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Legacy Articles

How to Use a Balance Credit Card Wisely

Before you get that balance transfer card you’ve been eying, go over the basics for wise usage of that card. You probably want the card to help reduce the cost of your existing credit card debt - so make sure it works our that way in practice!

Good Practices when Choosing a Balance Transfer Credit Card

  • Check the balance transfer fee of the credit card offer you are considering. It’s not only about rate.
  • Do a quick calculation of the balance you want to transfer and see what the fee will be if you do a credit card balance transfer.
  • Keep an eye on the Introductory Rate. Know when it is scheduled to increase and what it will be after it changes.
  • Compare the Introductory Rate on balance transfers to that on purchases. Know both of them and what they will cost you based on your spending patterns.
  • The best credit card offers for you are determined by how you will use your card.

Balance transfer do’s and don’ts

  • Make payments on time. Be late on a payment and your attractive rate can skyrocket.
  • Have an exit strategy. Know what you are going to do when the rate increases!
  • Pay down your balance over time.
  • Stash the new card and don’t use it. That way, you’ll profit from the low rate instead of racking up a higher balance.

The hard facts about balance transfer credit cards

Credit card companies give balance transfer cards to people with excellent credit. Excellent credit credit card offers that include balance transfers are targeted at those with high credit scores.

So before you fill out that credit card application, look at the pros and cons of the credit card you are considering vis-a-vis your expected usage. Your best credit card deal will be based on the way you plan on using your card.

Fill out one or two applications for cards that you really want

Firing off a bunch of credit card applications for cards you don’t really want may affect your ability to get the card you really need.

Once you get your card, use it wisely to make sure you get your money’s worth.

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