Is There a New Card King for Balance Transfers?

Update June 2014:  The balance transfer offer for the Barclaycard Rewards card has expired.  This means that by default the Discover 18 month interest free offer is the King!

Please note: These are special links in this post that give you better offers than the usual offer if you went straight to the card web site.  Make sure to always use the TWM links to get the best offers and help support our site!

Back in August, we answered a reader question about the best credit card for a balance transfer.  If you currently are paying interest on a credit card balance and you won’t have it paid off in 3 or less months, a balance transfer is a smart financial move.  Our previous recommendation was the Discover It card that has a 18 month 0% interest free period for balance transfers with a 3% fee. This means that on the first month you will pay a 3% transfer fee then you will pay no interest at all for the next 18 months.  Example would be if you transfer a $10,000 balance, you would get a first months bill for $10,300.  But then for the next 18 months (as long as you pay on time) you will pay zero interest!

Just yesterday we learned about a new promotion for the Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® that could be even better than the Discover It offer.  We have also added this card to our Top Credit Cards page.  Let’s look at the offer in detail.Barclaycard RewardsThe Barclaycard Rewards card has the following benefits:

  • Earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases
  • Earn 1 point per $1 everywhere else
  • Complimentary FICO® Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Scores from your Barclaycard online account.

Here is a chart I prepared that shows you how quickly you can profit from a balance transfer (including the transfer fee) depending on how much your current interest rate is.

Current APR Months before profit after transfer fee
5% 7.2
10% 3.6
15% 2.4
20% 1.8
25% 1.4

How does this compare to the Discover offer?

Discover It Barclaycard Rewards
0% Interest on Purchases 6 months 18 months
0% Interest on Balance Transfers 18 months 18 months
Balance Transfer Fee 3% 3%
Rewards program 5% on quarterly rotating categories, 1% on the rest 2% on Gas, Groceries, Utiities, 1% on the rest
Online shopping Rewards Yes, Discover Mall Yes, Barclays Rewards Boost
Annual Fee $0 $0
Free FICO Score Yes, on your statement monthly Yes, accessed online

Conclusion: Who is the King of the Balance Transfers

As you can see by the above chart, the offers are really neck and neck.  The extra 12 months of 0% on purchases could make a difference for some and push the Barclays offer ahead.  The rewards programs are both good but there are better programs where you can earn miles so I would recommend these cards mainly if you have a balance you are paying interest on.  Either of these cards will help you get your balance paid off quickly and seeing that $0 interest charge each month will definitely make you feel warm and fuzzy. I think the Discover might be a little easier to get approved for, but if your credit is already good then diversifying your banks to Barclays might make sense.

So what are you waiting for?  Click here to apply for the Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® or Click here to apply for the Discover Card.

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

3 Best Credit Cards to Build Your Credit

One of the most popular questions we get is “I am just getting started and have one credit card that I use for everything.  How can I make my credit better so I can get a premium card like the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® that gives 40,000 Miles for spending just $1?”

Premium cards usually require a more established credit history and established means both longer (more history) and broader (more than one creditor).  So getting multiple cards is an important part in having a healthy credit history, even if they all have 0 balances.  If you already have multiple cards then you probably don’t need this article and can go right to our Easy Quarter Million Program to start getting mega miles.  But if you just have one card or a really short credit history, then read on… Having multiple cards drives some healthy competition between the banks which is good for you, the consumer! To accomplish that, here are our 3 best credit cards to build your credit from 3 different banks.

1. Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard®

This is definitely the easiest card to get approved for that isn’t a secured credit card.   Unlike secured cards, this one actually gives you some useful rewards to get started!  Extra points on gas, grocery and utilities will be something that everyone spends on every month so why not get rewarded for it and build your credit history as well.

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases and 1 point per $1 everywhere else
  • Use the points you earn like cash to pay for almost any purchases you’ve made.
  • No redemption fees, no limit on the points you can earn and no complicated set up.
  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus monthly providing you the opportunity to rebuild your credit score
  • Complimentary FICO® Credit Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Scores from your Barclaycard online account.

2. Discover It

Discover is the second easiest of the cards that we recommend to get approved for.

An awesome feature of this card is it gives you a credit score every month right at the top of your statement.  This is perfect for people just getting started so you can keep an eye on this super important number.  Here are some other highlights of this card.

  • Experience our cash rewards with $20 cash back after you make your first purchase within 3 months of approval.*
  • No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on your first late payment. And paying late won’t increase your APR.*
  • 5% cashback in categories that change each quarter up to the quarterly maximum after you sign up for 5%. 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on monthly statements, online and in our mobile app.*
  • Free text alerts can remind you when your payment is due. And free mobile app helps you stay on top of your account.
  • 100% U.S.- based customer  service – day or night.
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it’s unusual, you’re alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized Discover card purchases.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms and other info by clicking “Apply.”

Click here to apply for the Discover It card.  What do you have to lose?

3. Chase Freedom with 10,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus

Chase FreedomThe Chase Freedom is a perfect credit builder card for a few reasons. It gives you a $100 bonus after spending $500, but it is given in the form of Ultimate Rewards points.  With the Freedom those points can only be used for gift cards but when your credit is a bit more established you can get the big brother, the Chase Sapphire Preferred that gives you a 40,000 bonus and you can combine it with the 10,000 for this card.  You can also transfer the combined points to airlines and hotels once you get the Sapphire Preferred card. Here are some other highlights of this card.

freedom categories

  • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 spent in bonus categories each quarter (such as gas stations, restaurants or
  • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases without limits.  Cashback never expires!
  • When you have both Chase Freedom and a Chase checking account you get an Extra 10% Annually on the cash back earned on new purchases from the previous year.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • You will get a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months from account opening.


If you get these 3 cards, then charge small amounts and pay on time for 6-9 months you will then be considered a premium customer and be ready to hit our Easy Quarter Million Program!  What are you waiting for?  Why not apply for all 3 today and jump start your credit history?!

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!