Credit Cards with Balance Transfers | An Expert Guide
Balance transfer cards can help you lower your overall credit card interest and allow you pay down your credit card debt faster. Below our experts explain what's what, and give you helpful tips on how to evaluate balance transfer offers. Click on the images below to get guidance from our experts.
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What To Look For When Applying
If you are applying for a new card in order to receive a balance transfer offer, then you should be looking for the longest duration available in order to have as much time as possible to pay off your debt without incurring interest charges. Furthermore, you should try to find a card with the minimum balance transfer fee, which is often 3%. Other desirable features include 0% APR promotional financing on new purchases. You should also examine other terms such as the standard rate of interest, the annual fee and any foreign transaction fees. Finally, seek out any important benefits such as travel insurance and purchase protection policies.
What To Avoid When Applying
Balance transfer offers with promotional financing can be very helpful if you are in debt, but there are still some things that you should look out for. First, you should be aware of any balance transfer fees, as most cards that offer 0% APR financing charge a 3% balance transfer fee on the amount transferred. Some charge a higher rate that is not competitive; the rare card that has no balance transfer fee is often the best deal. In addition, you should be mindful of the duration of the balance transfer offer. Federal law requires that promotional financing offers be valid for at least six months, and some last as long as 18 months. You should avoid choosing an offer with too short of a duration. Finally, you should be aware that balances cannot be transferred between two cards from the same issuer.
Should You Apply For More Than One?
If you're wondering whether you need to apply for multiple balance transfer offers at the same time, first choose the best offer available and wait to see how large the line of credit will be. If you are able to transfer your entire existing balance to the new card, then you may find you don't need to apply for other cards. If, on the other hand, your new card's line of credit is insufficient to transfer all of your remaining debt, it might make sense to apply for another balance transfer card from a separate card issuer. Since avoiding expensive interest charges is so valuable, doing so may, in the long run, be worth the risk of having your application denied.
When Is The Best Time To Apply?
If you are a credit card user who is in debt, then you may benefit from a credit card offer that features a 0% APR or reduced interest rate balance transfer offer. These offers may allow you to reduce or eliminate your interest charges while you pay down your debt. If so, every day that you wait to transfer a balance means that you are incurring more interest charges, so you should not wait to apply once you have selected the best offer. You must also have good or excellent credit when you apply, as the best offers are not available if your credit falls to average or below average.
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