How to choose the best balance transfer cards?

Answered on October 13, 2010
Updated on October 13, 2010
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.
Amy Miller Amy Miller
Balance transfer process relieves people of high interest rates, which make it difficult to clear off debts. Usually, because of the high interest rates, the total outstanding balance keeps building up with every billing cycle, even if the credit card is not used for purchases. To avoid these interest rates, people often opt for balance transfer cards, which are offered at very low interest rates and sometimes, for 0% interest for a fixed time period. These cards help people clear off their debts fast, and work towards achieving a better credit score. Slow and careful comparison of cards available will help in making a better decision in choosing the right balance transfer card. First thing to look for in a balance transfer card is the annual fee. Balance transfer cards can sometimes make up for the low interest rates by charging annual fees, which is why it is best to look for no annual fee cards. The next thing to compare is the rate of interest. The best balance transfer cards have 0% interest rates for long period of time. The normal interest free time period ranges from six to fifteen months, and a good card should offer 0% interest rate for at least a year. If there are no cards available that gives a 0% interest, then the next best thing would be look for cards that offer the lowest interest rate without annual fee. After the cards are sorted out based on these two, the next step would be to know about the interest rates for new purchases. Often balance transfer cards charge very high interest rates for new purchases because the bill amount for every billing cycle goes to clear off the old outstanding balance. It is best to choose cards that offer lower interest rates for new purchases as well. Also, the interest rates after the introductory interest free period too comes into picture while choosing the card. Even after an interest free period, the card should offer a lower interest which serves the purpose of the balance transfer process. Transaction fee is another important factor to consider, before choosing the card. Usually the old credit card company and the new card issuer will charge a transaction fee for the process of balance transfer. Minimal processing fee makes the card ideal. Careful consideration of all the factors mentioned above, and a methodical sorting of cards on the internet, will give the best balance transfer card deal.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.

User Comments about This Question

BROWSE MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT Balance Transfer Cards:

Unfortunately, you won't be able to transfer the balance of one Wells Fargo credit card to another Wells Fargo credit card as balance transfers between two cards of one issuer are not allowed. You will need to apply for a credit card from a different issuer.
When you first face credit card issues, some phenomena can come as a bit of a shock. For example, balance transfers may seem unintelligible, but in fact they are quite easy to understand. You have a balance on card A and then you transfer it onto card B. Cards for balance transfers usually have low intro rate offers on balance transfers, so for the first time you may have even a 0% APR offer. That will allow you to pay off some or all of your balance with little interest and save quite a lot. So that is quite an option. Note that balance transfer cards with attractive low rate intro offers...
Unfortunately, you won't be able to transfer the balance of one U.S Bank credit card to another U.S Bank credit card as balance transfers between two cards of one issuer are not allowed. You will need to apply for a credit card from a different issuer.

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