Posted by William Charles on October 28, 2019
Credit Cards Master List of No Fee, No APR Balance Transfers

Published on October 28th, 2019 | by William Charles

134

Credit Cards With 0% APR & No Balance Transfer Fees (2019 Update)

In the comments of our post “Master List of No Annual Fee, No Foreign Transaction Fee Cards”, reader Mark asked:

Could you come-up with a list of no-fee balance transfer, 0% APR cards (other than Slate)?

Originally, I thought this would be too difficult to do a post on, but I recently rededicated myself to my craft*, so here’s a big ole list to peruse. Targeted offers are not included, only publicly available ones.

* if by “craft” we mean “tediously compiling data from bank websites”.

Introduction

Since this is supposed to be more of a reference list, I will not touch on whether balance transfers are right for your situation, or whether they are better than a secured or unsecured loan, or their risk, or stoozing, or etc.

Banks, whether retail or credit union (CU), make money on balance transfers in two ways*: by charging a fee for a balance transfer and/or by having an APR on the balance you’re transferring (remember: balance transfers generally do not have any grace period and start accruing interest immediately). In the most general sense (there are many exceptions), there is a dichotomy between retail banks & CUs when it comes to balance transfer promotions: retail banks will give you “lengthy” 0% APR periods but charge a hefty balance transfer fee while CUs often do not charge a balance transfer fee but apply an APR to the balance transfer. (Due to the unique structure of CUs, it is much more common to see them not charge a balance transfer fee.)

Even though banks do not make money when they hand out no balance transfer fee and 0% APR offers (for the term of the introductory APR, of course—which is the catch), there are a surprising number of such offers available, mostly from CUs (as you’d expect).

Remember to always do your own research beforehand!

* this is an intentionally simplistic explanation that doesn’t consider people that fail to pay off a balance transfer before the introductory APR ends, banks hedging risk, etc.

Methodology

A minor amount of information is compiled from my own recollection & this Magnify Money post (which looks to be continuously updated). The bulk of the information—and the overarching methodology—comes from visiting the websites of all the credit unions in the US with more than ~$1 billion in assets (~285 CUs). As you might imagine, that takes quite a lot of time. I mention this specifically to segue into the fact that keeping this post up-to-date is impossible as a solo effort. If you have any updates or additions, please do drop them in the comments below! They’ll be appreciated 🙂

(Another reasonable cut-off would be CUs with more than $300 million, or maybe even $100 million, in assets. Alas, I lack the fortitude to go through ~796 or ~1,674 CUs looking for no-fee no-APR balance transfers!)

Tables

The tables below are organized by whether the balance transfer is offered by a (retail) bank or a credit union, then alphabetically. CUs have their state indicated, as CUs in different states can share names. (I originally organized the CUs by size & can re-organize it that way if readers have a strong preference for it!)

The “Months of 0% APR” column can mean different things depending on the bank (e.g. months since account opening date or number of billing cycles). Sufficient disambiguating information between different meanings is not indicated; that’s part & parcel of the research you’ll need to do when looking for a good balance transfer offer. Note that the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act requires that a promotional APR last at least 6 months, so 6 months is the minimum for this column.

The “Days for Transfer” column is how many days the bank gives you to complete a balance transfer before you are no longer eligible for one (or both) of (1) no balance transfer fee and (2) 0% APR. A “/” in this column indicates that the bank has not specified any time limit to complete a balance transfer, so any balance transfers performed during the introductory APR period should be subject to the introductory APR for the length of the introductory APR period. (It is possible that different terms indicating this are hidden behind application pages, so always confirm this beforehand.)

In the CUs section, some additional abbreviations are used as follows: FCU = Federal Credit Union; ECU = Employees Credit Union; CCU = Community Credit Union.

Banks

Issuer & CardMonths of
0% APR
Days for
Transfer
BankAmericard Credit Card1560 days
Chase Slate¹1560
AmEx Everyday²1560
Edward Jones MasterCard1260
NFCU Platinum³1260 days

  1. Note that Chase can be extremely stingy with the credit line they give people on the Slate. (This may be YMMV, see Travelmom’s comment.) You can read more about the credit limit on this card here.
  2. Note this card also comes with a 25,000 point sign up bonus.
  3. This card has restricted membership. 0% introductory period is only for balance transfers and not purchases

Credit Unions

Though you may not see it on their site, the following CUs confirmed that they have no balance transfer fee: Landmark CU, Logix FCU, MSU FCU, and Washington State ECU.

