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Balance transfer credit cards almost went extinct during the recession when a lot of card issuers closed down the accounts of customers with balance transfer offers. A balance transfer card allows a customer to pay off an outstanding balance on another credit card and move the balance to the new card. There are incentives offered for instigating such a move, and this is how credit card issuers attract customers of other credit cards to use their cards instead. One of the biggest attractions of a balance transfer credit card is the 0% interest rate that is offered during the introductory period. These offers are being given out once again by a lot of card issuers these days.
It is not possible to directly answer whether a balance transfer is a good deal or not. It changes from card to card based on the terms and regulations. That is why customers should be especially keen to read the fine print on the balance transfer cards to find out what exactly is on offer. The introductory period could be between 6 months to 18 months or sometimes even more. It depends on the credit score of the individual, which is why not all cardholders get the same introductory period. That also means varying benefits and hence customers are better off making their own calculations.
The longer the introductory period, the greater the benefit of the credit card. There are other parameters that make the card more or less valuable as well. For example, the balance transfer credit card is really useful if the 0% interest rate is also applicable for purchases made on the cards and not just for the balance transferred. That would effectively mean there is no interest on the credit card during the initial period allowing customers to save substantial amounts. The balance transfer credit card also offers a good deal only if the fee charged is not exorbitant. Applicants therefore need to check 2 kinds of fees on the balance transfer card which are more important than the rest of them. The annual fees which shouldn’t be charged at all preferably in the first year and the balance transfer fee, which shouldn’t be more than 3 – 4% of the balance transferred, can tilt the balance on either side. Also applicants should take a look at the APR after the introductory period to decide if it is a good deal indeed.