Tips on Credit Card Balance Transfers

by Jason on April 27, 2010

Do Credit Card Balance Transfers Make Sense for You?

Do you own several credit cards from different providers?

Do these cards have high interest rates and are you carrying loads of debt?

If you answered yes then more likely than not you are having a hard time trying to juggle payments and organize a solid payback plan.

This scenario sounds all too familiar for many people and can be incredibly stressful for those involved.

If you are having difficulties with your current cards then one of your options can be credit card balance transfers to a provider that has a lower interest rate.

The benefit to this is that you hopefully you reduce the amount of interest you are paying and give yourself a more manageable payment.

You can use this handy Credit Card Payoff Calculator to determine your new payment and how long it will take to climb out of debt!

How to Initiate Credit Card Balance Transfers

The first step to successful credit card balance transfers is to find a company that offers a low interest rate.

There are several options available to you and a good place to start looking is on the Internet, many websites provide a comparison chart that lists the pros and cons of each credit card.

Jason here – I suggest calling your current card companies first and letting them know you are interested in a balance transfer deal and see what they can do for you.

They might be willing (or have some promotions going on) to negotiate to keep your business.

Or, for instance, if you go to the corporate website of the provider you may find a list of their best credit card deals currently on offer.

Remember to find out as much information relating to balance transfers as you can.

Questions to Ask About Credit Card Balance Transfers

Here’s a few questions you’ll want to find out before you initiate your credit card balance transfers:

  • Is there an introductory rate and if so how long does it last?
  • When this introductory rate ends, what is the new increased rate?
  • Is there a fee for balance transfers?
  • Is there an annual card fee?

You might be able to find some zero percent balance transfer deals out there.

Try to find more than one good deal on balance transfers, as the next step is to apply to the credit card companies and you are not always guaranteed approval.

You will have to go for companies that you’ve never used in the past; many credit card providers will automatically refuse applicants that already have a card with them.

Once you’ve successfully completed your credit card balance transfers, moved the balances of all of your current credit card accounts into one, then stop using the old cards or cut them up - you’re now on your way to paying off your credit cards!

Choosing a credit card provider with a good balance transfer rate can be frustrating, so here are a couple I have used in the past from a well known company, but at the end of the day – do your own research!

Different cards are right for different people.

  1. MBNA Platinum Plus Amex card.
  2. MBNA Rate for Life card.

This has been a guest post by Sandra from Thinking Money - a site designed for getting free financial advice and ideas on how to save and make money.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

TheDebtHawk.com April 27, 2010 at 8:24 am

Great article. I especially liked the questions you need to ask your credit card company section.

One word of caution to people doing credit card balance transfers – THIS DOES NOT SOLVE YOUR DEBT PROBLEM. If you fail to address the fact that you are spending too much money or not making enough money, you will not be solving your problem. In fact, you might make it worse by running up the old credit card balance again.

Jason April 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Great Great point Hawk! I got into trouble doing the same thing years ago – the issue of overspending must be addressed first!

Eve Online August 17, 2010 at 12:12 am

Now and then I’ll stumble across a post like this and I’ll recall that there really are still interesting pages on the web. ^_^. Thanks.

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