My biggest tip for getting out of credit card debt is to sign up for a 0% balance transfer card. This allows you to transfer your existing high credit card debt to your new card. 21 months interest-free promotional rates apply.
To my pleasant surprise, these offers have been even more generous in recent months, despite a string of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. In the past, when rates increased, balance transfer promotions were often shortened and fees appreciated.Now that's not the norm.
In fact, earlier this week, Bank of America extended the 0% balance transition period for BankAmericard® credit cards from 18 months to 21 months (provided the transition is completed within 60 days of account opening). The balance transfer fee is still 3% (minimum $10). After the promotion expires, the variable APR is between 15.74% and 25.74% depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder.
BankAmericard currently partners with Wells Fargo Reflect® Card, Citi Simplicity® Card and Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card to provide the longest first year APR balance transition period in the market. The Reflect card's interest-free balance transition period is technically 18 months, but can be extended up to 21 months if all payments are made on time during the introductory period. Reflect Card debuted last fall, and within the past year, Wells Fargo and Bank of America have joined Citi in the longest standing balance transfer market. Wells Fargo Reflect Card First Year APR Offer Details: 0% first year APR for 18 months from account opening and eligible balance transfer at time of purchase. Introductory APR extension of up to 3 months with minimum payment during the introductory and extension period. After that, the APR fluctuated from 17.24% to 29.24%. Balance transfers made within 120 days are subject to an introductory rate and a 3% fee, followed by a BT fee of up to 5% and a minimum of $5
Reflect also has a 3% intro transfer fee (Within the first 120 days of account opening, increasing to 5% thereafter, with a minimum of $5 in both cases). The Citi Diamond Preferred Card has a 5% transfer fee (minimum $5) and these interest-free balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
After the promotional period, the normal floating APR will be: 17.24 to 29.24 percent for Reflect cards, 16.99 to 27.74 percent for Simplicity, and 15.99 to 26.74 percent for Diamond Preferred.
The card issuer Why are you offering a 0% balance transfer?
These promotions are best viewed as marketing tools to acquire new customers. Basically, they are the loss leaders. During the company's third quarter 2021 earnings call, Citi Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason said that by the end of the 0% introductory APR, about half of these promotional balances would have been paid in full. I said no. At that point, interest rates will skyrocket and suddenly this customer relationship can be very profitable for the card issuer.
How to use balance transfer cards to your advantage
Many balance transfer cards lure cardholders with 0% introduction APR for new purchases, but we recommend refraining from making additional purchases with these cards. The best way to use a 0% balance transfer card is to move high interest balances from one or more cards and divide the amount you owe by the number of months of interest free period to keep that fixed payment That's it.
There are times and places when the referral rate for new purchases is 0%. For example, spread the influence of expensive items such as appliances and furniture. If you have existing debt, the repayment process becomes much more complicated. Basically, you have to hit a moving target.
A typical credit card minimum payment scheme is just 1% of your monthly balance plus interest. If you only pay the minimum amount with a balance transfer card, you will have to make up a large difference at the end to avoid a large amount of interest.So sticking to that level of payment plan is a much better approach.
The math is brutal when you're paying the bare minimum on an interest-bearing credit card.The average credit card interest rate is 17.67%, very close to a record high. With a debt of $5,270 (national average according to TransUnion) and a minimum repayment of 17.67%, having been in debt for 193 months (over 16 years), in total he will pay $6,418 in interest.
This shows why a balance transfer card can save you so much money if you pay off your balance in a timely manner. You can pay off $5,270 without interest. (This does not include the 3-5 percent transfer fee which costs $158-264 in this example, but is small compared to other methods.)
How To Qualify For A 0% Balance Transfer Card
You probably need good to excellent credit to get one of the best balance transfer cards. This often means a credit score of 670 or higher. According to FICO, the average American credit score is 716, so these offers are within reach for most people.
The bigger obstacle may be getting a credit limit high enough to transfer the entire balance. was strict with According to Equifax, the average credit limit for credit card accounts starting in April 2022 was $4,993. The number of credit cards created in April 2022 is down about 5% from $5,267 in 2019, even though it was more than any previous April. From April 2019 to April 2022, originations increased by 23%.
This means that if you have a sizeable credit card balance (especially he's over $5,000), you may not be able to transfer the entire balance. If your credit score is lower than it was or your income is lower than your card issuer wants.
If you are struggling with credit card debt, My favorite advice is to use a 0% balance transfer card and suspend that interest clock for up to 21 months. You may also consider alternatives such as personal loans (interest rates are as low as 13.5% if you have good credit), non-profit credit counseling, and basic strategies such as earning more and spending less. . An interest free balance transfer promotion is probably the best way to get out of debt relatively quickly at the lowest possible cost.
BankAmericard® credit card information was updated on December 1, 2022.
Have a question about your credit card? Email us at [email protected] We are happy to help.