How to Get the Best Balance Transfer Cards
Credit card balance transfer offers are everywhere, but how do you know which offer is the best balance transfer credit card rate? Most people don’t have a clue. In order to get the most out of any balance transfer credit card offer, it’s important to understand just what it is that you’re signing up for.
First off, you must remember that any credit card balance transfers are done at your sole risk. The best balance transfer cards all offer very low interest rates, and they also require you to make the payments on time. That means no more late fees and no need to worry about a high credit limit. However, because these cards are marketed as low risk, you must be aware that even if you do make payments on time, you could end up paying a hefty fee if you are late making a payment or miss a payment altogether. As long as you read the fine print and make sure to pay your bill on time every month, you will not have to worry about these fees.
The next thing to keep in mind is that balance transfer cards do not offer any sort of grace period or early repayment option. If you find yourself in a situation where you are able to pay off your balance within the introductory period, you can forget about making any payments or paying any additional fees. The reason is that after this introductory period is gone, your interest rates will jump back up to normal levels and you will have to pay for those late payments. It’s better just to wait until your introductory period is over, so that you won’t have to deal with those rates and fees. Even if it takes a few months, paying your bills on time is better than paying off your debt at an early date.
Balance transfer cards often encourage consumers to use credit cards to consolidate debt. While it is certainly true that consolidating your debts into one lower monthly payment makes your life easier, those cards also provide another benefit that you may not even be aware of. That benefit is a significant boost to your credit score.
Most credit cards charge a standard APR on any balances that are transferred. This APR varies according to the credit cards charge and can be anywhere from a low of around 12% to a high of around 22%. However, many people who use their new card to consolidate debt actually wind up paying more in the long term because they have paid more in the short term.
That’s because the interest that is charged is usually much higher when you consolidate than when you are just paying on your credit card bills. So when you get a balance transfer credit card, you are really just getting a loan for the short term. You will pay much more in the long term, as you are carrying a large debt. That is why most experts recommend that you get rid of the credit cards and just keep one low-interest loan. And there are some that are easy to do.
Some credit cards offer an introductory APR offer that lasts only for six months at a time. If you take advantage of this offer, you could lower your monthly payments and get rid of the interest charges immediately. However, most issuers only make this kind of offer if you are going to use the new card to pay off a balance. After the six month period is over, you can then apply again to other issuers and continue the consolidation.
Other balance transfer cards also offer low interest rates after six months. Again, you need to compare the offers that are available and choose the lowest low interest rate card that you can find. Then just make sure you make all of your payments on time and you will have no problem getting a low interest rate for a few years. In fact, many credit card companies will let you keep your regular APR after the introductory period is over.