Best credit cards to pay off debt for April 2022

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Personal debt can happen to anyone. It’s easy to spend more than you have in your Bank account and let the balance swell, especially with a high credit card APR.

Find a new credit card for take your balance is not the best or the most affordable way to consolidate your debt— it would be a staff Where debt consolidation loan. However, the approval process for loans will take longer than for credit cards, making credit cards a potential short-term option for financing debt.

Weak or introductory 0% APR and balance transfer The offers make credit cards an option to help cover debt costs, but be careful – using a credit card to pay off debt carries significant risk. Once the intro APR periods expire, the sales can snowball. Prepare a debt repayment plan before adding a balance to a card.

If you have decided to use a new credit card To deal with personal debt, here are our best partner offers with long 0% introductory periods and low APRs. We will update this list regularly as rates and card terms change.

Introductory offerN / A

APR14.99% – 24.99% (Variable)

Recommended credit Excellent, good

Reward rateN / A

Annual fees$0

Intro Purchase APR0% for 12 months on purchases

Intro Balance Transfer APR0% for 21 months on balance transfers

Balance Transfer Fee A balance transfer fee applies to this offer of 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum

APR balance transfer14.99% – 24.99% (Variable)

Late payment fees No late fees

Foreign transaction fees 3%

Our opinion

The Citi Simplicity® Card is no frills – there are no rewards to be earned, but you’ll get 21 months 0% introductory APR for balance transfers (and 12 months on purchases). After the introductory period, a variable APR of 14.99% to 24.99% applies. Plus, you have four months to request a balance transfer, which is longer than most cards allow.

The Citi Simplicity® Card is one of the most flexible and forgiving cards when paying off your debts. If you tend to forget a payment once in a while, you won’t have to worry about late fees or being hit with an APR penalty.

Introductory offerN / A

APR5.99% – 18.00% variable

Recommended credit N / A

Reward rateN / A

Annual feesAny

Intro Purchase APRN / A

Intro Balance Transfer APR0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers

APR balance transfer5.99% – 18.00% variable

Foreign transaction fees Any

APR Penalty 18.00%

Our opinion

The Navy Federal Credit Union® Platinum* credit card is the cheapest card in our roundup of the best credit cards for paying off debt. In addition to no annual fee, it’s the only card on our list with no balance transfer fee. That’s a big deal – most cards charge a minimum 3% balance transfer fee. (That’s $300 on a $10,000 balance transfer.) If you’re planning on doing multiple balance transfers, it’s good to know that you won’t have to pay a fee to pay off your debt.

Introductory offerIntroductory offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only at Discover. Discover will automatically match any Cash Back you have earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There are no minimum spend or maximum rewards. Just a dollar for dollar match.

APR13.24% – 22.24% variable

Recommended credit Fair/New to Credit

Reward rate
  • Earn 5% cash back on your everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay with PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Annual fees$0

Intro Purchase APR0% for 6 months

Intro Balance Transfer APR10.99% for 6 months

Balance Transfer Fee 3% initial balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

APR balance transfer13.24% – 22.24% variable

Late payment fees None the first time you pay late. After that, up to $40.

Foreign transaction fees Any

  • Earn 5% cash back on your everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay with PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Our opinion

Discover it®* Student Cash Back is designed for students who do not have a long positive credit history. If you’re a student, you’ll still have access to 0% introductory APR on new purchases, but for only six months (12.99% to 21.99% variable APR thereafter). However, it may take quite a long time to pay off the debt before the standard APR kicks in. For balance transfers, Discover offers an introductory interest rate of 10.99% for the first six months after the initial transfer (then from 12.99% to 21.99% variable APR). ).

Introductory offer$100 in statement credit after spending $500 on qualifying purchases, within the first 3 months of account opening

APR11.24% to 21.24% (varies)

Recommended credit Excellent credit

Reward rate
  • 1% unlimited cash back on all qualifying purchases

Annual fees$0

Intro Purchase APRN / A

Intro Balance Transfer APR3.25% variable introductory APR for the first 36 months on all balance transfers within 60 days of account opening.

APR balance transfer11.24% to 21.24% (varies)

  • 1% unlimited cash back on all qualifying purchases

Our opinion

Most of the best credit cards for paying off debt have a relatively short interest-free period. While the interest-free period is helpful, the pressure to pay off your balance before your card’s interest rate reverts to the standard APR might be too much.

If you have a larger balance that might be difficult to pay off in a year or less, SunTrust has a different way of approaching debt repayment. You will benefit from an introductory interest rate of 3.25% variable, competitive with the rate of many personal loans. Even better, the lower interest rate is in effect for three years, followed by a floating 11.24% to 21.24% APR.

FAQs

Can I pay off a debt with a credit card?

It is possible to pay off a debt with a credit card. However, this may not be the best option unless you can make good use of an extended interest-free period of 12 months or more. Keep in mind that many of the best low-interest or no-interest offers are introductory and reserved for people with good credit or better. If you’re overwhelmed with debt, it could hurt your credit score and you may have trouble getting approved for a no-interest or low-balance-transfer card.

What is a 0% introductory period?

Some credit cards offer new cardholders 0% (interest-free) on purchases and/or balance transfers. The interest-free term is generally only valid for a fixed period, for example 12 or 18 months. This means that any purchases or balance transfers you make during the reference period can be refunded without interest during the introductory period. After the term has expired, the remaining balance will start earning interest at the standard interest rate.

What should I pay attention to when transferring a balance?

Even if you get a balance transfer credit card with an interest-free period of 12 months or more, watch out for balance transfer fees. These fees are usually 3% to 5% of the amount you plan to transfer. While this might be manageable if you only have a few hundred dollars in debt, transfer fees can add up. A balance of $5,000 can cost you $250 to transfer if the fee is 5%.

What credit score do I need to be approved for a debt consolidation credit card?

Credit cards with the best introductory/balance transfer offers generally require a good credit score of 670 or higher. However, some card providers have a prequalification tool that tells you if you would be approved for a credit card before you apply, without affecting your credit score. Capital One, Discover, and Navy Federal all offer prequalification.

Our methodology

CNET reviews credit cards by comprehensively comparing them across established criteria for each major category, including cash back, welcome bonus, travel rewards and balance transfer. We take into consideration the typical buying behavior of a range of consumer profiles – with the understanding that everyone’s financial situation is different – ​​and the designated function of a card.

For cash back credit cards, for example, key factors include annual fee, “welcome bonus” and cash back rate (or rates, if they differ by spend category). For rewards and miles cards, we calculate and weigh the net monetary value of a card’s respective benefits. And with balance transfer credit cards, we analyze specifications such as the length of the 0% APR introductory period and the balance transfer fee, while recognizing secondary factors such as the standard APR and how long you have to make a balance transfer after you open the account.

*All information for the Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Credit Card, Discover it Student Cash Back and SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card has been independently collected by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our editors and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It was not supplied or commissioned by a third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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