CUMonths of
0% APR
Days for
Transfer
Specific Cards?
Advancial FCU (TX)12/All (Dinero, Rewards Plus, Savings Secured)
Alliant CU (IL)12¹/Visa Platinum & Platinum Rewards
Andigo (IL)6/All (Visa Platinum, Platinum Cash Back,
& Platinum Rewards)
Arkansas FCU (AR)6/Platinum Visa Classic
Boeing ECU (WA)1290All
DuPont CCU (VA)690All (Platinum Rewards, Platinum Cash Back)
Elements Financial (IN)6/Cash Rewards, Platinum, Signature Rewards
Evansville Teachers FCU (IN)6/All (Platinum Prime Plus, Platinum Rewards)
First Tech FCU (CA, OR, WA)1290All²
Idaho CU (ID)6/Premier Rewards & Rewards
Justice FCU (VA)6/All (Classic, Gold, Platinum Rewards,
Student Rewards)
La Capitol FCU (LA)12/All (Prime Plus, Rewards)
Landmark CU (WI)6/Cash Back & Rewards Visa
Logix FCU (CA)1290Platinum (Regular) MasterCard
MSU FCU (MI)6/All (Platinum, Platinum Plus)
OE FCU (CA)6/Steel, Steel Secured
Patelco CU (CA)690Pure MasterCard
Premier America CU (CA)6/Premier First, Premier Privileges Platinum,
Standard, & Student Standard
Purdue FCU (IN)12/Visa Signature
Quorum FCU (NY)12/All (Cash Back, RateWise,
& World MasterCards)
RBFCU (TX)1290CashBack, Premier Rate
Redstone FCU (AL)630All (Visa Signature, Rewards, & Traditional)
SAFE CU (CA)12/Platinum, Platinum Cash Rewards,
& Platinum Rewards
Scott CU (IL)6/Visa Platinum & Preferred,
MasterCard Platinum Plus
Space Coast CU (FL)6/Platinum Visa
Texas Dow ECU (TX)1230All4
U of I CCU (IA)/Platinum, Platinum Rewards, World
Washington State ECU (WA)660All (Platinum Rewards)
XCEL FCU (NY)6/All (Platinum)
ESL (NY)12/Rewards Visa Signature

  1. The introductory APR on balance transfers (and purchases) is 0.00% to 5.99% depending on creditworthiness.
  2. All credit cards except for the Platinum Secured MasterCard, including: Odyssey Rewards World Elite MasterCard, Platinum MasterCard, Platinum Rewards MasterCard, and Choice Rewards World MasterCard.
  3. The introductory APR on balance transfers (and purchases) is 0.00% to 11.9% depending on creditworthiness.
  4. All credit cards, including: Buc-ee’s MasterCard, Onyx Platinum MasterCard, Platinum MasterCard, Family Platinum MasterCard, & Classic MasterCard.

Limited-Time Offers

To make managing the tables easier, CU offers with explicitly indicated end dates are placed here.

CUMonths of
0% APR
Transfer BySpecific Cards?
American Airlines CU (TX)603/31/17All (Visa Platinum, Rewards, & Secured)
Fort Knox FCU (KY)1203/31/17Platinum, Gold, Classic
Goldenwest FCU (UT)603/31/17All (Aggie, Rewards, Simply Platinum)

Which Credit Unions are Easiest to Join?

A big list of CUs doesn’t do much good if you can’t join any of them. I won’t produce an exhaustive list, but here is a small list of credit unions from the above table that are easy to join:

  • Alliant CU, anyone who donates $10 to Foster Care to Success
  • Evansville Teachers FCU, anyone who donates $5 to the Mater Dei Friends & Alumni Association
  • FirstTech FCU, anyone who is a member of the Financial Fitness Association ($8)
  • Logix FCU, anyone who lives in AZ, CA, DC, MA, MD, ME, NH, NV, or VA

(I will add to this list if any commenters indicate more that are easy to join; I only did cursory research on this front.)



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Jake
Jake

why isn’t PenFed on the list of easy to join? Couldn’t really be much easier…

Aahz
Aahz

Presumably because PenFed isn’t on the List of No Fee, No APR Balance Transfers, so is irrelevant to this post.

sirtheta

As Aahz said, the list of easy to join CUs is only for those CUs that have no fee, no APR offers 🙂

ed k
ed k

Love Penfed, but haven’t seen a true 0%fee with 0%APR with decent time allowance. I sure miss the days before a certain reform was passed, in which I would receive so many BT checks that were the greatest way to get 0%0% and decent time frames. For those who are responsible citizens that would pay it off timely, these were a win/win/win even for banks, who retained our business. The good ole’ days. Has anyone come across a true BT check (they send in mail to you from issuer) that offers 0%/0% for 12 months for instance?

able
able

I recently received a targeted offer from Citi Simplicity for 18 months 0% APR, 0% balance transfer fee. Was approved for $12,900.

Mjs
Mjs

If you have a CapOne card go online and see if you can do a BT online for no fee and counted as a purchase.

This way you can get a check sent to you you can cash (and it won’t be counted as a cash advance like a normal BT check).

