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Are you reeling from credit card debt? Don’t feel bad. Most of us have been there at some point — and wondered how we managed to get there. That’s worth figuring out to avoid doing it again, but first, it’s time to bring it back under control.
Of course, the best thing to do is to pay off card balances immediately to avoid paying insane interest rates. But if you’re past that point, pay down as much as you can reasonably handle right away and transfer the rest of the balance to a card that offers a 0% interest rate for a long introductory period. Then make a schedule of regular payments so you can eliminate the balance before the introductory period is over and the interest rate on the new card goes up.
Here’s three of the best offers to help you make this move. Consider which one best suits your needs and spending patterns.
HSBC Gold Mastercard
Why it’s awesome: This card has an 18-month introductory period with a 0% APR for balance transfers — a nice long stretch for you to pay down your debt from more expensive cards. It is a great no-frills option if you’re really determined to rid yourself of that debt — and not just run up more. Importantly, during the introductory period, this card doesn’t impose the punishing costs that some cards carry for late payments.
- If you fall behind on payments, there’s no penalty APR — a common hazard of balance transfer cards.
- Late fee waiver
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- The introductory 0% APR also applies to purchases for the first 18 months. (Just don’t forget that the goal was to pay down your debt, not run it up!)
Note: This card charges an initial 4% balance transfer fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Why it’s a great option: This card is a good combination of balance-transfer and other features. The 0% APR introductory period on balance transfers gives you a 15-month runway to pay off that old load of expensive debt. If that works for you, and you want to make this your daily-use credit card as well, you’ll get in on a solid cash-back program.
- In your first year with this account, earn 3% cash back on up to $20,000 in purchases ($600 value).
- After that, earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- Cash-back rewards do not expire for the life of the account.
- Redeem cash-back rewards at any time, no minimum value required.
- No annual fee
Note: This card charges an initial balance-transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
Why we like it: This card has a generous 0% introductory APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. If you can realistically pay off that balance transfer in 15 months, this card also offers other cool features, including cash back on all purchases — everything from eating out to paying utility bills and buying baby shoes.
- Get a $150 cash bonus after spending $500 within the first three months of opening the account.
- Get 0% introductory APR on purchases as well as balance transfers for 15 months.
- 1.5% cash back on purchases, with no limit on how much you can earn.
- No annual fee
Note: This card charges an initial 3% balance-transfer fee.
Important reminder: After the introductory period on most cards, the interest rates you are charged typically skyrocket. This is typical, so make sure you are not carrying a balance once you get to that point!