The Balance Transfer Opportunities

By Stephen Fisherton on January 11, 2008

January, time to return to my real life after the winter holidays, go on working and make one more attempt to follow my New year resolution. This year I plan to start jogging, eat more healthy food and reduce my monthly expenses. Even if I forget about my resolution (as I usually do) I will need to save money anyway because I am a bit short of money after all that Christmas shopping.

First of all, I am going to apply for a new credit card with a low introductory rate and transfer my debt on it. This option is called balance transfer and it will help me not to loose money on the annual percentage rate. A balance transfer is widely used by all major credit companies. Make sure that your credit card allows you to use this service or otherwise you wouldn’t be able to benefit from the difference of the interest rates.How does the balance transfer work? My new credit card issuer will pay off my debt to the previous credit company and move the balance to my new card. So I will still have the same debt, but the APR will be better. It’s also very convenient to use a balance transfer if you have more than one debt –  it will be more affordable to manage your expenses if you consolidate the debts.

As the main goal of changing a credit card is to save money, pay attention to such significant aspects as introductory rates and the length of the introductory period. Surfing among numerous balance transfer card offers, choose the ones which have introductory APR up to 1% or – what is much better – no APR at all. Check how the interest rate will rise after the end of the introductory period – you don’t need a high jump of your APR.

Unfortunately, introductory rates do not last forever, so pay attention to how long they will be. No need to tell, the longer – the better. Usually the introductory period is 6–12 months, but you can find special offers: for example, the Blue from American Express offers 15 months’ introductory period – so be attentive in your searches. Another advantage for the Blue holders is the access to the Blue Membership Rewards Express program that offers the opportunity to earn points, which can then be redeemed for various products and services.

I want to warn you against the possible mistake that my brother recently made – he didn’t check his card limit so his balance was transferred partially. Now he got two credit debts instead of just one and he is really upset. Fortunately, his income allows him to manage both bills, but he really has made his financial situation worse. Learn from my brother’s mistakes and make sure that your new credit limit is big enough to accommodate your whole debt.

Now you know the advantages and disadvantages of balance transfer deals and what aspects of balance transfer cards shall be taken into consideration. I would recommend you to pay attention to Discover More Card – American Flag or similar cards which have such benefits as 0% APR for 12 months, no annual fee and a good rewards program which will allow you to get cashback bonus.

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3 Responses to “The Balance Transfer Opportunities”

  1. Mgusman said:

    Last time when I transferred my balance I didn’t pay attention to the balance transfer fee and lost 50 dollars, though there were cards with no fee at all.

  2. Marie said:

    As I know, now most cards allow to move your debt from one card to another. Thanks for advice what to pay attention to, I have an idea to renew my cedit card too.

  3. Lucky_Gladys said:

    I really doubt that banks allow you to get 0% APR for a year. There must be some trick.




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