In the summer of 2020, balance transfer credit cards went the way of toilet paper at that time: suddenly unavailable. But like non-elastic-waist pants, balance transfer cards are slowly making their way back onto the scene. If you have high-interest credit card debt and hoped to move that debt to save on interest, you’ve got a few more options than before.

Still, there are limits:

  • You need good or excellent credit to qualify. Back in July 2020, some balance transfer cards were available only to those with excellent credit (FICO scores of at least 720). Now, you may be able to qualify with only good credit, meaning a FICO score of 690 might suffice. But anything lower drops you down to fair or even bad credit, in which case a balance transfer card will still be out of reach.

  • Some pre-pandemic card options still have not returned. While Bank of America®, Citi, Discover and Wells Fargo issue balance transfer cards, as of this writing you won’t find them on the websites of American Express, Capital One or Chase.

Why are balance transfer credit cards coming back?

Credit card offers are subject to “market conditions,” which is a nice way to say “whether or not the economy is a cause for concern.” And by the start of the second quarter of 2020, things were looking grim.

Unemployment peaked at 14.8% in April 2020, compared to a January 2020 low of 3.5%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An April 2020 Federal Reserve survey found that banks tightened their lending standards for credit cards and other loans over the first quarter of the year. To lower their risk, banks pulled back on balance transfer cards that let consumers borrow considerable sums at 0% interest.

Now, things are looking up. Unemployment in April 2021 was at 6.1%, according to the BLS. An April 2021 Federal Reserve survey found that banks were easing standards for credit card applications — the exact opposite of what occurred just one year before. And according to Competiscan, a company that tracks and analyzes direct marketing activity, 51% of mailed credit card offers in the first quarter of 2021 included a balance transfer offer, an increase compared to the previous two quarters.

In other words, as far as credit cards are concerned, nature is healing.

What balance transfer cards are available?

This isn’t a full list, but here’s a rundown of some popular balance transfer cards that are available as of this writing.

APR: 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and on any balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99% – 22.99% Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% – 24.74% Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each credit card balance transfer, whichever is greater.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49% – 23.49% Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each credit card balance transfer, whichever is greater.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% – 23.99% Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each credit card balance transfer, whichever is greater.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% – 22.99% Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms).

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% – 22.99% Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms).

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0%* intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers*, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49% – 24.49%* Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.

Annual fee: $0*.

APR: 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49% – 24.49% Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater, for 120 days from account opening. After that, up to 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5.

Annual fee: $0.

Other ways to pay down a balance

  • Personal loans: If you don’t qualify for a balance transfer credit card, a personal loan might be an option for consolidating your credit card debt into one lower-interest monthly payment over a set period of time.

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