Balance Transfer Card Costs And Rates, As September Ends

Friday, September 30th, 2011
Updated: September 30th, 2011
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

September is quickly on its way out and October is arriving in its place. With it, the last two weeks of the month have showed no dramatic changes as far as the Balance Transfer Card market goes. Because of the dismal state of the American economy, consumers are shying away from credit cards altogether, balance transfer or no balance transfer (according to a report on Smart Balance Transfers website).

Also, the same article indicated the disturbing belief held by at least 80% of Americans that we are facing the possibility of another recession. No wonder, then, the credit card world on a whole has been rather quiet.

Lowered introductory rates, as advertised by major issuers recently, have wooed some consumers to take their existing debt, put it on a new Balance Transfer Card and then pay them off, all while the interest remains low. However, this hasn`t always been a great plan of attack, as credit card issuers sometimes tack on extra fees with the balance transfer cards.

Balance Transfer cards have exploded to an all time high, though, with the public that is actually going about and applying for new accounts.  The average rate on them has held at a flat 12.17 months, just over a year, since June 2011.

The two best Balance Transfer Card issuers on the market right now, according to Smart Balance Transfers, would be Citibank and Discover. The 0% rate on both of these cards last for a span of some 15 months, just above that approximate 12 average which are probably the sweetest cards on the market.

However, Balance Transfer Cards stand at about 12 to 16% interest rates. The variable of this factor is of course the issuer, but this presently is the “norm.” Before a consumer really considers a balance transfer card for their debt situation, they need to be well aware of all the fees associated with the card, as well as any general guidelines. This holds especially applicable when investigating lowered interest rate transfer cards, as they tend to get much higher over time (or once the introductory fee expires).

Some card issuers attach a fee to transferring the debt from one card to another, as well.  Also, some cards do require the user to fill a charge quota on a monthly basis. This can be counterproductive, if the sole reason for the Balance Transfer Credit Card is to pay off existing debt.

Another key in opening a balance transfer credit card is the consumer`s understanding of what they are paying all around. This includes the rate on the transferred amount and also the consumer`s own financial flexibility, so to speak.

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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