If you have credit card debt, you're not alone. On average, Americans carry $6,194 in credit card debt, according to the 2019 Experian Consumer Credit Review. And Alaskans have the highest credit card balance, on average $8,026.
Carrying a balance month to month can be costly, especially if it's on a high interest credit card. But you don't have to struggle with debt forever. If you have good or excellent credit (scores 670 and above), you may qualify for a balance transfer credit card, like the Citi Simplicity® Card which offers no interest for 21 months on balance transfers (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable APR).
While the average credit card balance is $6,194, Americans living in certain states carry much more. Alaskans take the top spot with an average credit card balance of $8,026. Meanwhile, many states on the East Coast have balances above the national average.
The further you live from the coasts, the lower the average credit card balance, which is partially due to a lower cost of living. On average, Iowans have the lowest balance at $4,774.
A balance transfer is a smart way to ease the burden of paying off your credit card debt. Balance transfers can add up to substantial savings if you're carrying a balance on a high interest credit card, where a portion of your payment goes toward interest charges.
Balance transfer cards often have set limits on the amount of debt you can transfer, and you can't complete a transfer between cards issued from the same bank. Also make sure you read the fine print before requesting a transfer and consider any balance transfer fees.
If the average American with a $6,194 balance on their credit card pays $200 each month toward their debt, it will take them 42 months — more than three years — to pay off that debt. And they will spend $2,012 in additional interest, assuming an average 16.97% APR.
If you complete a balance transfer with a a no-fee balance transfer credit card, like the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, you'd only pay roughly $452 in interest and pay off debt in about 34 months. That's a $1,560 savings. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has no balance transfer fee and a 0% APR for the first 15 months on balance transfers completed within 60 days from account opening (then 14.49% to 25.49% variable APR). (See rates and fees.)
Here is additional information on some popular balance transfer cards.
0% for the first 21 months on balance transfers and 0% for the first 12 months on purchases
16.24% to 26.24% variable
5%, minimum $5
2X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X), 1X Membership Rewards® points per dollar spent on all other purchases
Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months
0% for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
14.49% to 25.49% variable APR
See rates and fees, terms apply.
5% cash back at different places each quarter after you activate bonus categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1%). Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
At the end of your first year, Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earned
0% APR for the first 6 months on purchases; 0% APR for the first 18 months on balance transfers
13.49% to 24.49% variable
3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*
*See rates and fees, terms apply.