If you're struggling under the burden of a large debt or have creditors breathing down your neck and don't know how you're gonna pay down the debt, or if you just want to pay less interest on credit card debt that you're carrying, it may be time to consider consolidating your debt.
Debt consolidation rolls all of your debt into one place with a lower interest rate, allowing you to pay down your debt more easily and quickly.
One of the most common ways to consolidate debt and lower your interest rate is by switching to a 0% balance transfer credit card and transferring the debt balances on your current cards to that 0% card.
If you feel overwhelmed by the 0% balance transfer cards out there, don't panic. I'm going to walk you through how to pick a 0% balance transfer card and the best 0% balance transfer credit cards of 2022.
Before You Start to Consolidate Debt…
Before you start applying for 0% balance transfer credit cards, there are a few things you should be aware of.
You (Probably) Need a Credit Score of 690+
To qualify for a 0% balance transfer credit card, you typically need a credit score of 690 or higher.
0% Interest is Temporary
The 0% interest will last for a certain amount of time, usually between six to 24 months, so make sure you understand what the interest rate will be at the end of that grace period, and that it isn't higher than your current interest rates on your current credit cards, unless you think you can pay off all of the debt while you're still in that 0% grace period.
The Card Needs to be from a Different Bank
For example, if you already have an American Express card, you won't be able to transfer your balance to another American Express card, but you could transfer it to a 0% Capital One balance transfer card.
What to Look for in 0% Balance Transfer Cards
When you're picking a 0% balance transfer credit card, there are a few things that you should look out for.
- Annual Fees: Avoid 0% balance transfer cards that are going to cost you money just to keep them open each year.
- Introductory APR: This is a promotional interest rate that the credit card companies will give new customers for a set number of months after they open the account. Now we're talking about 0% balance transfer cards, so that's what you're looking for is a 0% APR on any balance that you transfer to the card.
- Transfer Period: Sometimes there'll be a limited period of time to transfer your balance. For example, you need to transfer the balance within the first 60 days of opening the card.
- Regular APR: What is the regular interest rate going to be after your grace period ends on the card?
- Length of the 0% Grace Period: How long will this period last and how much debt can you pay off during that time?
- Transfer Fees: Some cards will charge a percentage fee to do the actual transfer from your existing credit cards. Ideally, you want this fee to be zero or as low as possible.
Best 0% Balance Transfer Cards of 2022
1) Wells Fargo Reflect Card
It's great if you can find a card with a long introductory 0% APR. For that reason, the Wells Fargo Reflect Card is a great option. It offers a 0% APR for the first 21 months, almost two years after you've opened the account.
2) U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card offers a 0% interest APR 20 billing cycles for balance transfers that are made in the first 60 days.
3) BankAmericard Credit Card
The BankAmericard Credit Card offers a 0% APR for the first 18 billing cycles. And it also offers a nice signup bonus as well.
4) Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
Another option is the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card. This card has a nice rewards program where it offers 2% cash rewards and the introductory 0% APR lasts for a year and a half 18 months.
5) Discover It Balance Transfer Card
Unfortunately, after the introductory APR has expired, a lot of transfer cards, don't give you much reason to hold onto them. A noteworthy exception is the fifth card I recommend, which is the Discover It Balance Transfer Card, which offers great cashback rewards even after you've paid down your debt.
6) Citi Simplicity Card
Our sixth card, the Citi Simplicity Card has no late fees and the introductory APR lasts for 21 months, so that's a pretty good amount of time. Another thing that's special about this card is that you'll never pay late fees or a penalty APR, but don't this card with the intention of paying late. Even if your credit card company doesn't charge you a late fee, that doesn't mean making late payments won't hurt your credit score.
7) Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
Our seventh recommendation is the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card. This has flexible reward categories and a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers that are made in the first 60 days.
8) Citi Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash Card provides a simple cashback structure and an 18 month long introductory APR, making it easy to set it and forget it. Plus, there's no annual fees on this card, so it'll still make sense to keep this card, even after you've paid off all of your debt.
9) HSBC Gold Mastercard
The HSBC Gold Mastercard comes with a very long 0% introductory APR period, no annual fee, and no penalty APR. However, there's no rewards program and no welcome bonus, making it a good transfer card to help you get out of debt, but not necessarily a card that you're gonna want to use after you're debt-free for earning points or rewards.
10) Citi Custom Cash Card
The 10th card on our list is the Citi Custom Cash Card. This offers a long-term value beyond just its introductory APR period on balanced transfers, because you can earn 5% back in a popular spending category each month up to $500 spent on that category.
Consolidating your debt can be a great option to help you pay off your debt faster and pay less money overall so that you can enjoy greater financial security. If you want to learn more about how to pay off credit card debt fast, check out our free masterclass, Say Goodbye to Credit Card Debt Forever.