Before filling out any credit card application, take a moment to compare credit card
offers in order to find your best credit card deals. Some of the
important balance transfer card terms to consider are: the APR, the length of the
introductory apr, the APR on new purchases, any balance transfer fees and conditions
that might make your rate jump and the APR after the introductory period is over.
Here are some factors to consider before you choose a credit card offer or fill
out a credit card application:
- Balance Transfer APR. What is the Annual Percentage Rate of the balance you
are going to transfer?
- Balance transfer fee. Is there a fee on the balance you are going to transfer?
Some cards have a zero balance transfer fees. Balance transfer fees of 3% or 4%
- APR on new purchases. What will the APR be on new purchases?
- Length of term. How long will the introductory rate last? Recently, some
card offer up to 18 months at 0% APR.
- Changes in Rate. Check for terms that can cause your rate to jump. This could
include being late on a payment or going over your credit limit.
- Annual Fee. What annual fee, if any is involved?
- Other perks. Many balance transfer credit cards have other perks. Do you
want cash-back? Rewards points? Do you run a business that needs multiple cards
for different employees or tools to track your spending? Before you fill out that
credit card application for a balance transfer card with good terms, also ask if
it meets your other needs.
Will doing a credit card balance transfer help me?
Balance transfers are most helpful if:
- You are paying high rate(s) on your existing credit card(s).
- The rate on your existing card(s) is about to increase.
- You plan on making large purchases soon using a card with a high rate.
If the answer to any of the above questions is ‘yes’ then a balance transfer could
help you. However, getting a balance transfer credit card does not necessarily mean
you will save money. To be sure you will save money you need to use the
card wisely and this means there are certain things you should and shouldn’t do.
Using Balance Transfer Credit Cards Successfully.
Balance transfer card are great if you follow these simple rules:
- Pay them off (or make another transfer) before the rate increases
- Don’t make any mistakes that will trigger a early rate increase.
- Avoid getting hit with retroactive interest (more on this below)
Balance transfer Dos and Don’ts:
Things you should do:
- Pay off or transfer the balance before the introductory period ends. Failure
to do this and you may be hit with a big retro-active interest charge all the way
back to when you opened the card.
- Stay below your credit limit. Exceed this and the rate will probably go up.
- Come up with a payment plan where you reduce the balance by paying more than
the minimum every month.
- Consider not carrying the card, so you won’t use it for new purchases.
Things to avoid:
- Reaching the end of the introductory period without reducing your balance.
- Excessive purchasing on your new card - this will make it hard to reduce
- Late/missed payments. Missing or being late on a payment usually triggers
a rate increase.
Get maximum value from your balance transfer credit card:
These days, issuers are competing with one another for your business and they are
offering better and better balance transfer offers. You can now expect top balance
transfer offers to have a great rate, a long introductory period, plus other great
features you may want.
Other features to look for in balance transfer offers:
- Low APR on new purchases
- Low fees, annual and otherwise
- Good rewards (points, cash back, travel etc.)
- Great service such as live on-shore customer service, roadside assistance, travel
- Liability from fraud
So demand more before you apply for a balance transfer!
Use the tools on CreditCardApplications.com to make a credit card comparison. Our
credit card application search engine offers both a snapshot and a detail
view. The search engine lets you enter up to 6 personalized criteria to find the
credit card offers that best meet your needs. Just check the ‘balance transfer’
box and the boxes for the other features you and and we will instantly return to
you a short list of your best balance transfer deals that also have other credit
card features you have prioritized!
Once you have made a short list of the best credit cards for your needs, carefully
fill out just a few credit card applications. Not only is filling out an application
for a credit card you don’t want a waste of effort - it could adversely effect your
credit report as well.
If you would like more information, see our Credit Card Tips and News page. You
can find articles on:
Balance transfer news, advice and comparisons.
We have an entire page of Balance Transfer news, tips and reviews. Consider reading a few of these before you choose a balance transfer offer.
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