The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Research: Features of the best balance transfer credit cards -

Choosing the right balance transfer credit cards depends on how well you consider your options and how accurate you are with your calculations. The bottom line is that credit card companies are trying to make a profit and most of them do so by outwitting the card holders. That is why credit card offers like balance transfers become tricky choices to make, and one needs to sensibly weigh all the options. Here are some of the features that make a balance transfer credit card truly worth it.

Low introductory rate

Lower the introductory rate, more attractive is the proposition. That is why a lot of card holders with good credit get 0% introductory rate, which means there is no interest on their credit card debt during the introductory period.

Longer introductory period

If you have a credit card that offers you 0% introductory rate for at least 12 months, it is definitely worth considering. 12 months of interest is a substantial amount especially for those who have card debt in excess of $1000. That is when the 15% interest could be a crucial number, getting rid of which is a great priority for many card holders. So, the ideal combination for a balance transfer credit card is a low, preferably 0%, introductory rate and a longer introductory or promotional period.

Low cost

Every balance transfer credit card comes with a cost. There are several types of fees levied on credit cards, and what card issuers offer in terms of 0% interest rate and rewards, they try to take back through penalties and fees. Good balance transfer credit cards have low balance transfer fee, in the range of 3%. It isn’t advisable to go for credit cards which have a high annual fee in excess of $100, as it eats into the interest savings that you make. Apart from these two parameters, you need to look at other penalties like the overdraft fee, charged when you cross the credit limit, and the cash withdrawal fee charged when you withdraw cash using your credit card. Another important aspect of a good balance transfer credit card is the lower interest rate charged even after the introductory period. This will ensure that you will be able to use the credit card even after the introductory period. This is a definite positive as you should be looking to build on your history instead of changing cards all the time.

Rewards and incentives

Although the 0% rate is going to be the greatest incentive for card holders, there are other rewards that card issuers offer as well. Good balance transfer offers especially those issued in the holiday season provide opening bonuses too. A good example is the range of credit cards that offered a $100 bonus for milestone expenses of about $500 - $700 in the first 3 months. This is ideal especially for those who are looking to spend a few dollars shopping for the festival or holiday season or while on a vacation, as they can save as much as $100 on their expenses.