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Balance Transfer Cards

Balance Transfer Cards

Transferring Card Balances

A transfer card transfers a credit card balance, or balance on a loan from one APR rate to a credit card that normally has an introduction rate of maybe 0% for a limited amount of time, such as 6 months to 12 months, or the offer may also consist of a fixed interest rate on the transfer amount that is much lower than what you are currently paying.

Some transfer rates are only effective for one transfer from one bill or one credit card, while most card companies will let you transfer as many card or loan balances as you want in order to secure your business.

Fine Print

This promotional rate on balances transferred usually lasts 6, 9 or twelve months and there could be some tricky language if you have a balance on this card already where you are transferring more debt. The best advice is to read the terms carefully before doing anything. By not reading the terms carefully as well as the tiny print, you can often end up with high fees and/or a higher rate of interest than you were expecting.

Initial Balances Only

Some offers on a transfer card might waive fees only for “initial balance transfers”, meaning the transfers that were authorized when you accepted the card and finalized the balance transfer statement. In these cases, every balance transfer after that is handled as a cash advance that will be subjected to cash advance fees that are normally much higher.

Do You Qualify

Another place to be careful is that everyone might not meet the requirements for the super-low rate. The balance transfer card might boast a 3.8 percent rate for a teaser that then bumps to 16 percent at 6 months, you might only meet the requirements for a card with a 7.8 percent teaser bumping up to an annual rate of 22 percent.

Other Fees

Be certain to check if the new card has an annual fee and what the late fees and over-the limit fees are. They could be unreasonably high on the balance transfer card in order to make up for the super low teaser rate.