The holiday season is officially over, and you’ve probably started assessing the damage done to your credit card balance. While no official numbers have been released, most were expecting retail sales to increase compared to 2015.
Continue Reading Below
If you ended up spending more than you had originally planned, don’t let it ruin the start to your year. Instead it’s time to get focused and knock out that debt as soon as possible. (You can see how your debt’s affecting your finances by viewing two of your free credit scores, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.)
One of the best ways to accomplish your goal is to use a balance transfer credit card. Moving your holiday debt to a card with an introductory 0% APR can help you avoid paying interest for up to 21 months. Most balance transfer cards will charge a balance transfer fee of 3% to 5%, however, our favorite card actually waives the fee entirely during the first 60 days.
To help get yourself back on track in 2017, here are five credit cards that can help you pay off holiday debt.
1. Chase Slate
Our favorite credit card for helping to pay off holiday debt is the Chase Slate card (see review here). You will receive an introductory 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Once the introductory period is over, the APR will switch to a variable 13.24% to 23.24%. Plus, when you transfer a balance within the first 60 days, there will be no balance transfer fee. The card also has no annual fee.
2. Discover It
When you sign up for the Discover It card (see review here), you will receive an introductory 0% APR for the first 14 months on balance transfers and six months on purchases. This balance transfer period is slightly longer than the Chase Slate card. There is one big difference, which is that this card includes a 3% balance transfer fee. Once the introductory period is over, the APR will become a variable 11.49% to 23.49%.
The Discover It card is more than just a great balance transfer card. You can also earn up to 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter. Categories can include gas stations, groceries, department stores, and more. All other purchases, not included in the bonus categories, will earn 1% back. Plus, for the first 12 billing cycles, Discover will match your cash back earnings. This card also has no annual fee.
3. Citi Simplicity
If you are looking for a credit card with the longest possible introductory 0% APR, then check out the Citi Simplicity card (see review here). With this card, you will receive 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 21 months. After that, it will be a variable 13.49% to 23.49%. The Citi Simplicity card has cut out most fees besides a $5 or 3% balance transfer fee. There are no annual or late fees, and there is never a penalty rate.
4. Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom card (see review here) is known to be more of a reward credit card, but it also has a very appealing balance transfer offer. You will receive an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After that, the rate will become a variable 14.24% to 23.24%. There will be a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5%.
When you sign up for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you will receive a $150 bonus after spending $500 within the first three months. If you add an authorized user to your account and they make a purchase within the same three-month period, you will receive another $25 bonus. You will also receive an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. This card comes with no annual fee.
5. Citi Diamond Preferred
Just like the Citi Simplicity, the Citi Diamond Preferred card (see review here) offers a lengthy introductory 0% APR period of 21 months for both purchases and balance transfers. Once the introductory period is over, the APR will change to a variable 12.49% to 22.49%. Each balance transfer that you make will also be charged a $5 or 3% fee. There is no annual fee with the Citi Diamond Preferred card.
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.
This article originally appeared on Credit.com.
Sean Bryant is a Denver-based freelance writer specializing in travel, credit cards and personal finance. With nearly 10 years of writing experience, his work has appeared in many of the industries' top publications. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.