THEN if you have one of the cards in this thread you can then transfer the new balance from your CapOne card to that card and maximize the CL of your 0 fee 0% credit card. If you have more than one, you can then repeat the steps with CapOne, and as long as you have the balance paid off as if it was a standard purchase, it’s an easy way to find a no-fee SOURCE if you want to find a mechanism to “load” the 0 fee 0% credit cards.

I’ve done this several times using a couple of CapOne cards, and if it’s available to you online, they will clearly indicate before you approve the request that it is indeed no fee so you have peace of mind.

Hope this helps since most 0 fee 0% cards won’t allow you to directly extract a check or deposit into your checking at those terms– you need to find another credit card as a source

zzcodi
zzcodi

Since it is counted as a purchase, the purchase apr (~17% for me) does not start getting as long as I pay my previous balnce in full by the due date & pay off this “balance transfer” before it’s due date, correct?

Alex
Alex

Does Capital One “counting balance transfer as purchase” also mean that I will get reward points on my Venture+ card if I transfer a balance (instead of going for the “receive a check” option)? Anyone happen to know?

Dan
Dan

Question, say in the case of chase or barclay, you get approved for the 0%/0 fee card. Can you move a bunch of credit limit to that card and then do a balance transfer?

sirtheta

Both Chase and Barclays let you reallocate credit line so it seems like that should work. There are usually maximum transfer amounts, of course, but as long as you stay inside those you’d be fine.

J T
J T

Along the same thought line, any DP on product changing into a Slate or Ring card from an existing Chase or Barclaycard (and still having the introductory 0 APR/0 fee window)?

sirtheta

Both the Slate & Ring are akin to signup bonuses, so I’ve always thought the answer would be no (though I don’t know for sure). It would depend on what Chase & Barclays define as “account opening” (as that’s how the 0% APR and 0% BT Fee are worded).

J T
J T

Follow-up: I applied directly for the Ring card for the 0%/$0 BT offer. Barclays wouldn’t let me PC my Arrival+ into anything else, after repeated requests, so I moved all but a token amount of the credit line to my only other Barclaycard (Commence, converted from SallieMae). Then I closed the Arrival+ and moved most of the CL from Commence to Ring. I did have a major home repair debt on another card at 0% about to expire, so moving around the CL inside Barclays allowed me to triple the opening CL of the Ring card and keep the transferred debt to ~1/3 of the new CL.

ihg newbie
ihg newbie

i am not sure whether this is relevant but i was targeted (and received) citi AA platinum select with 0% purchases and BT for 14 months.
this offer ends 4/15

Travelmom
Travelmom

“Note that Chase is extremely stingy with the credit line they give people on the Slate.”

Just wanted to provide a dp for this. I opened slate a couple years ago, and my credit limit was $18k, so it might be ymmv

Travelmom
Travelmom

Oh, and just remembered this. When I had the Chase slate, you couldn’t just have them send you a check for you to deposit, you had to give them a credit card to transfer it to.

So I had them transfer the money to my credit union cc which had a zero balance, and the credit union transferred the “overpayment” to my checking account.

Jan B
Jan B

Travelmom, I did something very similar recently (overpaid a CC payoff) with USAA transfer. One caveat: NavFed made me wait for over payment to “clear”, their definition. It was DAYS.

Beware….YMMV with the institution you choose to receive the payment as to how long they will make it liquid to your transfer account.

sirtheta

Thanks for that DP; I’ve added it to the post 🙂

Silvercan
Silvercan

This is the exact post I was looking for. Thanks DOC! To add a DP, last October I received balance transfer offer with no fee and 0% APR on CSP and Freedom. I have these cards for two years and first time to see this offer. Anyone else having this offer from Chase? Would this be one time thing?

sirtheta

I’m glad you found this useful!

I wouldn’t say that targeted 0% APR, no fee balance transfers are very rare, but they definitely aren’t common. It’s possible Chase will send you them again, but I can’t say for sure.

Jan B
Jan B

Banks want us to borrow on cards that have little to no activity to make the customer a potential revolving loan customer after what some call “the teaser rate.” The bank carried the account with little to no benefit return.

Why sign up a customer for a personal loan with specific payments for a term when a bank can get a much better return if a customer “trips up” after the easy term.

Don L

sirtheta, wow! Awesome post, blown away by the work effort.

sirtheta

Thank you, Don! 😀

I was a bit skeptical that this would turn up much at first, but a hit rate of ~9% isn’t too bad.

Abey
Abey

I have a close friend who i teached how to churn but lately he had to do a few balance transfers because he doesnt pay all the balances in full and is paying high interest.
(That goes to show that banks still make money on churners).

Bob
Bob

Don’t forget to close your Logix FCU account after you pay off the balance transfer to avoid inactivity fees.

