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Balance transfer credit cards could save you money on interest payments if you transfer debt from a source with a higher interest rate to a card offering a lower interest rate and you pay off the debt quickly.
Keep in mind, balance transfer credit cards offering introductory 0% APRs only do so for a limited time. If you can’t pay off the debt balance before the introductory period expires, understand what interest rate will get charged down the road.
Don’t forget to account for balance transfer fees when calculating whether you’ll save money. These fees get charged upfront and can be hefty.
A balance transfer credit card could allow you to move all of your debt to a single card, assuming your approved credit limit is high enough. This can make it easier for you to keep track of the monthly payments. Avoiding missed payments by doing this could help improve your credit score as long as your credit utilization on your new card doesn’t get too high.
Balance transfer credit cards can help tremendously if you pay off the debt quickly and don’t incur any new debt. Unfortunately, many people see the 0 balance on their old credit card as an opportunity to spend more money. If you transfer a balance and then run up the balance on your old credit card again, you just dig yourself deeper into debt.
Lenders don’t want to lose money on balance transfer credit card offers. For this reason, lenders typically won’t allow you to transfer a debt balance from their bank to a balance transfer credit card they issue. For instance, you can’t move a balance from your Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card to your Chase Slate credit card.
When you apply for a credit card, you may not get approved for the credit limit you desire. You may apply for a balance transfer offer and only get approved for a $5,000 credit limit. If you planned to transfer $10,000 of other credit card debt, you end up maxing out the new credit card with the balance transfer and still have $5,000 of debt on the old card.
Picking the right card for your situation requires you to examine a few key factors.
First, you want to have a good shot of getting approved for the card. Look for cards that typically approve people with your current credit score.
Next, make sure the credit card you’re applying for will allow you to transfer the balance you want to move. Some banks don’t allow loan transfers, while others do.
Finally, compare offers to find the card that can save you the most money. Look for long introductory 0% APR periods, low or no balance transfer fee offers, and a low regular APR after the balance transfer promotion expires.