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Best Zero Percent Balance Transfers (Updated May 2011)

Posted By Jim On 05/12/2011 @ 9:01 am In Credit | 14 Comments

As the economy improves, I expect to see a lot more activity in the balance transfer space. For the moment, there hasn’t been much change from April to May. Citi ended the Citi Dividend Platinum Select MasterCard’s promotion they launched last month (0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months and 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months) but extended the limited time offer that included $100 cash back after $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. This matches compares very favorably to the Chase Freedom offer, which offers the same bonus and similar introductory periods.

Here are this month’s best 0% balance transfer offers [3]:

0% Intro APR and $100 Bonus Cash Back

The Chase Freedom® MasterCard [4] that we explained last month is still available:

Citi’s has a similar offer that has a similar introductory period, at 12 months for both balance transfers and purchases. Whereas the Chase Freedom card offers cashback, Citi offers points that you can spend in their Thank You Network [5].

  • This offer is for people with an excellent credit history
  • Excellent credit history means, among other things, that you have a credit history clear of bankruptcy and seriously delinquent accounts
  • “Best Overall Card” – CBS MoneyWatch 2011
  • Earn $100 Bonus Cash Back after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers and 6 months on purchases – no annual fee and cash back rewards never expire
  • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 spent on Gas, Hotel and Airline purchases from 7/1/11 – 9/30/11
  • You’ll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like grocery stores, dining, department stores and even home improvement. It’s free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases without limits on what you can earn and up to an additional 10% Cash Back when you shop online at select merchants through Chase

Longest 0% Balance Transfer Period

The 18 month balance transfer period Discover More offer retains the crown as the longest balance transfer introductory period. The balance transfer fee is at an average 3% but that should be expected given the longer introductory period. As discussed last month, this card features all the perks of the Discover More card, including cash back bonuses.

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months, then the variable APR of 11.99% – 20.99%
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the variable APR of 11.99% – 20.99%
  • 5% Cashback Bonus® in categories that change like travel, gas, groceries, restaurants, home improvement stores and more
  • Up to 20% Cashback Bonus at popular retailers when you shop online through Discover
  • Up to 1% unlimited Cashback Bonus on all other purchases
  • $0 Fraud Liability plus automatic mobile and email fraud alerts
  • No Annual Fee

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[3] best 0% balance transfer offers: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/list-of-cards-with-0-balance-transfer-offers-for-12-months.html

[4] Chase Freedom® MasterCard: http://oc.cardsynergy.com/t/?cr=879&c=22124641&aid=105970&sid=5946

[5] Thank You Network: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/citi-thankyou-network-rewards-review.html

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