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4 Credit Cards to Help You Pay off the Holidays

Brian Acton
It's easy to go a little overboard on spending during the holiday season. These cards give you some time to pay off large balances, interest free. 

It's easy to go a little overboard on spending during the holiday season. Between gifts, travel, and food, your credit card balance can quickly grow out of control. When that happens, you could be staring down months of interest and large payments to shrink your credit card debt.

One option is to transfer your balance to a credit card with an introductory 0% annual percentage rate (APR) offer for balance transfers. These cards give you some time to pay off large balances, interest free. Here are four credit cards to help you pay off the holidays.

  1. Citi Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases, with an additional 1% upon payment.
Sign-Up Bonus:
None
Annual Fee:
$0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR):
Variable 14.74% to 24.74% APR on purchases; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 14.74% to 24.74% APR.

Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater.

Why We Picked It: You can earn double cash back on all purchases while avoiding interest on your balance transfers for over a year.

For Paying off the Holidays: You get 18 months to pay down your balance transfer interest free. Plus, you earn 2% cash back on purchases once they're paid off, giving you a strong incentive to pay off new purchases quickly.

Drawbacks: The introductory 0% APR is for balance transfers only, so new purchases that aren't paid off quickly will be charged interest.

  1. Discover it – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases for rotating bonus categories; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
Discover will match the cash back you earn in the first year.
Annual Fee:
$0
APR:
0% for six months on purchases, then variable 12.24% to 24.24% APR; 0% for 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 12.24% to 24.24% APR.

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of the transfer amount.

Why We Picked It: Smart shoppers can earn great cash back rates as they pay down their holiday balances.

For Paying off the Holidays: Balance transfers avoid interest for 18 months. You'll also earn 5% cash back on bonus spending categories that rotate every quarter (2018 categories include gas stations and wholesale clubs, grocery stores, restaurants, and Amazon.com and wholesale clubs).

Drawbacks: To realize the full cash back potential of this card, you'll have to track and activate bonus categories.

  1. Citi Simplicity

Rewards: None

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0
APR:
0% APR for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.24% to 25.24% APR.

Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater.

Why We Picked It: This card's lengthy 0% APR period gives you nearly two years to pay off your balance.

For Paying off the Holidays: Both purchases and balance transfers are interest free for 21 months, which is one of the longest 0% APR offers in the industry. As a pure 0% APR option, it's one of the best cards available.

Drawbacks: There are no rewards offered with this card.

  1. BankAmericard Credit Card

Rewards: None

Signup Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.24% to 23.24% APR.

Balance Transfer Fee: $0 for balance transfers made within 60 days of opening the card. After 60 days, the fee is $10 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater.

Why We Picked It: Balance transfers are free for a limited time.

For Paying off the Holidays: Balance transfers and purchases are interest free for 15 months. If you make your balance transfer in the first 60 days, you won't have to pay a balance transfer fee.

Drawbacks: There are no rewards.

Choosing a Balance Transfer Card
If some of the original balance transfer is left on your card when the 0% APR offer expires, you'll end up paying interest on that remainder. You should choose a card with enough time to pay off your balance completely interest free.

You should also take a close look at the APR you'll pay for new purchases. If it's significantly higher than the purchase APR on your current card, you should try to find a card with a better rate (or only use your new card to pay off your balance transfer).

Beyond that, choosing the right credit card will depend on your other needs. Make sure to consider the rewards, fees and APR, and other benefits associated with the cards you're evaluating.

What Credit Is Required for a Balance Transfer Credit Card?
Cards with the best 0% APR offers usually require good or excellent credit. You should check your credit score and only submit an application if you have a good chance of approval.

 

Note: It's important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.