There are many types of credit cards. It comes with more rewards and perks than others. One type of balance transfer credit card is designed to help you pay off existing balances on other credit cards.
Ideally, you want to keep 0% APR for a period of time and pay it back quickly. Debt as much as possible. Balance transfer cards come with different introductory periods and subsequent APRs, as well as different additional benefits (or not), so it's a good idea to take the time to compare options before applying. Recommended.
If you want to know how to choose a balance transfer credit card, here are the most important considerations discussed below.
- 1 1. Understand how balance transfer works
- 2 2. Check your credit score
- 3 3. Compare card offer details
- 4 4. Choose a card
- 5 5. Know your debt amount and alternatives
- 6 Best balance transfer credit card
- 7 Conclusion
1. Understand how balance transfer works
Don't stop reading after “zero percent interest''. There are two important caveats you need to know about how credit card balance transfers work.
First, 0% offers are always time-limited. While they don't last forever, some introductory offers can be quite lengthy. The best balance transfer credit cards offer 0% interest for up to 21 months. At the end of the introductory period, interest will begin accruing on regular APRs regardless of the balance on the card. For this reason, it is ideal to pay off the entire balance before the trial period ends.
Another important consideration is the balance transfer fee. Most balance transfer cards charge 3-5% of the balance transferred (minimum $5). For example, if you transfer $1,000 of debt to your card with a 5% balance transfer fee, you will incur a $50 balance transfer fee. Make sure the fees are worth it when you consider how much interest you can save by using Bankrate's balance transfer calculator.
2. Check your credit score
The best balance transfer cards are usually only available to consumers with very good credit or a FICO score of 740 or higher. However, it may be approved with a “good” FICO score in the 670-739 range.
Also note that there are balance transfer credit cards for people with low credit. However, the terms for repaying the debt are not very attractive. before applying. Check your credit score for free to get a better idea of which cards you may qualify for.
3. Compare card offer details
When transferring debt from one card to another, the most important factors to consider are:
- Length of implementation period: Best balance transfer credit cards offer 0% introductory annual interest on transferred balances for up to 21+ months.
- Normal Annual Rate: Be careful. This is the interest rate that begins at the end of the introductory period as it affects remaining balances and future balances. Compare that to the current average credit card interest rate of over 17%.
- Fees: Direct debit fees are typically 3-5% of the transfer amount. You should also consider other fees, such as if your card includes an annual fee.
- APR starting on purchase: Some balance transfer cards also offer an APR on purchase starting at his 0%.
4. Choose a card
If you want a balance transfer card that's worth keeping for the long term, you can also compare cards based on the rewards they offer and cardholder benefits. and some features come with insurance protection or purchase rewards, and you can use them on everything you buy to get a better deal.
Keep in mind that spending and rewards for transferring balances don't always go hand in hand. Using your card for purchases in an attempt to pay off debt can slow progress and eventually make it worse.
5. Know your debt amount and alternatives
Take the time to figure out exactly how much you owe and remember that you can combine multiple credit card debts into one new balance transfer card.
The amount of debt also affects how long the debt repayment process takes. After all, paying off $5,000 of credit card debt at 0% p.a. takes significantly less time than paying off $10,000 of debt, $25,000 of debt, and so on.
Many people think of the balance transfer card as only for credit card debt, but in reality it is used to consolidate payments and take advantage of his 0% of his APR. You can transfer various types of debt. Depending on the card and issuer, you may be able to transfer personal loans, student loans, car loans, and even home equity loans.
If you have a significant amount of debt to pay off, also consider whether a balance transfer card is the right tool for you. After all, a personal loan can also be used to consolidate and pay off debt, and in many cases he can secure low fixed interest rates for 5 to 7 years. Personal loans also include fixed monthly payments and repayment schedules, making it easier to budget and plan.
Not sure if a balance transfer credit card is right for you? Check out our credit cardholder types tool where you can get personalized credit card recommendations based on your credit score, spending habits and daily needs.
Best balance transfer credit card
Some balance transfer card offers are considerably better than others.
Learn More Balance Transfer: Perfect for Rotational Rewards
Discover it® Balance Transfer allows cardholders to consolidate their debts and get rewarded for their spending. increase. This card allows him to earn 5% on up to $1,500 spent in the quarterly bonus category (activation required), after which he earns 1%. Plus, you'll get a flat 1% back on all other spend. Discover equals all rewards earned after her first year.
You'll also get 0% initial APR on purchase for 6 months and 0% on balance transfer for 18 months. A variable APR of 15.74% to 26.74% is then applied. There is an initial balance transfer fee of 3% and future balance transfers up to 5% fee (see conditions).
Citi Double Cash Card: Perfect for Fixed Cash Back
With the Citi® Double Cash Card, cardholders can earn up to 2% cash back on every purchase . With no annual fee, the card comes with a first year APR of 0% on balance transfers for 18 months, followed by a variable APR of 17.74% to 27.74%. A 3% initial balance transfer fee (minimum $5) applies to transfers completed within the first four months of account opening.
Citi Diamond Preferred Card: Up to 0% Initial APR
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card earns no benefits, but offers one of the longest balance transfer offers on the market. You can get it. From 16.74 percent to 27.49 percent. There is no annual fee, but you must pay a 5% balance transfer fee (minimum $5).
Please note, however, that the Introductory APR for purchases only lasts 12 months. If you also want to save interest on your purchases, the Wells Fargo Reflect® card is for you. Initial APR 0% offered for up to 21 months: APR 0% balance transfer for 18 months from account opening and qualification at time of purchase. Minimum timely payment during the introductory period will extend the introductory APR for 3 months. Variation APR from 17.24% to 29.24%. If you transfer your balance within 120 days, an adoption rate and a 3% fee will apply, followed by a BT fee of up to 5% (minimum $5).
Migrating your balance is a big step towards debt management. The best card for you depends on how much debt you have and how quickly you can pay it off. You should also weigh the additional charges attached to the card against its reward structure (if any).