Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards to Pay Off Holiday Debt

Quick Answer

You can use a new balance transfer credit card to pay off holiday debt over time without paying additional interest. Our top picks have no annual fees and several offer rewards.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards to Pay Off Holiday Debt article image.

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The holidays can be the most expensive time of the year, and inflation isn't helping. The overall year-over-year inflation rate in December was 6.5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but price changes can vary dramatically depending on what you buy. If you're flying to visit loved ones, airline prices are up about 45.6%, but if you're looking for a new TV, prices are actually down around 16.8%.

Regardless of where you're going and what you're wrapping, many people take on some credit card debt during the holiday season. When that happens, you can use a balance transfer credit card to pay off the debt—without paying any interest—for up to 21 months.

3 Partner Offers

Our Picks for the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards to Pay Off Holiday Debt
Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

Intro APR extension for 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period

17.49% - 29.49% variable APR

Intro balance transfer fee: 3% for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5% (minimum: $5)

Ongoing balance transfer fee: Up to 5% (minimum: $5)

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Intro 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months

19.24% to 27.99% variable APR

Intro 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $5) on transfers made within 60 days of account opening; after that, 5%, with a minimum of $5

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Intro 0% APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and qualifying balance transfers made within the first 60 days

18.24% to 28.24% variable APR

3% balance transfer fee (minimum $10)

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

Apply

on Wells Fargo's website

Good - Exceptional

APR

17.49% - 29.49% variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR for up to 21 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

Rewards

None

Intro Bonus

N/A

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Intro APR extension for 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period. 17.49% to 29.49% variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min $5.
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible).
  • Through My Wells Fargo Deals, you can get access to personalized deals from a variety of merchants. It's an easy way to earn cash back as an account credit when you shop, dine, or enjoy an experience simply by using an eligible Wells Fargo credit card.
  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
  • Matched For You are statements made by Experian and may not reflect Wells Fargo’s underwriting standards

Rates and Fees

The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card has the longest potential introductory 0% annual percentage rate (APR) offer of our top picks. You'll receive an 18-month intro rate period—starting from when you open your account—on new purchases and balances that you transfer to the account. If you make at least minimum payments during those 18 months, you'll also receive a three-month extension, giving you up to 21 months with the intro 0% APR. Balance transfers made within 120 days of account opening also qualify for the intro rate. After your intro period ends, the standard 17.49% - 29.49% variable APR applies to your purchases and balance transfers.

Although there's no annual fee for the card, you will have to pay a 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) on balances that you transfer during your first 120 days with the account. After that, the balance transfer fee increases to up to 5% ($5 minimum).

Credit card holders also have access to a few additional benefits. For example, you can get up to $600 in cellphone protection ($25 deductible applies) if you use the card to pay your monthly mobile phone bill. You may also be able to save money with the personalized My Wells Fargo Deals.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Apply

on Chase's website

Good - Exceptional

APR

19.24% - 27.99% Variable

Intro APR

0% Intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Rewards

5% Cash Back on Rotating Categories

5% Cash Back on Travel purchased through Chase

3% Cash Back on Dining

1% Cash Back on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening!

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 19.24% - 27.99%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers an intro 15-month 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers with a 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) during your first 60 days with the card. The standard APR is 19.24% - 27.99% Variable. And after the initial 60 days are up, the balance transfer fee increases to 5% ($5 minimum).

As a new cardholder, you can earn a $200 cash back bonus if you use the Chase Freedom Flex℠ to make $500 in purchases within your first 3 months with the card. The card also gives you 3% cash back on eligible dining and drugstore purchases, 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in rotating bonus categories each quarter (activation required). You earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

The lack of an annual fee and ongoing rewards options could make this a good long-term option that you'll want to hold onto even after you pay off your balance transfers.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers an intro 0% APR for 18 billing cycles. The promotional rate applies to your purchases and to any balance transfers that you make within 60 days of opening your account. A 3% balance transfer fee ($10 minimum) applies to each balance transfer, and the standard 18.24% to 28.24% variable APR applies to purchases and transferred balances after the intro period ends.

This card has no annual fee and offers an intro $200 cash rewards bonus if you make at least $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of opening your account. The card also offers 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% cash back on the category you choose from a sizable list, including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores and home improvement/furnishings. The 2% and 3% cash back rates apply on up to $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter. But you'll get 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases, including ones in non-bonus categories.

Although the intro 0% APR offer and ongoing cash back rewards can benefit anyone, current Bank of America customers may benefit even more. The card is part of the Preferred Rewards program, which offers a 25% to 75% bonus on your cash back earnings depending on your three-month combined average daily balance at Bank of America deposit and Merrill investment accounts.

What You Need to Know About Balance Transfers

You can use a credit card with a balance transfer offer to move balances from other credit cards or transfer a balance to your bank account and use the money to pay off other types of debts. Your new card's intro 0% APR offer allows you to focus on paying off the balance without having to pay interest as well, which can save you money and help you pay off the card quickly.

However, balance transfers aren't always a good idea. And, even when they are, you'll want to be aware of the offers' terms and conditions. A few things to be mindful of are:

  • Balance transfer fees: Many balance transfer cards charge a 3% to 5% fee on every balance you transfer. Compare the cost of the fee to your expected interest savings to see if you'll come out ahead. You may also be able to find balance transfer cards that don't have balance transfer fees—look for options from community banks and credit unions—but these may have shorter promotional periods.
  • Transfer limits: Your new credit card's balance transfer limit may be equal to or lower than your card's credit limit, and you won't know your account's limit until after you apply. If your limit isn't high enough to accommodate all the debt you want to transfer, focus on transferring balances with the highest APRs first. You also may be able to transfer and pay off multiple balances within the promotional period.
  • Transfer timelines: Some balance transfer cards only apply the intro 0% APR or a lower balance transfer fee to balances that you transfer within a certain amount of time. Make sure you request the balance transfers right away to take advantage of these intro offers.
  • Some offers don't include purchases: Unless you also receive an intro 0% APR offer on purchases, your purchases may start to accrue interest right away while you're paying off the transferred balances. Review the card terms carefully and try to avoid paying interest. If you want to make purchases to earn an intro bonus, you could pay off that balance right away to limit how much interest accrues.
  • You can't use balance transfers to overcome overspending: Using a balance transfer to pay off holiday debt can make a lot of sense. But a balance transfer may be dangerously tempting if you tend to overspend throughout the year. You'll now have more available credit on your other credit cards and could wind up deeper in debt overall.

It's also important to have a plan for paying off your balance transfers. At the end of your promotional period, any remaining balance will start to accrue interest based on your card's standard APR.

Find Balance Transfer Cards Based on Your Credit

Your credit score can impact which credit cards you can qualify for and the balance transfer limit you receive on your new account. Check your credit score for free to see where you currently stand. You can also use Experian CreditMatch™ to get matched with balance transfer credit card offers based on your unique credit profile.