Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

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If you’re up to your eyeballs in high-interest credit card debt, a balance transfer credit card can give you some relief. The best balance transfer credit cards offer low promotional interest rates for six months or more, giving you time to start getting out of debt. Some of these cards even offer low ongoing interest rates. Read on to learn more about balance transfer credit cards and the top picks from the credit card team at LendingArch. What is a balance transfer card? How to do a balance transfer? Is it a good idea to do a balance transfer? Does a balance transfer affect my credit score? What do I need to know when choosing a card for a balance transfer?

Quickly navigate through the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

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American Express Essential Credit Card

Recommended Credit Score: info icon

poor smiley icon Poor
(below 560)
fair smiley icon Fair
(560-659)
good smiley icon Good
(660-725)
good smiley icon Very Good
(725-759)
excellent smiley icon Excellent
(760+)
noidea smiley icon Not
Sure
Annual Fee ---
Purchase Interest Rate 8.99%
Sign Up Bonus---
Rewards Earning Rate ---
Apply Now  
On American Express Essential Credit Card server website
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SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

Recommended Credit Score: info icon

poor smiley icon Poor
(below 560)
fair smiley icon Fair
(560-659)
good smiley icon Good
(660-725)
good smiley icon Very Good
(725-759)
excellent smiley icon Excellent
(760+)
noidea smiley icon Not
Sure
Annual Fee $99
Purchase Interest Rate 19.99%
Sign Up Bonus5% cash back on ALL purchases for 6 months - $300 maximum
Rewards Earning Rate 2% cash back
Apply Now  
On SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express server website
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SimplyCash Card from American Express

Recommended Credit Score: info icon

poor smiley icon Poor
(below 560)
fair smiley icon Fair
(560-659)
good smiley icon Good
(660-725)
good smiley icon Very Good
(725-759)
excellent smiley icon Excellent
(760+)
noidea smiley icon Not
Sure
Annual Fee ---
Purchase Interest Rate 19.99%
Sign Up Bonus0
Rewards Earning Rate 5% cash back
Apply Now  
On SimplyCash Card from American Express server website
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American Express Air Miles Credit Card

Recommended Credit Score: info icon

poor smiley icon Poor
(below 560)
fair smiley icon Fair
(560-659)
good smiley icon Good
(660-725)
good smiley icon Very Good
(725-759)
excellent smiley icon Excellent
(760+)
noidea smiley icon Not
Sure
Annual Fee ---
Purchase Interest Rate 19.99%
Sign Up Bonus500 Air Miles
Rewards Earning Rate ---
Apply Now  
On American Express Air Miles Credit Card server website
Read our Review

American Express Air Miles Platinum Card

Recommended Credit Score: info icon

poor smiley icon Poor
(below 560)
fair smiley icon Fair
(560-659)
good smiley icon Good
(660-725)
good smiley icon Very Good
(725-759)
excellent smiley icon Excellent
(760+)
noidea smiley icon Not
Sure
Annual Fee $65
Purchase Interest Rate 19.99%
Sign Up Bonus---
Rewards Earning Rate ---
Apply Now  
On American Express Air Miles Platinum Card server website
Scotiabank_Value_VISA
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No-Fee Scotiabank Value Visa Card

Recommended Credit Score: info icon

poor smiley icon Poor
(below 560)
fair smiley icon Fair
(560-659)
good smiley icon Good
(660-725)
good smiley icon Very Good
(725-759)
excellent smiley icon Excellent
(760+)
noidea smiley icon Not
Sure
Annual Fee ---
Purchase Interest Rate 16.99%
Sign Up Bonus3.99% on cash advances and balance transfers
Rewards Earning Rate ---
Apply Now  
On No-Fee Scotiabank Value Visa Card server website
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BMO Preferred Rate MasterCard

Recommended Credit Score: info icon

poor smiley icon Poor
(below 560)
fair smiley icon Fair
(560-659)
good smiley icon Good
(660-725)
good smiley icon Very Good
(725-759)
excellent smiley icon Excellent
(760+)
noidea smiley icon Not
Sure
Annual Fee $20
Purchase Interest Rate 11.9%
Sign Up Bonus---
Rewards Earning Rate ---
Apply Now  
On BMO Preferred Rate MasterCard server website
More details

The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard also charges a higher promotional rate than many of the cards we’ve listed, but its promotion is three months longer. Also, the card’s ongoing interest rate is considerably low compared to most similar cards. In addition, there is no limit on how much you can transfer.

Watch out for the card’s one percent balance transfer fee, though. Also, note that the card charges a small annual fee.

  • Balance Transfer Offer: 3.99% interest on balance transfers for the first nine months
  • Great Added Benefit: This card has a low 11.9% APR on purchases with a $20 annual fee

What is a Balance Transfer Credit Card?

The best balance transfer credit cards offer low promotional interest rates for six months or more, giving you time to start getting out of debt. Some of these cards even offer low ongoing interest rates. Read on to learn more about balance transfer credit cards and the top picks from the credit card team at LendingArch.A balance transfer occurs when you move debt from one credit card to another one – typically to consolidate multiple balances or to get a lower interest rate.

Balance transfer credit cards often offer promotions — usually with interest rate from 0% to 4% — on balance transfers for a period after you open an account. With a low promotional interest rate for six months or more, you can reduce your debt without the pressure of a high interest rate.

While this sounds appealing, there are two things to keep in mind:

  • Even some of the best balance transfer credit cards charge an upfront balance transfer fee, which can be anywhere between one percent and three percent of the balance.
  • You often need good or excellent credit to get approved for a balance transfer credit card.

If you have good enough credit and don’t mind paying a fee, a balance transfer credit card can be a great way to get rid of your credit card debt once and for all.

How to Choose from the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

There’s no singular best balance transfer credit card out there, so it’s important to know what your priorities are when choosing a card.

For example, do you want to avoid a balance transfer fee? Would you prefer a card with rewards on new purchases or a longer balance transfer promotion and no rewards?

As you compare our top picks, note which features you like and dislike. Consider whether the card issuer limits how much you can transfer. Lastly, choose the card that best fits your needs and preferences.

The 7 Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards in Canada

The 7 balance transfer credit cards outlined below should give you a good idea of the available cards and the types of benefits you can expect. Take a look:

Conclusion

The best balance transfer credit cards in Canada offer generous promotional rates and other perks to sweeten the pot. Before you apply, be sure to compare these cards with other top credit cards to make sure you’re getting the best deal available.

And remember: the top priority is paying down your debt. As long as you keep that in mind, it’ll be easier to pick the best balance transfer credit card for your needs.

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