Old habits die hard and one of the hardest habits to kick is consumer debt.
According to a consumer survey, the average credit card balance per user is $4,094.
Luckily, there’s a tool that can help: balance transfer credit cards. These credit cards allow consumers to transfer existing balances onto a single card, usually with a low interest rate for an introductory period. This means cardholders can focus on paying down debt, not on paying interest.
Here are the recommended balance transfer credit cards.
MBNA Platinum Plus® Mastercard®
Who’s it for: Canadians looking to pay down their debt
American Express Essential Credit Card
Who’s it for: Canadians who tend to carry a balance
Allow us to break it down
We compared a variety of balance transfer cards available to Canadians. They all have varying rates and promotional periods.
The MBNA Platinum Plus boasts 0% interest for 12 months, with a 1% balance transfer fee. This gives users a full year to tackle their debt without any interest payment. On top of that, there’s no annual fee, 24/7 customer service.
Bonus: If you apply through LowestRates.ca by October 31, 2017, you’ll get a $75 gift card upon approval.
The American Express Essential Credit Card offers a competitive six-month, 1.99% interest promotional period. There’s a 0% fee to transfer your balances onto the card, and after the promotional period, the interest rate only goes up to 8.99%, compared the industry averages that range from 12-20%. This card is made for users who periodically carry balance on their credit card so they can get a low interest rate any time.
These two cards can help users save more than a few hundred dollars in interest against our other top picks balance transfer credit cards. They are clearly the go-to cards when it comes to putting more money towards paying down the debt than paying for interest.
Here's the full list of cards, ranked from first to last.
|Card||Promotional Rate||Regular Balance Transfer Rate||Annual Fee||Savings*|
|RBC Cash Back Mastercard||1.90%|
|Scotiabank Value VISA||1.99%|
|SimplyCash Card from American Express||1.99%|
|PC Financial Mastercard||0.97%|
* Representative savings are based on a $4,000 balance, and a $250 monthly payment, net of any applicable balance transfer fees