What should you check for a 0% APR balance transfer... - Balance Transfers Questions


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Credit Card Applications » Questions » User Questions » Balance Transfers » What should you check for a 0% APR balance transfer offer?

What should you check for a 0% APR balance transfer offer?

Answered on | Updated on December 22nd, 2010
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

There is a lot of competition in the credit card industry currently. Almost all the credit card issuers are trying to attract higher credit rating individuals to accept their cards. One of the strategies used by credit card issuers is the balance transfer credit cards, where customers can transfer their outstanding balance on one credit card to another, thereby switching cards. In return customers get some benefits, the most prominent being a 0% interest rate on the balance transferred for a limited introductory period which could vary between 6 – 18 months or sometimes even higher.

A balance transfer offer is good but not all the time. Therefore customers need to check certain essential things before they go for the balance transfer. The first thing to check is the duration of the 0% interest rate offer. If it is 6 months, then a balance transfer is not really worth the risk and the trouble. It has to be at least 12 months in order to help you benefit from the transfer. The 12 months introductory period should be available to help your credit rating gets better, irrespective of the promotion; those with lower credit get a shorter introductory period than those with a higher credit rating.

The next thing to check is if the 0% APR is offered both on balance transfers and purchases or only on the balance transfer. The former option is better because a lot of credit card issuers, use the monthly payments for customers to pay the balance transfer amount, leaving the purchase charges outstanding and thus incurring interest. So customers have to protect themselves against this nasty strategy which makes the balance transfer card ineffective to say the least.

Customers should also find out about the APR on the credit card after the introductory period. If this is too high, then the balance transfer is not a good option. They should also check for the balance transfer fee, which could be as high as 5% or even more in some cases. For a higher outstanding balance this fee, will go up making your balance transfer a non-profitable affair. In fact some credit cards require you to pay part of the outstanding balance as down payment which is not possible in most cases. Credit card customers should also be aware of the fine print, which is in the terms and conditions that could come as a surprise later.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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Intro APR on Balance Transfer: 0% 15 months on Balance Transfers

Ongoing APR on Balance Transfer: 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Excellent, Good Credit

Intro APR on Balance Transfer: 0% Intro APR for 12 months

Ongoing APR on Balance Transfer: Variable APR of 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24%

Balance Transfer Fee: Either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each balance transfer and credit card check

Good, Excellent Credit
See Rates & Fees

Intro APR on Balance Transfer: 0% 18 months on Balance Transfers*

Ongoing APR on Balance Transfer: 15.99% - 25.99% (Variable)

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Excellent, Good Credit

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