The Best Balance Transfer Credit Card With No Balance Transfer Fees

If you have credit card debt, a balance-transfer card can be a great option. You move your balance onto the new card and enjoy an interest-free grace period often of a year or more. But there’s a big catch: Most cards charge you a hefty fee to transfer your balance—often as high as 5%. That’s where the Wings Visa Platinum card shines. 

The card offers 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months after you open an account—and there is no balance transfer fee. The upshot is that, if you can afford to pay off what you owe in a year or less, Wings Visa Platinum may be the cheapest and most convenient way to retire your credit card debt.

To be sure, the Wings Visa Platinum has some drawbacks. Other balance-transfer cards offer longer interest-free introduction periods, or they offer cash back rewards on new spending. What’s more, Wings Visa Platinum is a credit union card. That means you can’t sign up, unless you become a member of the Wings Financial Credit Union. Still, joining is easy. 

Wings Financial membership is open to everyone who makes a donation of at least $5 to the Wings Financial Foundation. If you live in one of the communities served by Wings Financial, have a family member who is a Wings member, or have an affiliation with the aviation industry, you qualify to become a Wings Financial member for free.

Wings Visa Platinum’s free balance transfers, along with up to 12 months of 0% APRs on purchases and balance transfers are why Buy Side from WSJ named this card its Best Balance Transfer Card No Balance Transfer Fees.

How this card helps you get out of debt

To find the best balance transfer credit cards, we assumed your aim was to pay off a significant amount of credit card debt—for simplicity we picked $5,000—as quickly and cheaply as possible. We also considered other card benefits like points or miles, but we regarded these as a secondary concern, since cost of credit card debt typically swamps the value of any rewards you might earn. 

If you have the budget to make $417 or more in payments each month, you can pay off a $5,000 balance transferred to the Wings Visa Platinum card within 12 months while paying $0 in interest and fees—an offer that’s hard to match.

That’s because unlike most other balance transfer credit cards, the Wings Financial Visa Platinum card charges no balance transfer fee. If you manage to pay off your balance entirely within 12 months, you will pay nothing more than the amount of your credit card balance.

The card also offers a 0% APR for purchases, meaning that you can use this card for ongoing spending without incurring interest charges. While your priority might be to pay down your debt, in practice having a card to continue to pay for necessities or shop online can be handy. 

Most credit cards start charging interest on purchases immediately if you carry a balance, so having a 0% APR that also applies to purchases allows you to use this card for your daily spending without incurring additional interest. 

Card details you might miss

While Buy Side from WSJ judges balance transfer credit cards primarily on their promotional period, balance transfer fees and ongoing interest rates, some cards can be useful even after their promotional 0% APR periods. 

  • Receive coverage for damage due to collision or theft when you charge your rental car to the card and decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver
  • No foreign transaction fee

Who benefits most from the Wings Visa Platinum Card?

The Wings Visa Platinum card works best if you can afford to pay down your transferred credit card balances within a year. If this is you, transferring a balance to the Wings Visa Platinum means you’ll avoid the balance transfer fee charged by other cards. The Wings Visa Platinum card charges no fee to transfer a balance and take advantage of its 12-month 0% APR promotion.

Cardholders who need a little more time to pay down balances should consider the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card, the WSJ Buy Side pick for Best Overall Balance Transfer Card. This card offers a longer 18 month 0% APR period, but charges a 3% balance transfer fee.

For people who don’t have the budget to pay off their credit card balance within 18 months, the Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum card offers market-leading ongoing interest rates, plus a no-fee balance transfer offer with a 0.99% APR for 12 months. If you need to finance a balance long-term, this card may be your best pick. 

Navy Federal is a credit union and requires a military affiliation to join, so this card isn’t available to everyone. Fortunately, the Wings Visa Platinum also offers a competitive ongoing APR, making it a good next-best option for people who need to finance a balance long-term.

How we picked

To pick Buy Side from WSJ’s Best Balance Transfer Credit Card, we looked for no-annual-fee credit cards offering balance transfers for new customers with 0% APR promotions. We preferred credit cards with longer balance transfer promotional periods and lower balance transfer initiation fees. Because most consumers will use a credit card while paying down debt, we favored cards that offered 0% APRs on both interest and purchases during their promotional period. All other things equal, we selected cards that are useful after the promotional balance transfer period because they offer rewards or other benefits.

The advice, recommendations or rankings expressed in this article are those of the Buy Side from WSJ editorial team, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by our commercial partners.

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