Americans are Totally Ignorant of Balance Transfer Matters

Thursday, March 12th, 2020
Updated: March 12th, 2020
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

According to the 2019 Balance Transfer Credit Card Report from CompareCards, more than 75% of cardmembers in the U.S. fail to understand properly how balance transfers actually work.

Despite the fact that most of the respondents already had experience of using balance transfer credit cards, 76% of them are still confident that if they fail to pay off the entire transferred balance within the given low or 0% intro APR period, they will be charged interest retroactively for the whole period from the very first day of the balance transfer (“deferred interest”).

The results of the report are based on a review of 167 balance transfer credit cards from over 40 different issuers and on an online survey of 791 credit cardholders. Here we collected some more interesting findings:

  • About 52% of credit cardholders at least think of applying for a new credit card to transfer debts from another card in 2020.
  • 50% specifically opened a new credit card to transfer another card’s balance. And almost 18% of them did it twice or more.
  • Two times more men than women are in need of a balance transfer.
  • Nearly 30% of millennials (22-36-year-olds) said they would get a credit card for balance transfers this year.
  • 54% of those cardholders who transferred a balance paid off the transferred balance in full during the intro interest period in 2019 compared to 59% in 2018.
  • 50% of balance transfer credit cards offer a 0% intro APR on balance transfers period of 6 to 36 months and an average duration of 14 months.
  • 64% of cards set a limited period to take advantage of the intro offer. The most common timeframe is 60 days.
  • Only 18 cards come with a $0 balance transfer fee and 4 cards – with a no-balance-transfer-fee intro period. The majority of the rest of the cards offer a 3% fee.
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.

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