Beating Credit Card Debt in 2021? Use the Best Balance Transfer Cards

Man making a credit card payment on his laptop
Photo by Ivan Kruk / Shutterstock.com

Money Talks News has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Money Talks News and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Tackling debt is a popular New Year’s resolution, but you probably know it’s hard to accomplish any resolution without a concrete goal and a plan to get there.

If your goal is to get rid of your credit card debt this year — or at least make a big dent in it — you should consider a balance transfer credit card.

A “balance transfer” is when you move what you owe on one credit card to a new one. That might sound like robbing Peter to pay Paul, but here’s the benefit: You won’t pay interest on that transferred balance for a certain timeframe, giving you time to catch up.

There is usually a fee associated with a balance transfer, which is often around 3%. So if you’re going to try this strategy, make sure you’re committed to whittling down that debt and look for a card that offers the longest 0% APR period and a decent ongoing APR.

Here are our favorite credit cards for balance transfers right now:

Citi Double Cash

Why we like it: We’ve called this “The Best Cash-Back Credit Card for Everyday Use” since it earns 1% cash back on every purchase, then earns another 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases. If you want the peace of mind that you’re earning good cash-back rewards on everything, with no gimmicks or expiration dates, this is your card.

What to know:

Citi Double Cash
Citi
  • Get a total of 2% cash back on every purchase
  • No limits or caps on cash back
  • No confusing categories; everything earns cash back
  • No annual fee

Note: This card offers 18 months of 0% introductory APR on balance transfers.

If you’re looking to couple cash-back rewards with paying down debt — especially if you use that cash back to speed up the process — this is an excellent choice.

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

Why we like it: This card offers an incredibly generous introductory APR for both new purchases and balance transfers — 0% for 20 billing cycles.

What to know:

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card
U.S. Bank
  • 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on balance transfers.
  • 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on new purchases.
  • Up to $600 in cellphone insurance (with a $25 deductible) if you pay your phone bill with the card.
  • Flexible payment date.
  • No annual fee.

Note: This card has a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater.

If you simply want as much time as possible to pay off a transferred balance, this card will give you more than a year and a half to do it.

Citi Diamond Preferred

The Citi Diamond Preferred card is a good choice for people transferring a balance, thanks to the introductory 0% APR on both balance transfers and new purchases for the first 18 months.

What to know:

Citi Diamond Preferred
Citi
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months, with a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is higher
  • 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 18 months
  • Free access to your FICO Score
  • No annual fee

Note: This card has a 3% foreign transaction fee, so plan accordingly for international travel.

If you’re working on rebuilding your credit, this card includes free access to your FICO Score and an introductory offer almost as long as the one above.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
How Much of My Social Security Can My Ex Take?
How Much of My Social Security Can My Ex Take?

A man wonders if his ex-wife will siphon away his Social Security benefit.

How to Get Rid of 6 Hard-to-Sell Things
How to Get Rid of 6 Hard-to-Sell Things

Find out where to sell, donate or recycle items — and feel good about it.

Drivers Give These 5 Car Insurers the Highest Marks
Drivers Give These 5 Car Insurers the Highest Marks

One company claimed the top ranking in several categories.

10 Things You Should Never Buy on Amazon
10 Things You Should Never Buy on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.