If you're one of the millions of people afloat in a sea of credit card debt, then you know how difficult it can be to make any impact at all on reducing that debt. Making the minimum payment is like trying to bail water with a spoon. Luckily for everyone, balance transfer cards can help.
A balance transfer card is a credit card that allows you to transfer your existing balances from other accounts and something that commonly draws people to these cards is a promotional APR that allows you to focus on reducing your overall debt rather than just making interest payments.
This article is going to take a look at Capital One's balance transfer cards and help you determine which card best suits your needs.
Obvious Choice: The Quicksilver Card
Capital One doesn't have a dedicated balance transfer card, so any of their options are valid. However, the one that is clearly the best suited for balance transfers is the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card.
It's designed as a cash rewards card, not a balance transfer card. While it is a solid choice for smaller amounts of debt, anyone looking to transfer more significant sums may be better off with another option. That said, there are multiple benefits to owning the card that aren't directly related to the balance transfer aspect.
About the Quicksilver Card
The more impressive benefits come from the Quicksilver itself. The World Elite MasterCard Benefits include:
- No-charge extended warranties on any item purchased with the credit card.
- Complimentary concierge service, 24 hours a day.
- Complimentary travel upgrades when available.
- Automatic price protection within 120 days of purchase.
- A full suite of identity theft resolution services.
Minimum Credit Score
The glaring downside of the Quicksilver as a balance transfer card is the "Excellent" credit requirement. If you have too much credit card debt (and need a balance transfer to help get it under control), then your score likely isn't the best. Requiring a score of 720 or higher to qualify doesn't win any points, but as stated before, the Quicksilver is primarily a cash back rewards card—not a balance transfer card.
The Quicksilver is a relatively low-maintenance card, overall
One of the most effective ways of figuring out if this card is the right choice for you or not is to look at what other customers have said about it.
Check out some of the feedback other customers have left on this card:
I have had this card for 3 months. I have really liked it so far. I applied for it to transfer my balances from other cards to consolidate them … I love the cash back and weekly deals!
Account benefits aren't as good as competitors and customer service was poor. As a customer with excellent credit and who pays card balance in full every month, when the introductory financing rate was over, I would expect customer service to honor an extension for the rate to keep a good customer and for general customer satisfaction. Instead, even though I have an account with Capital One, I never use it now.
Out of 4,748 reviews, 93% of reviewers recommended the Quicksilver to others.
Measuring Up the Competition
Despite our love for Capital One, they simply don't have the best options for balance transfer cards. There are competitors that offer better rates, longer introductory periods, and lower transfer fees.
Here are a few options that might be a better fit:
One of the main advantages of the Slate is its accessibility. Even people with average credit can qualify (the recommended score is 690 or higher.) If you're struggling to lower your principal because of interest payments, there is a good chance your credit score might suffer, disqualifying you from cards with higher credit score requirements—and that isn't the only perk.
But there are a few drawbacks.
The Slate doesn't earn rewards, and balances can't be transferred from other Chase cards or any non-credit-card debt.
If you feel like you'll need a long time to take care of your debt, this might be the best option for you. The Citi Simplicity card is as accessible as the Slate, with a recommended credit score of 690.
The Citi Simplicity also has another strength that is often overlooked:
No late fees. Ever. Miss a payment? No big deal. You aren't slapped with a penalty. You can also transfer any sort of debt to this card, including student and auto loans, making it a great pick for recent graduates that need a bit more time than Sallie Mae grants to pay off loans. The only type of balance that can't be transferred is from other Citi accounts.
The previous two options have great terms, but they lack rewards—and if you're reading this article, then chances are good that you like rewards cards. Unlike many balance transfer cards, the Discover it sets itself apart from the competition by remaining useful even after the introductory APR period ends.
It also shares the lower credit score requirement that the Slate and Simplicity have.
We're listing the Barclay Ring last for one reason:
It requires "Excellent" credit to qualify, which can be a drawback for someone struggling with paying off debt. However, it does have benefits that the others don't.
It's useful for its flexibility alone, and for transferring balances from multiple cards on multiple occasions.
The Capital One Quicksilver excels in a number of areas, it's really not suited for larger balance transfers. However, depending on your needs, it might be the right fit for you. If you only have a small amount of debt to transfer, the Quicksilver can be a good choice. If you are struggling with credit card debt and are looking at a balance transfer card as a last-ditch resort to save your credit, however, the Quicksilver would not be a good choice.
If your credit isn't particularly noteworthy, you might not have a high enough credit limit for a balance transfer to be effective.
While we aren't discouraging you from applying for the Quicksilver, we won't recommend it specifically for balance transfers.
In terms of cash rewards, however, it's one of the best options out there.