases and balance transfers, then the APR jumps to a 15.24% to 23.99% variable rate. If you pay your bill on time and spend at least $1,000 on the card annually you will automatically be considered for an APR reduction of up to 2% at your account anniversary each year. This offer is valid until your APR reaches 9.74% plus the prime rate, which currently adds up to a 13.24% variable APR.

For more information on how this program works, see our full review of the Chase Slate Edge.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card may seem like a natural competitor because of its 21-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers (14.49% to 24.49% variable APR thereafter), but its balance transfer fee is a bit pricier.

With a 5% balance transfer fee, and a $5 minimum, you'd be paying a $100 fee on a $2,000 balance transfer. With the balance transfer fee on the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum, you'd only be paying a $60 fee on that same amount. For most people, the additional charge is likely not worth just one more month of 0% introductory APR. For the Citi Diamond Preferred Card, balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening.

For more information on the parameters of the Citi Diamond Preferred Card, check out our full review.

FAQs

How do balance transfer credit cards work?

Though balance transfer credit cards are technically credit cards, they're more like a debt-financing tool. They're better used to pay off existing credit card debt than as a payment method.

A balance transfer is when you take the debt, or balance, you owe on one card account and transfer it to another credit card account. Usually this is done with the goal of saving money by transferring debt from a high-interest account to one with lower or no interest. 

While many credit cards allow balance transfers, those primarily designed for the purpose all share one main feature: an introductory 0% APR period on balances transferred to that account, typically applicable to transfers made within the first 60 to 120 days of card ownership. The introductory APR period generally lasts between 12 months and 21 months, giving you a significant period of time to pay off your balance interest-free. 

While a few credit cards offer no-fee transfers, most balance transfer cards charge a fee to transfer your debt, usually between 3% and 5%. Broadly speaking, the longer the introductory 0% APR period, the higher the fee, and vice versa. So the best cards without a balance transfer fee have a shorter introductory APR period, and those with the longest introductory APR period have a 3% to 5% transfer fee.

If I still have a balance after the introductory APR period is over, can I just keep transferring my debt to a new balance transfer card?

Technically, yes. In some cases, transferring your balance two or three times might even be what's necessary to finally pay off your debt. But unless you have a firm understanding of how you got into debt in the first place and a plan for getting out of debt, you won't be working toward a solution.

While transferring your remaining debt to a second balance transfer card may allow you to pay off your balance without monthly interest or a fee, it's important to note that there are too many variables for multiple balance transfers to be a failure-proof debt strategy. 

For example, your card application could be denied, your credit limit could be much lower than you anticipated or your transfer request could be denied. Credit card offers could also change, making it difficult to plan ahead. For this reason I recommend selecting a card that allows you to pay off the full balance after one cycle if possible.

How long will it take to complete a balance transfer?

It may take anywhere between 10 days and six weeks to complete a balance transfer, after receiving your new card and cardholder agreement. It's also important to note that some card issuers, such as Citi, make balance transfers available at their discretion, and could therefore decline a transfer request. And you should probably still pay the minimum on the old card's balance until you've confirmed that the transfer was completed, so you don't run the risk of fees or penalties.

Our approach

We review the cards that are in the highest demand and offer the best benefits. We scour the fine print so there aren't any surprises when you open an account. We find the key factors that make a card stand out and compare them to other top cards. That way, readers can opt for a different card with similar features if our pick isn't right for them. Our reviews are regularly checked and updated to incorporate new recommendations, as well as to reflect changes in offers and the market. 

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.