Elias
Elias

Do banks keep and eye on transfering balances to different credit cards?

Let say for instance I pay something with a Citi Doublecash and get 2%

Charge $10,000 get $200 cashback.

Transfer balance of $10,000 to Bofa card with a 2% BT fee: $200 – $200 of cashback = $10,000

Transfer offer is 0% APR for 15 months.

I pay $350 a month for 15month and last month I balance transfer the rest to a Barclay card:

$4,750 with a 2% BT fee $95 = $4,845

Transfer offer is 0% APR for 15 months.

I pay $320 every month until the loan is paid.

Total Out of pocket expenses for financing: $95 for 30 months of $10k loan.

Is it legit or will it be against bank policies?

sirtheta

It is not against bank policies, and there is nothing preventing you from doing that aside from usual risks (hit to your credit score, potential for catastrophic loss [i.e. you lose your job], higher BT fees than you are anticipating, etc.).

Jan B
Jan B

Also, it’s wise to note what the bank is thinking when the “generous” offer comes with a sky high regular APR. Example: BOA tends to offer BT offers often BUT does so with APR rates near 20% after the teaser term ends. A slip up and it’s quite “painful”. Barclay does near the same with rates around 17-19% APR after sweet term.

An aside: the Citi DC gave such a low CL, the idea of a BT was unthinkable, even with no fee. (which I was not offered). I closed it with a few cashback points in limbo. A disappointing card.

JohnnyBoyJr
JohnnyBoyJr

I signed up for the Citi DC and was very surprised at how low the credit limit was. I had signed up for the ‘Citi Dividend Platinum Select’ on my 18th birthday years ago, and that CL was much higher, despite me being much more ‘risky’ at that time.
The way to get them to raise your Citi DC limit is to approach the limit. They’ll keep bumping you up.
They are pretty backward, though. I requested an increase and was denied. But after ~2 months, I was automatically given an increase because I was a ‘good customer.’ So apparently I wasn’t a good customer 2 months earlier. Oh. And me requesting an increase counted as a hard pull, too…
Take Citi for whatever you can get them for.

James
James

Also remember there are time loss to make sure the transfer goes through before the first expires . If you have a 14 month offer on original card And want to transfer to new card . I would make sure that no latter than the 13th month I set the balance transfer to new card in motion to avoid interest accruing after first offer expires . Was churning 0% offers back in the good old days when there were no transfer fees . Banks sometimes don’t make the transfer quickly . Used the money to fund my investment accounts . Very risky don’t recommend but it worked out for me . After 911 so many good stocks were on sale . Used to have $50k on cc 0% offered and the trade 4 times on margin . Bought and traded aapl and amzn under $30

CB
CB

Thank you for this! I have a big chunk of debt that I was debating whether to put on a 0%APR card with a 3%BT fee, but for some reason I thought Chase Slate was the only one that offered this. This will be extremely beneficial for me.

Daniel
Daniel

Wow didn’t know these existed.. I have done a 0% 1 year with Chase before but they charged a promo 2% fee so good to know I could avoid the fee in the future

Roman
Roman

Is there certain credit cards that offer the best repeat offers versus just sign up balance transfer offers? Is there a list for that generated already? I am saying… like PenFed always offers to transfer at 0% but a 3% BT fee. Discover 0% but a 3% BT fee. Chase 0% but 2% fee. BOA 0% but a 4% BT fee.
I am looking to sign up for credit cards that offer great repeat BT offers over and over versus caring about the sign up bonuses. Thoughts on great cards?

Missjenniferd1
Missjenniferd1

Barclsy cashforward. Immediately after my intro 0% ran out, I received an offer for 0% 12 months, 1% fee

Jan B
Jan B

It does happen with that card from time to time. Nice way to plan back and forth for two years until one can work toward better salary opportunities.

One warning: watch the regular APR being offered after teaser rate term.

Deborah
Deborah

After reading this I looked at two balance transfer offers I received: 1) Barclay Arrival, which sent checks which I can write to myself, with 1% transfer fee and no interest for until September 2018, and 2) an application for a Discover it card, with $0 intro fee for each balance transferred by October 10, 2018 and 0% APR on purchases and transfers for 14 months. They have different protocols for triggering “on” an APR, btw.
If I’m reading this right, I could write myself a check for my Arrival credit limit (which I could perhaps increase by moving the CL on my other Barclay cards) and then use it however I want, including depositing it in a “high interest” account or investing it….only makes sense if I can earn more than the 1% fee. With the Discover card, I am limited to making an actual balance transfer and will be incurring a hard pull. I just got a BofA Cash Rewards card (with 75% bonus) and no APR on purchases for a year, so it’s a transfer I’m most interested in.
Am I missing anything? Any advice?
Thanks so much.

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